Author Topic: Religious Liberty  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline trad123

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Religious Liberty
« on: September 05, 2010, 03:54:35 AM »
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  • I'd don't know if anyone has heard of Fr. Most, I believe he passed on in the '90s. He wrote many articles about many different things, but two of which, both very similar, I keep coming back to.

    These two articles:

    Religious Liberty: What the Texts Demand

    Vatican II vs Pius IX? A Study in Lefebvrism

    In one of my older posts on this forum, I gave my opinion that he was wrong on the matter, but reading again, I believe I was rash in not paying much attention to "within due limits".

    I wanted my priest (C.M.R.I.) to read these and tell me what he thinks, but he is so busy.

    Can it really be that, concerning religious liberty, there is no contradiction between Vatican II and past Church teachings?

    I've looked at the comparisons of past Church teachings and Vatican II presented here:

    http://www.cmri.org/02-v2_rel_liberty.shtml

    However, Fr. Most has addressed past Church teachings and has concluded that there is no conflict between the two.

    If anyone has the time, read the two articles carefully and give me your opinions, please.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline DecemRationis

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    « Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 06:48:56 AM »
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  • I haven't read the whole thing, but I think Father Most is wrong here, early on in the first work cited:

    Quote
    On August 15, 1883, Pope Gregory XVI, in his Mirari Vos told us that there is "a most fruitful cause of the evils with which, we lament, the Church is now afflicted, that is, indifferentism."5 He explains what he means by indifferentism, namely, "that evil opinion that souls can attain eternal salvation by just any profession of faith, if their morals follow the right norm" and "from this most foul font of indifferentism flows that absurd view, or rather madness, that one should defend and vindicate for just anyone freedom of conscience."

    In the first quotation, the Pope says that not just any profession of faith has the power to save a man, that is, one cannot be saved by just any sort of faith. But: Can a person be saved in spite of errors in faith, if he is in good faith? Pius IX, who also spoke most forcefully against indifferentism says yes: "God ... because of His supreme goodness and clemency, by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishment who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault."6 Pius IX of course knew that there are two groups of requirements for salvation: a certain minimum faith that God exists, and rewards justly, plus keeping the moral law as one knows it. He tells us, then, that if this second requirement is met, somehow the first will be provided for also. He tells us the fact, without explaining the how.


    If Fr. Most is saying, for example, that Pius IX's statement would support the claim that a Jew, Muslim, etc. who is aware of the claim of Christians that Christ is the Son of God and denies the divinity of Christ can be saved despite that error if it is in "good faith," he's wrong. And that's just an example.

    Let's follow Fr. Most's own procedure - reconciling two incontrovertible truths. The Athanasian Creed tells us that no one can be saved without the Catholic faith, and then sets forth the minimum of what the faith must contain, which includes faith in the divinity of Christ, both God and man. When one reads Pius IX's statement that God will not allow someone who lacks "voluntary fault" to suffer everlasting punishment, one can conclude only one of two things with regard to the Jew or Muslim who denies Christ: that denial is the product of some fault on their part (eliminating their "good faith"), or God will not let them die in that error if they in fact have "good faith," and they will then be illumined by the Holy Ghost before death to accept Our Savior as both God and man.

    So there can be no "good faith" that saves in "spite of errors" when it comes to the things that must be believed to have the necessary Catholic faith - WHICH IS "THE CERTAIN MINIMUM FAITH IN GOD" WHICH IS REQUIRED.

    Maybe Fr. Most was not implying otherwise, but I doubt it. Because then it seems he would have explained the apparent inconsistency between Gregory XVI and Pius IX in the way I did above.

    DR
    I believe in the Apostolic Catholic Church. I reject and denounce the malfeasant or “dysfunctional papal or episcopal Newchurch.” - Father Paul Trinchard


    Offline MyrnaM

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    « Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 08:55:57 AM »
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  • From the C.M.R.I. web site "As His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII said, 'It is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.' The Popes, the true Vicars of Christ on earth, have had the perennial duty to root up and destroy heresy while planting and nourishing what is true. Divine Justice and the integrity of the true religion demand that error be condemned and that the forces of evil be thwarted. Evil and error can be, at most, tolerated in this vale of tears. Never can it be said to have the right to exist."

