Friday, October 16, 2009

1 good outcome when church-state is muddled

It is easy to list numerous examples of bad consequences when the relation between church and state being mixed. However there is one positive instance in the history of this matter:

One of the most telling incidents in [emperor Theodosius'] relationship with [bishop Ambrose of Milan] occurred in 390. The emperor had ordered the massacre of the inhabitants of Thessalonica following the killing of one of his imperial representatives in the city. Shocked by the barbarity of the act, Ambrose ordered Theodosius to undergo public penance for the deed, forbidding him access to the eucharistic table until he did so. Theodosius submitted, providing a precedent for church-state relations that would later be drawn upon by other church leaders in the Catholic West.
(Dale T. Irvin and Scott W. Sunquist, History of the World Christian Movement, vol. 1, p.225)

An affirmative example where the church held the state accountable for its action, regulating the moral compass of a nation, and condemning the wicked conducts of the imperial and the parliaments.

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