Mandeville, LA – “What could show greater obedience than that we should follow Christ’s example, Who, being found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself and became obedient even unto death? Accordingly He has freed all through His obedience. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous. If, then, He was obedient, let them receive the rule of obedience: to which we cling, saying to those who stir up ill-will against us on the Emperor’s side: We pay to Cæsar what is Cæsar’s, and to God what is God’s. Tribute is due to Cæsar, we do not deny it. The Church belongs to God, therefore it ought not to be assigned to Cæsar. For the temple of God cannot be Cæsar’s by right.
That this is said with respectful feeling for the Emperor, no one can deny. For what is more full of respect than that the Emperor should be called the son of the Church. As it is said, it is said without sin, since it is said with the divine favour. For the Emperor is within the Church, not above it. For a good emperor seeks the aid of the Church and does not refuse it. As I say this with all humility, so also I state it with firmness. Some threaten us with fire, sword, exile; we have learned as servants of Christ not to fear. To those who have no fear, nothing is ever a serious cause of dread. Thus too is it written: Arrows of infants their blows have become.” – Sermon Against Auxentius on the Giving Up of the Basilicas – Saint Ambrose