Could the RCC get itself out of a doctrinal corner by becoming a UK-style constitutional monarchy?

It seems like that with multiple Dead Horse issues, the RCC has painted itself into a doctrinal corner that I don't know if it will be ever able to get itself out of - especially concerning the way it is governed. I'm specifically thinking about the representation of women at the highest levels of church decision-making authority, but it also covers other underrepresented groups, and I don't think this needs to be an Epiphanies thread since I'm asking specifically about a reform to Church governance that it is about much more than gender.

What I think might be a way out of this doctrinal corner is to keep the current rules about who can be ordained, what the Pope's powers are, etc., but to start to interpret them similarly to the way that the UK or other constitutional monarchies do that have an unwritten convention that it's the people who are really in power even if the monarch has absolute authority on paper. So there could be a global church Parliament that anyone, male or female, clergy or lay, could be elected to, along with local such Parliaments in each diocese, that has de facto governing power over everything, and then there would be a male Pope and male bishops who would just be rubber stamps for whatever the Parliament of the people decide. Yes, there would always be the risk that the Pope and Bishops would exercise their "reserve powers," dissolve or ignore Parliament, and rule by decree, but they would understand that if they ever did so they would probably risk being forced to resign or having the Church hierarchy itself be overthrown. It might take hundreds of years with schisms and acrimony to achieve this, but it might be the only way that the RCC could be both egalitarian in practice and not contradict its own doctrine about Papal and Episcopal authority, the role of the ministerial Priesthood, and the ordination of women.

It sounds crazy, but it's something that I like to comfort myself by thinking about as I try to sleep each night. Does anyone else (especially people who actually like the RCC and want to see it become progressive in a way that doesn't destroy it) think that this is possible? Or some other reimagining of the rules?
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Comments

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I think the sort of people who are really attached to the concept of male leadership would see through the ruse.

    Catholic traditionalists are not analagous, eg. to someone who likes the idea of the Queen or King always being Anglican, but can easily accept the idea of most voters being heathens. The traditionalists want men to be the ones making the actual decisions.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Dead horse issues in other churches are less so in the RCC.
    The German RCC is experimenting with a synod structure. It remains to be seen how that goes.
    I have no great faith in democracy - it has given us Brexit, Trump and Johnson. Numbers dont decide whete truth lies. Obviously.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    I dunno, there are plenty of ardent Trad Cath monarchists (as in, 'wanting to make the US a monarchy' level whack-a-doos) but they don't want their church run in the same way.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    I dunno, there are plenty of ardent Trad Cath monarchists (as in, 'wanting to make the US a monarchy' level whack-a-doos) but they don't want their church run in the same way.

    By "Trad Cath monarchists", you mean people who are traditionalist Catholics as far as religion goes, and want monarchy in the political realm?

    If so, I don't think that Stonespring meant that political monarchists would favour any particular form of church governance. He just meant that constitutional monarchy provides a useful model for a more democratic but still ostensibly hierarchical church.

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »
    I dunno, there are plenty of ardent Trad Cath monarchists (as in, 'wanting to make the US a monarchy' level whack-a-doos) but they don't want their church run in the same way.

    By "Trad Cath monarchists", you mean people who are traditionalist Catholics as far as religion goes, and want monarchy in the political realm?

    If so, I don't think that Stonespring meant that political monarchists would favour any particular form of church governance. He just meant that constitutional monarchy provides a useful model for a more democratic but still ostensibly hierarchical church.

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)

    Yes, that's what I mean by Trad Cath monarchists. They are obviously not a mainstream group but their monarchism is definitely bound up in a preference for European Catholic monarchy to US secular democracy and it's a very particular type of monarchy that they're endorsing (also not limited to the US but they're the loudest). Along with the Franco fans they're unfortunately a big part of the Catholic far-right's online presence. Yes, some are just arguably bored teenage nerds who want to bring back the Habsburgs but some are Trad seminarians/religious/influential adults in other ways. It may not be a massive influence on US politics but the influence on the RCC (in the US anyway) is concerning.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    I think the sort of people who are really attached to the concept of male leadership would see through the ruse.

