Democracy in the Catholic Church: is it time?

1 April 2005

For the world’s one billion Catholics and for the non-Catholics who watch, the passing of Pope John Paul 11 will be an historic moment. Few Popes have been more enmeshed in the politics of their time or have  had as much impact both on the Church and on the wider world. But as the Church mourns  Karol Wojtyla,  the first Polish Pope,  the Catholic Church must elect  the first Pope of the 21st century.  At openDemocracy, we believe the issue of democracy is one of the most important that the Church must confront as it enters the third millennium.  Who owns the Church,  who should govern it,  how should they be chosen and by whom? Within the Church itself there is a recognition that democracy and governance are the new battleground. But how far can democracy go in an institution that still does not admit women to power? Should the Pope be elected by all the faithful instead of by the Cardinals? Or should the Vatican itself be cut down to size? And if the Catholic Church must grapple with this challenge, what about the world’s other faiths?  As the Cardinals enter their conclave in Rome to choose the next Pope we shall be debating these fundamental issues on openDemocracy.net. We hope you will join us.

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Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

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