Catechism: Relationship of Catholics to the State

Catechism: Relationship of Catholics to the State

Editor writes…

The priest in the above video/homily, makes some interesting points.

Your thoughts…

Comments (13)

  • Nicky Reply

    I was surprised to hear him say that patriotism is a virtue. I’ve never heard that before, in fact, patriotism, I thought, was seen as a danger signal, a sign of extremism.

    I’ll need to watch the video again, but it’s a fairly clear explanation of the way Catholic faith impacts on our attitude to the state.

    June 11, 2022 at 6:30 pm
    • Michaela Reply


      Maybe you are confusing patriotism with nationalism? My understanding is that patriotism is the rightful love of one’s country without imagining it’s perfect (which Father actually says in his homily) but nationalism is the idea that your country is perfect, and everyone else should realise theirs is in second place. I remember reading somewhere that Nicola Sturgeon wished that the SNP could remove the word “National” from their name and I bet that’s why, although I can’t remember any reason being given.

      It made sense to me that Father said the virtue of patriotism is linked to piety – I’d never thought of it like that before, but piety being a sign of having our faith, that does make sense. If we were claiming to be Christian believers but saying we hated our country, the place where God has placed us, that would be contradictory, I think.

      I’ll need to listen again to get to grips with the difference between civil laws and penal laws, though, as I didn’t get that first time, partly because of the priest’s accent (he speaks very fast) and that throaty sound you hear in American voices a lot – I notice it especially in women’s voices, more than men. I hope that’s not taken to be a personal remark, it’s just something that prevented me hearing everything first time round.

      June 11, 2022 at 8:16 pm
      • Lily


        I searched to find out about Nicola Sturgeon’s comments about changing the name of the SNP and I found this BBC report. It’s very interesting

        What I would say about her in regards to the separation of Church and State, is that her decision to close churches at the start of lockdown shows that she doesn’t understand the different types of “society” – the Church and the State being two separate societies. I was delighted when the Protestant ministers who brought the challenge to court, put her right on that! We keep hearing this conversation as if it’s always the Church which infringes on the State’s authority but that was an example of the State infringing on the Church’s authority.

        June 12, 2022 at 3:13 pm
    • editor Reply


      Michaela is correct, I think, in her assumption that you have confused “patriotism” with “nationalism”. The latter is an extreme form of patriotism, without the respect (for others, and that includes other countries) of which Father speaks in his sermon.

      June 11, 2022 at 10:12 pm
    • Margaret Mary Reply


      I think this is a very good write-up about patriotism versus nationalism which the writer says is a “pointless debate”.

      June 12, 2022 at 4:31 pm
    • Bernie Reply

      Yes, it was a fairly clear explanation of the teaching about Church & State, but the priest spoke so quietly and calmly. No pulpit thumping, there! He’s never going to set the heather on fire, LOL!

      June 12, 2022 at 5:39 pm
  • Michael 🙏 Reply

    Dear friends

    My optic on this is crystal clear and has been all my life. We must obey the laws of God before the laws of men.

    Secular or Civil societies laws for me are always evaluated in relation to the laws of God and my perennial infallible Catholic faith which for me are primary and sovereign. They transcend all political and ideological currents, political polity’s etc.

    Those laws which are fundamentally opposed to and in direct contradiction to my beliefs in terms of faith and morals have no importance in my life and l reject and oppose them for reasons of an informed Catholic conscience.

    My beliefs and perspective are rooted in the supernatural Catholic faith – the True Faith for all humanity in terms of its Truth, Goodness, Holiness and Purity and outcome for all humanity.

    The State is secondary to me -period. Christ is Sovereign over all nations etc on earth irrespective of this current moral evil and madness which our society and the world is mired in.

    Viva Christo Rey !

    Every blessing

    Michael 🙏

    June 11, 2022 at 9:25 pm
    • Michaela Reply


      I second your every word. Long live Christ the King!

      June 11, 2022 at 9:38 pm
    • editor Reply


      Your second sentence says it all, really, and yet so many people worry about the “technicalities” of whether this or that civil law falls foul of God’s law. For the most part, it’s obvious, really. Or, as they say south of the border, “it’s obvious init…” 😀

      June 11, 2022 at 10:14 pm
  • Lily Reply

    I agree with Michael, if we keep our Catholic sense sharp and on high alert, we won’t fall into the trap of believing laws are good just because they come from the government. By now, our thought process should lead us to the opposite conclusion!

    June 12, 2022 at 3:06 pm
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    I was really surprised to hear the priest asking/answering the question if it is OK to take up arms against the government if necessary – I thought that was the whole point of having legal gun ownership, their second amendment. I thought it was exactly for that reason, so that it is not only the government that is armed but citizens as well, otherwise that’s an unacceptable imbalance and the people would be a risk of dictatorship.

    June 12, 2022 at 4:28 pm
    • Bernie Reply

      Margaret Mary,

      That surprised me, as well.

      June 12, 2022 at 5:37 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    An excellent article and discussion of a Neil Oliver talk (which is linked in the article), about revolution from within – i.e. the state vs. the people:

    June 17, 2022 at 3:33 pm

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