Democracy December 27, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
I’m not posting anything substantive this week because it’s nice to have a break, and as you’ll notice we’ve a heap of Christmas themed stuff. But reading the Guardian yesterday morning I was entertained by the news that:
The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has described the government’s plans for gay marriage as undemocratic and a “shambles”.
“There was no announcement in any party manifesto, no green paper, no statement in the Queen’s speech.
“And yet here we are on the verge of primary legislation. From a democratic point of view, it’s a shambles.
“George Orwell would be proud of that manoeuvre. I think the process is shambolic.”
To which the thought immediately came to mind that one line we’ve heard many times is that the Catholic Church is not a democracy. Indeed the National Catholic Reporter only a few short days ago had the following:
When the Catholic church affirms the importance of how all the faithful understand matters of faith and morals, it is not saying Catholic beliefs are open to a popular vote, Pope Benedict XVI said.
An authentic sensus fidei, which literally means “sense of faith,” can come only when Catholics actively participate in the life of the church and follow the teaching of the pope and bishops, he said Dec. 7 during a meeting with members of the International Theological Commission.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes the Second Vatican Council’s teaching that “the whole body of the faithful … cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, ‘from the bishops to the last of the faithful,’ they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.”
Which makes appeals to ‘democracy’ (even putting aside the thought that we live in representative rather than direct democracies) from that quarter somewhat beside the point. As to broader societal trends…