Action Alert!

Who's dysfunctional?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Dec 02, 2004

When a priest doesn't get excited about whether or not children are validly baptized, you can guess he's not a heavy theological thinker.

Nevertheless, Father Peter Kennedy gives us a nugget worth considering when he says that the Church is "dysfunctional" because it doesn't work well with democracy.

Here's a vivid sign of the times: If democracy and Catholicism don't work together, this man-- a Catholic priest, remember!-- presumes that the Church is at fault. It doesn't occur to him to suspect that maybe democracy (or his version of democracy) is dysfunctional.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: kmd - Dec. 04, 2004 10:05 PM ET USA

    Democracy is an action of politics & government.The Church is our community that unites us in worship of the one true God.You can't substitute one for the other except to say that one will not lead you to salvation.When the Israelites wanted to have a king"like all the other nations"they knew(thanks to the Prophet Samuel)that they would be replacing God.This priest shows that he would prefer democracy over the Church that Jesus gave us.He also proves it every time he renames God in baptism.

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Dec. 04, 2004 9:08 PM ET USA

    Just a little aside - another country that isn't a pure democracy, and never was is (drum roll, please) - the United States of America! It was always designed to be a constitutional republic, limited by rule of law. So yes, the understanding of democracy has indeed been bastardized, and then this mutated caracature of our country is held as a standard of governance for the Church! Insiduous!

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2004 9:40 AM ET USA

    Democracy still contains the seeds of its own destruction that are manifesting themselves with greater regularity and fewer objections. The condition is still operable, but so few seem willing to believe the divine Physician.

  • Posted by: Shan2122 - Dec. 02, 2004 10:26 PM ET USA

    The Catholic Church was not designed as a democracy. It has a head and a vicar of Christ the King

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2004 1:36 PM ET USA

    Is this guy a cousin of Ted ?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2004 11:32 AM ET USA

    This guy has patched together some odd pieces of secularism and cloaked them with some Catholic ritual. It is not the apostolic faith.