[LMB] Bishops on Barrayar, was: Kosher

Ursula uleubner at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 8 14:02:41 GMT 2016

>On Thu, 8 Dec 2016 04:55:07 +0000 (UTC), "M. Haller Yamada"
<<thefabmadamem at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>I do agree that secret orders saying, "Poof, you are a bishop in the event of a 
>>disaster, as determined by the following criteria" would be hard to believe. (-: 
>>Unless, of course, it was a new sort of religion that had specific aims . . . .
>>Disaster needn't come into it.  Criteria could be: "When you have 10,000
>parishioners"; "When you've built a cathedral" etc.
Why the secrecy?  Making the bishop secret presumes a need for secrecy.  
There are lots of things that might lead to the need for a bishop, and secret orders wouldn't cover all of them.  Plus, why would people take seriously someone just claiming that they had secret orders?  
Unless there is a real reason for secrecy (e.g., the authorities of the mission would not sent a bishop, even if they were qualified to also perform a necessary task on the mission) it is simpler to simply make one or more priests that are going anyways bishops,  openly, so they can perform any task requiring a bishop, as needed, and so everyone can trust that their spiritual needs will be met on the trip. 
A planetary colonization effort will have a fair number of people who are not directly part of the technical terraforming effort.  Family members of those who are working, when they don't want to be apart for years. People to cook, clean, provide daycare (women's work!) etc.  If the mission is thousands of people, there will be doctors, psychologists, etc. to meet those types of needs.  A few who are priests or bishops, in a group of fifty thousand, would be a minor thing, especially if they could perform some other function for the community.  
And if you are trying to attract colonists, having them know their spiritual needs will be met will be a draw - if there are enough religious people to form a community, then letting them bring the clergy they need makes their decision to go easier.  And having pre-existing communities move as a group may make the effort more socially stable.  
I could see a group from a teaching order signing up for the mission, in the role of teachers for the children on the trip, and then the church ordaining enough so that they can double as the spiritual leaders of those of their faith in the group.  Or people with a religious calling feeling that they are called to join such missions, and taking both religious training and training to meet the needs of a colonization effort.  
But a group of fifty thousand will not be composed entirely of scientists and technicians intending to do the scientific work of terraforming.  There will be lots of others people in other tasks, and having a few who are also clergy, including a bishop if a group of colonists are of a religion that needs bishops, would be straightforward.  


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