Religion: Small Step for Bishops

In Roman Catholic teaching, the bishops of the church are the successors of the Apostles. Only the Pope, in modern times, has had the authority to appoint new bishops, though usually he has chosen them from nominations made by local bishops, by his own representative to the country in question, or in a few exceptional cases by a cathedral chapter or a government. In the wake of Vatican Council II, liberals hoped that bishops might once more be elected, as they were in ancient Christianity, by the "people of God" they would be serving —lay as well as clerical. This week,...

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