Female Deacons (Cardinals?) in the Catholic Church

Recently there has been some speculation (in TheMoralMindfield) that, at least technically, women could be eligble to enter the College of Cardinals in the Catholic Church. Essentially, the argument goes, the role is bureaucratic in nature and it is a latecomer in the hierarchy of the Church (only came into being – ahem – a thousand years ago).

Somewhat less controversially, it can be argued that there should be no barrier for restoring the female Diaconate.

Tradition is the life of the Spirit in the Church, as Metropolitan Kallistos Ware has often said (citing Vladimir Lossky). A creative response to Tradition could allow a new place for women in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.

Image - In Communion

5 Bold Ways to Build a New World

In Capitalism Has Failed: 5 Bold Ways to Build a New World Sara Robinson in AlterNet sets out some of the key issues that we are facing as we move towards a new political and economic model.

The talk about localism and worker ownership is a worthy contribution; as is the caution that state-controlled economies are at risk of falling into the same big problem facing political economy in the contemporary market state – namely an addiction to growth at all costs.

Eureka’s Future – Earthworker Co-operatives

Eureka’s Future, an earthworkercooperative, is an exciting endeavour set to establish itself in Victoria, Australia.

The Eureka Future Workers Cooperative, which intends to starts manufacturing solar hot water units this year, will be the first of a series of union-based worker-owned renewables manufacturing businesses to be rolled out across the nation.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has endorsed this work.

This work appears to mirror the worker-union co-operatives being established under a joint-venture of the US-based United Steelworkers (USW) union and the co-operative Mondragon Corporation (based in the Basque region of Spain).

In 2012, the USW, Mondragon, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) announced its detailed union co-op model for developing sustainable jobs using the combination of worker ownership and the collective bargaining process. You can find out more here.

For more information about Earthworker check out the ACTU press release.

Cooperatives Europe

Creating a favourable climate for social enterprises, key stakeholders in the social economy and innovation …

Cooperatives Europe have provided a paper from the EU on building social business in that region of the world.

It provides a handy definition of ‘social enterprise’ (it conflates the term with ‘social business’) based on case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union to cover the following types of business:

  • those for which the social or societal objective of the common good is the reason for the commercial activity, often in the form of a high level of social innovation,
  • those where profits are mainly reinvested with a view to achieving this social objective,
  • and where the method of organisation or ownership system reflects their mission, using democratic or participatory principles or focusing on social justice.

You can find the full paper here.

Check out our favourite definition of social business here.

What money can’t buy

Stanford Social Innovation Review has an interesting review on the new book by Micheal Sandel on the limits of markets and the value of civil society (here). Going by the strength of this review it will be on the Distribusi reading list.