Thursday, March 31, 2011

Become a bishop. Know everything immediately!

It seems that the bishop of Osaka, Japan, has weighed in about nuclear power. All nuclear power.
"The issue about the direction we are taking, to build other nuclear power plants, is an important question,” said Auxiliary Bishop Michael Goro Matsuura of Osaka. “Together with the Justice and Peace Commission of the Japanese Bishops, which I headed up until last year, we have raised awareness to fight the construction of new nuclear power plants in Japan and globally. I believe that this serious incident should be a lesson for Japan and for the entire planet, and will be an incentive to abandon these projects. We call on the solidarity of Christians worldwide to support this campaign.
This is a classic example of the tendency of today's bishops to spend time delivering opinions on subjects in which they have good intentions but no competence whatsoever.

Nuclear powerplants depend upon very sophisticated technology, which it takes years of study to master (much like theology -- hmmmm). Only a person with such training is truly qualified to judge how safe really-up-to-date nuclear plants are. And only once we're confident of the risks can we judge whether the benefits outweigh them.

I'm sure Bishop Matsuura is a good man. But in this, he has no more competence to judge for himself -- let alone "call on the solidarity of Christians worldwide" -- than the average informed lay person.

And I would have to ask the bishop to explain what his flock are supposed to do if he gets his way? What source of electrical power, available now and as cheaply as nuclear-generated power, are his flock supposed to use instead?

Or are they supposed to sit obediently in the cold and dark, meditating on the Peace and Justice which they will then enjoy?