The Catholic Church is Not a Democracy

I wish that Catholics and non-Catholics alike would understand this.

Being able to vote, politically, doesn’t mean you also get to vote for who becomes Pope or what the Magisterium supports.

Paying tithes every week or volunteering to help the Church does not mean that you have stock in the Church.

It is not the Church’s duty to support your opinion and your views, because you feel your contributions make you important. It is the Church’s duty to support God’s opinion and views, only. If you feel your good works make your views more important than the Pope’s, you need to put your pride in check.

Thank you and God Bless

People think the Church should be a democracy?

I am seeing articles everywhere, on various things, where people are asking when the church will begin to listen to them, their views and their opinions. That their contributions don’t matter. I see this as people expecting the Church and God to owe them, not the other way around.

I was listening to a Conservative radio show when the news was beginning to start about the HHS Mandate. And he said as an aside, “If you’re a Catholic and you don’t agree with what the Bishops are doing… then by all means your voice deserves to be heard. You should have a discussion within your Church about this, that’s your right.” And he was attacking Obama the whole time, and he said that!!!

I almost called in I was so furious!!! Even among Conservative Republicans who are Protestant they simply don’t understand how the Catholic Church operates. Rome and the Bishops define what the doctrine is. Not society, not people. And they’ve been doing a positively DIVINE job at protecting doctrine.

Consider that not a single Christian Church taught that contraception was OK prior to the Lambeth conference in 1930. And today the vast majority of Christian Churches approve contraception. There’s us and the Eastern Orthodox, and a small minority of Protestants.

So, I’d say the Church is blessed that what we believe is dictated by Christ and His Bride. Not by the whims of mere mortals.

Ever heard of the Middle Ages?

Yes. … And now we are in a borderless transparent global era. We have the internet too. We have come a long way.

Really, how useful was that comment? I would hope for better from our Orthodox brethren.

If that remark is meant as a insult, aren’t the Orthodox guilty of the same but on a smaller scale?

Yes. Throwing money and power around, and pitching a public tantrum because of rules you don’t happen to like didn’t work then, either.

Just ask Martin Luther, and King Henry VIII. :wink:

Oh, it did work. IIRC it happened a lot in Germany. Princes, kings and emperors giving money to the Church so they could have the right to have word and vote in the election of bishops.

I’m not saying it is bad. Just saying it happened.

Of course God forbid such human failings should have ever entered into the history of any other Church on God’s Earth hey…:wink:

Well, technically Christians aren’t democrats - we’re absolute monarchists. :smiley:

I learned a lot about the Medieval Period by studying “The Foundations of Western Civilization” by Thomas F.X. Noble of the University of Notre Dame.

He argued that the period from 900 to 1300 was one of the longest eras of sustained growth in world history. He states that the evidence shows larger families, people living longer, no plague or famine; warmer, drier climate, new land under cultivation and better diet.

A better harness for the horse was developed and the horseshoe was improved and used. New heavy, wheeled plow, with a iron share was introduced and became widely disseminated.

Mills demanded engineering and gains were made in gearing.

Land began to be more efficiently used. The three-field system spread to much of Europe.

Improved roads and transport vehicles made it possible for more goods to travel farther and faster.

Church and secular governments worked to protect trade and traders; Agricultural specialization was also a major impetus to trade.

There were greater efficiencies in surface mining.

The condition of the poor became more evident.

Legislation and preaching turned against usury

Theologians and lawyers defined the concept of the “just price”

Thomas F.X. Noble further states that Europe in what we call the High Middle Ages as dynamic and prosperous. Such widespread prosperity had not been evident since the Pax Romana.

My point is this: There is more to learn about the Middle Ages than one can suppose. No, I do not “remember” the Middle Ages. I was not there but neither were you and there is much for both of us to learn about the rich and varied history of that much maligned period.

You are right the Church is not a democracy. Scripture can not be change or voted upon. If you change Scripture just to suit the world such as allowing abortion, homosexual ordination, not calling homosexual lifestyle a sin, etc, then in my mind that Church probably isn’t Christian.

I am curious why anyone would think the Roman Catholic Church would be a democracy? For that matter, neither is the Orthodox, Lutheran and a plethora of other Christian denominations.

But then again, some Protestants adhere to doctrine that eschews a central authority, whether overtly or inadvertently.

While some do hold elections within their church, and vote on who to hire as minister, I also know quite a few Protestant Christians who “church shop.” If they don’t like what is being preached in one church, they go to another, etc. I supposed, in a way, this might be considered a “vote” for or against a particular hierarchy.

In my congregation, one of the principles we use is a firm belief in the democratic process, But, because we emerged from what was once a congregationalist Christian sect, that came with the territory.




Actually the early christians were in fact democratic. It is illustrated in Acts 6:1-6 where administrators were elected. And the Didache specifies that the bishop be elected by the congregation. No doubt, elections of church leaders was common in all or most of the church congregations. It is hard to imagine any would change the tradition of elections for leaders.


From Vatican II came the notion of collegiality and the united voice of the people of God. So not that undemocratic

I wonder, then, why they gave it all up for Lutheranism? :confused:

For all his faults,Luther did put an end to money influancing the church. If you look A
at any Lutheran church they are very humble.

Sadly, I know of one Lutheran Synod that has "elected " to follow a wayward doctrine. Indeed. Church should not be a democracy.

You mean that it is better if a church is owned and ruled by a king rather than just being influenced by one? Because that is what happened after Luther.

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