Thursday, May 19, 2016

POPE FRANCIS SLAMS ISLAMIC STATES THAT DO NOT ALLOW FOR SECULARISM'S FREEDOM OF RELIGION--THESE END BAD!

This is the clearest condemnation of Islamic states, and their opposition to religious liberty by Pope Francis since becoming the Bishop of Rome.  In a sense, the Holy Father is supporting the USA's historic definition of separation of Church and State, but all the while assuring religious liberty and no interference in the life of religions by the state.

Islamic states are far from the French model promoted by the French Revolution, or the American model promoted by the American Revolution, both revolutions having the same goals although the French one was a disaster for the Church and the American one has helped the Church tremendously in the USA.

I am glad the Holy Father clarified His Holiness' position on this!

‘State must be secular, single-religion states end badly’ – Pope Francis to French Catholic paper

Pope Francis believes that a healthy secularism paired with a strong law that grants above all a religious freedom is the key to a successful and peaceful state, while states tied to a single religion don’t have a future.

“Confessional states end badly…I believe that secularism accompanied by a strong law which guarantees religious freedom provides a framework for moving forward,” the Pontiff said in an interview with Guillaume Goubert, director of French Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix.

Addressing increasing worries of Christians that Islam is becoming ever more widespread in Europe, Pope Francis says that everyone has a right to exercise the religion he or she chooses, and a secular state as opposed to a single-religion one can grant this opportunity.

“We are all equal, as sons of God or [creations] of our personal dignity. But everyone should have the freedom to exercise their own faith. If a Muslim woman wants to wear a hijab, she should be able to. Similarly so, if a Catholic wants to wear a cross. We must have an opportunity to profess our faith not on the sidelines of the [national] culture but within it,” Francis said.
He mildly criticized France in this regard, where concerns over Islam and its confusion with extremism have been spreading exponentially following terror attacks that rocked its capital.

“The small criticism I’ll be addressing to France in this regard is that France exaggerates secularism. This stems from a way of considering religion as a subculture and not a whole culture. France should take a step forward on this issue to accept that openness to transcendence is everyone’s right.”

When asked about current controversial social issues, such as the legality of euthanasia or same-sex marriages, the Pontiff once again stated that social issues must be dealt with by secular authorities, but that people's personal beliefs and convictions should be respected when a certain law is adopted.

“It is the parliament that must discuss, argue, explain, reason. Thus the society will evolve and grow. But when the law is passed, the state must respect [religious beliefs]. In each legal structure, objections of conscience must be present for it is a human right. Including for a government official, who is also a human being, Francis said, adding that a truly secular state cannot exist without criticism and respect for its people and their beliefs.

“The state must respect criticism. That is true secularism,” Francis said.

MY COMMENTS:  The last paragraph in red seems to imply to me that Pope Francis was delighted to meet with Kentucky magistrate Kim Davis when His Holiness' visited the USA recently. There was a brouhaha that somehow the now retired Papal Nuncio has broadsided Pope Francis in allowing Mrs. Davis to personally meet with His Holiness. While the pope may not agree with everything Kim Davis believes, it is clear to me that in her case His Holiness supports what is quoted above in red: In each legal structure, objections of conscience must be present for it is a human right. Including for a government official, who is also a human being,

I also agree that the secular state has a right to regulate civil unions, what the state might call marriage. But again, Catholics and other faithful Christians and those of other religions must be respected by the state.

President Obama has done more than any other president to erode religious freedom in this country and has pushed our country into its currently polarized state of affairs where three fringe candidates for the presidency are capitalizing on President Obama's arrogance and war on religion and religious liberty. 

Pope Francis is right on when His Holiness says the following which is a direct slam against President Obama's political agenda and others of his same ilk:  a healthy secularism paired with a strong law that grants above all a religious freedom is the key to a successful and peaceful state.

38 comments:

Marc said...

