In Endpapers of July 6, Jack Miles states that "autocracies and even an institution like the papacy do finally change as the will of the people requires them to change." Indeed the church must be responsive to the people, but it is a common misconception today that it needs to answer to them. We, as Americans, are accustomed to the rule and sway of the masses, but the Catholic Church is not a democracy whose teachings are the result of consensus. One of the reasons Jesus Christ established the church was to institute a teaching magisterium to preserve, develop and be custodians of the truth. The Vicar of Christ and the bishops are indeed the authorities on the church teachings.
In stating, "all government, even church government, proceeds by the consent of the governed," Miles is correct, but fails to recognize that regardless of the consent, the authority for the church to govern came from God at the founding.
JOHN PAUL ARNERICH