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Church and State

In order for the Culture of Death to be transformed into the Culture of Life, lay Catholics must become instruments of Christ by engaging the culture. This means lay Catholics have a responsibility to become aware of the issues in their nation, so that the Culture of Death can be defeated. There are many aspects of societal life that needs to be sanctified, but this section of the LPCA site will focus on the importance of lay Catholics becoming politically active, so that Gospel values can be inserted into the political realm and sanctify it. The first step of becoming active in politics is to become educated in the field. In this way, lay Catholics develop the skills to choose the best tools to respond to a political issue.

To assist in this education process; I have prepared a collection of resources. These resources touch upon very important themes which overlap each other. It must be said that even though a majority of the resources has an American and Catholic "flavor", I have done my best to provide when possible, international and interreligious resources. It is my hope that these citations will not only motivate lay Catholics in America to work to sanctify the United States, but to also inspire lay Catholics across the globe to participate in Christ's mission of sanctifying every nation! (Note to Viewers: LPCA is not responsible for the views expressed in the following resources on the "Church & State" page. A good number of these resources come from secular and non-Catholic sources. Although there are imperfections in the secular and non-Catholic resources, they are still of great benefit. With all the many voices in the world today speaking out on complicated issues, there are only two voices who we must obey; the Pope, and the bishops who are in communion with the Successor of St. Peter. It must be emphasized that issues of faith and morals are binding to us, but with a conscience properly formed on the Gospel, we can come to different opinions dealing with prudential judgments. Resources are posted as a service.)

The themes and the resources are as follows: 

  1. A Look at American History and the Importance of America's Judeo-Christian Founding
  2. The History and the Important Role of the Catholic Church in America
  3. The Influence of the Catholic Church on the Society and the Culture of Nations
  4. A Look at What Makes a Good Leader
  5. Elections and the Importance of Voting Pro-Life
  6. The Destructive Ideologies and Destructive Policies of Politicians in America
  7. The Bias from Society and the Media
  8. Political Parties and Political Ideologies
  9. Current Events and Historical Incidents
  10. War and World Peace
  11. A Spiritual and Historical Look at 9/11
  12. Fruitful Liberty/Democracy
  13. The Necessary Requirements to be a Just Statesman and Politician
  14. Resources on the Traditional/Moral Cultural Elements of Society and the Attacks it Experiences by Anti-Traditionalists/Moralists (e.g., Anti-Traditionalists/Moralists not allowing the Nativity scene to be displayed in the town square during Christmas)
  15. A Just Social Agenda
  16. Speeches and Writings from Presidents and Vice Presidents 
  17. Presidential and Vice Presidential Biographies
  18. The Relationship Between Church and State
  19. Pro-Life and other Human Dignity Issues
  20. The Judiciary
  21. Compassion of America and the Church Dealing with Disasters 
  22. Governments that Persecute their Citizens
  23. Writings/Speeches from Pro-Life Politicians Discussing Human Dignity Issues
  24. Writings/Speeches from Conservative Politicians/Statesmen Discussing Miscellaneous Political Topics/Issues
  25. Politicians & Voters who go Against the Authentic Teaching of the Catholic Church
  26. American Patriotic Resources
  27. The Participation of Faithful Catholics in Political Life
Once lay Catholics have an understanding of the issues at hand in the political realm, they will be able to act on the issues. Before I begin to lay out some examples of political action for lay Catholics, I feel it important to remind lay Catholics that no nation, political party, political ideology, economic system, politician, nor judge, can save the world.  Only Jesus through the Catholic Church can accomplish this. Lay Catholics must always remember that the beliefs of political parties, politicians, and judges, change like the seasons, while the Teaching of Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church never changes, because the truth of Jesus is infinite and timeless! With this understanding, here is some examples of political action. It is important to mention that even though these examples are directed towards the Catholic laity, it affects the non-Catholic laity as well. Later on, a discussion on dialogue (partnership) between the Catholic laity and the non-Catholic laity will be given.

 Examples of being politically active are:

  1. VOTING for municipal, state, and federal candidates whose policies are most in line with the authentic Teaching of the Catholic Church. This is the most important form of action in politics by EVERY LAY CATHOLIC; VOTING for politicians whose policies embrace morality (i.e., protecting human life from conception to natural death, and the Judeo-Christian tradition). It is also important to mention, that if it is possible, lay Catholics are encouraged to persuade their fellow countrymen/citizens of all beliefs (i.e., the Catholic laity, and the non-Catholic laity), of their obligation to only vote for Pro-Life politicians.

 

  1. When morality in the nation is threatened by policies that go against the authentic Teaching of the Catholic Church at the municipal, state, and federal levels of government, EVERY LAY CATHOLIC needs to PETITION public officials to preserve morality in the nation (e.g., protecting human life from conception to natural death), by making political decisions that are rooted in the Natural Moral Law.

 

  1. To have EVERY LAY CATHOLIC PRAY for political leaders to make political decisions rooted in the Natural Moral Law, for Pro-Life politicians to remain Pro-Life, and for the repentance of politicians whose political decisions and beliefs go against God's Laws (two examples of immoral political beliefs and decisions, is supporting abortion, and same-sex marriage). 

 

  1. To have EVERY LAY CATHOLIC PRAY for judges to use the Natural Moral Law as a guide when making judicial rulings, and for those judges who do not use the Natural Moral Law as a guide, to repent.
  1. To have EVERY LAY CATHOLIC PRAY for the world to embrace the authentic Teaching of Jesus Christ.

