The Role of the Church in Society

December 19, 2013

Haymaking By A Medieval Castle, by Arnold Meermann.

Haymaking By A Medieval Castle, by Arnold Meermann.

Upon defining the State as a structure at the heart and soul of economy, we do not hesitate to address the essential role of the Church in this organic order. From our avowedly Catholic perspective, it is natural that we will refer specifically to the role of the Catholic Church. This is all the more so since it was the Church that originally embraced this organic order and inspired organic structures. Thus, by describing how the Church actually fulfilled this role, we make clear why She should be part of the heart and soul of a socio-economic order—an affirmation denied by the radical secularists of our days.

 

One of the many "War on Christmas" ways that secular society tries to destroy religion’s role in society. This ad shows the effect protests work. After claims that it was avoiding the term, US retailer Lowe's began using "Christmas tree" prominently in advertising.

One of the many “War on Christmas” ways that secular society tries to destroy religion’s role in society. This ad shows the effect protests work. After claims that it was avoiding the term, US retailer Lowe’s began using “Christmas tree” prominently in advertising.

Again, as with the idea of the State, we find popular misconceptions about religion’s role in society. There are those who would completely exile religion from social and economic affairs by turning it into the private matter of isolated individuals. To others, the Church as an institution is (or at least should be) a purely spiritual community of love, full of sacramental mystery and fellowship but without projection in the workaday world of economic production and consumption. Still others imagine the Church as a power-seeking institution that wishes to absorb the State and must therefore be contained inside its own sphere.

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This confusion over how to resolve the roles of Church and State lies at the root of the Cultural War that so divides America. It is essential, then, that we address this matter directly since it is of utmost importance in any organic order.

 

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 213.

 

 

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