The mad genius of Vatican II in Dignitatis Humanae is that, in classic mind-boggling Modernist fashion, they use the term "religious freedom" where the real Catholic Church would use "free will," and at the same time they virtually redefine religious freedom, the way the term was always used.
Humans have free will, they don't have the right to religious freedom. That being said, the definition given here is not necessarily the classic definition of religious freedom but perhaps more limited ( one of the hallmarks of Modernists is that their definitions and terminology is always in flux, there is no consistent use of language ).
DH says that humans have the right to a certain amount of religious freedom, the right to private and public worship -- but only "within due limits," the crowning touch of infuriating ambiguity.
Maybe they thought that "within due limits," would save them, but it doesn't, because the sense of this document could not be more clear, and it also directly flouts Pius IX. I was fortunate today to find a French translation of Maxima quidem of Pius IX, the one he quoted in the Syllabus of Errors regarding religious liberty. It is shocking to read because the Modernists of Vatican II do exactly
what he speaks against, so blatantly that it's almost embarrassing, considering their reputation for finessed ambiguity, attributed them by Caminus and others. Though they attempt to be ambiguous, they are not so brilliant that they don't show their true non-Catholic colors from time to time. That is why traditionalists of all stripes reject the Novus Ordo with disgust, as well as many actions of JPII and Ratzinger. We all feel in our gut that what sits in Rome is no longer Catholic, but the SSPX, playing on fear, rationalizes this gut feeling away with emotional outbursts like "There's no way God would leave us without a Pope for fifty years!" or "The sedes are extremists!"
Couldn't help sneaking that in. Anyway, here is what Pius IX said:
Tandis qu'ils font malicieusement dériver toutes les vérités de religion de la force native de la raison humaine, ils accordent à chaque homme une sorte de droit primordial par lequel il peut librement penser et parler de la religion et rendre à Dieu l'honneur et le culte qu'il trouve le meilleur selon son caprice.
While they [ indifferentists, people who work against the Church ] contrive maliciously to make it seem as if all truths of religion were given to us by human reason, they attribute to every man a sort of primordial right by which he can freely think and speak of religion, and give God honor and worship in whatever way he thinks best according to his whims...
Now Dignitatis Humanae --
The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.
They used exactly the same idea he condemned, as if kicking him in his grave. But why not? Ratzinger himself dared to say aloud that Gaudium et Spes was a counter-Syllabus!
Pius IX clearly says that we DO NOT have the right to speak, or even to THINK, about religion according to our whims. We have the free will to do so, but that is not what DH is talking about. Defenders of the Caminusian theory that Vatican II covered all its tracks through ambiguity may try to get out of this by saying, "Er, they were really talking about free will," but no, that doesn't work.
It is true that the way DH defined religious freedom is somewhat limited, only that "within due limits" -- whatever that means -- people should not be coerced to worship in any way that offends their inclinations, that they shouldn't be repressed. Of course, the state, working with the Church, absolutely has the right to repress heresies -- heard of the Inquisition? The war against the Cathars? But perhaps the Cathars went too far and fell within the "due limits."
Nevertheless, here is the catch. DH clearly says -- if you can speak of clarity in this case -- that people have the right to think as they please without being coerced. Due limits or not, this is wrong. There are no limits involved. We do not have the right to think as we please, not ever, not within any limits. We only have the right to be Catholic. The "due limits" clause is a sort of distraction, a MacGuffin.
The bottom line is that we have no right even to THINK anything other than what God has revealed to us through the Catholic Church alone. Thus we have no right to religious freedom, whatever our definition of religious freedom, whether it's broad or relatively narrow as it is here. Thus, this document is heretical, falls directly under the condemnation of Pius IX, and shows that Vatican II was hatched by the exact same anti-Christ spirit that he was trying to stifle -- which I hope doesn't come as a surprise to anyone here.