Saturday, 5 September 2009

A more excellent way

The worst thing about the Church and Managerialism is not that Managerialism doesn't work (tho' it doesn't), nor that it is dehumanising (tho' it is, and it is scandalous that a church should fail to see this). No, the worst thing is that, as Fr Clues implies in his original post, the Church already knows how to order personal and corporate life, but has forgotten this or lost confidence in it.

One need look no further than the Rule of S. Benedict to find the deeply spiritual, but also hard-headed and practical, wisdom necessary for living harmoniously in community - whether that community be a monastery, parish, school or company (or even Diocesan HQ).

On a personal level a Rule of Life presents us with the disciplines of spiritual direction, confession, regular prayer and worship, and the like: the disciplines that we need to flourish (as human beings and as members of a community) by helping align our lives with God's will.

If a church looks to Managerialism for such guidance this is not merely a mistake, but a symptom of profound spiritual crisis.

Fr Jones's post yesterday (already referenced in a quite different connexion) eloquently describes what must be done:

The Church must be renewed from the depths of its Scriptural and credal base, it must be rich in sacramental life, it must be human and and humane, capable of negotiation and able to survive with minimum life support facilities. It must be disciplined but tinged with an anarchic anti-authoritianarianism, it must be able to inspire loyalty and despise fanaticism, it must, it really must reflect the weeping and the joyful meal sharing of Jesus it must have a panache that comes from a realistic and humble understanding of its own inadequacy, it it must be with and for God's own people and not a bureaucracy of self perpetuating organisational mechanisms.

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