Over at Mirror of Justice , Fr. Robert John Araujo, SJ continues to develop his thoughts on John Courtney Murray’s relevance to today’s political scene:

The fact that the Church and State are different and distinct does not necessarily imply that they cannot have a relationship. Moreover, separation is not synonymous with indifference. Why? Both the Church and the State have a critical interest in the common good and its furtherance. The American State talks about the general welfare; the Church relies on other words, but the interests, if not the same, largely overlap. It is in the interest of republican democracy, which we claim to have in the United States, to understand and embrace the differences between the Church and State but simultaneously to respect and support their common or mutual objectives.

I am not sure this is particularly well understood today as a read the ongoing discourse about Church and State matters. Murray noted that the Church sees her mission in the world of temporal affairs concentrating on the realization of human dignity, the advancement of authentic human rights, the promotion of unity within the human family, and “the sanctification of the secular activities of this world.”

As he noted before , it is inaccurate to suggest that Murray’s thesis represents a simple dichotomy between ‘church’ and ‘state,’ given their overlapping interests, although both Araujo and Murray have a pretty clear idea of which of the two ought to win out in case of conflict.

Read the rest of his post here .

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