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Vatican II - Voice of The Church

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Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:27 pm

The Second Vatican Council marked the end of an epoch. Or if one wishes to look back even further, it marked the end of a series of epochs. It closed the age of Constantine, the age of medieval Christianity, the era of Counter-reformation, the period of Vatican I. It marked a turning point in the history of the Church. Yet looked at from the point of view of the first half of our century, it appears not so much as a terminal point as a synthesis. Vatican II was the heir of those great movements of renewal which were and are stirring in the heart of the modern Church; the biblical, liturgical, patristic, theological and pastoral renewals. The Council caught and channelled these currents, and, under the influence of the Spirit, made of them mighty rivers whose strong currents caused the waters to penetrate deeply into the heart of the sea. When he opened the Council, John XXIII wanted it to be a springtime for the Church; his wish was amply fulfilled. But as with every springtime, the renewal of the Church experiences some unseasonable weather. There is no denying it: because they did not notice the slow theological maturing of the last thirty years, and were not aware of the rising sap which the Council perceived and diffused in many directions, many Christians were confused by certain breaks with the past. They were surprised by the debates at the Council which questioned beliefs and practices once considered to be beyond question but which, all at once, presented a welter of problems under a light that seemed to distort them.

http://vatican2voice.org/5depth/our_church.htm

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." (Matthew 24:35)
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:19 am

Jehanne,

There is truth in what Cardinal Suenens says, for VCII did in fact mark the end of a series of epochs, “not so much as a terminal-point, but as a synthesis”, particularly with respect to the Church’s new (developed) understanding of religious freedom and church/state relations, which did indeed mark a break with the past.

As Martin Rhonheimer put it in Benedict XVI’s “Hermeneutic of Reform” and Religious Freedom:

It is thanks to Vatican II that the identification of religious freedom with “indifferentism” and “agnosticism,” typical of preconciliar doctrine, has been overcome. This is an epochal transition for the Church’s magisterium, one which can only be understood according to the “hermeneutic of reform” proposed by Benedict XVI. This transition should be embraced, not watered down by the search for a false continuity that would ultimately distort a genuine continuity and, with it, the nature of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.
He goes on to say:

In the preconcilar magisterium… the doctrine on the unique truth of the Christian religion was linked to a doctrine on the function of the state and its duty to assure the prevalence of the true religion and to protect society from the spread of religious error. This implied the ideal of a “Catholic state,” in which, ideally, the Catholic religion is the only state religion and the legal order must always serve to protect the true religion.

Precisely here lies Vatican II’s discontinuity with the doctrine of the nineteenth-century popes—a discontinuity, however, that brings into view a deeper and more essential continuity. As Pope Benedict explained in his address: “With the Decree on religious freedom, the Second Vatican Council both recognized and assumed a fundamental principle of the modern state, while at the same time re-connecting itself with a deeply rooted inheritance of the Church.” This fundamental principle of the modern state that is simultaneously a deeply-rooted inheritance reassumed by the Church is, for Benedict, the rejection of a state religion. “The martyrs of the early Church died for their faith in the God revealed to them in Jesus Christ, and as such they also died for freedom of conscience and for the freedom to confess their faith.”

In the modern conception, after all, “freedom of conscience” meant above all freedom of worship, that is, the right, in the contexts of public order and morality, of individuals and the various religious communities to live their faith and to profess it—publicly and communitarily—without impediment by the state. This is exactly what the first Christians asked during the age of persecutions. They did not demand that the state support religious truth, but asked only for the freedom to profess their faith without state interference. Vatican II now teaches that this is a fundamental civil right of the person—that is, a right of all people, regardless of their religious faith. This right implies the abrogation of the earlier claim of the so-called “rights of truth” to political and legal guarantees, and the renunciation of state repression of religious error. However one views the question, the conclusion is unavoidable: precisely this teaching of the Second Vatican Council is what Pius IX condemned in his encyclical Quanta Cura.

Pope Benedict concluded his exemplification of the “hermeneutic of reform” with the doctrine of religious freedom with a concise statement:

“The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relations between the Church’s faith and certain basic elements of modern thought, reelaborated or corrected some decisions made in the past.”

