The Pope comments on St. Augustine's Civitate Dei and its continued relevance to the current discourse concerning the relationship between church and state:
Pope: St. Augustine Defined "True Secularism"
Highlights Theologian's Political Contribution
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 20, 2008 (Zenit.org).- St. Augustine contributed to the development of modern politics with a definition of "true secularism" that clearly marks out the separation between Church and state, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today during his weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall. This was the fourth address he dedicated to the bishop of Hippo, whose text "De Civitate Dei" (The City of God) he said has contributed to "the development of modern political thought in the West and in Christian historical theology.
"Written between 413 and 426, the Holy Father explained that the text came about after the sacking of Rome by the Goths in 410, after which many pagans expressed doubt regarding the greatness of the Christian God who seemed incapable of defending the city."
It is this charge that was deeply felt by the Christians that St. Augustine answered with this magnificent work, 'De Civitate Dei.' He clarified what we should and should not expect from God," said the Pontiff.
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