Can sanctity survive with leaders in a democracy?

I am not advocating going back to a monarchy.

But, in the past, you could run into situations where a monarch or the relative of a monarch was afforded the opportunity to be an extremely devout Catholic, such as St Louis of France or St Elizabeth of Hungary. They were rare but they existed. They didn’t have to rely on popular opinion because they were royals and that was that.

In a democracy, politicians are forced to appeal to the lowest common denominator or at least a wide enough base to be elected. How does a person with unpopular ethics make it to the top in that kind of system? Doesn’t democracy encourage moral mediocrity? This is one of the big reasons that Socrates was critical of democracy and I can see his point. I don’t see a good refutation to this problem other than just accepting that the negatives of a monarchy are even worse than the negatives of a democracy.

1 Like

Democracy is two lions and a gazelle deciding what to have for lunch


By being a good leader who makes wise decisions that do not violate the Constitution, and who is able to get along with everyone who works with him.

If you are thinking specifically of Pres. Trump and his inconsistent ethics/values, the reason he made it to the top is because his opponent was much, much worse, and many of us would have voted for pretty much ANYONE except Secy of State Hillary Clinton who has many evil acts and words in her resume.

That isn’t a real answer. 51% of Americans voted for Clinton, so yes, in a Democracy, plenty of people will vote for her.

How does a person who submits to everything the Church teaches get elected in a democracy in any country currently in existence?

1 Like

They don’t.

However, if you want to change hearts and minds it can be done, but from the grass roots level.


“Democracy is the worst form of government . . . Except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.”

Winston Churchill


As long as governments of any kind are comprised of imperfect people, those governments are going to be imperfect. All one in power can do is try to govern as ethically as possible, remembering that they aren’t the only one involved in policy or decision making. Just do their best with what --and whom – they have to work with. They may win elections, or they may not.

I would much prefer a democracy over a dictatorship – although it appears we may be headed in the direction of the latter.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit