Canadian politicians and clergy did not shy away from the contentious issue, especially when this nation was still young. In 1876, Archbishop of Toronto John Lynch delivered a lecture, entitled "Church and State" to a packed audience in St. Michael's Cathedral. Text of the lecture was published in The Irish Canadian, June 28, 1876.
In January of the same year, Archbishop Lynch had written to Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie to inform him that the Catholic clergy of his Archdiocese had been strictly forbidden from using the pulpit to express partisan views. The letter and Mackenzie's reply were published in The Sun:
Catholic Church teaching on religious freedom as it relates to separation of Church and State was defined in the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae (1965).
The question of religious freedom and its role in civic life has dominated media headlines lately, following the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on assisted suicide earlier this month. Read Cardinal Collin's public statement on the issue.
What's your opinion on the role of Church and State? To hear two luminaries debate "Religion’s Role in Political Life," sign up to attend the next Chesterton Debate on February 27th.
Learn more about the Chesterton Debate Series and the guy it was named after.