"The Pope possesses full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church,
not merely in matters of faith and morals,
but also in Church discipline and the government of the Church."
(De fide)

In other words, the Pope has final jurisdiction over Bishops, priest, deacons, Catholic churches and indirectly all other Catholic institutions which at times runs into conflict with the power of the state.

From the times of Christ the Church has always recognized two distinct juridical powers, on earth, the State and the Church. This distinction was affirmed by Christ to his apostles who wanted to know if they should pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asked to see a coin they used to pay taxes with and asked, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" They replied, "Caesar's." At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." (Mt 22: 20-21)

The power to govern itself has been challenged by the State throughout history. Henry VIII (1491 – 1547) is the example of total usurpation of Papal power and authority. He was married to Catherine of Aragon from whom he desired a son. Catherine gave birth to six children but only Mary survived into adulthood. He appealed to the Pope Clement VII for an annulment so as to marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope refused to grant it since Henry had been validly married. As a consequence Henry VIII made himself the head of the Church in England (Anglican Church) so as to carry out his will.

Theories appeared which claimed that the power of the Church resided in the Church itself represented bishops or councils rather than the Pope. An example of this was Gallicanism in France. At one time some of the Clergy in France Joined the King in declaring,

1) The princes are not subjected to the authority of the Church in the temporal things.
2) The authority of the pope is limited by that of the general councils.
3) The authority of the pope is limited by the laws and habits of the king and the Church of France.
4) The opinion of the pope is not infallible, unless it is not confirmed by the Church.

In practice from the 17th century to the French Revolution, this led the French government to severely limit the governing power of the Church. Tithes were abolished which meant that now the government paid the salary of the clergy, Church property was nationalized, monastic life was abolished, bishops and priest were selected by popular vote in which even non Catholics could participate and the clergy were required to take an oath of allegiance to the French Law and King. Fortunately, the French never broke relations with the Pope and came to their senses with the Concordat of 1801 between the Church and Napoleon.

In the 20th Century we had Russian Communism which established a total control over its citizens usurping the domain of God and Church. Josef Stalin (1929-1953) especially persecuted the Orthodox Church seeking to eradicate it from the Russian soil.

"The main target of the anti-religious campaign in the 1920s and 1930s was the Russian Orthodox Church, which had the largest number of faithful. Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited.

The sixth sector of the OGPU, led by Eugene Tuchkov, began aggressively arresting and executing bishops, priests, and devout worshippers, such as Metropolitan Veniamin in Petrograd in 1922 for refusing to accede to the demand to hand in church valuables (including sacred relics). In the period between 1927 and 1940, the number of Orthodox Churches in the Russian Republic fell from 29,584 to less than 500. Between 1917 and 1935, 130,000 Orthodox priests were arrested. Of these, 95,000 were put to death. Many thousands of victims of persecution became recognized in a special canon of saints known as the "new martyrs and confessors of Russia". (Wikipedia: Russian Orthodox Church/ Stalin Era)

The modern Democratic States have a tendency to usurp the right of God and the Church in defining morals. Some proclaim the right of lesbians and homosexuals to marry, the right of a woman to kill her unborn child and finally the right to assisted suicide. All of these fall within the natural law. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read,

"2036 The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation. In recalling the prescriptions of the natural law, the Magisterium of the Church exercises an essential part of its prophetic office of proclaiming to men what they truly are and reminding them of what they should be before God." It is not up to the state to decide what is right but to govern according to the dictates of the Natural Law. No state or government is above the Law of God.

9. Authority and Power to Sanctify