Catholic church: Democracy or Authoritarian

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 15, 2009 2:57 PM GMT
    If the Catholic people disagree with church policy do they have any power to change those policies, or do they just have to accept those polices?
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    Jun 15, 2009 3:03 PM GMT
    I was taught that the Pope was chosen by God. You either accept policy, or burn in hell.
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    Jun 15, 2009 3:06 PM GMT
    pdxor saidI was taught that the Pope was chosen by God. You either accept policy, or burn in hell.


    When were you taught you that?
  • torontoguy222...

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    Jun 15, 2009 3:06 PM GMT
    Authoritarian. I think a great chunk of Catholics aren't as radically conservative as the Vatican. I also think a lot of Catholics are no longer practicing churchgoers or have abandoned Catholicism entirely (like myself) because of its conservatism. The whole hierarchy within the church is archaic. It's similar to the hierarchy found in political systems across the world (ie. Prime Minister --> Cabinent Ministers --> Members of Parliament --> Backbenchers --> down to the People). The major difference however is that governments are elected by the people, so those on the lowest rung of the hierarchy have the power to change policy. The church hardly offers such democratic openings. The pope is elected by, what, 50 cardinals? What he says goes and becomes representative of the entire Catholic church and its followers.

    =)
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    Jun 15, 2009 3:32 PM GMT
    At the highest level Church policy is decided by the pope with a counsel of Cardinals. Over the last 150 years there has been a huge push in the Catholic Church to centralize authority in Rome. There has been some efforts by liberal popes to decentralize (as in VC2 policy) but the trend has been overwhelmingly to remove any bit of Democracy.

    In fact, during the first Vatican Council Pius IX issued his infamous Syllabus of Errors which included the heresy of Americanism; which is a sort of democratization of the selection of Bishops and such.
  • hoo4u

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    Jun 15, 2009 3:40 PM GMT
    Designed an built as an Authoritarian Body. Democracy is not even in the vocabulary. And they'll tell you that without hesitation, embarrassment or regret.
  • cowboyathlete

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    Jun 15, 2009 4:25 PM GMT
    The average Catholic tends to identify more with their local parish than with the Vatican.
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    Jun 15, 2009 4:28 PM GMT
    cowboyathlete saidThe average Catholic tends to identify more with their local parish than with the Vatican.


    How much say does the average Catholic have about who is the priest of their local parish?
  • GQjock

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    Jun 15, 2009 4:28 PM GMT
    Well they've been around for thousands of years ...

    Do you think they seem like an open minded bunch?
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    Jun 15, 2009 4:32 PM GMT
    The Vatican as an institution dates from the late Roman Empire and the papal administration, known as the Curia, was modelled after the imperial Curia of Constantine. A lot of the machinery of church government -- dioceses, vicars, etc. - comes directly from the imperial administration. Democracy was never an issue except in the limited sense that popes are elected by the cardinals.

  • everhorn

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    Jun 15, 2009 6:06 PM GMT
    The Catholic Church has never been a democratic institution. From the beginning, with Peter being named as first among the others who were leaders in the Church, the power and authority which Catholics believe were given to Peter and the Apostles were passed on to others. Even in the first few centuries of Christianity, the common view was, "What does Rome say?" But the power and authority are spiritual power and spiritual authority having to do with what Jesus taught and spreading His teaching to the world. The form of visible authority in the community of believers was modeled after civil authority and institutions. The visible government in the Church evolved as centuries went on. Even today, there is a great deal of the Feudal System to be found in the Church; unfortunately, to evolve and change takes a very long time.

    The hierarchy in the Church (and there were times in the past when a bishop was named by the acclamation of the people) believe that their obligation is to teach what Jesus taught: "Go forth and teach all nations. . . ." But what did Jesus teach? For some 30 years before there was a New Testament, there was a community, a Church, that taught by word of mouth, forming the Church's Tradition. Not all that is taught is necessarily found in the New Testament.

    Of course, the question is: What did Jesus teach? Many Catholics do not believe that Jesus taught much about sexual morality or any morality other than love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself. So, many Catholics refuse to accept some moral teachings of the hierarchy, but still value the Sacraments found in the Church.
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    Jun 15, 2009 6:25 PM GMT
    Catholicism is the epitome of hypocrisy.
  • cowboyathlete

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    Jun 15, 2009 6:27 PM GMT
    everhorn saidThe Catholic Church has never been a democratic institution. From the beginning, with Peter being named as first among the others who were leaders in the Church, the power and authority which Catholics believe were given to Peter and the Apostles were passed on to others. Even in the first few centuries of Christianity, the common view was, "What does Rome say?" But the power and authority are spiritual power and spiritual authority having to do with what Jesus taught and spreading His teaching to the world. The form of visible authority in the community of believers was modeled after civil authority and institutions. The visible government in the Church evolved as centuries went on. Even today, there is a great deal of the Feudal System to be found in the Church; unfortunately, to evolve and change takes a very long time.

    The hierarchy in the Church (and there were times in the past when a bishop was named by the acclamation of the people) believe that their obligation is to teach what Jesus taught: "Go forth and teach all nations. . . ." But what did Jesus teach? For some 30 years before there was a New Testament, there was a community, a Church, that taught by word of mouth, forming the Church's Tradition. Not all that is taught is necessarily found in the New Testament.

