Church of England says top bishops are being chosen for their management skills rather than their intellect

Feb 9, 2018 by

by Steve Doughty, Mailonline:

Bishops are being chosen for their management skills rather than their intellect, a Church of England report warned yesterday.

The scathing assessment of the CofE’s 42 top bishops raised several causes for ‘anxiety’ over the appointments system.

One was that Church politics had led to the selection of ‘bland and inoffensive’ bishops who offer ‘false unity’.

Another was that an obsession with management skills ‘encouraged a pragmatic approach to decisions that ought to be principled’ and which could ‘weaken the intellectual and moral authority of the House of Bishops.’
The row over female bishops, it added, may have distracted from the need for ‘a wider diversity of gifts’ among leaders.

The review was delivered to the Church’s parliament, the General Synod, by a group of academics charged with examining the effectiveness of the Crown Nominations Commission, which selects senior bishops.

It complained that in a Church once dominated by dons, no current diocesan bishop has worked as a university academic. The authors said this ‘raises questions about a loss of intellectual depth’.

The research was conducted by Reverend Oliver O’Donovan of Edinburgh University

The Commission should look for bishops who can teach the gospel, they added. The Synod yesterday voted to approve the report, and its suggestions will be considered.

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