40 – Peaceful coexistence between different religions is favoured by the laicity of the state

Saint Augustine teaches that when justice disappears from temporal governments, they can be likened to ‘a large band of robbers’…This forceful expression doesn’t sound so farfetched to contemporary ears. And there must be some reason for this…
Throughout the ages, the Catholic religion inspired the most solid foundations of stability, justice and order ever known, particularly within the nations gathered under its protective mantle. On the other hand, when governments allowed this beneficial influence to fade moral values began to evaporate from society, leaving a free path for errors that rapidly draw the multitudes toward a fatal abyss. Consequently, we end up wondering to what extent it would be possible to maintain true justice in a State which is not only secular, but is also indifferent toward the Catholic Church, putting it on the same level as other religious denominations, thus giving full liberty to all kinds of error.
What has the Church taught for the past two thousand years regarding its relationship with the State?

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors

I – The State must not be indifferent with respect to religion
II – Benefits for the State by the recognition of the true Religion
III – Pernicious effects of the laicity of the State

I – The State must not be indifferent with respect to religion

Leo XIII

Justice and reason itself forbids the State to be godless or to treat various religions alike
It is a sin for the State not to have care for religion as something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit
Conflict between Church and State puts virtue to proof

Gregory XVI

Religious indifferentism is a most unhealthy error

Pius XII

It is the tradition of the Church to maintain the distinction, but also the unity of the two powers

Catechism of the Catholic Church

To the Church belongs the right to announce moral principles, including those pertaining to the social order

II – Benefits for the State by the recognition of the true Religion

Gregory XVI

Concord between Church and State has always been fortunate and salutary for the ecclesiastical and the civil welfare

Leo XIII

The attempts of the sects would be vain if the doctrine of the Catholic Church had always survived among princes and peoples
Christ commanded His Church to restore whatever might have fallen into ruin in human society
The divine power of the Christian religion has given birth to order for the State
No better mode has been devised for the building up and ruling the State than following the teachings of the Gospel

Vatican Council II

Christian revelation leads us to a deeper understanding of the laws of social life

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, inspiring right attitudes with respect to socio-economic relationships

Saint Augustine

In this world the dominion of good men is profitable for human affairs
Two cities formed by two loves: the earthly by the egoistic love of self, the heavenly by the love of God – only in the latter can charity and justice reign

III – Pernicious effects of the laicity of the State

Pius XII

Laicity of the State deprives it of the beneficent and regenerating influence of God and the Church

Vatican Council I

The abandonment of God and his Christ overthrows the very foundations of human society

Saint Augustine

Justice being taken away, what are kingdoms but great robberies?

2 thoughts on “40 – Peaceful coexistence between different religions is favoured by the laicity of the state

  1. To argue the case for the laicity of the State is to propose the dethronement of Christ the King. Who could ever have imagined a Roman Pontiff backing such a tragedy? Well did Pope Gregory XVI call religious indifference “an insanity”.

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