    Catholic traditionalists are not analagous, eg. to someone who likes the idea of the Queen or King always being Anglican, but can easily accept the idea of most voters being heathens. The traditionalists want men to be the ones making the actual decisions.

    Unless the male parish priest or event local male bishop decides to veer the local liturgy in the direction of the "Spirit of Vatican II" or speaks out about not making one's politics a litmus test for whether or not they should be allowed to receive communion - then they suddenly start acting like Congregationalists and are perfectly willing to let women or anyone else speak truth to power, even to the Pope, even after the Pope has said discussion has closed on a particular topic they disagree with.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    What I think might be a way out of this doctrinal corner is to keep the current rules about who can be ordained, what the Pope's powers are, etc., but to start to interpret them similarly to the way that the UK or other constitutional monarchies do that have an unwritten convention that it's the people who are really in power even if the monarch has absolute authority on paper.

    It doesn't sound crazy, it sounds like the Roman Catholic Church that already exists. The pope is already a (non-hereditary) monarch. The RCC has already got a legislative body of sorts and various administrative departments that handle most of the day-to-day business of institutional governance. Heck, the last pope was head of one of these departments/congregations.

    What I find more interesting is the use of the term "constitutional monarchy", which is applied some monarchies without a formal constitution (e.g. the U.K.) but isn't applied to others that do have such a document (e.g. Saudi Arabia). "Limited monarchy" would probably be a better descriptor since what's being communicated (I think; feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken) is a system under which the monarch's powers are limited by one or more semi-autonomous institutions. In this way I'd say the modern papacy is more similar to the House of Windsor than the House of Saud.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    What I think might be a way out of this doctrinal corner is to keep the current rules about who can be ordained, what the Pope's powers are, etc., but to start to interpret them similarly to the way that the UK or other constitutional monarchies do that have an unwritten convention that it's the people who are really in power even if the monarch has absolute authority on paper.

    It doesn't sound crazy, it sounds like the Roman Catholic Church that already exists. The pope is already a (non-hereditary) monarch. The RCC has already got a legislative body of sorts and various administrative departments that handle most of the day-to-day business of institutional governance. Heck, the last pope was head of one of these departments/congregations.

    What I find more interesting is the use of the term "constitutional monarchy", which is applied some monarchies without a formal constitution (e.g. the U.K.) but isn't applied to others that do have such a document (e.g. Saudi Arabia). "Limited monarchy" would probably be a better descriptor since what's being communicated (I think; feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken) is a system under which the monarch's powers are limited by one or more semi-autonomous institutions. In this way I'd say the modern papacy is more similar to the House of Windsor than the House of Saud.

    You're right. The Holy See and the Vatican City State both have constitutional documents and various legislative, executive, and judicial institutions outside the person of the Pope, but I think they all need to be headed by a male member of the clergy - the appointment of a woman (usually a member of a religious order) to a senior position in the curia is rare and always receives a lot of attention, but usually there is at least one male clergy member that can overrule her in the hierarchy between her and the Pope. But someone more knowledgeable can correct me here. As for Cardinals, they are currently all male bishops, but I think that in the past a "Cardinal Deacon" could be just a deacon and not a bishop. But they've always been all male, I think. If women could be deacons, which Francis mused about before backing away from (like with many things), maybe we could see female cardinals, and I don't think the gender of cardinals or even the existence of cardinals is a matter of infallible dogma, but there are huge institutional hurdles to replacing the College of Cardinals. But if there was a "Constitutional Assembly" set up outside the College of Cardinals that really called the shots even if not so on paper (think about how Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro got around the legislature in Venezuela, or what Correa did in Ecuador in a slightly less autocratic way), then we wouldn't need to worry about who was ordained or male or anything. The people putting their seals on the final Church documents would all be wearing the right hats and possess the right genitalia (issues of transgender aside - which the Church hierarchy has its head in the sand about but which fascinate me when it comes to the whole issue of who can be ordained).