I disagree with you and Pope Francis. Instead, I agree with what the Church has presented for our belief that the secular state is an unfortunate consequence of the post-Enlightenment that arrogates to itself prerogatives of determining "rights" apart from the natural and divine law and without regard to the primary rights of Christ the King. Errors, like civil unions for sodomites, have no rights, and the State has no duty to recognize those non-rights.

There is no such thing as a "healthy secularism." And there is no such thing as "religious freedom." This is true not only from a Catholic perspective, but from an experiential and philosophical perspective as well. As we have seen, there can be no religious freedom in the sense that you mean that phrase because it will eventually devolve into religious persecution in order to prop up the secularist agenda. Moving "beyond" religion is a rudimentary aspect of the Leftist philosophical programme. That is why the Communists killed so many priests and imprisoned the others. Even they recognize there is no compromise between the two positions.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, you dogmatism is showing. While you are free to not accept the pastoral teachings of Vatican II on this subject, which I suspect in the future will be made explicit by the Magisterium when the SSPX are reconciled, you don't seem to understand that the positions of the Church you illustrate are exactly the same type as what the Vatican II describe in terms of a newer pastoral approach.

Neither the pastoral approach from the past which you highlight nor Vatican II's are dogma or doctrine. These are in the same category, pious theological reflections given the circumstances of the times.

Therefore, to say that there is no such thing as a healthy secularism is absolute nonsense. The pope can say so in his pastoral teachings and theological reflections, neither of which are presented in this interview as anything but pious reflections and opinions. The same with what you highlight way back when.

Marc said...

Father, I do not accept the teachings of Vatican II on the subject of so-called religious freedom. Pope Francis is wrong in his statements for the same reasons that Vatican II is wrong: his statements contradict prior magisterial statements and are troublesome philosophically and theologically.

The Social Reign of Christ the King certainly is doctrinal, as is the Church's teaching on the non-rights of erroneous philosophies and teachings. The Church's mission is to save souls and the allowance of the promulgation of error is contrary to that mission.

Pope Francis can say whatever he wants on the subject of secularism. He is wrong in his statements. And he is out of step with the magisterium when he does so. While you see a discontinuity between the pastoral and the doctrinal, that is an artificial (read: non-existent) distinction. The statements of the prior popes on these issues, which were consistent through many documents over a long period of time, are not on the same level as Pope Francis's interview with a French magazine.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Unlike you Marc, I do not dogmatize your position or Vatican II's nor do I denigrate either or the Holy Father's obligation and right to promote a pastoral vision for the Church just as an ecumenical council like Vatican II does. I respect it and recognize that the authority that promotes it, the pope and bishops in union with him are much greater than any opinion that I as a mere cleric might hold to the contrary.

Gene said...

Marc is correct. Theologically, secular means without Christ, without the Faith. Secular society is fallen society, the society of politics and nation states, conceived under sin and condemned by Christ to destruction. Once again, notice that when Satan offered Christ all the kingdoms of the world (political kingdoms,the power of the State), Christ never questioned Satan's ownership or his right to offer them. Healthy secularism is a theological oxymoron. There is absolutely nothing healthy about our much touted "secular" culture.

Likewise "religious freedom." This has been interpreted to mean"freedom from religion." But, really, for Christians there is no "freedom" as envisioned and embodied in Enlightenment rationalism. As Augustine says, "We are never free until our hearts are enslaved to Christ." Free will is only free if it is compelled by the love of Christ. We cannot have it both ways.

Marc said...

I am not denigrating the pope's opinion. I am saying that he is wrong, and I am disagreeing with him for religious and philosophical reasons.

The pope has no authority to promote his idiosyncratic views of secular religious systems contrary to the teaching of the Church of Christ. He has an obligation to promote a pastoral vision in line with the Church's teaching, especially with regard to Christ the King. I hope and pray that he will see fit to start doing so one of these days.

As I said, error has no rights, so I disagree with you that the pope's erroneous statements are due any respect. I respect the authority of the papal office enough to be dismayed at the abuse of that office so that one man can promote his political agenda. And I respect the bishops in union with the papal office enough to expect them to correct these errors.