 

  1. To have HOLY CATHOLIC members of the LAITY feel called by God to bring forth more moral policies (e.g., Pro-Life policies) by RUNNING for PUBLIC/POLITICAL OFFICE.

 

  1. Sometimes it is necessary for LAY CATHOLICS to gather in RALLIES, PRAYER VIGILS, PROTESTS, and MARCHES, that are peaceful and respectful, in order to persuade government officials and the general public, to return to the Natural Moral Law.

Some examples of rallies, prayer vigils, protests, and marches; lay Catholics have been involved with are:

I believe that if lay Catholics live out the examples laid out in my political action plan, the Culture of Life will be inserted into the political realm, preserving our Judeo-Christian beliefs. Although the LPCA web site focuses specifically on the American Judeo-Christian tradition and the Catholic faith, LPCA does recognize the beautiful traditions in other democratic nations, and the many contributions other religious faiths have made in human history. I also believe there are timeless  principles/truths; which although were first articulated in 1776 by the United States, these principles are universal, and are necessary for nations to embrace, in order for them to be fruitful. By embracing these truths, another nation isn't joining the United States of America as a state and losing its cultural distinctiveness, but is embracing principles which can be seen through the following examples:  

  1. Every human being is created equal, and is endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. These God-given rights are the right to life, to freedom/liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness. Since these rights come from God; no person, no government, and not even the Church, can grant one these rights, or take them away, because God Himself put these rights into the fabric of humanity, at the moment of conception.

 

  1. Entrusting a nation's safety and prosperity to God, so that its citizens can be united in peace as one nation under God. It is important to stress that when a nation entrusts itself to God, this entrustment does not mean that the government endorses a specific religion by creating a government controlled church for example, or forces its citizens to embrace a specific religion, but that the government allows the freedom of religion, and permits the belief in God from its citizens to permeate every aspect of society (i.e.,  the public arena and the private lives of citizens). If a nation refuses to entrust itself to God and embrace the Natural Moral Law; tyranny is created! If a nation entrusts itself to God, there is liberty!

 

  1. Government is a servant to the people, and has a limited role in its involvement with what it can provide its citizens.  If government oversteps its boundaries, getting too involved in societal life, a dictatorship has the potential of being created. Subsidiarity is the perfect ingredient which will harmonize the relationship between the individual, government, and society.

Through examining the three examples, it is easy to see that there is a relationship between the Church and the State, not a separation.  The Catholic laity must first remember that neither the Church nor the State is a puppet of the other.  Rather, they run their own affairs; and work together through dialogue. The State can't force a religion to change their beliefs, nor can a religion force itself upon the State (government and society) in a theocratic way! The role of religion is to provide guidance and direction to all aspects of the State. To help illustrate my point, consider the following analogy. A tree in the forest gets its nutrition from the soil. If the tree is removed from the soil, or if there is little nutrition in the soil, the tree will die!  

Using the analogy of a tree getting its nutrition from the soil, it is possible to see that the tree symbolizes the government and the society of a nation, and that the soil symbolizes the Catholic Church. This means that in order for the government and for the society of a nation to be prosperous and holy, the nation must be open to guidance and direction from the Church! For the Catholic Church to be successful in providing guidance and direction to a nation, it must continue to remain faithful to the authentic Teaching of Christ (i.e., Sacred Scripture and Tradition) "in season and out of season". When the Church continues to remain faithful to Christ, she will provide a rich source of nutrition which will strengthen a nation, and make it prosperous and holy.

Through understanding the proper relationship the Church has with the government and the society of a nation, it is possible to see the great necessity of praying for the continued support of the clergy. As I stated in the homepage of my site, the clergy are appointed to feed the Church in Christ's name with the word and the grace of God. One of the roles of the clergy in dealing with the feeding of God's flock, is one of guidance. Since the mission of lay Catholics is to insert the Culture of Life into the secular realm, and the clergy's job is to help souls get to Heaven, if the clergy fails to feed the Catholic laity, lay Catholics will spiritually starve, resulting with the Culture of Death wining!

So what kind of guidance can the clergy give to lay Catholics on the issue of inserting the Culture of Life into the political realm? For example, can the clergy give campaign endorsements by preaching political manifestoes? The answer is NO! The clergy is NOT called by God to be politicians. Becoming politicians and making political policies belongs to the LAITY! The role of the clergy includes the following:

So in order for the clergy to have the spiritual strength to continue to faithfully guide lay Catholics to holiness, Catholics must pray for the continued holiness of the clergy.

Finally, it is my hope that the information I have collected, will inspire the Catholic laity across the globe to enter into dialogue (partnership) with the non-Catholic laity who uphold the Natural Moral Law, and share in the Church's desire for the political realm, and every other aspect of society, to embrace the Culture of Life. It is my wish that this partnership with the non-Catholic laity will not only assist the Catholic laity in sanctifying the society in every nation with Gospel values, but that it will also help the non-Catholic laity to recognize the richness of the Catholic faith, and desire conversion to Catholicism. Through a virtuous society at all levels, world peace can be accomplished! The first most important step in achieving true world peace; which is the peace of Jesus Christ, is for every lay person (Catholic and non-Catholic) to let Jesus reign within their hearts! Long live Jesus; King of all nations!


Melody of To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King.