Robert Mickens' column calling for a new way of choosing bishops is most timely. Although the Code of Canon Law of 1983 (c. 377) says that the pope freely appoints bishops, papal appointment is contrary to the church's centurieslong tradition of the election of bishops by the clergy and people of the diocese.
"What we need to see more than anything is a church that is willing to listen and a church that's willing to engage."
Wearing pins declaring "families must have a vote in family synods," a global group pushing for greater inclusivity in the church is meeting here this week in an effort to influence the Vatican's upcoming global meeting of Catholic bishops.
The coalition, known as Catholic Church Reform International and claiming backing of like-minded groups around the world, is calling specifically for more ways for ordinary families to have input in the discussions at the meeting, known as a synod.
The Tablet suspended Mickens on March 25 to conduct an investigation into a comment Mickens made on Facebook.