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  • Yes, in a way.

    The highest authority in the Catholic church was, is and will be an ecumenical council, composed of all the world's bishops. It's been this way since Nicaea (AD 325) if not Jerusalem (c. 50).

    Ecumenical councils were from the beginning essentially democratic in procedure, their organization and procedures borrowed directly from that of the Roman Senate (See Ramsay MacMullen, Voting About God in Early Church Councils. 2006). Current Catholic practice requires the Pope to call councils, and Catholic doctrine insists that a Council must have at least the tacit consent of the Pope, but then the US has its presidential veto and Supreme Court too.

    As for their composition, bishops are essentially representative--they represent their people. At present, the Pope himself appoints the vast majority directly, but this is a historical anomaly; as late as 1829, only 24 of 646 diocesan bishops were so appointed. While appointment by secular rulers was the rule for many centuries, many other practices existed and to some extent remain, including votes by the people, votes by local clergy. Not a few Catholic bishops, like Saint Ambrose, were appointed by actual mobs--democracy in action, if you will!

    So is the church a democracy? Yes and no. But someone needed to explain why it's more "yes" than might be supposed.

  • Yes, in a way.

    The highest authority in the Catholic church was, is and will be an ecumenical council, composed of all the world's bishops. It's been this way since Nicaea (AD 325) if not Jerusalem (c. 50).

    Ecumenical councils were from the beginning essentially democratic in procedure, their organization and procedures borrowed directly from that of the Roman Senate (See Ramsay MacMullen, Voting About God in Early Church Councils. 2006). Current Catholic practice requires the Pope to call councils, and Catholic doctrine insists that a Council must have at least the tacit consent of the Pope, but then the US has its presidential veto and Supreme Court too.

    As for their composition, bishops are essentially representative--they represent their people. At present, the Pope himself appoints the vast majority directly, but this is a historical anomaly; as late as 1829, only 24 of 646 diocesan bishops were so appointed. While appointment by secular rulers was the rule for many centuries, many other practices existed and to some extent remain, including votes by the people, votes by local clergy. Not a few Catholic bishops, like Saint Ambrose, were appointed by actual mobs--democracy in action, if you will!

    So is the church a democracy? Yes and no. But someone needed to explain why it's more "yes" than might be supposed.

  • Are you fucking kidding me

    Of COURSE not. Who would ASK This question? It's practically a pseudosomatic kleptocratic inegalitarian idiosyncracy of imperialist immoralism and unjustified authoritarianism. In english, they're a bunch of unilateral dickheads who impose their rule on anyone and everyone they want to because they have a falsely claimed spiritual power and influence. If the pope told four catholics to shoot a muslim, that man would be dead before he hit the pavement.

  • It is certainly not.

    To say that a group is democratic, implies that each member of that group gets a say in what happens. Not every Catholic gets a vote. Members of a diocese do not select their own Archbishop. Catholics worldwide do not vote for pope; only the Cardinals get a say in who heads the church.

  • The Catholic church is not a democracy

    The Catholic church is a religion, a way of life and a personal choice. It has nothing at all to do with politics, although there are many whom would disagree. There is no voting in the church, not even when "electing" a new pope. That is another choice from cardinals.

  • It is a private club with private rules.

    It is a private club with private rules. If you decide to belong to the Catholic Church, you would be expected to abide by those rules. If you don't like the rules in that church, there are numerous Protestant churches or other types of worship you can participate in. As with any private club, make requests if you wish, but you don't get to decide the rules.


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