We aren't dealing here with "opinions," as you suppose -- or, I should say, as you absurdly label the writings of Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X. The only opinion being given is Francis's -- and his opinion contradicts the teaching of the Church. His opinion is wrong.

Jusadbellum said...

Could someone please tell me what exactly "to move forward" and towards WHAT 'end state' we are supposedly advancing towards might look like?

Seriously, this is a pet peeve of mine. Progressives declare "progress" is anything they agitate for. Well, so, what might their utopia look like? Have they a clue or a functioning model of their ideal secular state? Where might that country be so we can go there and visit?

Show me one secular state since 1789 outside the USA that has allowed specifically the Catholic Church to grow without a hundred obstacles and institutionalized restraints on evangelization.

If the point of being Catholic is to make disciples of all the nations, then while we may accept the current status quo, I don't see why we need to bless and baptize the status quo as though the past 230 years is a slam dunk proof that the secular de-facto atheistic centralized bureaucratic state is the answer to world peace and human flourishing.

Jan said...

Like Marc and Gene, I don't accept the new teachings of Vatican II with regards to religious freedom and we don't have to. Vatican II was only a pastoral council and the only thing we have to accept is when the Council reiterated past dogmatic teaching, but clearly the Council departs from previous Church teachings on this issue and it is a topic that has been hotly debated.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The error is with those who "dogmatize" their own understanding and interpretation of doctrine and dogma. Marc and Gene are not authentic interpreters of the Church's doctrine, any more than Fr. McDonald or I am.

One element of the error begins with the notion that Religious Freedom is something that originated with Vatican Two. This is not the case.

Another element is a misunderstanding (or misrepresentation) of what the Church means when it speaks of Religious Freedom. Dignitatis Humanae gives the clear meaning: "This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power…"

A third element of the error is to think that Vatican Two has rejected earlier teaching. It has not. Earlier teaching such as is found in Mirari Vos and Quanta Cura spoke to "an absolute religious freedom that casts off all constraints of Natural Law and Church authority."

Dignitatis Humanae (Vatican Two) does not approve of "absolute freedom that casts off all constraints of Natural Law and Church authority." That is simply not the intention of DH. Only an erroneous reading of it leads to that conclusion.

The fourth error is to believe that any document on Religious Freedom contains who complete and unchangeable expression of the Church's understanding of an teaching on the subject. Like most of our doctrines, there is necessarily evolution and development of how we express in human terms that which is Divinely revealed.

johnnyc said...

" In each legal structure, objections of conscience must be present for it is a human right. Including for a government official, who is also a human being,"


That visit to Kim Davis was legit. The liberals tried to spin it as Pope Francis being manipulated.

Gene said...

Nobody is "dogmatizing" anything. This is simple and clear Christian theology from St. Paul and St. Augustine forward. It is not contrary to anything the Church believes. It IS what the Church believes. I have no issue with the interpretation that all men should be free from coercion. But, secular society has taken the phrase way beyond that to a persecution of religion, particularly the Judaeo-Christian one.

Vat II did not "reject" anything, just as it did not establish anything. It is the liberal "pastoral" interpretation of Church teaching of Vat II which led to a new and destructive iconoclasm and a protestantized Catholic identity that is at issue.

johnnyc said...

"Like most of our doctrines, there is necessarily evolution and development of how we express in human terms that which is Divinely revealed."


Father could you give examples. What is the difference between Truth not changing and only the way we express it changes? If the expression leads one to think change has occurred, which the documents of Vatican II certainly have, is it the fault of the documents or the interpreters. I mean it's 50 years now. We are discarding previous ways of expressing Truth while the current way is still being debated.


Anonymous said...

Addressing increasing worries of Christians that Islam is becoming ever more widespread in Europe, Pope Francis says that everyone has a right to exercise the religion he or she chooses, and a secular state as opposed to a single-religion one can grant this opportunity.