This correction does not imply a discontinuity at the level of Catholic doctrine on faith and morals—the competency of the authentic magisterium and possessed of infallibility, even as ordinary magisterium. The Pope thus spoke here only of an “apparent discontinuity,” since, in rejecting an outdated teaching on the state, the Church “has recovered and deepened its true nature and identity. The Church was and is, both before and after the council, the same Church: one, holy, Catholic and apostolic, making its pilgrim way through time.”

["Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ."]

In short: the teaching of Vatican II on religious freedom does not imply a new dogmatic orientation, but it does take on a new orientation for the Church’s social doctrine—specifically, a correction of its teaching on the mission and function of the state. The Council gave the same immutable principles a new application in a new historical setting. There is no timeless dogmatic Catholic doctrine on the state—nor can there be—with the exception of those principles that are rooted in the apostolic Tradition and in Sacred Scripture. The idea of a “Catholic state” as the secular arm of the Church falls outside these principles, which in fact suggest a separation between the political and religious spheres.
In other words, Jehanne, only the words of dogmatic (and definitive) truths and immutable principles “will not pass away”, but the words of mutable principles that have become, in the eyes of the Church, outdated, “will … pass away” as the Church applies the same immutable truths and principles to new historical settings, while at the same time (in this particular case) she recovers and deepens her own true nature and identity.

We should not cringe in horror at such “corrections” to certain declarations of the Syllabus, or water them down by “the search for a false continuity that would ultimately distort a genuine continuity”; rather, this “transition should be embraced” as an authentic development in doctrine by the living magisterium, the authentic voice of Christ, who said, “he who hears you, hears Me”:

This Vatican synod 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 the individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that in matters religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs. Nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits. The Synod 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. This right of the person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed. Thus it is to become a civil right.(Dignitatus Humanae)
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:35 am

Opuscula
A collection of personal reflections. Copyright © 2005-2011 K. Gurries

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rhonheimer On Religious Freedom

http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2011/04/romenheimer-on-religious-freedom.html

'Sandro Magister has presented a recent contribution by Fr. Martin Rhonheimer to the debate on the question of continuity vs. rupture with respect to Vatican II and the doctrine on religious freedom in particular. The article makes the observation that the “hermeneutic of reform” involves the interplay of both continuity (in essential and immutable principles) and discontinuity (in accidentals that are historical and transitory in nature). The trick is to properly distinguish the one from the other. This is why Pope Benedict has observed that the fundamental continuity in immutable principles is a fact that is “easy to miss at a first glance.” For example, the condemned errors of relativism and indifferentism remain equally condemned today. Furthermore, religious license or the unlimited and unqualified concept of “religious freedom” and “freedom of conscience” also remain equally condemned. The concept of “due limits” to religious freedom applies yesterday, today and always – even if these are not univocally applied in every given circumstance or social context. Fr. Rhonheimer points out that the fundamental moral norms rooted in natural law have remained constant before and after Vatican II. In a certain sense, it may appear as if there was a kind of shift in the primacy of truth in contradistinction to the primacy of the person. The reality is that these are linked as one is never preserved at the expense of the other. If the continuity of immutable principles remains solid then where does the discontinuity come into play?

The discontinuity fundamentally lies in a differentiated prudential and juridical application in light of circumstances and in view of the common good. Of course, this is a familiar theme that I have previously explored here and here [see link]. For example, the 19th century Popes were concerned with preserving the religious and Catholic character of states as had existed for centuries. Therefore, those propositions were condemned that would deny in principle the very right of existence of a confessional state. In fact, Dignitatis Hamanae reaffirms the essence of this principle: that special civil recognition can be given to one religious community in view of the circumstances or social context (Cf. DH, 6). It is important to recognize, however, that such a state of affairs has always presupposed the existence of a fundamental religious unity among the body politic (Cf. Ketteler) [see link]. The prudential decisions of public policy are largely dependent upon a question of fact: to what extent does religious unity exist among the body politic? The same question of fact has been given a decisively different answer with Dignitatis Humanae. For centuries the Popes had presupposed a basic religious unity within “Catholic” states. This recognized “fact” supported a fundamental orientation with respect to the juridical application of immutable natural law principles.