    Would this be a farce? Yes, but aren't most European monarchies, especially ones like the UK that retain a lot of the pomp and circumstance, farces in their own way? Would it be a coup or autogolpe not unlike the Latin American governmental maneuvers I mentioned that were decidedly undemocratic or illiberal? Yes, but considering where the ecclesial polity is starting from, I'm not sure what traditions of democracy or even of liberal checks and balances we would be overthrowing (the Pope might not act like autocrats in Saudi Arabia, but he acts not unlike autocrats in China, with many layers of bureaucracy between the dictator and those governed. It's still an autocracy in both the de jure and the de facto sense.)
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I can't see the Church ordaining women as priests or changing the rules around the marriage of priests in my lifetime. We will hopefully come out of this awful period of reaction, in church and the WEIRD world before I die. It may be that the existing rules around marriage might be adapted to fit particular circumstances, like the accommodation of defecting Anglican clergy, but that is as it always was. The Church makes exceptions where it decides it needs to.

    Reform on gender issues isn't amenable to the softly softly approach. Women already play diaconal roles in the church. I can't see what the next step short of ordination might be. Its easy for Priests to consecrate hosts in bulk. Anyone can be deputised for distribution. What else is there? Surely the next step is ordination.

    While the Church is a creature of the WEIRD world, it is not limited to it. Until pressures for change come from more than just us weirdos, the church can keep with its traditions, which are held very dear by many.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Not as many as you might imagine, despite the noise generated by the Carflick Weekly and the traddies.

    Sublime indifference these days, at best. The damage done by the like of++ George quondam Sydneiensis is incalculable

    No one really cares how many angels dance on the head if a pin.
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    I suspect that there are in some places parishes that are run by a parish council, with the priest being a little old man who is wheeled out to bless the decisions that have been made.

    It's not obvious to me that that is a superior model of church governance.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Not in Oz it doesn’t
  • betjemaniacbetjemaniac Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)

    I'm with Pomona, if you hang out on the wrong bits of social media you see all sorts. My favourite are the ones who want to restore the Stewart succession in the UK (who overlap a lot with the cult of King Charles) because that's the primary barrier to re-uniting the UK and USA (there would never have been a revolution without the Hanoverians ergo....) under the crown.

    Bonkers. But also yes sometimes fans of Franco too for some reason. Well, I could list the reasons but life's too short and you can probably guess.

  • betjemaniacbetjemaniac Shipmate
    there's a corner of facebook (isn't there always?) that deals with Anglo Catholic history. The Franco followers don't hang out there but it's always interesting to see the extent to which some of the USians venerate the monarchy and have an 'interesting' take on British/English history.

    A sede-vacantist take on the Hanoverian monarchs onwards which glosses over the any reasons the Stewarts were only legitimate for much the same reasons as the Hanoverians...

    Meanwhile, back to the OP. Stonespring describes his solution as potentially a farce, but no more than so than other farces.

    I think that's potentially missing that other countries' political set-ups are rarely designed to be a farce, they just become one with a veneer of legitimacy conferred by the passage of time.

    The difference here is that the farce is being self-described before it's introduced, which never bodes well...
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Yup, not common here but only in the USA could you find a bunch of pious dames known as the Daughters of Isabella ( guess which one?)

  • A sede-vacantist take on the Hanoverian monarchs onwards which glosses over the any reasons the Stewarts were only legitimate for much the same reasons as the Hanoverians...

    The Stuarts inherited the English throne because the pre-existing succession rules expected it, not because (as with the Hanoverians) parliament excluded otherwise legitimate heirs. When Margaret Tudor married into the House of Stuart there was always an outside chance that one of her descendants would rule both England and Scotland.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)

    I'm with Pomona, if you hang out on the wrong bits of social media you see all sorts. My favourite are the ones who want to restore the Stewart succession in the UK (who overlap a lot with the cult of King Charles) because that's the primary barrier to re-uniting the UK and USA (there would never have been a revolution without the Hanoverians ergo....) under the crown.