    This alone should prove  to anyone with grace that Vatican II and the novus ordo is NOT Catholic.  
    No wonder C.M.R.I. will have nothing to do with Vatican II and its present "popes".

    Thanks for the reminder of that link.  

    Offline Caminus

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    « Reply #3 on: September 05, 2010, 11:56:04 AM »
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  • Even the most raging Liberal of Pius IX's day as well as our own would concede that so-called "religious liberty" ought to exist within "due limits."  The primary question is whether or not DH asserted that "religious liberty" be accepted in principle or rather only provisionally, due to the avoidance of great evils.  It is manifest that DH, as interpreted by post-Vatican II Popes, as well as according to the internal evidence of the document itself, that the notion is accepted in principle, even as the very restoration of an original Christian doctrine.  

    The question that Fr. Most should address is whether or not anti-religious liberty doctrine and law really would be the ideal given the nature of both the State and the truth of divine revelation, all else being equal.  According to his opinion, he must deny it.  Thus, the answer to your question.    


    Offline DecemRationis

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    « Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 12:44:40 PM »
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  • In the second article, Fr. Most expands a bit:

    Quote
    In other words, no one will be damned who follows the moral law as he knows it. What of his faith? There must be at least a minimum faith, that God exists as the just rewarder and punisher.


    Apparently, Fr. Most believes that this minimum faith is the existence of God as just rewarder and punisher. That's a bit different from what is described as the necessary Catholic faith according to the Athanasian Creed and other infallible sources. Fr. Most doesn't cite authority for that position. I can think of one potential citation, the less than convincing piece of authority called the famous Holy Office Letter, famously referred to in discussions about Father Feeney. Which, I submit, must also be read in accordance with the Athanasian Creed. Anyway, the Holy Office Letter (which, by the way, I do not think supports Father Most's claim, but it has been referred to by Most and those of his position) relies upon Hebrews 11:6, which states:

    Quote
    But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him.


    I use the original Rheims translation of 1582, mostly because of the gloss on this verse by the annotators of that great Catholic English translation:

    Quote
    6. He that cometh. ] Faith is the foundation and ground of all other virtues and worship of God, without which no man can please God. Therefore if one be a Jew, a heathen, or an heretic, that is to say, he be without the Catholic faith, all his works shall profit him no whit to salvation.


    So, I say, Hebrews 11:6 by no means supports the proposition that a Jew or Muslim, for example, or those holding to "errors of faith" that apply to one of the dogmas of the Catholic faith, such as a denial of the divinity of Christ, can be saved if in "good faith" in "spite of errors of faith."

    Sorry for the digression.

    DR
    I believe in the Apostolic Catholic Church. I reject and denounce the malfeasant or “dysfunctional papal or episcopal Newchurch.” - Father Paul Trinchard


    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 03:23:48 PM »
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  • Quote from: DecemRationis
    Apparently, Fr. Most believes that this minimum faith is the existence of God as just rewarder and punisher. That's a bit different from what is described as the necessary Catholic faith according to the Athanasian Creed and other infallible sources.


    I've discussed this with Raoul76, I'll bring it up later.

    I think Fr. Most's point can be summed up in this passage (from the second article):

    Quote
    The great Pius XII-hardly a liberal-in his Ci riesce of Dec. 6, 1953 gave an authoritative interpretation of the Church's teaching on these matters. Let us note the chief facets. In Acta Apostolicae Sedis vol. 45, pp. 798-99, he asks: "Can it be that in determined circumstances, He [God] does not give to man any mandate, or impose a duty, finally that He gives no right, to impede and to repress that which is erroneous or false? ... Christ in the parable of the cockle gives the following admonition: Let the cockle grow along with the good seed, for the sane of the harvest."

    Still more forcefully on p. 801:

    ...ever since, under Constantine the Great and other Christian emperors, the Church became the Church of the state, always, for higher and more prevailing motives, she has done thus [let error be] and also in the future she will be faced with the same necessity. In each case the attitude of the Church is determined by the care for and consideration of the common good-of the common good of the Church and of the state in individual states, on the one hand, and on the other hand, by the common good of the universal Church [emphasis added]

    As we saw in the quote from pp. 798-99, in determined circumstances, God does not even give a right, much less a duty, to repress error. Such circumstances existed even under the Christian emperors (p. 800) and will always exist, as the parable of the cockle makes clear.