With Vatican II, however, the “fact” of globalization and religious pluralism became recognized as the predominant social characteristic. The formal recognition of this new social context supports a different fundamental orientation with respect to the juridical application of immutable natural law principles. Therefore, the “due limits” inherent in religious freedom must be prudentially applied in an analogical manner according to the requirements of a given social context (CCC #2109). What this means is that the “due limits” will be applied differently in the context of a confessional state than in the context of a pluralistic secular state that is lacking true religious unity among the body politic. The Catholic confessional state, for example, will not permit the spread of heresy insofar as it militates against public order and the common good in a social context that is constituted on the very basis of unity in faith. The secular state, on the other hand, constituted on the basis of affinities of nature, will not permit those religious practices that are in latent violation of the natural moral law. Nevertheless, this shift highlighted another discontinuity with respect to the social doctrine on the duties of the (Catholic) state towards the Faith and the Church. The traditional view often presupposed an "ideal" governmental form that considered the civil authority as "secular arm" to the spiritual authority.

This model considered the faithful and the citizen as equivalent terms and it implied the use of coercion by civil authorities in order to protect the Faith from the spread of heresy and to advance the interests of the Church. Vatican II has effectively given a new application to the immutable principles in light of modern circumstances. The civil authorities still have the same duties towards religious truth. These duties, however, are now fulfilled by the Christian faithful (including political authorities) in an organic manner and without direct recourse to coercive measures. The use of coercion remains legitimate, however, should a particular religious practice go beyond the "due-limits" established by law in view of the common good (CCC 2109).

In summary, we must affirm the continuity in immutable principles while also recognizing the discontinuities that are merely transient and resulting from accidents of history. For example, the social teachings of the Magisterium will often combine elements of both – and it will often become clear only with the passage time which elements are truly immutable (Cf. Donum Veritatis). In addition, we must strive never to over-simplify, distort or exaggerate magisterial teaching according to our own theories or preconceived notions. Of course, the teachings of Pope Pius IX in Quanta Cura and the Syllabus are not immune to similar distortions and exaggerations as was evident at the time (Cf. Dupanloup).


Doctrinal Note on The Participation of Catholics in Political Life
(http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20021124_politica_en.html)

"The teaching on freedom of conscience and on religious freedom does not therefore contradict the condemnation of indifferentism and religious relativism by Catholic doctrine;[30] on the contrary, it is fully in accord with it."

[30] Cf. Pius IX, Encyclical Letter Quanta cura: ASS 3 (1867), 162; Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter Immortale Dei: ASS 18 (1885), 170–171; Pius XI, Encyclical Letter Quas primas: AAS 17 (1925), 604–605; Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2108; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Dominus Iesus, 22.'

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:26 am

MRyan wrote:This right implies the abrogation of the earlier claim of the so-called “rights of truth” to political and legal guarantees, and the renunciation of state repression of religious error. However one views the question, the conclusion is unavoidable: precisely this teaching of the Second Vatican Council is what Pius IX condemned in his encyclical Quanta Cura.

Wow, Mike, the above highlighted text sums things up nicely! I hold the teaching which Pope Pius IX taught in Quanta Cura to be infallible, that is, de fides ecclesiastica; this is also the position of the Society of Saint Pius X. If your reasoning is correct, then Pope Paul VI, when he signed Dignitatis humanae, was guilty of heresy, which means that the sedevacantist position must be correct. However, is there another alternative (that is, another interpretation which reconciles Quanta Cura and Dignitatis humanae?) I pose this question to all forum members.

By the way, when our Lord Jesus Christ returns in glory, will there be "religious freedom" in the New Heavens & Earth? Will, for instance, faithful Muslims still be able to practice the religion of Islam?
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:33 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:This right implies the abrogation of the earlier claim of the so-called “rights of truth” to political and legal guarantees, and the renunciation of state repression of religious error. However one views the question, the conclusion is unavoidable: precisely this teaching of the Second Vatican Council is what Pius IX condemned in his encyclical Quanta Cura.
Wow, Mike, the above highlighted text sums things up nicely! I hold the teaching which Pope Pius IX taught in Quanta Cura to be infallible, that is, de fides ecclesiastica; this is also the position of the Society of Saint Pius X. If your reasoning is correct, then Pope Paul VI, when he signed Dignitatis humanae, was guilty of heresy, which means that the sedevacantist position must be correct. However, is there another alternative (that is, another interpretation which reconciles Quanta Cura and Dignitatis humanae?) I pose this question to all forum members.
Jehanne,

Yes, that is precisely the issue. When you say, however, that you “hold the teaching which Pope Pius IX taught in Quanta Cura to be infallible” you did not identify the revealed, the defined or the definitive truth proposed (as such) by Pope Pius IX.

