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Catholic Dictionary




Freedom of being or action. It implies separateness or disconnection from another and, to that extent, does not have need or support of another. Applied to the Church, it means that she is not subordinate to the State as though dependent on the State for her existence, government, or ministry. The State, too, on its part is believed to be independent of the Church in what concerns the temporal welfare of the citizens, yet the State is not independent of the natural law or of religion.