Skip to main content

Catholic Social Doctrine: What Does the Church Teach About Democracy and Values Comments

Like all other forms of government, democracy is but a form of government.  It is a means, and not an end in itself.  Like all human government, democracy has been de-divinized by Christ.  Democracy has no more claim to worship than did Caesar. Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 11 Comments

  1. Mary
    2 years ago

    Would love to know of a governmental system where the moral order could be upheld and would not decline into a general moral or secular relatavism. I think that is up to us as individuals to uphold the moral order in our own families. I think that our constitutional republic is still the best system devised or possible in a pluralistic society. for me to maintain my freedom to follow God through His One Holy and Apostolic Church. If you all have a better idea I would certainly love to hear it.

  2. Andrew
    2 years ago

    @Dave: I do agree that our political constitution is a federal republic based upon democratic principles, though not only democratic principles since part of the constitution has other principles, e.g., a judiciary appointed for life (which is not democractic), a President with veto power (which is not democractic). It was actually more mixed than it is now, largely because of the influences of Jacksonian Democracy. Republic = res publica = commonwealth is the notion that the State is for the common good, and not something for the benefit of some private interest or part of the whole. Democracy is more a process of participation by the people (demos). It is possible to envision a democracy which is not a republic, e.g., one that is based solely on the will of the majority and disregardful of minority rights. In such a case it would not be a republicam (since it would rule for the interests of the majority at the expense of the minority), but a reprivatum.

  3. Vance
    2 years ago

    Great article that applies to our current society. We all have the Old Testament to read many examples of Israel in moral decline and the consequences. During those periods of moral decline, it clearly appears that the Religious hierarchy was also in moral decline. Over the past 50 years the Catholic Church hierarchy have been silent spectators to the moral decay of our nation. They got into the game because Obama and the Marxist Party forced their hand. They admit that they didn't really want to fight but they were forced into it. The article posits that a Democracy that has no moral compass is no Democracy. There seems to be a parallel between Israel of the Old Testament and America today. History is repeating itself.

  4. John Baysson
    2 years ago

    Very good article! Very informative and quiet relevant given the time where people seem to thin the values that had lead to Democracy it-self are up for a majority to decide.

  5. Rob
    2 years ago

    Dave G, I really do believe that we have supplanted the mission field for political activism. I think in some circles the "America" has become an idol where the thought is that if we get rid of this guy and put in our guy, this will usher in the second coming. You ask how do we turn the tide? We've really got to work on our evangelization. I really think the reason so many have drifted away is that the religious folks of our time are really not all that different from the non-believers. We live the same way, divorce the same way, contracept the same way, we spend money the same way. We've given them nothing in our witness to suggest to them that true happiness is found in Christ. We've got one foot in the world and one in the Church and it's not working. I think a non-believer looks at us as says why on earth should I give this all up....they haven't. I'd rather go on being true and playing golf on sunday morning than going to mass and playing church. I know this is a huge generalization, but we might do well to really think about the mission of our church. It's really not politics. We might all want to ask ourselves if the time we spend following politics and whatever rabbit holes that takes us down compares to the time we spend evangelizing? Are we sharing the good news or are we just political? Are we a soldier for Jesus or for Caesar?

  6. techwreck
    2 years ago

    Dave, I believe that a republic is a "democratic form of government". And I certainly believe that forms of government that allow citizens to participate in government, as the U.S. republic does, are preferable to governments dominated by ruling classes. That is what the U.S. became as a result of the Rowe v. Wade decision. A small group of elites on the "Supreme" Court made a fundamental decision about the right to life that changed our nation. That "right" did not appear anywhere in our Constitution, and the justices who supported the decision should have been impeached by the Congress for exceeding their constitutional authority. They were not, despite overwhelming opposition to the decision by the American people. Thus began the decay of our government and country as our form democratic form of government was hijacked by the elites and the U.S. became a European style state with a progressive form of government ruled by elites.

  7. Joseph
    2 years ago

    Excellent article!

  8. David
    2 years ago

    To be true to the true nature of life, that if a country gravitates away from Jesus, what was written above will happen. If a country gravitates towards Jesus, than the opposite of the above destruction will happen. It is all a matter of the one true light of the world, Jesus Christ. To also be of truth, that what goes up can also come down. That what destroy's itself for rejecting Jesus, can with all good hope, heal itself with Jesus as well. If democrocy comes to Jesus, it will not fail to succeed as a democracy. But it must come to Jesus.

  9. abey
    2 years ago

    Again, no culture is by itself a culture, but comes about through certain beliefs & based upon this is the Social & Moral structure to the governance. Hence at the basis of Democracy or of any other form of governance lies the Social & Moral beliefs. As in the case of the west where the Governance was based on the Christian belief there arose the democracy which was government off/by & for the people called "Christian Democracy" which notably became the best form of Governance in the world but when this very Christian beliefs are changed to ancient Pagan beliefs, beliefs that are an abomination unto GOD as Biblically stated, then the governance becomes "Pagan Democracy" seen today under Obama & the democrats, changing the meaning to People off/by/for the government, which in the simple meaning is to slavery, Biblically tagged to the "Mark of the Beast". A typical example where the best form of governance can turn in itself to the worst form of governance, thus making the chief cause to the beliefs of the people, & a clear indication that it does not pay to go against the Word of God, in the beliefs. To this the Kingdom of GOD on earth can be expected, based on the Truth in the Belief without "Prefixes or Suffices", to its Name,Character or Charter.

  10. jh
    2 years ago

    Well explained.


Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 36:23-28
I am going to display the holiness of my great name, which has ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19
Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus began to speak to them in parables once again, 'The ... Read More

Saint of the Day

August 21 Saint of the Day

St. Pius X
August 21: On June 2, 1835, Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto saw the light of ... Read More