That’s a good place to begin.

Jehanne wrote:By the way, when our Lord Jesus Christ returns in glory, will there be "religious freedom" in the New Heavens & Earth? Will, for instance, faithful Muslims still be able to practice the religion of Islam?

Logical fallacy. Let's identify the alleged infallible de fide doctrine proposed by Quanta Cura that Dignitatus Humanae "corrects" (to your point, if it was truly a de fide matter of faith, a "correction" would be heretical), and go from there.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:37 pm

For a detailed and thorough response to Jehanne’s question, we continue with Benedict XVI’s “Hermeneutic of Reform” and Religious Freedom, section “5. Fidelity to the Faith, Tradition and ‘traditions,’ and Political Modernity” by Fr. Rhonheimer, who adds some substance to his thesis, which deserves to be read carefully, and in full (selected footnotes retained):

‘Vatican Council II freed the Church from a centuries-old historical burden, the origins of which date back not to the apostolic Tradition and to the depositum fidei but rather to concrete decisions of the post-Constantinian era of Christianity. These decisions ultimately crystallized in canonical traditions and in their respective theological interpretations, with which the Church tried to defend its freedom, the libertas ecclesiae, from the incessant attacks of the temporal powers: one might think in particular of the medieval doctrine of the two swords, which, at the time, sought to justify theologically and biblically the understanding of the pope’s plenitudo potestatis. Nonetheless, over the course of the centuries, these canonical traditions and their theological formulations have changed their function and tone. Afterward, and in the tradition of the confessional modern sovereign states, these became a justification of the ideal Catholic state, in which “the throne and the altar” existed in close symbiosis, and Catholic statesmen zealously upheld the cause of the “rights of the Church” instead of the civil right to religious freedom. This symbiosis and this unilateral vision that led to clericalism (in the sense of the unsound meddling of clerics in political and generally worldly affairs) and to a clerical society did not fail to obscure the authentic face of the Church.

'The Second Vatican Council dared to take a step here that defined an era. Nonetheless, this did not change the Church’s understanding of itself, or the Catholic doctrine on faith and morals. There was only a redefinition of the manner in which the Church conceives of its relationship with the world, and in particular with the temporal power of the state, a redefinition that in fact hearkens back to the origins, to the founding Christian charism, so to speak, and in particular to the very words of Jesus, who invites us to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Neither the infallibility of the pope nor that of the universal ordinary magisterium of the college of bishops was harmed or diminished by such a step. On the contrary, through the doctrine of Vatican II on religious freedom there is a much clearer manifestation of the identity of the Church of Jesus Christ and of the extent to which the magisterium of the Church in matters of faith and morals possesses continuity, in spite of all the historical discontinuities; this continuity in matters of faith and morals moreover constitutes the foundation and the most convincing argument for the possibility of its infallibility. For this reason, it seems to me that any interpretation that would seek to smooth over, by means of complicated expedient arguments, any sort of discontinuity in this picture of completeness, is of no support in the defense of the magisterium of the Church. Although motivated by pastoral reasons that are in themselves comprehensible and valid (but are shown to be mistaken in the light of the facts), such an interpretation complicates things unnecessarily. Through the evidence of the concrete intentions regarding ecclesiastical politics of those who promote such an interpretation, smoothing over any discontinuity can even have a counterproductive effect and so damage the credibility of the magisterium.

'Against those who, instead, like the traditionalists gathered around the Society of St. Pius X of Archbishop Lefebvre, are no longer able to see in the Church of Vatican II “the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church” of Tradition, and who speak of a disastrous rupture with the past, one can reply that in effect there is an irreconcilable dispute here over the conception of the Church, and also of the state and its duties. It is for this reason that these traditionalists, for whom “tradition as such” and “the ecclesial traditions” are clearly more important than the apostolic Tradition[12]— the only one that is ultimately normative—will find it difficult to accept the attempts at mediation mentioned above, because these skirt
the heart of the problem, which is none other than the discontinuity that really does exist.