    Bonkers. But also yes sometimes fans of Franco too for some reason. Well, I could list the reasons but life's too short and you can probably guess.

    "they're fascists" would be the simple version.
  • betjemaniacbetjemaniac Shipmate
    edited July 21
    KarlLB wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)

    I'm with Pomona, if you hang out on the wrong bits of social media you see all sorts. My favourite are the ones who want to restore the Stewart succession in the UK (who overlap a lot with the cult of King Charles) because that's the primary barrier to re-uniting the UK and USA (there would never have been a revolution without the Hanoverians ergo....) under the crown.

    Bonkers. But also yes sometimes fans of Franco too for some reason. Well, I could list the reasons but life's too short and you can probably guess.

    "they're fascists" would be the simple version.

    bit more nuanced than that - but basically yes. They're more your thinking idiot who buys into the Movimiento post 1945 and its doctrine of National Catholicism - church and state in lockstep as the bulwark against communism/the left, the masons, and in preservation of tradition.

    Of course that also implies amnesia about the Falange pre 1945, but then if you buy the line that Franco was a non-fascist who used the fascists to get to power then cleaned up after them...

    To be clear I don't buy the above line, but its a fairly mainstream one on the Spanish right when it's in exculpatory mood.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    And on the British/Australian Catholic Right although ( in Oz) to a lesser extent these days, the cult of Josemaria Escriva notwithstanding
  • betjemaniacbetjemaniac Shipmate

    A sede-vacantist take on the Hanoverian monarchs onwards which glosses over the any reasons the Stewarts were only legitimate for much the same reasons as the Hanoverians...

    The Stuarts inherited the English throne because the pre-existing succession rules expected it, not because (as with the Hanoverians) parliament excluded otherwise legitimate heirs. When Margaret Tudor married into the House of Stuart there was always an outside chance that one of her descendants would rule both England and Scotland.

    Yes but it's all about where you draw the line. *If* we're talking about England (well the UK but for this to stick you've got to go back before the Union) being a hereditary monarchy and ideally a Roman Catholic one, with full-on divine right of Kings, then even within the Stuarts James II shouldn't have been deposed.

    and that's before you get into the competing claims in the Wars of the Roses, or the Anarchy, or the Norman Conquest, or the Anglo-Saxons.

    Basically it's damning the Hanoverians with a purity test the Stuarts don't pass either...

    Of course the whole thing is ludicrous, but it's the inability to see that the purity of the mechanism they're advocating doesn't support the outcome they're advocating that gets me. It's an attempt to hold the Stuarts up as having a divine right to the throne, when the Tudors are hardly unblemished, and really might has been right all along.

    It's a nice glossy reading of English/British monarchical history that starts with the assumption that the execution of Charles I was a Bad Thing, and then flows forwards from that that therefore the Stewarts should still have been running the show post Queen Anne, and crucially flows *backwards* from that that the Stewarts were the last in a line of divine succession - never mind how many monarchs were murdered, killed in battle or dispossessed to get there.

    Like I say, it's nuts. But there is a movement on the Internet, which seems to be strong in a (undoubtedly small) part of extreme US Anglo-Catholicism, which believes it. And, more to the point, believes it matters.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    @stonespring

    I would say a difference between the autocracy of the Pope and the autocracy of Xi Xinping is that, at least in the 21st Century,
    stetson wrote: »

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)

    I'm with Pomona, if you hang out on the wrong bits of social media you see all sorts. My favourite are the ones who want to restore the Stewart succession in the UK (who overlap a lot with the cult of King Charles) because that's the primary barrier to re-uniting the UK and USA (there would never have been a revolution without the Hanoverians ergo....) under the crown.

    Bonkers. But also yes sometimes fans of Franco too for some reason. Well, I could list the reasons but life's too short and you can probably guess.

    I follow fringe politics fairly closely, and while I don't doubt that albionic irredentists exist in the USA, I have yet to see any evidence that they are involved as a group in American politics.

