May 08, 2007

Coadjutor Selection

In today's Pioneer Press (don't look for it online yet, it's not there), there is a letter from a person who says they are disappointed that Archbishop Flynn selected Archbishop Nienstedt as his replacement.

Archbishop Flynn did not select his replacement. No Archbishop does. The Archbishop may have submitted a list of recommended names to the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States (currently, Archbishop Pietro Sambi) but the final decision is out of his hands. We don't know if the Archbishop submitted a list of names or whose name was on it. We may never know. Honestly, we don't have to know and we aren't entitled to know.

Then the letter writer goes on with the usual stuff about how hierarchical and autocratic the Church is and how we need structural change etc. etc.

The Catholic Church is not a democracy. We don't get to vote for our leaders any more then I get to vote on whether my fellow Catholics are worthy to be members of my parish or not. This is not a nation state. It's not a tennis club.

For evidence of how well the popular vote in a church is going these days, look no further then the Anglican Communion. Even when folks are allowed to vote, they still aren't happy.

The ability to vote or not is not the real issue.

The real issues are a lack of trust and submission (I know those are controversial words in this day and age). Not everyone can be in charge. Ultimately, none of us are in charge anyway. God is.

6 Comments:

Blogger Richie D said...

In Chicago, we celebrated Cardinal George's 10th anniversary as Archbishop last week. The TRIBUNE quoted a south-side priest as saying (paraphrase) "Rome is not the best place to originate any changes in the Church."

Sounds like this priest does think the Church is a democracy. Or he needs to review his promise of obedience

Peace

May 08, 2007 2:36 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Those who decry the fact that the Roman Catholic Church is not a democracy forget that American Catholics are less than 6% of the estimated over one billion Catholics in the worlds.

Should we change the official language of the Church from Latin to Spanish? Hablas Espanol?

How about requiring kneeling at the Consecration and while receiving Holy Communion? Lots of Catholics
would vote for that.

If you want "democracy" in the Church, prepare for those changes and 30,000 or more catholic churches in the united states alone.

May 08, 2007 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a democracy? Don't the cardinals VOTE for the pope?

May 08, 2007 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Peggy said...

Yeah, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

May 08, 2007 10:03 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

anonymous: We don't elect the Cardinals to represent us.

We pray that, as Peggy said, they use the Holy Spirit to guide them in our votes on our behalf.

We may pray the same for our elected officials, who once we vote them into office may vote on legislation in chamber on their own. Really, when you think about it, we don't have exclusive direct control over our "elected" official anymore then we do our Church officials.

May 09, 2007 12:25 PM  
Blogger Sanctus Belle said...

You are right on about submission being a problem - one of the biggest I believe. Each Catholic has a grave duty to submit to the teachings of the Catholic Church in every area of life - voting, marriage, work, parenting, recreation - ALL of life. No matter what social pressures/norms are, even unto death are we to submit to the Church, that is to Christ.

The Church reveals to us nothing less than the Will of God. The Church is not to conform to the will of the people, but rather, we the people are to submit to the Will of God. Amen+

May 09, 2007 2:59 PM  

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