Bishop Alan Wilson, who is Bishop of Buckingham in the Church of England, writes in his latest blog post titled, Why So Crypto?, about openness v. secrecy:
Before leaving the question of politics, I have been wondering why some of the English have such a fascination with secrecy, and such a horror of public discussion? What’s wrong with vigorous public discussion of points of difference?
Why so much crypto and secrecy?
The Bible is full of open disputation. In Galatians Peter and Paul have a technicolor public row. In the Acts various apostles fall out with each other and take their separate ways. In the gospels disciples vie with one another in front of all the others (or at any rate their mothers do) for hot spots in the Kingdom of Heaven.
All this is done without shame, or any particular feeling that it would have been very much better if the elite had stitched everything up behind closed doors. The only attempt to do this (the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15) was a brilliant day out, but its conclusions didn't last five minutes — soon enough Christians were eating non-kosher food anyway, and Peter and Paul arguing as forcibly as ever.
I strongly urge you to read the entire post. The post is instructive to all in positions of power who must make choices between openness and secrecy. Of course, privacy is sometimes necessary, but in cases where it is not, where the major reason for disallowing public discussion is so as not to be seen in dispute, then rethinking is in order.
Bishop Alan's post is as applicable to our own hierarchy in the Episcopal Church as it is to the leadership in the Church of England.