Fall 1964

Page 23

134 Chicago StudieJ

vidual initiative, unauthorized activity, and non-conformity. How can the need for obedience be reconciled with the need for freedom? And more, how can this freedom become a part of the institutional Church? FREEDOM AND AUTHOIDTY

The purpose of this study is to begin discussion on the possibility of democratic instirutions in the Church as an an.swer to this problem of freedom and authority. Further srudies will have to be done on the traditional forms of ecclesiastical government of the past in order to determine what is essential to the narure of the Church and what was borrowed from the political makeup of the day. Sociological srudies will show us what the present power structure of the Church is, as opposed to the theory of Church strucrure as contained in dogma and canon law. From there it will have to be decided what should be changed in order that the organizational patterns of the Church effectively advance its work and also reflect the true character of the Church to the modern world. This srudy will be more theoretical than practical because, up till now, objections to democratic stmctures within the Church have been based more on theoretical ground rather than practical ones. We will begin by examining these objections. Then, after examining a few basic components of democratic .government, we will explore certsin elements of scriprural theology that bear upon the problem. We will conclude with a statement concerning the theoretical compatibility of democratic instirutions with the nature of the Church. <' The often-heard phrase, "The Church is not a democracy!" is certainly true. But our problem is to find out whether or not it could be a democracy. First of all, we should inquire as to why it is not now a democracy and what are the reasons given for it not being one. We begin by presuming that the reasons are not only historical, but also theoretical. Our object is to take up these reasons, examine them, and judge their validity. .. AUTHORITY IN DEMOCRACY

The first objection to democracy in the Church is that sover¡ eignty in the Christian community has been given directly by