    Which is not to say that there is no such involvement, just that it would be slight enough to have stayed off my rather extensive radar. Much more prominent have been militant anglophobes, most notably Lyndon LaRouche, who built up a relatively respectable following, by the standards of the nutbar right, preaching that the Queen of England and global bankers conspire night and day to bring down the American republic.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    (the Pope might not act like autocrats in Saudi Arabia, but he acts not unlike autocrats in China, with many layers of bureaucracy between the dictator and those governed. It's still an autocracy in both the de jure and the de facto sense.)

    I'm pretty sure modern popes don't run detention camps for "re-educating" religious dissidents and disliked ethnic groups.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    (the Pope might not act like autocrats in Saudi Arabia, but he acts not unlike autocrats in China, with many layers of bureaucracy between the dictator and those governed. It's still an autocracy in both the de jure and the de facto sense.)

    I'm pretty sure modern popes don't run detention camps for "re-educating" religious dissidents and disliked ethnic groups.

    No, but in terms of institutional structure and overall opacity the Vatican is not unlike the Chinese Communist Party.
  • stetson wrote: »
    Much more prominent have been militant anglophobes, most notably Lyndon LaRouche, who built up a relatively respectable following, by the standards of the nutbar right, preaching that the Queen of England and global bankers conspire night and day to bring down the American republic.

    Is this actually about those working in the finance industry or code for Jews?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Reverting to the OP, I'm not RC and have little experience of how it works inside, but I'd have thought you'd be better off and get better sleep, @stonespring by going back to counting sheep.

    Besides, if something will take hundreds of years with acrimony and schisms, is it worth it, and by the time anyone gets there, those that are there then will have different priorities, will want different things, and you won't be there to see it?

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Reform on gender issues isn't amenable to the softly softly approach. Women already play diaconal roles in the church. I can't see what the next step short of ordination might be. Its easy for Priests to consecrate hosts in bulk. Anyone can be deputised for distribution. What else is there? Surely the next step is ordination.

    I think this gets to the heart of the matter. The institutional leadership of the Roman Catholic Church doesn't see itself as being in "a doctrinal corner", so suggestions on how to get out of said corner are likely to go unheeded.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Reform on gender issues isn't amenable to the softly softly approach. Women already play diaconal roles in the church. I can't see what the next step short of ordination might be. Its easy for Priests to consecrate hosts in bulk. Anyone can be deputised for distribution. What else is there? Surely the next step is ordination.

    I think this gets to the heart of the matter. The institutional leadership of the Roman Catholic Church doesn't see itself as being in "a doctrinal corner", so suggestions on how to get out of said corner are likely to go unheeded.

    And I suspect that womens ordination is not seen as an issue across much/most of the RC world.
    It would certainly halt all attempts at rapprochement with the Orthodox and Eastern churches.
    Its simply not seen as an equality issue. Its about whether there is an apostolic mandate, whether the church thinks it has the authority to ordain women. It doesnt think it has the power.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)

    I'm with Pomona, if you hang out on the wrong bits of social media you see all sorts. My favourite are the ones who want to restore the Stewart succession in the UK (who overlap a lot with the cult of King Charles) because that's the primary barrier to re-uniting the UK and USA (there would never have been a revolution without the Hanoverians ergo....) under the crown.

    Bonkers. But also yes sometimes fans of Franco too for some reason. Well, I could list the reasons but life's too short and you can probably guess.

    "they're fascists" would be the simple version.

    bit more nuanced than that - but basically yes. They're more your thinking idiot who buys into the Movimiento post 1945 and its doctrine of National Catholicism - church and state in lockstep as the bulwark against communism/the left, the masons, and in preservation of tradition.

    Of course that also implies amnesia about the Falange pre 1945, but then if you buy the line that Franco was a non-fascist who used the fascists to get to power then cleaned up after them...

    To be clear I don't buy the above line, but its a fairly mainstream one on the Spanish right when it's in exculpatory mood.