    We come to the teaching of Vatican II in Dignitatis humanae. As we already saw, it insists already in paragraph 1 that this document "leaves untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ." Therefore, objectively, all, both individuals and society, have the obligation to recognize the true Church. But since in practice human weakness does not always arrive at the truth, there must be a freedom from coercion in this matter. This is not the same as a right to be wrong-it is only a right not to be shot (or otherwise punished) for being wrong.


    Here is an excerpt of another article, written by someone else:

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/defense/rbity.htm

    Quote
    It is a fundamental principle of Catholic theology that no one must ever be forced to act against his conscience either in public or private (unfortunately this principle has not always been respected in the history of the Church). It is equally true that no one must be prevented from acting in accordance with, his conscience in private (providing that no breach of the natural law is involved). Thus, for the most part, a policy of toleration towards the Jews was followed in the papal states. Jews were allowed to meet together for private worship but were not allowed to hold ceremonies in public or to proselytize among Catholics.2 This last point brings us to the crucial issue in this appendix , i. e. that it has been the consistent teaching of the Popes that a Catholic state has the right to restrict the public expression of heresy. Thus, in a Catholic state, members of a Protestant sect could not be compelled to assist at Mass but they could be prevented from holding outdoor services, putting up notices outside their places of worship designating them as such, or advertising their services. This was the case in Malta when I served there with the British Army. Protestant ministers were not so much as allowed to wear a Roman collar in the street- a ruling which even applied to military chaplains. Similarly, in a Catholic state, a Protestant could not be compelled to profess belief in transubstantiation but could be prevented from attacking the doctrine in public, either by the written or the spoken word. Thus Father Francis J. Connell, C.SS.R., explained in 1949:

        Hence, just as the state can prohibit people from preaching the doctrine of free love, so it can prohibt them from preaching, to the detriment of Catholic citizens, the doctrine that Christ is not present in the Holy Eucharist.3

    Father Connell also pointed out that although Catholic states had the right to repress heresy this was not a duty. Where a large minority religion existed within a Catholic state more harm than good might result from attempting to limit the public expression of heresy. In such cases heresy would be tolerated as the lesser of two evils, e. g. to avoid the type of civil war which occurred in attempting to suppress Protestantism in France. However, the distinction between what is tolerated and what is a right is both obvious and important.

    To sum up, the consensus of papal teaching is that a Catholic state has the right but not the obligation to restrict the public expression of heresy. Where repression would cause more harm than good, toleration is the better policy.


    I found a quote by Fr. Connell, from one of his own articles:

    Page 55, 5 of 7 in the PDF.

    http://[URL=http://img193.imageshack.us/i/pic3twa.jpg/][IMG]http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/6100/pic3twa.jpg[/IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/url]



    He's talking about the United States.

    I looked at my old post, but I never addressed Fr. Most's articles, only Fr. Brian Harrison.

    Here is part of it:

    Quote from: trad123
    Quote
    Article 6 of the Spanish Charter:
        “1) The profession and practice of the Catholic religion, which is that of the Spanish State, will enjoy official protection.
        “2) No one shall be disturbed for his religious beliefs nor the private exercise of his religion. There is no authorization for external ceremonies or manifestations of other than those of the Catholic religion.”


    (. . .)

    Couldn't it be said that every time the Church influenced these Catholic states to adopt laws which forbid the public worship of any sect, that the Church was a cause of injustice.

    Let me quote from the Novus Ordo side, Fr. Harrison :

    http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html

    Quote
    Thus, the promulgation of Dignitatis Humanae on December 7, 1965, should not be seen as the Church's act of belatedly recognizing an "injustice" she had inflicted for centuries, and was still officially endorsing in Spain at the time; rather, the Protestants, Jews, etc., in Spain and other Catholic lands were on that day granted a new right, in the sight of the Church (and therefore of God, in accordance with the promises of Matt. 16:19, and 18:18). This acquired right to immunity from coercion in such lands was then introduced, where necessary, into civil legislation, by the kinds of changes documented in Davies' appendix on Spain.


    He said that these sects were granted a new right. Yet, we read from this Vatican II document that man has this right of religious liberty from his very nature, therefore he always possessed it.


