In his visit on Saturday morning to the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI noted that not only does the Church see the distinction between Church and State as important, but she considers it to be a “great progress for humanity.”
Meeting with representatives of the diplomatic corps to the Holy See, the Holy Father reaffirmed that the Church "is very aware that the distinction between what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God, that is to say, the distinction between State and Church, is a part of the fundamental structure of Christianity,” he explained.
Not only does the Church acknowledge this distinction, the Pontiff continued, but she considers it to be a “great progress for humanity and a fundamental condition for its freedom and for fulfilling its universal mission of salvation among the peoples."
"At the same time, the Church feels the duty,” he went on, “of reawakening moral and spiritual forces in society, helping to make the will receptive to the demands of what is good.”
It is because of this that when the Church “recalls the value that fundamental ethical principles have” for private and public life, “she is in fact contributing to the guarantee and promotion of the dignity of the person and the well-being of society. In this sense, the Church “fulfills the true and proper co-operation that is sought between the State and Church,” he concluded.