Why isn't the Church a democratic institution


#1

If American history has taught us anything, it is that the preferable form of government is a democracy. Monarchy is less preferable because of the potential for corruption and abuse, and the fallacy of the inequality between the monarch and the subjects.
Then why is our church not a democracy? Wouldn’t it be preferable for the Church to be administered by the best form of government?
After all, the Holy Spirit would ensure that the Church thrives and endures regardless of its form of governance, would it not? Would the Holy Spirit cease to assist our Holy Father and our Bishops merely because they were elected rather than appointed? Isn’t history replete of examples of excesses and abuses that parallel the excesses and abuses of monarchies?
Everything in our history as Americans tells us that democracy is the only way to go.


#2

The Church isn’t the government.


#3

Pretty big assumption there.

American democracy tyrannized the Native Americans, enslaved Africans, legalized abortion, and leaglized and promotes many other immoral items. Congress currently sits paralyzed on the major issues, more interested in pork projects than meaningful government.

Not exactly the perfect form of government.

Christ established the Church in the way he saw fit. There is much latitude when it comes to governing the Church in many respects. There are other items within the Church which are not open to latitude.

It already is.

Two words:

Bill Clinton


#4

I am so happy the Church is not a democratic institution whose moral belifs and teachings are subject to votes or reinterpretations every so often. Christ didn’t come to establish democratic moral values-he passed on what He had received from the Father. What a treasure!!! His are the words leading to eternal life, and so I’m so grateful that the Church guards them so carefully. The temporal affairs of the Church are a bit different. We have wonderful priests, but a few still are too focused on temporal authority. However, given some of our parishioners, it’s good that some priests exercise a strong hand!!


#5

So, you would prefer that America was a monarchy? I don’t know of any American who would give up their freedom to a monarch.


#6

I don’t propose to subject the teachings of the church to a vote. They would still be the teachings of the church, as handed down by the Holy Spirit to our Holy Father and our Bishops. The Holy Spirit would protect the church from error.


#7

The church HAS a government.


#8

Democracy is most certainly NOT a better form of government than a monarchy. We have soooo many abuses in our current form of government that it is insane. To sit there and try to claim that democracy is a better form of government is to ignore the many abuses that have taken place under our own democratic government. It also means that one must ignore the truly great kings and queens of the past. Which is a true shame.

Lastly the Bible states that Christ is King of Kings and that Christ stated His kingdom is not of this world. Those are the terms used for a monarchy. Therefore Christianity is a faith set up in the form of a monarchy and must resemble some form of it. Christ did not set up a democracy. If He wanted a democracy he would have set one up.


#9

If your going to set the Church up as a democratic system than that means the teachings must also come under a vote. Everything in a democratic system is under the power of the voters. I think there is a very good reason why Christ did not set the Church up as a democratic system. Most Protestant church’s are based on a democratic system and just look at what a mess some of them are in. Democracy better? Not by a long shot. Does that mean that monarchy is the best choice? Not necessarily, but it is the choice are Lord made. I think we need to take that in to serious consideration.


#10

Really?
The Pope is elected by a vote. Does that mean that the teachings of the church are also subject to a vote? No. Our Church’s teachings are divinely inspired. It is not created by the Pope or the Bishops. So why would it make any difference whether the Bishops were elected or appointed?


#11

To answer your question with your own words:
"The Holy Spirit would protect the Church from error."

The Holy Spirit DOES, in fact, protect the Church from teaching error.
The Holy Spirit knows better than to leave everything up to a vote.
Why no Democracy in the Church? Because Jesus is the King of the Universe - The King of ALL Creation.
He ain’t a President, a Dictator, Prime Minister, a Sultan, etc. He’s a King - THE KING.
THAT’S why.


#12

Then why is the election of the Pope left up to a vote?

Why no Democracy in the Church?
Good question. Aren’t our soldiers dying all over the globe trying to bring democracy to foreign countries? Isn’t that our cure for what’s wrong in the world? Democracy?

[quote] Because Jesus

is the King of the Universe - The King of ALL Creation.
He ain’t a President, a Dictator, Prime Minister, a Sultan, etc. He’s a King - THE KING.
THAT’S why.
[/quote]

This begs the question. If by being Americans, we have learned that a monarchy is inferior to a Democracy, they why would God choose an inferior form of government for his Church?


#13

But, we are NOT a democracy, we are a republic. And there IS a difference.


#14

You subscribe to the heresy of Americanism. I suggest you repent of this heresy and contact your pastor immediately to Reconcile yourself with the Church.

papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13teste.htm


#15

That was not your question. Nor was that my conclusion. And, technically, America is not a democracy but a republic.

Your question was not about civil government, it was about the Church’s governance.

The Church is not set up as a democracy because faith and morals are not democratic things. Christ established the Apostles to keep and preserve, teach and interpret.

The Church is **not **a monarchy, as you keep referring to it, either.


#16

You are correct, this is something that could change. At one time in early Church history, Bishops were elected by local populations but consecrated by other bishops. And, for a while Bishops were appointed by the secular rulers.

However,both of these methods led to abuses and issues in the early church. That is why it was changed to the current system of appointment by the Pope.


#17

Your semantic argument misses the point. We elect our leaders. That is the best way for a government to operate. Period.


#18

I could no more renounce America than I could the Church. American history has taught me self-evident truths in a dramatic and meaningful way. I don’t think the Church would require me to become UnAmerican in order to fit in with its teachings.


#19

The Church DEMANDS that you renounce the heresy of Americanism.

papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13teste.htm

ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P9SYLL.HTM


#20

From your source: "[Americanism] would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world. "

That has nothing to do with what I have said. The Church should be the same worldwide. Where in any of my posts did I argue that the Church in America should be different?


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