Although the prominence of churches throughout the city of Rome, and in most medieval or older cities, may be understood less now than in earlier times, one can still perceive a profound symbolic sense of the hierarchical superiority which the Church possesses over the temporal order, in a Christian society. In many of the traditional cities, the town centers are marked by churches; the space before the church was the place of gathering of the citizens. The church was not engulfed in the secular market; they were kept distinct, yet the Church ruled over all. The temporal order was not contravened by the spiritual, though it was harmoniously subordinated to it in a single, integral society. This was a Christian kingdom, the City of God.
|Fr. Francis Duffy|
These are two images of social order: one, the integralist, in which the spiritual reigns over the temporal order, and they work together in hierarchic harmony towards the salvation of men, the "business of the peace and the faith"; another, the liberal, in which the spiritual is demoted to the status of merely one among many individualistic options, swamped in an ocean of pickers-and-choosers - mere private consumers - all at the mercy of the sovereign State.