June 13, 2017
Whirlwind Legislative Session to Take Inquista; Senior Leadership Being Shaken Up
Article by Justin Crawford
The Archbishop's throne room, where the Summer Ordinance Speech was made
SAINT DOMINICO - Archbishop Craticus has called for the College of Bishops to reconvene tomorrow, one month earlier than normally scheduled. The College of Bishops typically sits for a five week period every other month and a half; starting with a spring session that is called shortly after Easter (April-May), followed by sessions in the summer (July-August), autumn (October-November) and then finally ending in the winter (January-February). Not only has Archbishop Craticus called for this year’s summer session to convene early, but the Archbishop has also scheduled a marathon session that looks to continue for eight weeks at the very least.
Delivering the Summer Ordinance Speech from the throne room in the Archbishop’s Palace, it quickly became evident as to why the Archbishop has called for an early and lengthy session. Archbishop Craticus has outlined mountains of reforms that will be tabled by his ministers, many of which look to make some wide-ranging and drastic changes to the Inquistan Orthodox Church as a whole. The reforms include transformative changes that will completely remake the executive branch of the Church, rebranding the Ministries into the Secretariats. Other changes to the structure of the Church include the expansion of the College of Bishops, which may lead the episcopal sees of Inquista to be doubled in number. These changes will consequently re-draw the administrative boundaries of Inquista’s ecclesiastical legislature. Further reforms include a complete overhaul of the Church’s ethical procedures, which will likely strengthen and give powers to Church watchdogs and transparency critics. Proposals that had been previously outlined in the Black Swan Movement’s Momentum Manifesto will also naturally be present, such as the creation of further “sunshine lists” that will publicly document all expenses made by the Church and all senior Church officials. Other proposed pieces legislation will primarily concern themselves with public safety, increased surveillance laws, and laws that look to tackle sexual assault. It was initially expected that Archbishop Craticus and the Black Swan Movement would utilise this summer session as a time to push for some of the Movement’s more hard-line, conservative social policies. Those seem to have been postponed for now.
The reasons for this marathon session have not been fully explained, but with the next Inquistan election scheduled for February, Archbishop Craticus and the Black Swan Movement have little time to complete everything on their Momentum Manifesto. With the election also replacing the winter session, Archbishop Craticus has even less time to crown his achievements. This could also explain the drastic changes that will transform the Church’s executive structure. While the Archbishop of Inquista has traditionally controlled virtually every inch of the Inquistan Orthodox Church, a practice only further entrenched by Archbishop Craticus himself, it seems that the Black Swan Movement has decided to start playing a long-term strategy in their governance of the Church and country. Despite that Archbishop Craticus may have a tight grip on his ministers, he also has cultivated a growing group of seasoned, talented bishops that are biting to have more independence in their respective roles. Increasing independence to the Ministries has already been piloted under the Momentum Manifesto. Perhaps, too, this is a beginning of an attempt to groom an heir to succeed Archbishop Craticus as the leader of the black Swan Movement - a movement that is entirely synonymous to Archbishop Craticus himself.
