I’m still wallowing in nostalgia for the old Donegal. In an old cottage across the valley, Andrew lives a simple life. One New Year, we arrived to find all in darkness as the extreme weather had wiped out the power supply. I asked Andrew, ‘Do you have electricity?’ ‘Yes I do,’ was the reply. ‘Is your electricity working now?’ ‘No it isn’t’
Meanwhile the front page of today’s Irish Times carries a report of the qualities being sought by the Papal Nuncio in his soundings as part of the search for a new Bishop of Down and Connor. Interesting reading: physical appearance; health; capacity for work; family background with particular reference to any possible hereditary condition; intellectual endowment and practical skills; temprament; judgement and balance; sense of responsibility; ability to establish ties of friendship. It goes on: loyal obedience to the Holy Father … ; esteem for and acceptance of priestly celibacy as put forward by the magisterium of the church; respect for and observance of the norms governing divine worship and ecclesiastical attire.’
Our own Canon 4 sets out how a bishop is to be appointed/elected – but gives little guidance of this kind. More helpful are the Anglican Communion guidelines as to the competencies required. Meanwhile, in the absence of any better guidance, one just gets on with it.