    Oh no, they are definitely fascists or at least crypto-fascists.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Much more prominent have been militant anglophobes, most notably Lyndon LaRouche, who built up a relatively respectable following, by the standards of the nutbar right, preaching that the Queen of England and global bankers conspire night and day to bring down the American republic.

    Is this actually about those working in the finance industry or code for Jews?

    It's code for Jews, as are references to Soros.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Much more prominent have been militant anglophobes, most notably Lyndon LaRouche, who built up a relatively respectable following, by the standards of the nutbar right, preaching that the Queen of England and global bankers conspire night and day to bring down the American republic.

    Is this actually about those working in the finance industry or code for Jews?

    I believe LaRouche liked to vary the details of his conspiracy theory, and has at times, yes, used "bankers" with the innuendo that you suggest. However, these days his organization also sends its.goons out to opera houses to break up performances of Wagner, on the grounds that Wagner was an anti-semite.

    (conspiracy-geek alert)

    I've read that LaRouche claimed the true Jews are those who follow the teachings of some ancient Jewish neo-platonist philosopher. Since very few Jews today subscribe to that guy's ideas, it allowed LaRouche to villify a large swathe of Jews, while absolving himself of the anti-semitism charge.

    The one consistent thread in all of LaRouche's theories was, I believe, anglophobia, and everything else probably leads to that eventually.

  • betjemaniacbetjemaniac Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »

    (By the way, who are some of these people who want the US to become a monarchy? I can't say I've really seen a lot of that in US politics.)

    I'm with Pomona, if you hang out on the wrong bits of social media you see all sorts. My favourite are the ones who want to restore the Stewart succession in the UK (who overlap a lot with the cult of King Charles) because that's the primary barrier to re-uniting the UK and USA (there would never have been a revolution without the Hanoverians ergo....) under the crown.

    Bonkers. But also yes sometimes fans of Franco too for some reason. Well, I could list the reasons but life's too short and you can probably guess.

    "they're fascists" would be the simple version.

    bit more nuanced than that - but basically yes. They're more your thinking idiot who buys into the Movimiento post 1945 and its doctrine of National Catholicism - church and state in lockstep as the bulwark against communism/the left, the masons, and in preservation of tradition.

    Of course that also implies amnesia about the Falange pre 1945, but then if you buy the line that Franco was a non-fascist who used the fascists to get to power then cleaned up after them...

    To be clear I don't buy the above line, but its a fairly mainstream one on the Spanish right when it's in exculpatory mood.

    Oh no, they are definitely fascists or at least crypto-fascists.

    fair. I had to do a lot of 20th century Spanish history at university so sometimes forget that when I'm in the shades of grey trying to sort out who believes what really they're all the same colour as much as it matters practically!
  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    I think the OP is interesting. Ultimately there are two questions:

    1. Do priests have to be male?
    2. Do priests have to be in charge?

    Given its axioms, I think it would be very hard for the RCC to shift position on (1), but I think (2) is more a question of church order rather than doctrine, and indeed:

    1. Historically there used to be such things as lay-cardinals, which if revived would allow a woman to be a cardinal.
    2. Historically, and possibly contemporaneously as well, I understand there used to be such things as female ordinaries - mostly abbesses of powerful abbeys who had bishop-like powers over their clergy (i.e., the managerial side but without the sacramental powers).
    3. Historically, in many countries, bishops and archbishops were appointed by the monarch even when they were still all in communion with the Pope. So if the monarch was a queen, then a woman would have power over archbishops.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And I suspect that womens ordination is not seen as an issue across much/most of the RC world.

    Depends on what you mean by "the RC world". If you mean the institutional hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church you're probably right. If you mean the vast body of believers, you might get a different answer. Not distinguishing between these two entities is a frequent problem in discussions like this.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And I suspect that womens ordination is not seen as an issue across much/most of the RC world.

    Depends on what you mean by "the RC world". If you mean the institutional hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church you're probably right. If you mean the vast body of believers, you might get a different answer. Not distinguishing between these two entities is a frequent problem in discussions like this.

