Church and State
Jesuit John Courtney Murray (1904-1967) is a key figure in any discussion about Church and state in modern times. Gerry Whelan SJ was invited by the Loyola Institute TCD to speak about John and his contribution to the issue at Vatican II.
Gerry pointed out that until as recently as 1964, the Catholic Church held that it should ideally be the official religion of the state and that there should be a formal intolerance of other religions. However, with the help of the US bishops, John Courtney brought about change to this way of thinking.
Gerry’s conference talk was entitled ‘John Courtney Murray SJ, two converging processes of Church and State’. He says Courtney Murray was a creative thinker who wanted to explore, “the issue under the issues”. John Courtney Murray used the philosophy of Bernard Lonergan SJ to argue that the underlying issue of Vatican II was the change of mentality from classicism, which views truth as a static deposit, to historical consciousness, which sees truth unfolding and developing in dialogue with culture.
Gerry Whelan explained more to Pat Coyle.