The reforms to the Ministries will be the first to be proposed in the summer session. Unconventionally, once the reforms are expected to pass, a new executive team will be drawn up then-and-there, meaning that some ministers may find themselves with either new senior jobs or no senior jobs at all during the midst of the College session. The details of the specifics of the reforms will come to light as they are tabled in the College, but a brief memo has been provided. The memo states that we can expect the following:
The Ministries of the Holy Inquistan Orthodox Church will be renamed "The Secretariat to His Holiness the Archbishop". The Secretariat will be composed of the following:
Chief Secretary to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Chief Secretary)
Secretary of State to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of State)
Secretary of the Treasury and Economy to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of the Treasury and Economy)
Secretary of Trade to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Trade)
Secretary of International Development and Aid to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of International Development and Aid)
Secretary of Immigration and Citizenship to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Immigration and Citizenship)
Secretary of Environment and Climate Change to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Environment and Climate Change)
Secretary of Health to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Health)
Secretary of Education to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Education)
Secretary of Defence and Peacekeeping to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Defence and Peacekeeping)
Secretary of Public Safety to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Public Safety)
Secretary of Justice to His Holiness the Archbishop and Attorney General of Inquista (Bishop Secretary of Justice and Attorney General of Inquista)
Secretary of Transport and Infrastructure to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Transport and Infrastructure)
Secretary of Public and Church Services to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Public and Church Services)
Secretary of Social Services and Disabilities to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Social Services and Disabilities)
Secretary of Youth, Families and Social Development to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Youth, Families and Social Development)
Secretary of the Status of Women and People of Colour to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of the Status of Women and People of Colour)
Secretary of Ethics, Transparency and Democracy to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Ethics, Transparency and Democracy)
Secretary of Labour, Skills Development and Employment to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Labour, Skills Development and Employment)
Secretary of Sport, Culture and Tourism to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Sport, Culture and Tourism)
There will also be 2 Special Commissions and 2 Chief Bishop Commissioners:
Special Commission on the Reconciliation and Integration of Former Inquistas (headed by the Chief Bishop Commissioner on the Reconciliation and Integration of Former Inquistas)
Special Commission on Oversea Church Affairs (headed by the Chief Bishop Commissioner on Oversea Church Affairs)
With twenty bishop secretaries expected to take up their post, that number will almost double that of the previous senior Church leadership – Archbishop Craticus formerly only had twelve ministers. These changes reflect the budding talent under Archbisop Craticus’ inner circle. The two special commissions are also of note. The nature of those commissions are still unknown, however.
From the memo, notable changes include the renaming of the Ministry of National Defence to the Department of Defence and Peacekeeping, reflecting the changing, values-based nature of Inquista’s defence policy under Archbishop Craticus. The Ministry for the Environment will also be rebranded as the Department of Environment and Climate Change, possibly indicating the future direction in which Archbishop Craticus aims to tackle ecological issues. The latter of which will likely not come as a surprise, as the Black Swan Movement has made climate change one of their central issues; an issue that was previously overlooked and often outright denied by the Christian League.
Archbishop Craticus and the Black Swan Movement have been tight-lipped as per usual, and media sources have been unable to eek-out any secret appointments. With that being said, Archbishop Craticus will probably make no disruptive changes in the existing senior positions, and many ministers will likely take up their new secretariat counterparts. The only exception might be Minister Ameera Paigean, who is the current Minister of Justice. With the postponement of her social policy reforms, it is a likely sign that she will be the only one to be axed from her position. The big question mark; however, is seeing who will assume the position of Bishop Chief Secretary. The Bishop Chief Secretary will likely play a pivotal role as second-in-command, and may very well be the eventual successor to Archbishop Craticus himself.
Bp. Ronaudino “Ron” HughBishop Ron Hugh is the current Minister of Finance. Minister Hugh is one of Archbishop Craticus’ oldest allies, and has repeatedly led Inquista’s economy to the forefront of growth within the European Union. Hugh’s emphasis in tackling income inequality, as well as his repeated insults against the Kligenberg family, have made him a favourite amongst Inquista’s working class people. Bp. Jordyn FinschBishop Jordyn Finsch is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Finsch is also one of Archbishop Craticus’ oldest allies, and has played a key role in the transformation of Inquista’s value-based foreign policy.
Bp. Lotan WoodrickBishop Lotan Woodrick currently holds no ministerial position, but is said to be one of the Black Swan Movement’s most noticeable “rising stars”. Previously a secret intelligence officer, Bishop Woodrick has authored some of Inquista’s more recent security legislation, and has promised an official investigation into the “Taylor Swift matter.” Bp. Amelia LynneAmelia Lynne is the current Minister of Health. Minister Lynne is credited with ”fixing” Inquista’s formerly dysfunctional healthcare system, turning it into a gold-standard of what a two-tiered healthcare system ought to look like. While known to be obsessed with the intricacies and complexities of administrative policy, Minister Bishop Lynne is also known to be a staunch social conservative.
The following names are regarded as “people to watch”, who might take up the Chief Secretary position:
Bets are already circulating on who the next Bishop Chief Secretary will be. Bets are also taking place on how many secretaries will be male and female, and how many minorities will make it into a senior position. Latest opinion polling puts Archbishop Craticus at an 68% approval rating, 1% up from April, but 3% down from his 71% all-time high in January.
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