Can a Catholic Bishop in the United States run for President?


I was wondering if it was canonically acceptable for a Catholic Bishop to run for president in the United States.


No, it is not. In fact, in at least one case I’ve read of recently a Latin American bishop was dismissed from the clerical state for running for president of his country.

Some time ago a Catholic bishop was offered a seat on the British House of Lords for the first time since the English Reformation, but even this was forbidden by current canon law and he had to decline.


When I was a kid we had a Jesuit member of Congress, but the Pope finally laid the hammer down on clergy also serving in positions of secular authority.

In the late middle ages, there were prince bishops, so it’s not something fundamentally at odds with the Church, but it’s obviously a bad idea.


CIC 285 §3. Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.


Why? This hasn’t always been the case -there have been many clergy members in the past who were involved in Roman rule. :confused:

Can you show me where in canon law that this rule actually exists?


Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Xabier Arzalluz, David Cairns, Dismas Becker, Barthélemy Boganda, France Cukjati, Daniel Herman, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, and Fulbert Youlou are all laicized priest-politicians whom I found on Wikipedia. It is interesting that a large percentage of them in the laicized category were also politicians, but then, to be in Wikipedia you also have to be notable. Many others were notable for having abused children. :mad:


What about: “§2 They are not to play an active role in political parties or in directing trade unions unless, in the judgement of the competent ecclesiastical authority, this is required for the defence of the rights of the Church or to promote the common good.”

…Now you tell me, are the rights of the Church in need of defence? Is there also a need to promote the “common good” concerning abortion within the democratic party?

How do we find the answers to these questions? I would assume that the only way to figure out the judgment of the ecclesiastical authority would be for a Bishop to go ahead and run for president in 2016. He may or *may not *be asked to step down from politics. :shrug:


…was this Latin American bishop dismissed because his political agenda was at odds with Church doctrines? I bet it was.


…Honestly, this country couldn’t get a whole lot worse than what it is. We have to financially support abortion and contraception - now the government has been shut down and the politicians are divided…:confused:

What better opportunity than now to show the world that the greatest nation on earth takes Christ seriously. What better way to show God that we care

…All we need to do is find the Bishop with the most enthusiasm… The most energy -to go on a 4 to 8 year mission for God! :thumbsup:


Fernando Lugo is a member of the Frente Guasú, a left-wing coalition which includes the Paraguayan Communist Party. So yeah…

He was laicized not for running for office but for winning. He actually requested laicization in advance and it was denied once.

Too bad because he seems to have a lot of concern for the poor, in solidarity with Francis… wonder if he’ll get his mitre back now?


No! From what I understand, Constantine tried to do something he shouldn’t have and the Church was actually the first to create separation of Church and State because of it. We can never create something that can only be fulfilled by Jesus at the end of time.


Here’s a great video that shows how England Changed from the time of the venerable St. Bene (Doctor of the Church) and Alfred the Great to King Henry.
Its called "How God Made the English - 1 - A Chosen People?"

perhaps America could become a “chosen people” if we actually followed God.

You should watch it!:thumbsup:


Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven


I think we have been a very privileged people I am just not sure we deserve to continue to be so blessed since we allow things that have previously brought God’s wrath.


God has been very merciful to us, for sure… How long will he continue His mercy if we fail to return to Him?


I don’t know and I’m scared, I want to live the best Christian life I can to help change the culture!


I found who I was thinking of. Fernando Lugo was bishop of San Pedro, Paraguay from 1994-2005 and president of Paraguay from 2008-2012. He is now a senator. In the time in between stepping down as bishop to run for office and actually running for office he was trying to get officially laicized so he could run without breaking either the Church’s or Paraguay’s laws. His requests were denied, so he ran anyway, and when he won the presidential election his request was finally granted which also allowed him to legally become President (Paraguay has laws against clerics holding elected office). I can’t find anything about his policies having anything to do with it.


Just imagine how much influence a president has. Look what Lincoln did, Reagan, and others.

…But not just that -just imagine how interesting things would become! Quite possibly the most exciting and fun presidency in US history… Whether one likes him or not. :stuck_out_tongue:


Then again, the Kennedy legacy brought us Roe vs. Wade and Obamacare; Pelosi, Biden and Sebelius… are you sure more Catholics in government are a good thing? Rick Santorum? A well-intentioned nobody.


I say we break Washington into pieces.:thumbsup:

The Democrats who don’t support abortion but like immigration (like the Mexican immigrants) could vote for the Bishop while the atheists keep on voting for more progressive, culture of death style, positions.

…In the meantime, the republicans can split between the neocon John McCain types and the constitutionalist tea party types!:thumbsup:

It’s perfect! A four party system.:cool:

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