Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE (AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN)


 1983 Code of Canon Law:  “Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.” (Canon 285)

1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines:  “The separation of the Church and the State shall be inviolable.” (Article II, Section 6)

So it is that the Separation of the Church and State is categorically affirmed and officially proclaimed by both the Church and the State themselves – first by the Church that is thousands of years old and but subsequently by the State relatively much later established.  This standing fact is sufficiently evidenced even but by the sequence of the wording of the above cited constitutional provision.  First, the Church is a separate entity from the State.  So it is that the State is a separate reality from the Church.  There is nothing either profound or complicated about that.

So it is that according to but plain, clear and simple Church Law, a cleric who dare run for or accept any Office with the exercise of civil power of whatever kind for whatever reason and within whatever time frame, are decidedly and categorically separated or dismissed from the Clerical State.  They are then on their own  on what to do, where to go, how to live.  This is an official norm and categorical mandate for Churchmen.  And there are no exemptions from the law thus stating in one way or another that the Church is separate from the State.

And so it is that the State – the heads of the three branches of government, the public officials, and the general public – have nothing to worry about any Cleric taking over their office, their power, their prerogatives.  So it is that the Church per se would be the very last one to make the option – if ever at all – to form part of a secular government.  Such would definitely not be the one and universal Church that observes the dictates of sound reason, that has her own faith and morals she is bound to keep and observe, committed to teach and proclaim to all willing to listen, willing to accept and observe.


What is ethically bad or wrong, what is morally acceptable or otherwise, what is in accord or contrary to the Gospel teachings – all these the Church is bound to teach, to acclaim, and proclaim before the rich and the poor, the learned and the illiterate, the powerful and powerless, the people in government well-included, viz., the public officials in government from top to bottom of the political hierarchy.  The over-all mandate and consequent on-and-on obligation of the Church is this:  Proclaim the Gospel!”, viz., spread the teachings of the Scriptures about what is right or wrong, what is virtuous or vicious, what is moral  or immoral.  Those who listen thereto, that is their salvation.  Those who dare contradict it, they are free to do so and they are then on their own.  But as centuries after centuries come and go, the Church continues to teach the faith entrusted to her plus the morals committed to her care.  Those who dare contradict and trample upon her teachings, all these will eventually die sooner or later.  The Church however, will simply continue to proclaim what is right or wrong.  But the Church taking over the State – this is plain and gross garbage!