POPE FRANCIS ON DEMOCRACY

  • Roman Míčka University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Keywords: Catholic Social Thought, Democracy, Pope Francis, Social Encyclicals, Social Ethics, Social Teaching of the Church

Abstract

This article makes a brief introduction to the history of the development of the social teaching of the Church on democracy. Then it identifies and analyses fifteen relevant statements about democracy in the writings and speeches of Pope Francis between 2014 and 2020. Pope Francis through his writings and speeches reflects and further develops the concept of democracy in the social teaching of the Church. He uses positive terms about democracy as “inclusive and participatory democracy,” “strengthening of political and social democracy” and critical terms. For example, democracies according to him are “under the pressure” of “uniform systems of economic power,” it faces the danger of “subtle dictatorship,” “democracy atrophies,” it can become “democracy of words”; “nominal democracy,” extremism and populism can make “debilitating of the democratic system.” Besides, those statements are examined and put into context with current trends in politics and the theoretical study of democracy. Statements of Pope Francis give the impression that he is a relatively radical critic of the weaknesses of contemporary democracies and a supporter of its more radical forms.

Author Biography

Roman Míčka, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Dr Roman Míčka, ThD, PhD, is a lecturer at the at the Department of Social Science at the Faculty of Education, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice (Budweis), Czech Republic. His research focuses on the Catholic social doctrine and social ethics, American political Catholicism, and relations between politics, economics and religion. He is a member of the Czech Christian Academy, the Church Law Society, the Czech Society for Political Science and the Work Group for Social Issues by the Czech Bishops’ Conference. His publications include Michael Novak and his Project of Theology of Democratic Capitalism (2009), We are Firmly Holding the Inheritance of our Fathers... Conservative Political Catholicism in the U.S.A. on the Basis of Comparing Michael Novak and Patrick Buchanan (2014) and Global Governance? Historical, Political and Theological Perspectives on World Order (2018).

References

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Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to Participants in the 3rd World Meeting of Popular Movements, Paul VI Audience Hall, 5 November 2016, https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/november/documents/papa-francesco_20161105_movimenti-popolari.html

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Caritas in veritate, 32, 38, 41, 66.

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https://www.britannica.com/topic/democratic-overload

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Laudato si’, 53, 144, 178, 189, 206.

Meeting with the Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Address Prepared by Pope Francis, Read by H.E. Archbishop Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Clementine Hall, 28 February 2020, https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2020/february/ documents/papa-francesco_20200228_accademia-perlavita.html

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Pius XII, “Christmas Message” (1944); https://www.ewtn.com/ catholicism/library/1944-christmas-message-8963.
Published
2020-12-01
How to Cite
Míčka, R. (2020). POPE FRANCIS ON DEMOCRACY. Asian Horizons, 14(4), 915-926. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/ah/article/view/3626