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[Image: Graphic from www.synod.va]

By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, May 16, 2023

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org.


Fr. Jerry Pokorsky’s wonderfully satirical new post, The Spirit is A-Movin in the pre-Synod Process, reminded me that I wanted to say something more about this process, which seems designed to strain gnats while swallowing camels. I am referring here to the faulty concept of governance which appears to underlie the entire experiment.


We have a peculiar notion of governance in the contemporary West. In an almost universal disregard of human experience, we cling to a remarkably naive reliance on the alleged power of the democratic process to filter upward into sound government. The wisdom of this idea has been considered dubious by most cultures, even sometimes by the Greeks who invented it for more appropriate use in small city states. In the Aristotelian analysis, for example, every form of rule can be oriented to either the common good or personal selfishness. Thus monarchy easily degenerates into tyranny; aristocracy (rule by the best) into oligarchy (rule by a few); and polity into (wait for it) democracy: …

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