Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Pope as Emerson

The Catholic Church has core values as a base and structure fleshed out with tradition and pageantry. It is an organization that does not demand management but rather consistency. When faced with theoretical questions they take the historic route; when faced with management decisions, they freeze. They guide the Church through the world's storms, they do not interact with them. Almost the obverse of 19th Century transcendentalism, integrity of the structure is paramount and transcendental, integrity of individuals is for the world.

The Pope's decision to resign changes all this in a pen stroke. This does not appear to be a reaction to anything; it looks like the result of his assessment of his ability to manage. To have that kind of foreword perspective in the pontiff is remarkable and to create that concern as a component of papal leadership more so.

On one hand this is an organization with deep rooted ideas administered by people who believe them and who appoint assistants who are compatible with both. As such it is hard to change. On the other hand, this might be a revolution in the Church.

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