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  • Sarah Beth Dippel


On the heels of Super Tuesday, I am thinking about Democracy.

My mother converted to the Catholic faith during my childhood, but not before years of working as the parish secretary. Mom saw a lot working in the church office, and by the time she converted, she knew more about the faith than many cradle Catholics.

I can remember her recounting stories at the dinner table about issues that would come up with parishioners and the norms and laws of the Church. She would exclaim, "It's not a democracy!" And I can now say, Praise God for that.

It is essential to remember canon law was created by ecclesiastical authority for the guidance of the faithful. And that the hierarchy of the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, natural law, divine law, Tradition, and the scriptures.

After many years serving in ministry, I can't count the number of times parishioners have asked for favors, exceptions, a blind eye. The Church, in Her great wisdom, has a reason for the requirements and rules She sets forth. Many people like to blame the local priest or layperson working the parish office (ok, sometimes it might be some arbitrary rule a rogue priest came up with and enforced in his parish. Unfortunately, I have seen that too.) But most times, it is the law of the Church.

If some law or rule (or teaching) of the Church upsets you, my advice, research it. Find out the reason why the Church made this rule, requirement, or position.

I love that the ordinary people of our great nation hold political power and can rule as elected representatives. I can't imagine living in any other political environment. But when it comes to my Church, I am grateful that we have a hierarchy and Supreme Pontiff to guide the mission of the Church of Christ. #livinglent2

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