Separation of Church and State
The idea of Church and State have been a great controversial between Catholics today. Many Catholics have the wrong idea that the Church have power over the State will lead to corruption and violence, but this is entirely wrong. In fact, it is the completely opposite of what the unity of Church and State has to offer for civilization. The Church has always been a center of morals in the past, it retained virtue and spread the faith to the hearts of many, and the importance of the role of the Church in checking the actions of the State can only be clearly seen when it is lost.
The Church and State should not be viewed as a rival for power and control, but rather two systems of governments, one material and one spiritual, that work together to maintain peace and morality in a nation. The State makes the laws and the Church verifies if the law is ethical and complies to the Ten Commandments. Laws, however, that are political and are not related to the teachings of the Church, should be separate from the Church. Such situations are for example, road policies, the bank, and postal services. In a similar way, the activities of the Church should not be interfered by the State. For example, the State cannot impede in religious education, ordinations of priests, the application of the sacraments, and any other spiritual duties of the Church. In a way, the relation between Church and State is like a leash and a dog. The dog can walk on the sidewalk, but when its trays towards the road or into the woods, the leash pulls back on the dog to prevent it from going there and harming itself. The Church will intervene the actions of the State for the good of the State and for the good of its people (“State and Church | Catholic Answers”).
In history, the partnership between Church and State have shown very evident signs of its benefits. One case of this was Spain. The Hapsburg kings and queens of Spain were great rulers not because they were powerful monarchs, but because they shared their power with the Church and respected its authority. During their conquest of the New World,Spain was especially successful in their work in the New World. Spain was able to overthrow the Aztec emperor and the demon gods through Cortez, freeing the people from a system of oppression and giving them a more humane way of life.It established a prosperous trade with the New World, instituted a mutual relationship between the native Americans, and was able to spread the faith all around through missionaries. All of this was not directly because of the Church, but by allowing the Church and religion to be the center of a nation,it meant that all the actions exercised by the Hapsburg king and queens reflected the virtue and morality in which the center, the Church, upholds. Another example is France. Although the Bourbon rulers of France were not as religious as the Hapsburgs of Spain, they still respected the authority of the Church and many of the French population were devout Catholics who practiced and up-held the Catholic faith and its traditions. On the other hand, Great Britain, who separated from the Church and had its center mainly for its own wealth did not spread the faith in the New World. Many British hated the Catholic Church. They also oppressed the indigenous people, putting them into slavery and taking their land. A State with a heart of the faith reflects charity and virtue, but a State with a heart of wealth only reflects greed and self-love (Carroll).
When the State refuses to obey the words of the Church and ignores its teachings, it loses its morality. The effects of separation from the Church can be seen clearly in history and its effects are still being felt today. Immediately after the French Revolution, was not a time of freedom, equality, and fraternity as promised, but a time of oppression,poverty, and terror. The peace and prosperity that the Hapsburg rulers established in the New World for three centuries were spoiled by the liberal revolts.After this came the rise of communism and power hungry dictators, which lead to world wars, violence, and suffering. The modern world today is no different from the Aztecs, who were looked upon as uncivilized savages for sacrificing millions of people to their demon gods, since it has sacrificed more than a billion innocent babies for its own convenience and pleasure. The once predominant voice of the infallible Church is drowned out and overcome by schisms and naturalism. Separation of the Church from the State plunges the world headlong into a deep pit of sin. Nothing good can ever come from erasing God and His teachings from daily life. (Carroll).
God is the highest authority. He is The King of all kings. Jesus said to Pilate, “Thou wouldst have no power at all over me were it not given thee from above” (John 19:11). Every government today is the same. All power is from God and it must be used for His own glory. The Church does not use its power to hinder the State, but instead to point it into a direction of the well-being of its people; both body and soul. When the voice of the Church is ignored by the State, only death and suffering will be the outcome. However, when the Church and State are united, it results in peace and prosperity because the power that is given by God to man is used for a greater good in which it was intended.
Carroll. Christ and the Americas. Tan Books & Pub, 1997.
The Holy Bible: Old Testament in the Douay-Challoner Text; New Testament and Psalms in the Confraternity Text. 1950.
“State and Church | Catholic Answers.” Home | Catholic Answers, www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/state-and-church.