If the view expressed above is correct, I don't see how a secular state could prevent the practice of Satanism.

Satanism is a religion, and if everyone has a right to exercise the religion he or she chooses, that would include that belief.

The pope's ideas put Christ on a par with Satan, as a truly secular state could not differentiate between the two and would treat them equally.

In no way can a true Catholic accept such a concept.

Error has no rights. That is the Catholic teaching.

DJR

Jusadbellum said...

So where are we going so we'll know when we've arrived?

What actual brick and mortar country does the Pope have in mind as an example when lauding a secular state that guarantees religious liberty?

Anonymous 2 said...

Once again, I appreciate Father Kavanaugh’s clear thinking on this issue.

Gene refers to Satan’s ownership of political kingdoms and the power of the state. And how did Christ respond to this offer?

Gene said...

In addition to equating Islamic Jihad with Christ's great commission, the Pope says that Muslim terrorism is the West's fault. This Pope is no longer even good for laughs. He is a destructive and divisive force.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

johnnyc - This link takes you to a very good essay on the Development of Doctrine by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Church_Dogma/Church_Dogma_039.htm

The concluding paragraph: "There are voices which claim to be Catholic who speak of what they call "discontinuous development" in the Church's teaching. By this they mean that doctrines of faith or morals, taught by the Church, may now contradict what the Church's authority had taught in previous centuries. This is absolutely false. When we speak of development of doctrine, we must identify this progress as continuous development. There must be continuity, which means no shadow of contradiction, between what the Church, as Mother of Truth, has taught in the past two millennia and what she teaches now. It is the same Holy Spirit, as Christ has promised, who continues teaching, in the sense of enlightening our minds on, everything which Jesus Christ had proclaimed during His visible stay in Palestine."


Gene said...

But, Kavanaugh, the Church teaches that Christ literally rose from the dead, like you could have gotten it with a camera, and that He will return again in historical time to judge the living and the dead...and you would not even answer the question posed by a blogger if you actually believed that. I believe you said the question was a trap and beneath you to answer.

Mark Thomas said...

In regard to contradictory teachings...

I am very much open to the correct understanding of the following:

For century upon century, the Church taught that it was a grave offense against God to pray and worship with schismatics and heretics. Today, the Church encourages us to pray and worship with schismatics and heretics. How does that constitute continuity with the Church's Traditional teachings in question?

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Pope Francis is right on when His Holiness says the following which is a direct slam against President Obama's political agenda and others of his same ilk: a healthy secularism paired with a strong law that grants above all a religious freedom is the key to a successful and peaceful state.

This statement is the polar opposite of Catholic teaching.

The key to a successful and peaceful state is the public acknowledgment of the laws of Christ the King; the honoring of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His Mother; and the recognition that there is one, and only one, true Church, whose tenets should be enshrined in law: the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Rome.

"Religious freedom" lays the groundwork for millions of abortions, as even many "religious" people see abortion as a religious right.

The Southern Baptist Convention was at one time a pro-abortion organization.

DJR

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene at 5:24 p.m.:

This is the translation of what Pope Francis actually said in response to the question at the beginning:

The fear of accepting migrants is partly based on a fear of Islam. In your view, is the fear that this religion sparks in Europe justified?

Pope Francis: Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.

In the face of Islamic terrorism, it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed. Or in Libya, where a tribal structure exists. We cannot advance without taking these cultures into account. As a Libyan said recently, “We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have fifty.”

Ultimately, co-existence between Christians and Muslims is still possible. I come from a country where they co-habit on good terms. Muslims come to venerate the Virgin Mary and St George. Similarly, they tell me that for the Jubilee Year Muslims in one African country formed a long queue at the cathedral to enter through the holy door and pray to the Virgin Mary. In Central Africa, before the war, Christians and Muslims used to live together and must learn to do so again. Lebanon also shows that this is possible.

Charles G said...

