The question of authority has always been a lively issue within the Roman Catholic Church. While some have warned against the danger of "democratizing" the Church, others have warned against applying too narrowly the "monarchical" model which has been dominant in past centuries.
Father McKenzie's thesis is that these political paradigms simply do not apply to the Church. The Christian community, he points out, is a unique society, and hence its understanding and use of authority must also be unique.
McKenzie shows how Christian authority is unique by illuminating the understanding of authority that Jesus gave to the "society" which He founded. After a brilliant exposition of authority in the New Testament, the author traces how the Church has lost sight of these unique aspects, with a consequent erosion of both Christian authority and Christian freedom.