How is the Catholic church different from other civic and religious communities with respect to leadership and participation?
The Roman Catholic Church differs from most other Christian denominations in have a centralized church hierarchy with a single leader. While different Orthodox churches are led by bishops, no one bishop has absolute authority over the entire church. Protestant churches have much more diffuse and participatory structures, with decision making often involving councils of representatives from various parts of the community voting on key points.
Unlike civic communities, the Roman Catholic Church cites divine authority for its decisions, and makes decisions not on pragmatic but on spiritual grounds. It also has extreme gender differentiation; most of the positions of authority in the church are open only to men.