One of Pope Francis’s closest advisers has said “a strict separation of Church and State will “never work” and has appealed for greater co-operation between the two going forward.
Speaking to journalists in Limerick, Ireland, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, one of Pope Francis’ closest advisors, said that in Austria, Church-State relations had benefited from dialogue. The Cardinal is one of Pope Francis’s special advisory Council of Nine. He was in Ireland for a conference on families, the first in the build-up to the World Meeting of Families in August 2018.
“After the drama of National Socialism and World War II” Austria sought to foster a “free Church in a free State” where the State was free and the Church was free, he explained. “The model of strict separation has never worked and the model of confusing state, religion and politics has always been very problematic,” he said.
“We do not want confusion between politics and religion,” he said.
Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar, the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are Gods,” Matthew 22:21, effectively separating church and state.
“The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet’s words: ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’” Revelation 12:17. The Great Controversy, page 592.