Contrary to God’s Objective Order
for the World
Separation of Church and State:
by James W. Bannister
A reader of our comments on the persecution of the underground Catholic Church in China (see Fatima Perspectives, ante) has passed on an article called “China’s lesson on freedom of religion” (USA Today, March 26, 2007) by Richard W. Garnett, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Garnett asserts that without the separation of Church and State, the Church, not the State, is ultimately in the greater jeopardy.
Professor Garnett quotes with approval John Courtney Murray, S.J., who said that “separation [of Church and State] is not secularism but is instead a “means, a technique, [and] a policy to implement the principle of religious freedom.”
He goes on to say that “separation” refers to an institutional arrangement, and a constitutional order, in which religious institutions are free and self‑governing — neither above and controlling, or beneath and subordinate to, the state. This freedom limits the state and so safeguards the freedom of all.”
If Professor Garnett were as well‑versed in the doctrine of the Church as he may be in the law, he would realize that the separation of Church and State which he is propounding is directly contrary to God’s objective order for redeemed man in the world and the return of man to God through the One Lord Jesus Christ, in the manner He Himself has laid down.
Rev. Denis Fahey, Professor of Philosophy and Church History at Blackrock College in Dublin, made a diagram of God’s perfect plan for social order and justice, which looks like this:
GOD (As He is in Himself)
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (Invisible Head of His Mystical Body — The Catholic Church)
Each nation aiming at the temporal prosperity of its subjects
so as to not hinder but favor the attaining their final end:
union with God in his inner Supernatural Life
It has always been the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that individuals and nations have a duty to submit to the reign of Christ the King. See Pope Pius XI’s 1925 encyclical Quas Primas, in which the Pope instituted the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Quas Primas and the principle of the Social Kingship of Christ was not something new. It was a restatement and affirmation of doctrine which the Catholic Church has always taught. This doctrine was much better known, as well as explicitly and widely believed and practiced for many hundreds of years. It was normal, in the Middle Ages, for the State to profess that religion which God Himself has established and by which alone He wants to be adored and worshipped — the Catholic Religion. That was the formal principle of order animating the civilization of the Middle Ages.
But, from the Sixteenth Century onwards, that principle has come under attack, especially by Luther and the Protestants, then by the Freemasons, and now by the Modernists and “One‑Worlders”, some of whom are today in places of high authority even in the Church Herself.
Most Catholics today, including Professor Garnett, are unaware that separation of Church and State is part of the Lutheran ideal. Luther wrote: “You are a prince or judge. You have people under you and you wish to know what to do. It is not Christ you are to question concerning the matter, but the law of your country. ... Between the Christian and the ruler, a profound separation must be made. ... A prince can be a Christian, but it is not as a Christian that he ought to govern. As ruler, he is not called a Christian but a prince. The man is Christian, but his function does not concern his religion. ... Though they are found in the same man, the two states or functions are perfectly marked off, one from the other, and really opposed.” (Luther’s Works, Weimar Edition, pp. 391, 439, 440.)
The separation of Church and State that Luther called for was institutionalized by the Peace Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. That treaty has been called the funeral of the Catholic order of the world. Luther's idea that the modern “public man” may be a Christian, even a Catholic, yet must not let his religious views influence his political thinking, is seen today in the thousands of Catholic legislators who will not oppose, and sometimes even vote in favor of the most damnable legislation — for instance, the legalization of abortion and “gay marriage” — because, they say, they must not impose their own religious views on others. Why not? Because “this would violate the principle of the separation of Church and State”!
God has been banished from our schools, from our courthouses, from our legislatures, indeed from virtually every aspect of life in our modern, secular society. This is the hallmark and the curse of the times in which we live.
Pope St. Pius X saw it coming one hundred years ago. In Pascendi (1907) he wrote: “Modernism leads to atheism and to the annihilation of all religion. The error of Protestantism made the first step on this path; that of Modernism makes the second; atheism makes the next.”
Luther brought us Protestantism. Modernism was born of the French Revolution of 1789. It was then that many of those principles which the Church had rebuked as outrageous were first unleashed with full force under the motto of “liberty, equality and fraternity”. And atheism, of course, is one — perhaps the greatest — of the errors of Russia of which Our Lady of Fatima warned.
These errors are spreading throughout the world today. Thus we see the aims of the Freemasons, modernists and liberals being realized. They have succeeded in applying, in the social, political and even ecclesiastical spheres a rationalist, freethinking, and subjectivist ideology, the result of which is the achievement of the Masonic ideal: the deification of man and destruction of God’s Holy Catholic Church.
The teachings of St. Pius X, Pius XI and the other pre‑Conciliar popes have vanished without a trace. The present Pope, Benedict XVI, seems to have jumped on the bandwagon of “interreligious dialogue” and “the civilization of love”. Professor Garnett cites s.28 of Deus Caritas Est in which (s.28) the Pope writes “Fundamental to Christianity is the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God (cf. Matt. 22:21), in other words, the distinction between Church and State, or, as the Second Vatican Council puts it, the autonomy of the temporal sphere.”
With all respect to the Holy Father, it is hard to believe a Catholic prelate could think, let alone write, such anti‑Catholic sentiments. These notions fly in the face of the principle of the Social Kingship of Christ, which the Church has always taught and believed ... and is still bound to believe and teach it.
Of course times have changed. The exact manner in which the principle was put into practice in the Middle Ages may no longer be possible. However, Our Lady of Fatima has warned us and we must heed Her requests soon otherwise “various nations will be annihilated”! Meanwhile the modern world and many in the Church have turned their back on God’s objective order and all of us are suffering for their apostasy and disorder.
But the principle of the Social Kingship of Christ remains. Professor Garnett and other “modern Catholics” may find it more convenient and comfortable to forget this Catholic doctrine, but God still wills that nations assist individuals in finding their way back to Him through Our Lord Jesus Christ and His One True Church — the supernatural, supranational Catholic Church.