    I'm finding the whole crux of the matter to be about religious liberty in the public realm, and to what extent, according to Vatican II, it can be impeded upon.

    Quote from: Caminus
    The primary question is whether or not DH asserted that "religious liberty" be accepted in principle or rather only provisionally, due to the avoidance of great evils.


    Could you explain the precise difference between principle and provision. Dictionaries don't seem to help.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 03:29:58 PM »
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  • I wanted to edit the quote from the PDF, but obviously I made a mistake. Here it is:

    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline Telesphorus

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    « Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 03:44:05 PM »
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  • Quote
    within due limits


    So what are the due limits?

    Is kissing a Koran within the limits or outside the limits?

    Was the Pope exercising his religious liberty?

    Was Aaron exercising religious liberty in setting up the Golden Calf?

    Was Solomon exercising religious liberty, offering religious liberty, to his wive?

    Were the martyrs to the Faith, martyrs for "religious liberty"?


    There is absolutely no basis in Catholicism Dignitatis Humanae.




    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #8 on: September 05, 2010, 03:47:12 PM »
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  • Look at the first article, began reading at the first paragraph above the conclusion:

    Quote
    First, we note the last expression, "with due limits." Does this have the same meaning as the words of Pius IX....
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #9 on: September 05, 2010, 03:50:01 PM »
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  • What strikes me as odd is this--

    From the first article:

    Quote
    Second, what if a Protestant, orally or in print, defends his own doctrine? This is not violare, not strong enough for that. So Pius IX would not ask for repression.


    But then from Fr. Connell, in the article whose author is not stated:

    Quote
    Thus Father Francis J. Connell, C.SS.R., explained in 1949:

    Hence, just as the state can prohibit people from preaching the doctrine of free love, so it can prohibt them from preaching, to the detriment of Catholic citizens, the doctrine that Christ is not present in the Holy Eucharist.3


    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #10 on: September 05, 2010, 03:53:02 PM »
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  • Further, Fr. Connell stated:

    Quote
    But it is fully within their [civil rulers] right to restrict and to prevent public functions and activities of false religions which are likely to be detrimental to the spiritual welfare of the Catholic citizens or insulting to the true religion of Christ. Nowadays, it is true, greater evils would often follow such a course of action than would ensue if complete tolerance were granted; but the principle is immutable.4


    But then as I already quoted from Fr. Most:

    Quote
    As we saw in the quote from pp. 798-99, in determined circumstances, God does not even give a right, much less a duty, to repress error.  Such circumstances existed even under the Christian emperors (p. 800) and will always exist, as the parable of the cockle makes clear.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.


    Offline Telesphorus

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    « Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 03:54:35 PM »
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  • Quote from: trad123
    Look at the first article, began reading at the first paragraph above the conclusion:

    Quote
    First, we note the last expression, "with due limits." Does this have the same meaning as the words of Pius IX....


    I'm not going to sift through that.  I've debated this and read about this many times.  If you're going to refer me to a quote, refer to a quote.

    In fact Dignitatis Humanae, in parts, is worded so as to be just what Pius IX condemned.

    In particular, when it speaks of civil order, Pius IX specifically condemned the idea that religious liberty should exist except when it was a question of civil order.

    Face it: there is nothing to salvage in DH.  Either DH condemns the whole history and teaching of the Church, saying that the Church erred in the past in teaching and practice, or it's a dead letter.  "Due limits" is an attempt to weasel out of responsibility.  It means whatever anyone wants it to mean.  It doesn't mean however, that the DH doesn't reject the past teachings of the Church.  Just as the claim DH makes, that it does not contradict Church teachings, is clearly false.

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 03:56:42 PM »
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  • Fr. Connell says the right is retained to restrict public worship, Fr. Most says no, the right is not given, in certain circumstances.

    Fr. Connell isn't saying that civil authorities have the right to forbid public worship even when greater evil would ensue, is he?

    I'm a little confused.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 04:16:47 PM »
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  • Apologies, I have to differentiate between right and duty.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

    Offline trad123

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    « Reply #14 on: September 05, 2010, 04:23:25 PM »
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  • Well, I just located an article by Russell Hittinger, referenced here:

    http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2003/0304fea2.asp

    Article:

    http://www.secondspring.co.uk/articles/hittinger.htm

    Reading it now.
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

     

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