    The actions of Francis have indicated a desire to push the boundaries of reform within the system, such as with giving communion the the divorced and remarried, ordaining married men for places like the Amazon, and ordaining women as Deacons. The fact that all of these things have gone almost nowhere might indicate that Francis is running into opposition from other members of the hierarchy and from organized connected conservative laity in places like the US. He is also worried about doing anything that might allow supporters of still living predecessor to lean in the direction of believing there are two popes, no matter what Benedict XVI may say and believe to the contrary. And Francis probably believes on some
    Level that despite his own autocratic power the Church should move in a synodal way so he can’t force change through. And he isn’t as Radical as the left hopes he is. But he seems to want to lay the groundwork for some future pope to continue his reforms. Otherwise I have trouble understanding what he has been doing.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    I think the brick walls he is hitting demonstrate that popes now have no autocratic power at all. Probably never did have.
    It isnt only in the USA that conservatives ate found. Try mentioning gay rights or female leadership across much of the developing world for example. And that is where most RCs are found.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Honestly? Lots of popular forms of folk Catholicism globally wouldn't really have an issue with that. The conservatives in the US are brought up because US Trads (and US Catholicism generally) are so unique in their conservatism, and also because they're the ones with the money by and large.
  • orfeoorfeo Suspended
    I don't think most people nowadays envisage going to church to be like whipping out your passport for a trip to the Papal States.
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Building on my previous comment - I wonder what the effect of folk Catholicism or a *lack* of folk Catholicism (as is arguably the case in the US and much of the UK outside of Catholic NI, the NW of England, and Catholic Scotland) has on this.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And I suspect that womens ordination is not seen as an issue across much/most of the RC world.

    Depends on what you mean by "the RC world". If you mean the institutional hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church you're probably right. If you mean the vast body of believers, you might get a different answer. Not distinguishing between these two entities is a frequent problem in discussions like this.

    My Auntie S, an Indian Roman Catholic from Kerala, and now aged 90, is very devout, and goes to Mass whenever she can (she lives in a convent, although she's not a nun herself),

    She is very keen on the idea of the ordination of women, amongst other Dead Horse issues (one of her sons is bisexual), and had no time at all for Pope John Paul II, who was far too reactionary for her liking...
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    And I suspect that womens ordination is not seen as an issue across much/most of the RC world.

    Depends on what you mean by "the RC world". If you mean the institutional hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church you're probably right. If you mean the vast body of believers, you might get a different answer. Not distinguishing between these two entities is a frequent problem in discussions like this.

    My Auntie S, an Indian Roman Catholic from Kerala, and now aged 90, is very devout, and goes to Mass whenever she can (she lives in a convent, although she's not a nun herself),

    She is very keen on the idea of the ordination of women, amongst other Dead Horse issues (one of her sons is bisexual), and had no time at all for Pope John Paul II, who was far too reactionary for her liking...

    Ahh well Kerala has form on all those fronts! Kerala is both very religiously diverse and also at the forefront of LGBTQ+ and women's rights in India (it was previously a matriarchal society), and has a socialist state government. The large Catholic community does not seem to be a barrier to these things. I get a similar impression from places like Mexico (at least the big cities), or Argentina.
  • @Pomona - I'm sure Auntie S will be delighted to know that she *has form*!
    :wink:
  • What I think might be a way out of this doctrinal corner is to keep the current rules about who can be ordained, what the Pope's powers are, etc., but to start to interpret them similarly to the way that the UK or other constitutional monarchies do that have an unwritten convention that it's the people who are really in power even if the monarch has absolute authority on paper.