Is there anybody left in the Church in favor of interpreting Dignitatis humanae in continuity with Catholic tradition? I really miss Pope Benedict... In fact that document stated it just relates to freedom from coercion as regards religion, but does not take away from traditional teaching on the moral superiority of a state that gives due rights to God and the true faith. Now, Pope Francis, who doesn't give a fig about preserving Catholic doctrine, on the one hand cavalierly wipes away that whole moral tradition, and the SSPX on the other hand are confirmed in their rejection of the good insights of Vatican Council II on the need for the state to avoid coercion in religion. And by the way, I don't object to a Catholic confessional state in the abstract, so long as due civil liberties for conscientious dissenters are preserved, and so long as the Church would not become a slave to a Left Wing Christian morality-hating state. The latter would be my biggest fear in the current state of the world, and why in the current situation, I think a constitutional state with freedom of religion is the most realistic option for the present.

Joe Potillor said...

In the Eastern Liturgy, Christ is very often referred to as our King and our God. I happen to agree with most of what has been said here, but some things for perspective.

1. Is it not a duty of the state to recognize the religion of the majority in a certain way, this certainly doesn't mean that we treat those that aren't of the majority religion like jerks, or 2nd class citizens, but it's kind of like pointing out the obvious and having it codified through law. I believe Costa Rica is the only official state left that has kept it's Roman Catholic confessional state status....(Not counting the countries that are Orthodox confessional for this conversation)...Yes, the state should not be in the business of running the Church (the abuses of such a situation are well documented in both East and Western circles), and neither should the Church per se be involved in the running of the state, but rather, both should seek to serve the same mission. The Glory of God, through different means obviously. (Getting people to follow said law is a different story)...I'd argue Islam has the right idea, but a rather horrible execution of said ideal. It's certainly also true that Truth can't be forced or coerced. (in that sense, I can see where the Pope is coming from, and where the approaches from Vatican II are coming from)....

2. But it's also true by the principle of contradiction, that all religions can't be equal, and as such can't be treated equally. To say that errors have rights is wrong. God of course gives us Free will that we will glorify Him. His Love for us can't be true if it's forced, or if we're puppets. One certainly has license to follow an erroneous religion, or thought process, but to say it's a right, most certainly can't be justified. One should certainly seek Truth, but one should also not be forced towards it....

3. Freedom of religion should not be an end in of itself. It's a mean towards an end. The toleration of other religions is something that should definitely be done in a place where there's multiple religions. (Which is a situation we have in the US). Butt tolerance does not mean that all that false religions teach is a okay. For the sake of salvation of souls, we don't allow those religions that are false to promulgate in public....but it doesn't mean we need the police force at gun point preventing things from happening too.

4. Ultimately, while a government seeks to be neutral, at the end of the day it can't happen. By the very nature of things, the government must come on the side of someone, or something. While it is true that being secular in of itself doesn't lead to persecuion, all it takes is one person to turn things around.

5. At least here in the US we've never had a fully Catholic confessional state at the federal level. How we work in this situation is up for discussion. When we've had confessional states of the Catholic Faith, we've been in the majority. What we do when we're in the minority is up for debate. One can't get along with those who don't seek to get along. One could argue in the world of the East, the approach of Vatican II, helped in some parts (at least on the interpersonal level, between churches), but the approaches have really damaged the West.

A blessed Pentecost season to everyone.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - I would be interested to know where in Church teaching you find mention of a camera catching the resurrection of Jesus? Would that have been THE "Kodak Moment" I wonder...?

Gene said...

Cute, Kavanaugh...more coyness and evasion. You sure you aren't a girl?

Dialogue said...

Bishops should not be statesmen, but statesmen should be chosen from among faithful Catholic laymen, and national constitutions should protect the faith and morals of the citizens.

Anonymous said...

Gene - You fall for it every time....

George said...


If the state exists and functions as it should, then it will be the servant of the people and not their master. As far as the free exercise of religious belief, it must be guaranteed and protected to the extent that it can, by being incorporated in a constitutional document. Our free will comes from God Himself who does not force us to accept His existence and to obey His laws, but makes His grace freely available to us, by which it is necessary for us to respond, so that we are free to do what we ought to, and not compelled to do what we are forced to.

