Vatican City, Oct 22, 2023 / 09:00 am
During Sunday’s Angelus address, Pope Francis spoke to the faithful on the importance of the correct relationship between the Church and the state.
The pope opened with a reflection on the words in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus says: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (Mt 22:21).”
The pope inveighed against an improper understanding of these words. “These words of Jesus have become commonplace, but at times they have been used incorrectly — or at least reductively — to talk about the relations between Church and state, Christians and politics,” the pontiff said. “Often they are interpreted as though Jesus wanted to separate ‘Caesar’ from ‘God,’ that is, earthly from spiritual reality. At times we too think in this way: Faith with its practices is one thing, and daily life is another.”
The Holy Father warned against the tendency to think of the two as belonging to separate and mutually exclusive spheres. “This is a form of ‘schizophrenia,’” he said, “as though faith had nothing to do with real life, with the challenges of society, with social justice, with politics and so forth.”