    If you think this is true, then you don't understand the British constitutional settlement. Apart from Scotland, where there's a declaration that power comes from the people, the position is that power rests in the 'Crown in Parliament'. That is not just a paper statement, but the foundation of all legislation. It would have been perfectly legal for the UK Parliament to ignore the result of the Brexit referendum and those which set up the Welsh and Scottish Parliaments. The people are not sovereign in the United Kingdom: the Westminster Parliament is.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited July 24
    Pomona wrote: »

    Ahh well Kerala has form on all those fronts! Kerala is both very religiously diverse and also at the forefront of LGBTQ+ and women's rights in India (it was previously a matriarchal society), and has a socialist state government. The large Catholic community does not seem to be a barrier to these things. I get a similar impression from places like Mexico (at least the big cities), or Argentina.

    Kerala was where Welease Woderwick lived, wasn't it?

    Christianity reached there very early, evangelised reputedly by St Thomas on his way to Sri Lanka. If so, that would pre-date reaching even southern Britain and a millennium or more before northern Europe.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »

    Ahh well Kerala has form on all those fronts! Kerala is both very religiously diverse and also at the forefront of LGBTQ+ and women's rights in India (it was previously a matriarchal society), and has a socialist state government. The large Catholic community does not seem to be a barrier to these things. I get a similar impression from places like Mexico (at least the big cities), or Argentina.

    Kerala was where Welease Woderwick lived, wasn't it?

    Christianity reached there very early, evangelised reputedly by St Thomas on his way to Sri Lanka. If so, that would pre-date reaching even southern Britain and a millennium or more before northern Europe.

    So they say (cough, cough.)
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »

    Ahh well Kerala has form on all those fronts! Kerala is both very religiously diverse and also at the forefront of LGBTQ+ and women's rights in India (it was previously a matriarchal society), and has a socialist state government. The large Catholic community does not seem to be a barrier to these things. I get a similar impression from places like Mexico (at least the big cities), or Argentina.

    Kerala was where Welease Woderwick lived, wasn't it?

    Christianity reached there very early, evangelised reputedly by St Thomas on his way to Sri Lanka. If so, that would pre-date reaching even southern Britain and a millennium or more before northern Europe.

    I've no idea whether the legend of St Thomas in India has any more or less veracity than Joseph of Arimathea in Britain (leaving aside any specific claim of the Holy Grail, Glastonbury thorn or whatever else) but presumably if both were true they would be roughly contemporaneous.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    AIUI, the stories of Joseph of Arimathea in Britain did not arise until 1000 or so years later, as a part of the Arthurian legends, while those of St Thomas were more or less contemporaneous. If both were true, then the way you put it would be correct, but to my mind, there's more than a smack of legend to those of Joseph - largely from the way in which they arose.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Pomona wrote: »

    Ahh well Kerala has form on all those fronts! Kerala is both very religiously diverse and also at the forefront of LGBTQ+ and women's rights in India (it was previously a matriarchal society), and has a socialist state government. The large Catholic community does not seem to be a barrier to these things. I get a similar impression from places like Mexico (at least the big cities), or Argentina.

    Kerala was where Welease Woderwick lived, wasn't it?

    Christianity reached there very early, evangelised reputedly by St Thomas on his way to Sri Lanka. If so, that would pre-date reaching even southern Britain and a millennium or more before northern Europe.

    I've no idea whether the legend of St Thomas in India has any more or less veracity than Joseph of Arimathea in Britain (leaving aside any specific claim of the Holy Grail, Glastonbury thorn or whatever else) but presumably if both were true they would be roughly contemporaneous.

    There were Jewish communities along the - then - Malabar Coast dating back to the 1st century, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Thomas, or some of his disciples visited to evangelise those communities.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I equate the Thomas story with that of St Mark founding the Egyptian church. I think there is a fair bit of truth to it, but its well beyond provable.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Thomas is a commin surname in Kerela.

    40 years ago when working at the then Blacktown&District Hospital( western Sinny) I had occasion to telephone the on-call ear nose & throat surgeon, one Dr Thomas. Great was my surprise when he answered the phone to hear his ( totally non-Welsh) accent.

    It was another 14 years before I met another Dr Thomas) also from Kerala who explained it all to me.

    One lives and learns.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Bit embarrassing how we’ve come so far off track from the OP; but hardly surprising
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