Gene said...

No, it is actually kinda' fun....

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald, Jan, Marc, et al:

How can one refuse to accept any part of Vatican II -- including the part on religious freedom -- when Blessed Paul VI said the following:

"You cannot invoke the distinction between dogmatic and pastoral in order to accept certain texts of the Council and to refute others...Certainly, all that was said in the Council does not demand an assent of the same nature; only that which is affirmed as an object of faith or truth attached to the faith, by definitive acts, require an assent of faith. But the rest is also a part of the solemn magisterium of the Church to which all faithful must make a confident reception and a sincere application" (Letter to Arcbishop Lefebvre, Nov. 10, 1976).

Gene said...

Paul VI....please. A distinction between dogmatic and pastoral is exactly what this Pope is initiating and it is a direct result of the path on which Vat II placed the Church.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous,

The Second Vatican Council sought: to reaffirm the Council of Trent, to bring all Christians into the Catholic Church, to bring all non-Christians into Christianity, to teach the Western faithful their parts of the Mass in Latin, to retain Gregorian Chant as the primary music of the Western Church, to require clerics to recite the Divine Office in Latin, to prohibit any alteration by priests of the liturgical rites, to preserve church architecture and furnishings, to promote popular devotions, etc. But Paul VI and a great many bishops have reevaluated those directives and officially dismissed them. So, the precedent for reform of VCII is already set.

Jan said...

Anonymous 3.40 am:

Pope Paul VI: “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church's infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L'Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966)

Pope Benedict - then Cardinal Ratzinger to Chilean Bishops:

"The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living
Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero.
The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately
chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat
it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the
importance of all the rest."

John Nolan said...

Since at least the time of Pope Gelasius I in the fifth century, the Church has recognized that there is a separation of powers between Church and State, but has consistently condemned the total separation of Church and State. DH was always a controversial document, rushed through as the Council was about to close, but even here we read 'it leaves untouched (integram relinquit) the traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ.'

This doctrine was clearly restated by Leo XIII in the Encyclicals 'Immortale Dei' and 'Libertas'. The body politic, as a product of human nature, belongs to an ultimately God-given order and secular rulers have a duty to maintain true religion. The danger is of states legislating contrary to God's law and purpose and using their coercive power to override conscience and deny the Church her legitimate rights.

The record of totalitarian 20th century regimes confirmed Leo's fears. In the 21st century we see liberal democracies which would confine religion to the private sphere and impose on society a secular morality based on relativism and perceived majority opinion (which they have unprecedented resources to manipulate). The Church's immutable Tradition is counter-cultural to an extent undreamed of in the 19th century or earlier.

How much of this does Pope Francis actually understand? He seems to be saying that matters such as euthanasia and same-sex marriage are 'social' issues which the State has a right to decide on, even if by doing so it contravenes God's law and purpose, provided that it allows religious people freedom to disagree. This is simply wrong and betrays an astonishing ignorance of what the Church actually teaches.







Anonymous 2 said...

John:

I suspect that Pope Francis is playing chess even though it may seem that he is playing tiddlywinks. His gaze is likely a long one that has regard to the total world situation, including (especially) challenges posed by the actual or potential imposition of Shari’a in Muslim majority countries and its potential imposition in Muslim minority countries such as those in the West.

History, especially twentieth century history, teaches us about the horrors perpetrated by Godless regimes. It also teaches us that the marriage of political power and religion, including Christianity, often produces dangerous offspring that cause serious problems both in the domestic body politic and in its international relations with other polities.

One of the great merits of liberal democracy is that it has defanged fanatical religion just as it has defanged fanatical nationalism and fanatical revolutionary ideology. One of its great demerits is that in doing so it has thrown out the baby with the bathwater (tragically in the case of abortion, literally so). The challenge is to find the via media, for which it is vital that liberal democracy guarantee that freedom of religion receives robust protection, that religious as well as secular voices be heard in the public square when the public interest and the common good are at stake, and that these voices are also able to seek to persuade regarding matters within the private sphere.

