Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Religion

Give Unto Caesar

Pope Benedict XVI observed today that "secular authorities want the best of both worlds with regard to Church-state relations."  

On one hand, the political authorities take care not to grant public places to religions, understanding them as merely individual ideas of faith of the citizens. Sought, on the other hand, is the application of criteria of a secular public opinion to religious communities. It seems that they would like to adapt the Gospel to the culture and yet, they seek to impede, in an almost shameful way, that the culture be molded by the religious dimension.

These words follow an interesting interview with Archbishop Crepaldi of Trieste in Italy. The Archbishop distinguishes between competing definitions of "secular" as being autonomous, indifferent or in outright opposition to religion. He notes French President Sarkozy's coining of the expression "positive secularity," indicating "a secularity that expresses an attitude of positive openness in facing religion." The short dialogue is worth reading for anyone interested in Church-state relations.

Categories > Religion

Discussions - 1 Comment

I'm pretty sure, and I think you'll agree, that the original understanding of "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" meant "render unto Caesar nothing." Quite a flip flop we've seen.

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