Is impeachment of a President biblically justified?

Romans 13:1-2

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

So scripture appears to imply that impeachment of a head of state is sinful. There’s a lot of discussion by our separated brethren over Romans 13 but little by Catholics. Opinions?

1 Like

If the laws allow for it, yeah, I don’t see why not. That being said, impeachment should follow the legal process and adhere to the spirit and letter of the law. In this case, I am not seeing that. Essentially what we have had for the last two and a half years is I don’t like the election results so I will grab onto any straw I can to overturn those results, regardless of what the evidence says. It is telling to me that there has not been an investigation into the most recent allegations, and we are already initiating formal impeachment inquiries. To me, that is sinful. Our law, and Biblical law by the way, requires proof that a crime is committed before execution of sentence.


No. Because where impeachment of a head of state is even possible, it is a proceeding created and run by the governing authorities. Head of state is not automatically the only governing authority.

ETA: Whether any given attempt at impeachment is a good idea or valid is a completely different discussion, and one I will not get into on this forum.


The governing authorities includes Congress. In fact, in the US constitutional system, Congress is superior to the President; after all, Congress can write laws and the President can only write rules to implement powers Congress has explicitly granted him. Congress has the power to remove the President but the President lacks the power to remove even the lowest-ranking freshman representative.

In short, no, the Bible does not forbid the impeachment of a President.


And under the US Constitution, that is exactly what would happen. The House impeaches, the Senate tries and, if they find that the official did commit the offense(s) alleged, he or she is removed from office (the only possible “sentence” for a successful impeachment).


Kindly explain how bring the legal process of impeachment is “rebelling against authority”? Impeachment proceedings are not a coup d’état


Right, but impeachment inquiries normally occur after at least enough evidence has been obtained to satisfy the requirements of minimally a grand jury. That has not even been attempted at this point. This is demonstrated by the fact that Congress is not even interested in the primary sources of the alleged call, but is summoning the hearsay testimony of the whistleblower. Say what you will, but thus far, I have not seen any good faith efforts to ensure due process yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this allegation DESERVES an investigation. But it deserves an actual investigation, not a Monty Python style witch hunt.


And this gets into the area that I stated that I would not go. I was speaking strictly of process and when the sentence would be imposed, not about whether it should or should not begin.

One can seek justice.

Fair enough. Like I said, I don’t think there is anything scripturally wrong with impeachment as a process.

Aside from impeachment, what does it mean for the American Revolution? I’d hate to think that when our forefathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all mean are created equal they were sinning against Romans 13:1-2.


Our faith tradition is probably divided on this issue, but I think that the majority of our theologians in my Church body would say that yes, this was a sinful rebellion against authority.


I think the Catholic Church at the time would have tended to see it as a sinful act of rebellion against lawful authority.

Regarding the OP… if impeachment is a violation of Scriptural teaching, then I would imagine democratically electing a chief of state would also be a violation…


Impeachment can be a coup d’état. It’s political. It doesn’t rely on violation of a particular statute or statutes. Gerald Ford (as minority leader in the House back in the 1960s) opined that the Constitution allows impeachment for any reason. And there’s no judicial review; no recourse to the Supreme Court for appeal. A federal judge named Alcee Hastings was acquitted in a court of law of taking a bribe. Yet he was impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate. No double jeopardy for poor Alcee. He got his revenge though, as he was elected to the same House of Representatives that impeached him! But a President of the United States is different than a federal judge. He is head of state, and thus by far the leading “governing authority” in the nation, with vast powers. And, according to Saint Paul, he is appointed by God. Keep in mind that in the Old and New Testaments, leaders were occasionally defied, but never toppled by the faithful. And even Saint Thomas More on the gallows declared that he was the King’s faithful servant–but God’s first. He never sought to dethrone Henry VIII.

Some trad cats actually think democracy is unbiblical, and prefer monarchy. I’m not one of them. But democratically electing a President, or even voting a new one in, is different than impeachment. That’s forcible removal of a legitimate head of state by representatives of the “little people.”

I’m a constitutional monarchist. We have a constructional monarchy here in Canada, but I would prefer to see a stronger monarchy… a true balance between the Crown (representing tradition) and parliament (representing the people).

1 Like

You have got to be kidding me.

It says no such thing.

The Scripture you are quoting (out of context if that’s what you got from it) regards individual citizens being subject to lawful authority. It makes no pronouncement on the inner workings of any given government. Impeachment is a lawful, constitutional process in the US. It is not sinful to use lawful means to remove a president from office. It is sinful to use unlawful means.

Catholics don’t interpret their scriptures in a vacuum. Catholics don’t worship the president of the US as some non-Catholics seem to do recently. Catholics don’t believe the president is above the law. Catholics have a very solid framework from which our teachings on faithful citizenship come.

IOW, Catholics don’t run around willy-nilly.


I can think of all sorts of things that are lawful, but sinful in God’s eyes. And many Catholics see Trump as either Constantine or Cyrus the Great redux, primarily for his choice of federal (especially SCOTUS) judges that might overturn Roe v. Wade.

1 Like

Except the Constitution mentions that the President may be “removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” In other words, the Constitution says that impeachment is to be undertaken for criminal cause, not for political expediency. The Founding Fathers would not have agreed with Ford’s absurd reading that a duly elected officer can be removed without cause.

1 Like

This is simply absurd.

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