21st century papacy: gerontocracy or democracy?

5 April 2005

"The Pope is many things, but one of them is the last emperor." Slugger O'Toole picks up a piece from The Irish Times today. "The Roman Empire still haunts the church's structures of authority, with the Pope as Caesar and the Conclave as the Senate."

Fintan O'Toole asks, "Can [the Catholic Church] lay the ghost of the Roman imperium and become something other than a male gerontocracy?"

In our online debate about democracy and the Catholic Church, Bridget Mary Meehan offers a feminist, participative, egalitarian alternative to the closed Conclave at the Vatican.

"Women-Church Convergence announces an open conclave in cyberspace so that the entire community of faith may make their views known about important issues in the church’s life. Visit us at www.women-churchconvergence.org/conclave."

Dorothea McEwan adds:

"Women are the majority of the church’s supporters and funders. Women, we, do not want “greater roles” or “specific roles”; we want equal roles with everybody in the worldwide church."

Contribute your ideas and resources to the debate.

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