At the end of the day, then, I am not sure that we disagree that much.

Gene said...

True liberal democracy does not exist anymore.

Anonymous said...

Jan, you cited the following quotes:

Pope Paul VI: “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church's infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L'Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966)

Pope Benedict - then Cardinal Ratzinger to Chilean Bishops:

"The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living
Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero.
The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately
chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat
it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the
importance of all the rest."


Neither of those quotes prove your claim that Catholics are free to refuse any given part of Vatican II. All those quotes essentially say is that Vatican II was pastoral rather than dogmatic. And as for your first quote, you conveniently fail to cite the rest of it. After the phrase ". . . dogmas containing the mark of infallibility . . . " Paul VI goes on to say, " . . . but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the supreme ordinary Magisterium. This ordinary Magisterium, which is so obviously official, has to be accepted with docility, and sincerity by all the faithful, in accordance with the mind of the Council on the nature and aims of the individual documents."

So in a nutshelll, Vatican II taught via the ordinary universal Magisterium, which may or may not be infallible (I'm not well-versed in the nuances that dictate whether or not any given non-dogmatic teaching is infallible). But even if a given teaching weren't infallible and could perhaps be changed, we would still be required to accept it and give at the very least a religious submission of mind and will to it until or unless said teaching were changed, withdrawn, etc., would we not?

Father McDonald, could you shed some light on that?

Anonymous said...

(continued from previous post)

And then as long as the subject of religious liberty has been brought up, I discovered that that same topic has been brought up previously on here and commented on. I noticed a previous comment from about 3 years ago by someone who has apparently done a lot of research into the matter. I hope he won't mind me copying and pasting what they said:

Some claim Dignitatis Humanae conflicts with Quas Primas or Quanta Cura. Actually, there's no conflict. Quas Primas and Quanta Cura were against the Freemasonry idea of religious freedom. That's what the Church teaches against, always has, and always will. Dignitatis Humanae was against COMMUNIST dictatorships that FORCED their people to be godless.

Do you remember the time of Dignitatis Humanae? Does the Soviet Empire tell you something? How about Catholic Poland, Catholic Lithuania under Communist slavery? Or millions of Christians in Ukraine, Vietnam, Cuba, Slovenia, etc. under Communism and official atheism?

It is extremely easy: Quas Primas and Quanta Cura were against Freemasonry states; Dignitatis Humanae was against Communist slavery that forced their people to live without God.

Actually, the Catechism of the Catholic Church harmonizes the teachings of Quas Primas, Quanta Cura, and Dignitatis Humanae very well:

2108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error,(37 Cf. Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum 18; Pius XII AAS 1953,799) but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right (Pius XII, 6 December 1953).

2109 The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a "public order" conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner (Cf. Pius VI, Quod aliquantum (1791) 10; Pius IX, Quanta cura 3). The "due limits" which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with "legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order" (cf Pius IX, enc. Quanta cura).

So you see? There's no moral freedom to choose a religion. All is about a political freedom so Communist states do not impose anti-God teaching.

"In order to be faithful to the divine command, "teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19-20), the Catholic Church must work with all urgency and concern "that the word of God be spread abroad and glorified" (2 Thess. 3:1). Hence the Church earnestly begs of its children that, "first of all, supplications, prayers, petitions, acts of thanksgiving be made for all men.... For this is good and agreeable in the sight of God our Savior, who wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1-4). In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church. (35) For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. Furthermore, let Christians walk in wisdom in the face of those outside, "in the Holy Spirit, in unaffected love, in the word of truth" (2 Cor. 6:6-7), and let them be about their task of spreading the light of life with all confidence(36) and apostolic courage, even to the shedding of their blood" (Dignitatis Humanae).