With Rowan Williams due to divest himself of the See of Canterbury to become Master of Magdalen College, Cambridge, the Church of England is looking for a successor. Who that will be may decide the fate of the Anglican Communion as it wrestles with many difficulties and issues, the ordination of women to the episcopate and the position of openly gay clergy being the main ones.
One would imagine that the Prime Minister of the UK (who appoints the bishops of the Church of England) will be treading very carefully. One would imagine he would spend some time in prayer, but seeing as Tony Blair when PM raised the shackles of many when he said he prayed over decisions, I presume David Cameron will be careful not to resort to divine assistance when making his decision, or will he?
Well, seeing as divine assistance might have to be ruled out, it seems assistance of another kind is being sought - the opinions of all peoples through Twitter. Twitter will be the "conclave" for the election of the new Archbishop of Canterbury. There's democracy for you. So if you have a view, or a candidate, you can make it known and who knows, you might just elect the next head bishop of the Anglican Communion.
I'm sure many people will think this is a good idea, but to be honest, I'm not so sure. When it comes to ecclesiastical offices, particularly in a time when controversy is rife and the message of the Gospel being diluted and indeed erased or distorted beyond all recognition, democracy is not the ideal way to choose a leader. Prudence, prayer and the advice of wise people is necessary, but resorting to Twitter will further politicise the election. But we shall see how things turn out. Will this help in the decline and eventual demise of Anglicanism?
As one holy priest said to me today: "They are using Twitter? I hope they don't elect a twit." Indeed!