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Catholic Essentials
"Not Believing" is not an Option!


Definition: "In various forms it contends that are laws are derived from the authority of the state (Absolute Liberalism), or while granting a juridical authority to the Church, it denies that the Church is in any way supreme or superior to the state and, maintaining the Her authority is over consciences only, lays down that she has no external or social authority (Moderate Liberalism); or, granting the Church's independence and supremacy, it lays down that her power should not be pressed." (From A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)

References to Church & State (anti-Liberalism) in Scripture:

  • And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Matthew 18:17
  • And Jesus answering, said to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him. Mark 12:17

Catholic Church Teaching on Liberalism in the Church:

  • "The Church, therefore, as we have said, is man's guide to whatever pertains to Heaven. This is the office appointed unto it by God: that it may watch over and may order all that concerns religion, and may, without let or hindrance, exercise, according to its judgment, its charge over Christianity. Wherefore they who pretend that the Church has any wish to interfere in Civil matters, or to infringe upon the rights of the State, know it not, or wickedly calumniate it." Encyclical, "On the Unity of the Church" by Pope Leo XIII, 1896
  • "In this you must labor and diligently take care that the faith may be preserved amidst this great conspiracy of impious men who attempt to tear it down and destroy it. May all remember the judgment concerning sound doctrine with which the people are to be instructed. Remember also that the government and administration of the whole Church rests with the Roman Pontiff to whom, in the words of the Fathers of the Council of Florence, "the full power of nourishing, ruling, and governing the universal Church was given by Christ the Lord"." Encyclical On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism, Pope Gregory XVI, 1832
  • "Furthermore, the discipline sanctioned by the Church must never be rejected or be branded as contrary to certain principles of natural law. It must never be called crippled, or imperfect or subject to civil authority. In this discipline the administration of sacred rites, standards of morality, and the reckoning of the rights of the Church and her ministers are embraced." Encyclical On Liberalism and Religious Indifferentism, Pope Gregory XVI, 1832
  • Liberalism is also clearly condemned by name in the "SYLLABUS OF ERRORS CONDEMNED BY PIUS IX" in 1864


It is clear from Scripture and Church teaching that Church and state work together in harmony, and that all the faithful consult the Church.




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