Politics is about the governance of people. There is a right way and a wrong way of governing them. Politics and governance wherefore enter the realm of what is moral and immoral as they serve or enslave people, as they promote or damage their common welfare.
When a politician cheats, lies or steals, this in no way makes cheating, lying or stealing a merely political issue. This is also a moral question. In the same way, when a churchman commits a crime, this is neither purely a church problem. This is likewise a State concern
That is why when a cleric is accused of a civil or criminal case, the State acts. In the same way, when a politician is accused with cheating, lying and stealing to win an election, the Church speaks. In such eventualities, both the State and the Church have no option but to act as they are mandated to by their respective constitutions.
Woe to a government that protects evil individuals and penalizes truthful persons. And woe to a Church when it remains silent in the face of a suspect government with immoral politicians. As such, they both become social liabilities. Then, they not only are inutile but become even agents of conspiracy.
There are relatively few agenda in and for the world that are exclusively political or purely ecclesiastical in nature. A good number of them are multi-fora.
The Church and the State are separate in their fundamental sphere of mission and action. But both the Church and the State are precisely concerned with one and the same people. A human person is neither body alone or soul only. He or she is a composite of body and soul. He or she is necessarily bound by both State and Church laws. Even the highest public official is subject to the moral rule. In the same way, even the lowliest citizen is under the tax laws of the land.
The moment politics and politicians consider themselves over and above morality, they become the curse of the citizenry, the plague of the country. This the standing lesson of human history the world over. When public officials make themselves the rules of morality, when they consider as right what they want, as wrong what they dislike, they become problems incarnate of their constituents.
22 November 2005