Morality is basically about the right to be done and wrong to be avoided, the good to be pursued and the evil to be discarded. The difference between what is virtuous or vicious is well known and deeply felt by every human agent—on proviso only that this is sane and rational. All people of all races, colors and creeds are covered and bound by standard moral norms.
The truth is that all violations of common moral rules eventually produce personal degradation and/or social adversities. Compliance therewith are conducive to the reign of justice and truth, the affirmation of social order and peace. In effect, a society is the more united, harmonious and stable, the better its constituent members observe right moral conduct—not only as private citizens but also as social beings.
The observance of public morality is particularly mandatory for those holding public offices, exercising public authority. This moral observance is especially true for those holding high public positions. Compliance with moral norms is especially mandatory for one holding the highest public office in the land. The reason for this particular imperative is that it is the said office that can bring about the greatest good or instead cause the biggest evil in a country by its moral or immoral acts respectively.
The truth is that even churchmen are well covered and bound by moral norms. And those holding high positions in the church are likewise the more bound to observe them. Even clerics may not claim exemption from basic moral laws. Otherwise, the church would be one big scandal.
Wherefore, the separation of church and state is irrelevant for clerics and politicians as far as public morality is concerned. It is a falsehood to think that there is one set of basic moral norms for politicians and another set for churchmen. No politician and no cleric may lie, cheat or steal. No member of the hierarchy and the government may commit graft and corruption, enter into scandalous deals.
Just as the church wherefore censures erring clerics, the church may not pretend to be deaf, mute and dumb when politicians violate public morals.
6 April 2006