[12] See, in the opposite sense, the Catechism of the Catholic Church 83, and Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum on Divine Revelation.
'In a response, published online, to Robert Spaemann and to my statements on the theme of religious freedom, Fr. Matthias Gaudron cites a statement of mine: “There is no timeless dogmatic Catholic doctrine on the state—nor can there be,” commenting on it as follows: “If this is true then the new magisterium of Vatican II is no longer dogmatic, but is itself subject to change. By this same fact, then, no one can reproach the Society of St. Pius X for criticizing this magisterium.”[13] Indeed, the teaching of Vatican II on religious freedom as a civil right is certainly not dogmatic in nature. It is, however, the magisterium of an ecumenical council and, as such, must be accepted by the faithful with religious obedience (not less, but indeed much more so, than the condemnations of Pius IX in their time). In any case, this does not justify a division in the Church.

'The position of the traditionalists, moreover, does not confine itself to saying that one may criticize this teaching; it instead goes so far as to say that this teaching means apostasy from the Church of Christ and is—at least implicitly—heretical, and it claims that the Church of Vatican II is no longer the true Church of Jesus Christ. This is why Fr. Gaudron’s argumentation also skirts the real issue when he writes: “It should therefore be permitted, in the very bosom of the Church, to criticize a teaching that contradicts the body of the Church’s earlier declarations, as well as to raise important objections from a juridical and political perspective. It is a matter here of a right to a different opinion.” I consider this statement rather to conceal the facts, because the issue is not that members of the Society of St. Pius X “criticize” the conciliar teaching, but that they claim that the traditional conception of the state and of the relations between the state and the Church—in particular the vision in which the state has the duty to promote the Catholic religion and to the extent possible to hinder the spread of other religions, through coercive means such as the condemnation of a civil right to freedom of religion and worship—would be a constitutive element of the doctrine of the Catholic faith, so that in the rejection of such a conception, Christ is “dethroned” and the Church betrayed. Before such a conception, the liberal principle of religious freedom seems an apostasy, the Church of Vatican II is no longer the true Catholic Church, and the schismatic episcopal ordinations of 1988 would ultimately be justified.[14]

'In a later response to my affirmation above that the members of the Society of St. Pius X consider the doctrine of Vatican II about religious freedom heretical, Fr. Gaudron has replied that this is not true, that what I described above is not the position of the Society of St. Pius X, but that of the so-called “sedisvacantists.”[15] According to Fr. Gaudron, the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council on religious freedom, in its opposition to Pius IX’s understanding of the duties of the state toward the true religion, does not oppose a dogma of Catholic faith (and thus it is not heretical), but only a theological sententia certa.[16] Admittedly, this would be a significant precision, and I would like to accept it if there were not considerable doubts about whether Fr. Gaudron is really putting all of his cards on the table. For, like Archbishop Lefebvre, he also quotes Pius VII’s Apostolic letter Post Tam Diurnitas (1814),[17] which says that the right to freedom of worship signifies the equivalence of all religions (that is, religious indifferentism), and that this is “implicitly the disastrous and ever deplorable heresy which St. Augustine mentions with the following words: ‘They assert that all the heretics are on the good way and tell the truth (. . .)’.”

