Pope Francis addressed a joint meeting of Congress. Where was the separation of

Jump to Last Post 1-7 of 7 discussions (10 posts)
  1. capncrunch profile image72
    capncrunchposted 3 years ago

    Pope Francis addressed a joint meeting of Congress.  Where was the separation of Church and State?

    There has been much made about the separation of Church and State in recent months.  Where is the line that separates Church and State?


  2. jdw7979 profile image80
    jdw7979posted 3 years ago

    I will try to answer your question with another- What has happened to our entire Constitution and rule of law?

  3. Doc Snow profile image93
    Doc Snowposted 3 years ago

    Pope Francis addressed Congress as an important global spiritual leader, but also as the head of state of Vatican City, which is technically a sovereign, independent state.  So he is an 'outside' voice.

    The purpose of the separation of Church and State is to avoid any religious discrimination or favoritism on the part of federal or state government.  Remember, the Consititution (including the first few Amendments) was written in the late 18th century, when the historical backdrop featured protracted religious war in Europe; when Britain herself had an established state religion, Anglicanism, to which many of the Founders did not adhere; and when the various Colonies forming the new nation had very different religious traditions.  (Puritanism was important in New England; Pennsylvania was associated with the Quaker faith; while Maryland was founded by Catholic gentry and their Anglican servants, with the latter group eventually overturning the religious toleration of the early decades to 'establish' an official  state Anglican church.)

    The federal and state governments are to avoid endorsing any one religion, however popular it may be among the American population at large.  There's little hint that, in allowing Pope Francis to address them, Congress was officially 'endorsing' his faith.  Therefore, the 'wall of separation' wasn't breached by his address.

    1. Doc Snow profile image93
      Doc Snowposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Just to clarify, I'm talking about the 'Establishment Clause' here:


    2. Austinstar profile image86
      Austinstarposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Doc, a person addressing our congress is a GUEST! He is not a MEMBER of congress! So there is no mixing of church and state going on. He's a guest speaker, just like Netanyahu was when he spoke to congress.

  4. lisavollrath profile image95
    lisavollrathposted 3 years ago

    Pope Francis was addressing Congress as a head of state, like our President, or the Queen of England. He's the ruler of Vatican City, which is its own city state. He is also the head of the Catholic Church, in the same way that Queen Elizabeth is the head of the Church of England.

    The separation here is that he delivered a speech to Congress as a head of state, but did not hold Mass there as a priest.

  5. billybuc profile image86
    billybucposted 3 years ago

    There always seems to be confusion about the "separation of church and state" doctrine. To be clear, there is nothing in the Constitution about this particular doctrine.  It may have been an implied desire of the founders, but those specific words do not appear in the Constitution.

    The modern doctrine stems from a Supreme Court decision in 1947, but it only applies to decision-making in Congress...it does not apply at all when heads of state address our governing bodies.

    1. billybuc profile image86
      billybucposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for your thoughts, Doc, but I have no problem going that far. smile

  6. profile image55
    peter565posted 3 years ago

    The law of the state and the law of religion should remain separate and within a country, the law of state should outrank the law of religion, just like state law out rank city law and federal law should outrank state law.

    People have the right to religion freedom, therefore, therefore the law of nation should not be use to force people to follow law of any religion.

  7. dashingscorpio profile image87
    dashingscorpioposted 3 years ago


    It's been acknowledged that the Pope is a head of state.
    Secondly it was Republican John  Boehner who has been proactively trying to get a pope to speak to congress for over 20 years.
    A lot of conservatives feel stronger about the right to bare arms than they do about separation of church and state. They see no conflict.
    Many want both their bibles and guns to be mainstays in government.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)