Sunday, February 10, 2019
Joseph G. Trabbic has argued here in Public Discourse that it is “papal teaching” that “a Catholic confessional state is ideal,” and that this “definitive Church teaching” is “normative for Catholics.” Indeed, he argues that this teaching has as much authority as the teachings of the Council of Nicaea, which means that Catholics have to believe in a confessional state just as they have to believe in the divinity of Christ. Catholics who are not integralists are heretics.
This is almost the exact opposite of the truth. Catholics today are not required to believe in a confessional state. If anything, they are required to believe that everyone has a right under the natural law to religious freedom, that the state has no authority in religious matters, and that coercion of religious activity by the state is morally wrong. That is, integralism is contrary to Catholic doctrine.