[16] According to the article “Qualifikationen, theol.,” in Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (2d ed. 1963, vol. eight), 918, a sentence which is “theologically certain” (theologice certum) is a theological affirmation about whose relationship to revelation the magisterium has not yet decided definitively, the denial of which however would be tantamount to a denial of a doctrine of faith or at least indirectly threaten it. According to the article “Theological Censures,” in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 3 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908), online edition: www.newadvent.org/cathen/03532a.htm, “[a]proposition is branded heretical when it goes directly and immediately against a revealed or defined dogma, or dogma de fide; erroneous when it contradicts only a certain (certa) theological conclusion or truth clearly deduced from two premises, one an article of faith, the other naturally certain. Even though a statement be not obviously a heresy or an error it may yet come near to either. It is styled next, proximate to heresy when its opposition to a revealed and defined dogma is not certain, or chiefly when the truth it contradicts, though commonly accepted as revealed, has yet never been the object of a definition (proxima fidei).”
'Now Pius IX later condemned, in the encyclical Quanta Cura, the following opinion of the catholic liberals (Montalembert): “that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require” (this is the wording of Quanta Cura). Pius IX adds that this opinion is “against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers”; he therefore suggests what Pius VII, in Post Tam Diurnitas, mentioned above, had already indicated to be the core point, namely to “put on the same level the Church, outside of which there is no salvation, with the heretic sects and even with the Jewish faithlessness.” This is the decisive point which Fr. Gaudron seems to fail to address and even obscures: the traditional coupling of religious freedom and indifferentism, which necessarily meant that the defense of religious freedom would imply the equivalence of all religions, something which clearly is “against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers” and, thus, a heretical position. Exactly this equating of religious freedom with indifferentism, however, was undone with the Second Vatican Council. With it, what the popes of the nineteenth century rejected as heretical still is heresy: religious indifferentism. But religious freedom as a civil right is no longer affected by this verdict.

'On the grounds of their understanding of Church and state, however, the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre reject exactly this uncoupling of the equation of religious freedom and indifferentism. To the extent that they hold to this position, the doctrine of Vatican II must seem to them heretical, at least regarding its implications. Consider also the following sentence by Montalembert (which was qualified as heretical by Fr. Luigi Bilio, Consultor of the Holy Office and main drafter of Quanta Cura): “The Church does not have the right to suppress violators of its laws by means of temporal punishments.”[18] Yet, this position of Montalembert was exactly the one targeted by Pius IX in Quanta Cura. The core of the “traditional” and “preconciliar” doctrine included the affirmation that—in religious matters and for the salvation of souls—the Church, by her very essence, had the right to use the temporal power. In modern language, she had the right to rely on the means of state coercion, a right whose defense, as Archbishop Lefebvre has stressed emphatically, was the core of the papal condemnation of religious freedom.[19]

[19] See Lefebvre, Ils l’ont découronné, 76 : “Ce qui …” This shows again why Thomas Pink, in Rhonheimer on Religious Liberty, is wrong: the question is not about ecclesiastical power as such and its right to impose, besides strictly spiritual penalties such as excommunication, also so-called temporal penalties such as for example withdrawing a Church office or benefice, but the question of the relation between the ecclesiastical power and the power of worldly authorities, that is, the temporal power of the state (see also note 7 above).

'This is why we have to ask how Fr. Gaudron, and with him the Society of St. Pius X, can possibly avoid the consequence of asserting that the Second Vatican Council’s doctrine on religious freedom at least implicitly is opposed to the Catholic doctrine of faith and thus is implicated in heresy. He must, moreover, recognize the legitimacy of being asked how he can possibly justify the schismatic act of the 1988 Episcopal ordinations on the grounds of the incongruence of the teaching of Vatican II on religious freedom with a mere theological sententia certa (which incongruence he claims the doctrine on religious freedom reflects). Together with Archbishop Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of St. Pius X, he should rather hold that this teaching implies the “heresy of liberalism” and a general apostasy of the Church and the entire human society from Jesus Christ, and that it therefore puts the whole of catholic faith at stake.[20] Provided, however, Fr. Gaudron only intended to defend—against the idea of the religiously neutral, secular state—the integristic idea of a state, which has the task and the right to use coercion for the salvation of souls, this would only be a political position (though a theologically grounded one), which I would not consider to be heretical, but anachronistic and regrettable.

'Vatican Council II effectively places us before a choice: the choice between, on the one hand, a Church that seeks to affirm and impose its truths and its pastoral duties by means of civil power, and on the other hand, a Church that recognizes—as Dignitatis Humanae maintains in number 1—that “the truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.” It is not a matter here of two Churches that are distinct in the dogmatic or constitutive sense, but of two Churches that have different ways of understanding their relationships with the world and with the temporal order. Vatican II does not speak out either for a strictly “laicist” state in the sense of traditional French “laïcité” or for the relegation of religion to the private sphere, but for a Church that no longer presumes to impose the kingship of Christ by means of temporal power, and that for this very reason acknowledges the political secularity of the modern secular—not militantly laicist—state.

