Now, I admit I'm still confused about religious liberty and Vatican II, especially in looking at articles trying to say it's in line with Tradition (Fr. Most/Fr. Harrison).
However, religious liberty is only one piece to the Vatican II puzzle.
Looking through my old posts I don't believe I posted something on what I'm about to write.
In the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio you'll see this:http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html
3. Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,(19) which the Apostle strongly condemned.(20) But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church-whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church-do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body,(21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.(22)
This sentence sticks out among the rest:
...it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body...
It's obvious from the context that it's taught that our "separated brethren" who have been validly baptized are members of Christ's body.
If anyone thinks this isn't the case, and that I'm making a straw man argument then call me out on it, and prove me wrong.
Let's assume that concerning our "separated brethren" we're talking about the ones who may be acting in good faith (a public material heretic).
I ask: according to traditional Catholic doctrine who are those to be counted as members of Christ's body? Does this passage in the above Vatican II document contradict this traditional doctrine?
Lets find the answer to the first question.
Pope Pius XII in his encyclical Humani Generis:http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12HUMAN.HTM
27. Some say they are not bound by the doctrine, explained in Our Encyclical Letter of a few years ago, and based on the sources of revelation, which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing.
To be then a member of Christ's Body is to be a member of the Catholic Church, as these two entities are one and the same thing.
And then his encyclical Mystici Corporis Christi:http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius12/P12MYSTI.HTM
22. Actually only those are to be included as members of the Church who have been baptized and profess the true faith, and who have not been so unfortunate as to separate themselves from the unity of the Body, or been excluded by legitimate authority for grave faults committed.
To illustrate this point more clearly, I'll quote Van Noort in one of his dogmatic theology manuals:
Dogmatic Theology Volume II: Christ's Church, Van Noort, p. 241-242
b. Public heretics (and a fortiori, apostates) are not members of the Church. They are not members because they separate themselves from the unity of Catholic faith and from the external profession of that faith. Obviously, therefore, they lack one of three factors—baptism, profession of the same faith, union with the hierarchy—pointed out by Pius XII as requisite for membership in the Church. The same pontiff has explicitly pointed out that, unlike other sins, heresy, schism, and apostasy automatically sever a man from the Church. "For not every sin, however grave and enormous it be, is such as to sever a man automatically from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy" (MCC 30; italics ours).
By the term public heretics at this point we mean all who externally deny a truth (for example Mary's Divine Maternity), or several truths of divine and Catholic faith, regardless of whether the one denying does so ignorantly and innocently (a merely material heretic), or willfully and guiltily (a formal heretic). It is certain that public, formal heretics are severed from the Church membership. It is the more common opinion that public, material heretics are likewise excluded from membership. Theological reasoning for this opinion is quite strong: if public material heretics remained members of the Church, the visibility and unity of Christ's Church would perish. If these purely material heretics were considered members of the Catholic Church in the strict sense of the term, how would one ever locate the "Catholic Church"? How would the Church be one body? How would it profess one faith? Where would be its visibility? Where its unity? For these and other reasons we find it difficult to see any intrinsic probability to the opinion which would allow for public heretics, in good faith, remaining members of the Church.
According to the limits set by Pope Pius XII, in the second encyclical that I quoted, our "separated brethren" cannot be accounted as members of Christ's Body because they do not profess the true faith. Although, I'm not sure if the Eastern Orthodox deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, but they deny papal infallibility. They also separate themselves from the unity of the Body.
So, the answer to the second question is "yes" there is a contradiction.
I'm going to create a thread in the Library section of the forum, and I'll be linking articles available from the American Ecclesiastical Review
, written by Mons. Fenton which deal with membership in the Church.
If anyone sees anything wrong in my argument please mention it.