    Of course, the question is: What did Jesus teach? Many Catholics do not believe that Jesus taught much about sexual morality or any morality other than love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself. So, many Catholics refuse to accept some moral teachings of the hierarchy, but still value the Sacraments found in the Church.
    Well said.
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    Jun 15, 2009 6:38 PM GMT
    phemt saidIf the Catholic people disagree with church policy do they have any power to change those policies, or do they just have to accept those polices?


    Or you could leave the Catholic Church entirely.

    There's nothing in the Bible that says you need a some preechar man to get in the Heaven. The Bible actually says the exact opposite (Acts 2).

    But that's just me. I have no desire to be led by people with undiscerning minds...
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    Jun 15, 2009 6:45 PM GMT
    The local Catholic "Archbishop" here in New Orleans ( a heavily Catholic city) has already closed 2 churches and 1 Elementary school without a vote. Democracy? What are you smoking? They just want your money to bail out the pedophile priests. At least the nuns keep to their vows.icon_rolleyes.gif
  • cowboyathlete

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    Jun 15, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    I hope you realize some of the same dynamics take place in so called Bible believing fundamentalist churches, except in those cases it is the preacher and not the pope.
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    Jun 15, 2009 6:48 PM GMT
    Maybe they had to close the churches and school down for lack of support?
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    Jun 15, 2009 6:50 PM GMT
    SantosMadrid saidCatholicism is the epitome of hypocrisy.


    and choir boys that develop issues
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    Jun 15, 2009 6:51 PM GMT
    Blind support is never a good idea. It's your responsibility to discover the truth, not your preacher's.
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    Jun 15, 2009 6:53 PM GMT
    phemt saidMaybe they had to close the churches and school down for lack of support?

    This was in New Orleans where the city lost a third of its population after Katrina. The Church had to deal with fewer parishioners, less revenue, and didn't need to maintain as many parishes as before.
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    Jun 15, 2009 7:05 PM GMT
    i grew up in a religious family. i spent many years studying the ins and outs of religion. my conclusions are several but in short, the history of religion is often riddled with more horrific acts and scandals than that of a secular society. many religions use the weight of power and fear to coerce followers. often religion dictates you must punish yourself, often severely, for penitence, or even normal prayer times.

    much of religion is fraught with errors and omissions and is often in conflict with itself. historically religion is often fundamentally wrong such as the flatness of the earth, and many people died for believing otherwise. religion is often used as a tool of the power hungry, for greed, and for advancing personal beliefs.

    today, i fail to see the benefits of religion as a whole for culture, society, and humanity. if there is a higher being than we, either he comes in many flavors in many realities, or humanity has failed miserably to define anything close to accurate by their religions.

    therefore, if you seek consolation of your soul, enrichment of your soul, forgiveness, or another theistic concept, i suggest you search beyond the limits of those that preach to you and dictate policy. find your peace with your own answers rather than those made for you.
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    Jun 15, 2009 7:10 PM GMT
    FirefighterBlu3 saidi grew up in a religious family. i spent many years studying the ins and outs of religion. my conclusions are several but in short, the history of religion is often riddled with more horrific acts and scandals than that of a secular society. many religions use the weight of power and fear to coerce followers. often religion dictates you must punish yourself, often severely, for penitence, or even normal prayer times.

    much of religion is fraught with errors and omissions and is often in conflict with itself. historically religion is often fundamentally wrong such as the flatness of the earth, and many people died for believing otherwise. religion is often used as a tool of the power hungry, for greed, and for advancing personal beliefs.

    today, i fail to see the benefits of religion as a whole for culture, society, and humanity. if there is a higher being than we, either he comes in many flavors in many realities, or humanity has failed miserably to define anything close to accurate by their religions.

    therefore, if you seek consolation of your soul, enrichment of your soul, forgiveness, or another theistic concept, i suggest you search beyond the limits of those that preach to you and dictate policy. find your peace with your own answers rather than those made for you.


    KUDOS! wel said. agree 100 percent.
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    Jun 15, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    SantosMadrid saidCatholicism is the epitome of hypocrisy.


    I agree!


    (As I wait for my excommunication papers) hehehe
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    Jun 15, 2009 8:25 PM GMT
    phemt saidMaybe they had to close the churches and school down for lack of support?

    No...greed. Now my neice and nephew have to find a new school with absolutely no time to find a new school before August with a few weeks notice. That will not be easy. Glad not to be Catholic. Besides Katrina was almost 4 years ago.
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    Jun 15, 2009 8:33 PM GMT
    phemt said
    pdxor saidI was taught that the Pope was chosen by God. You either accept policy, or burn in hell.

    When were you taught you that?

    I was taught that. The Roman Catholic Church is strictly hierarchal, and the Pope's authority cannot be challenged. Leadership and decisions come from the top, and a democratic concept is not allowed.

    It is also entirely male-dominated. Women have no leadership or decision authority whatsoever. Only men may lead the Catholic Church, while women are merely allowed to serve in subservient roles. In this regard it is very similar to Islam. Indeed, for over a thousand years nuns were required to wear habits, still extant in some orders, which have similarities to the Muslim burka.

    The Roman Catholic Church allows no dissent. It is as rigid as it ever was. The only modern difference is that it no longer commands the civil authority to burn heretics, and to sway governments to its will. But its belief in its Divine Right to determine the course of human affairs is unchanged.