National Political Influence and the Catholic Church Essay

National Political Influence and the Catholic Church Essay

Length: 7260 words (20.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Democratic transitions recently became a topic of great discussion among political scholars as a domino effect of democratization began in Latin America in the 1970s and continued through Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. In many of these transitions, the Catholic Church[1] played a crucial role as the protector of civil society during periods of communist and right-wing authoritarian rule, as well as taking an active role to promote the establishment of democracy (Bruneau 1994, Levine 1980, Stepan and Linz 1996, Peréz-Díaz 1993, Ramet 1987). While the Church’s political role in transition is important, significantly fewer scholars have explored how democracy affected the Catholic Church within the national context (Eberts 1998, Ramet 1999, Vilarino and Tizon 1998). Even fewer have attempted cross-national comparisons of the Church, thus permitting generalizations to be made about the political influence of the Church since the institution of democratic governance (Casanova 1993, Gill et al.1998).

With the establishment of democracy the Church was expected to flourish, due to its organizational and political advantage within new democracies. However, initial research suggests otherwise. Using the involvement of the Church in abortion policy as an indicator of political influence, it is clear the cases of Spain, Brazil and Poland vary extensively. The Polish Church maintained the most political influence, followed by the Brazilian and Spanish Churches (Neilsen 1991, Volenski and Gryzmala-Mosczynska 1997, Gautier 1998, Casanova 1993, Linz 1991, Morris 1993). In Brazil and Poland, the Church played an instrumental role in the democratic revolution, making a political decline in the Church almost inconceivable. While initially th...

... middle of paper ... is regarded as a non-member state permanent observer allowing it to occasionally participate in General Assembly discussions and decisions and participate in UN International Conferences. Holy See, however, has no voting rights.

[3] Secularization refers to the number of clergy that disaffiliated from the Church (i.e. transfer from ecclesiastical to civil).

[4] Vatican II theology “stressed a very different notion of the Church as the people of God, assigned a more important role to the laity, redefined the authority of the Pope over the hole Church and the bishops over the diocese” (Mainwaring 1986). Vatican II theology stressed the need for social justice and vowed to help the less fortunate, this came to be known as the option for the poor.

[5] The Roman Curia is the collection of ministries for governing the International Church (Della Cava 1993).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Schism Of The Catholic Church

- In the midst of the many events of the sixteenth century, a schism of the Catholic Church was due to the political, social, and economic aspects of life. Religion was ultimately the cause of the schism and was also greatly affected by the aftermath. To see this, one can observe the opposition to the Church at the time, the lack of a secular state, and the Church’s “need” for funds obtained via indulgences. Around this time, life was forever impacted by the many ideas differing from the Catholic Church....   [tags: Protestant Reformation, Christianity]

Powerful Essays
1489 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Napoleon Bonaparte and the Catholic Church

- Tension grew between the Catholic Church and France during the French Revolution, leading to a schism, which deeply devastated the Church’s economy. Pope Pius VII and Napoleon Bonaparte came into power as the French Revolution was ending. For different reasons they both saw the importance of restoring Roman Catholicism’s position in France. The Catholic Church’s initial support of Napoleon greatly affected both parties (O’Dwyer 12-14, 43, 49). This statement has led me to ask the following question: To what extent did the support of Napoleon affect the Church’s role as a political and economic power in France....   [tags: French History ]

Powerful Essays
2191 words (6.3 pages)

The Catholic Church in Developing the Identity of The Republic of Ireland

- The Republic of Ireland cannot be adequately examined without including the large role played by the Catholic Church in political development and policy making. The Catholic Church has validated itself as an influential institution since the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169. The original intent of the invasion served to spread the papacy, and with Ireland, the Church would come to achieve arguably the most Catholic country to exist in the world. The Republic of Ireland evolved through many centuries in order to achieve a true Irish State....   [tags: Political Development, Policy Making]

Powerful Essays
1740 words (5 pages)

Church And State Essays

- The In Crowd Growing up in the U.S. it is common to hear the phrase, “separation of church and state” regarding religious doctrine and the power of the government. As a child, I never gave it much thought, but as an adult, it has become one of the most important topics for me. I thought that the First Amendment to the Constitution said this. Therefore, I figured it was an inalienable right. However, the First Amendment does not say this. Sadly, all the First Amendment guarantees are that the government cannot dictate a national religion....   [tags: Separation of church and state, Religion]

Powerful Essays
756 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The And Political Empowerment Of The Black Church

- My own personal views on the writing of Manuel Ortiz concerning The Economic and Political empowerment of the black church are a much-needed book. He states his own conviction with so much passion, love and grace until one want to go out into the community and ask for forgiveness for leaving them alone in the struggle. I think we are forgetting that the church is the vehicle that takes the Kingdom to the world transforming life as we go. I think that this course is given at the right time in my life because I see the ministry is changing....   [tags: African American, Black people]

Powerful Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

AIDS and the Catholic Church Essay

- AIDS and the Catholic Church As the AIDS epidemic in the United States advanced into the 1990s, it became clear that AIDS had a new target population. AIDS was no longer strictly a gay disease but was leaking into the general heterosexual population as well. Moreover, as the decade progressed, new cases of HIV infection were being increasingly identified in poor, minority communities. While the focus of the AIDS epidemic shifted from the high-profile male homosexual population to poor, minority communities, political activism and financial support for the fight against AIDS also began to decline....   [tags: HIV Religion Christianity Essays]

Free Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

The Catholic Roots of Obama’s Activism Essay

- Introduction In the article, “The Catholic Roots of Obama’s Activism,” from the “New York Times” published on 22nd March 2014, Jason Horowitz (2014) paints President Obama as very close to the Catholic Church, ideologically. Horowitz wrote the article in the wake of President Obama’s visit to Europe and Italy in particular, where he had held a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday March 27, 2014. In this article, President Obama’s inclination towards community organizing in his 20s is depicted as pro-Catholicism....   [tags: social justice, political ideology]

Powerful Essays
1238 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about The Modern Era's Central Tensions in the Roman Catholic Church

- The Modern Era's Central Tensions in the Roman Catholic Church In his narrative of the time from the French Revolution to the present in Church History: Twenty Centuries of Catholic Christianity of the Roman Catholic Church, John C. Dwyer makes it apparent that he has several goals in mind for where the church ought to end up, and his account gives us a sense that it is all leading up to these goals. They are largely accomplished by the time he gets to the Second Vatican Council, though in some ways they are left undone even at the end....   [tags: Religion Theology Essays]

Powerful Essays
1367 words (3.9 pages)

The Deadly Influence of National Socialism Essay

- The Deadly Influence of National Socialism National Socialism was a political movement that emerged in Germany after its defeat in World War I. This movement is more commonly known as Nazism. The National Socialist Party or Nazi Party was formed in Munich is 1919. Adolph Hitler was given all dictatorial powers as the result of the Enabling Act. By 1933 the party had gained control over the entire German state and the ideas, propaganda, and doctrines of National Socialism were written in Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle) ....   [tags: National Socialism Hitler Nazi Essays Nazism]

Powerful Essays
1904 words (5.4 pages)

The Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and Their Influence on People's Views on Abortion

- The Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and Their Influence on People's Views on Abortion The R.C Church teaches that all human life is sacred. The word sacred means devoted or help especially acceptable to a deity. Both the old and new testaments teach that human life is sacred and should not be terminated. God created life in his image and each one of us is like him. To kill a human being is like killing a part of god and this has greatly influenced the teachings of the R.C Church about abortion....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)