Church and state: The obligation of government toward the needs of the spirit…
(CUSA) – Church and state are meant to work together institutionally and individually as people of faith.
In his meeting with the Italian president, Pope Francis reiterated that both have a common responsibility for meeting the needs of the people.
The state’s obligation to the spiritual needs of its people (which is foundational for CatholicismUSA) is not religious leadership but provision of an environment where spiritual life can freely grow.
It is enshrined in our Constitution and, if you understand this, you understand America’s religious freedom that is so precious. Find the transcript of the papal audience below.
Say what you want about the “socio-political” comments of Pope Francis, but this he understands. There is nothing more important in the relationship between church and state. —DNW
AUDIENCE OF POPE FRANCIS
WITH SERGIO MATTARELLA
PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC
The orderly development of a civil, pluralistic society requires that the authentic spirit of religion not be confined to personal conscience but that its significant role in the construction of society is recognized.
The Church offers everyone the beauty of the Gospel and its message of salvation and to carry out its spiritual mission, it needs conditions of peace and calm, which only public authorities can promote.
Let us reflect on the collaborative relationship between the Holy See and the Italian state, as defined by the Lateran Pacts and the Italian Constitution.
On the other hand, public authorities—who are primarily expected to create the conditions for a just and sustainable development so that civil society can develop all its potentialities—can find a valuable and useful support for their action in the commitment and loyal collaboration of the Church.
Though independent, church and state share the common responsibility of meeting people’s spiritual and physical needs . . . with humility and dedication.
There is an impact of Christianity on Italian culture, including art, architecture, customs and family life and we need to care for the environment and to develop employment opportunities for Italian youth.
Thank you for Italy’s commitment to welcoming numerous migrants who land on the country’s shores. I urge Italian authorities to petition the European and international communities for greater commitment to assistance in the area of migration.
Translation from Vatican Radio