• Julian Saldanha St Pius College, Mumbai
Keywords: Bishops, Democracy, Laity, Rights, Structures, Synods


The Church has a divinely instituted nature, which naturally inclines her to “democratic” practices. These were very early in evidence, much before similar practices began to appear in secular society. However, democracy as we know it, has many shortcomings and flaws. So, it is not for the Church to model herself on any existing democracy, but rather to integrate into her practice those democratic elements which enhance her already existing democratic nature, and to eliminate those elements which are not in harmony with it. During the post-Vatican II period, much has been achieved in this regard, especially in recognizing the rightful role of the laity; but more still needs to be done.

Author Biography

Julian Saldanha, St Pius College, Mumbai

Fr Julian Saldanha holds a Masters in Philosophy and a Doctorate in Theology from Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune where he is an associate professor and Doctoral guide. He lectures at St Pius College, Mumbai and Sacred Heart College, Shillong. He contributes to theological journals in India and abroad. Some of his publications are: Conversion and Indian Civil Law (1981), Inculturation (1997), Exploring Frontiers (2016). He is former President of the ecumenical Fellowship of Indian Missiologists.


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How to Cite
Saldanha, J. (2020). CAN THE CHURCH BE A DEMOCRACY?. Asian Horizons, 14(4), 977-987. Retrieved from