Zasada niezależności państwa i związków wyznaniowych


Słowa kluczowe:

independence of the state and the church, sovereignty, constitution, catholic social teaching, religious freedom


The principle of independence of the state and religious associations is one of the main normative directives of religious relations in contemporary Poland. It has ideological roots not only in Catholic social teaching, but also in the liberal doctrine. The juridization of this principle is especially a reaction to the reality of absolutist, authoritarian or totalitarian regimes that essentially limit the freedom of religious communities. Since the end of the 20th century, the principle of independence of the state and the church has found a permanent place in the constitutionalism of a number of European secular (non-religious) states and some Latin American states. It is often accompanied by the principle of the autonomy of the state and / or religious associations and their cooperation. The principle of independence of the state and religious associations has a rich content and produces concrete political consequences. In a narrow sense, it means the internal self-government of the above-mentioned entities. In broad terms, the following aspects can be distinguished: organizational, normative, functional and ideological-symbolic. The principle in question means, in particular, that the state does not interfere in religious matters. It is incompetent in this respect. On the other hand, religious associations do not institutionally enter the sphere of public rule. The principle of independence is a guarantee of the freedom of conscience and of conscience and religion. It serves to shape a democratic socio-political system. It does not exclude the cooperation of the state and religious associations.