lDuring an address to the new ambassador from the Netherlands, Benedict XVI outlined how the Catholic Church views its role in relations with nation states. The Holy See’s role is largely to articulate the “ethical principles that ought to underpin the social and political order,” he said.
In other words, the Catholic Church views itself as the moral voice in world affairs and because of that, she has the “right” and “duty” to intervene on behalf of various disadvantaged groups of people.
This is the Roman Catholic Church’s excuse to meddle in state affairs.
The pope said that the opinions of the church are drawn “from the standpoint of the Christian faith,” but that the church “has always pointed to reason and nature as the sources of the norms on which a state of law should be built.” Therefore the Holy See conducts its diplomacy not on “confessional nor on pragmatic grounds” but on the basis of “universally applicable principles that are as real as the physical elements of the natural environment,” he said.
“While your nation has long championed the freedom of individuals to make their own choices,” the pope said, “nevertheless, those choices by which people inflict harm on themselves or others must be discouraged, for the good of individuals and society as a whole,”.
While these goals are admired by many, there is a dangerous side to the papal diplomatic involvement with nation states. Historical precedent has always led to church manipulation or even control of the state in matters of religion. Mixing church and state, has always led to persecution of those who disagree with the Church.
Pope outlines Holy See’s global vision for diplomacy
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