'This is precisely the perspective of Vatican II. It has been confirmed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Doctrinal Note “On Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life” of November 24, 2002. In number 6 of this note we read that “laïcité, understood as autonomy of the political or civil sphere from that of religion and the Church” represents for Catholic moral doctrine “a value that has been attained and recognized by the Catholic Church and belongs to [the] inheritance of contemporary civilization.”[21] Though not autonomous morally—it must satisfy basic, objective moral criteria—the state is at the same time not obliged to recognize one religious truth or one true Church over other confessions or religious communities. As state and as coercive civil power, it declares itself incompetent to judge on religious questions of truth or on any associated privileges. The duties and aims of the state are of a different nature, even when it shows concern for the religious life of its citizens or when it recognizes a particular religion, deeply anchored in a nation’s tradition, as a reality belonging to its culture and its public life. The state’s activity is ultimately oriented toward the political principles of justice and of the equality of all confessions, and toward the recognition of the same rights of all persons. “Government therefore ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favor, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare. However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its power, were it to presume to command or inhibit religious acts.” [Dignitatis Humanae, no. 3.]

[21] I have slightly changed the wording of the official English translation, because it does not correctly reproduce the Italian original which speaks of “laicità” (the Italian equivalent to the French “laicitë”) and of “autonomy” without any further qualification (and not, as the English translation does, of “rightful autonomy” which is out of place, because the autonomy of the state regarding the religious and the ecclesiastical spheres is autonomy tout court, without any further qualification). The Italian original thus says: “Per la dottrina …” Of course, this does not mean that the state must be indifferent regarding the religious life of its citizens or that religion must be absent from public life, as it is in the case of French “laïcité” (see the passage of Dignitatis Humanae quoted in continuation). The point is the institutional independence and sovereignty of the political sphere with respect to religious authorities like the Church, that is, the absence of any form of establishment of a determinate religion.
The mission of preaching the Gospel, on the part of the Church and by the apostolate of the lay faithful who found themselves upon that Gospel, consists in penetrating the structures of society with the spirit of Christ, and by this means favoring the manifestation of the kingship of Christ.[23]The kingdom of Christ does not begin with the public confession of the true religion; it begins with the proclamation of the Gospel by the Church, which is received in the hearts of men and women, and it continues to grow through the apostolic action of the ordinary faithful who establish it in all of human society, in all the structures and realities of life.’

(http://www.u.arizona.edu/~aversa/modernism/Benedict%20XVI%27s%20%22Hermeneutic%20of%20Reform%22%20and%20Religious%20Freedom%20%28Rhonheimer%29.pdf)

[END of extract]
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:30 pm

That Dignitatus Humanae corrects Quanta Cura is a supposition; Dignitatus Humanae nowhere even mentions Quanta Cura. All that one can say is that there is, perhaps, a contradiction and not necessarily a "correction"; one would have to "read" those words into the text, which, of course, are not there. Contrast this with numerous Papal documents from centuries past which not only condemned heretics by name but what they were teaching as well. All that you have above are opinions.

I do not believe in religious freedom. Period. I believe that a Catholic prince not only has the right, but the duty and obligation as well, to condemn heretics to death by public immolation, if, in the prince's judgment, such serves the "common good" of his Catholic kingdom. Did such a practice from centuries past contradict Quanta Cura? Definitively not. How about Dignitatus Humanae? Well, let's see:

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, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

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. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right. (Dignitatis humanae, 2)

As you can see in the highlighted text above, the Council was talking about human powers; as Catholic kings, prices, etc., were consecrated by the Church, they governed not as a "human" power but by divine right; therefore, Dignitatis humanae would not apply to them at all. It could only apply to non-Catholic kingdoms, whose rulers were not consecrated by the Church. Even if one would suggest that Dignitatis humanae, the "within due limits" could still be read as allowing the public executions of obstinate, unrepentant heretics by a Catholic prince.

In any case, I stand with the SSPX on this one. Quanta Cura, Exsurge Domine, etc., are still in the latest (post-Vatican II) edition of Denzinger's; are you suggesting that they should be removed?

And please, answer my question from above? Will, after the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will a devout Muslim still be able in the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ be able to practice Islam?

As for Quanta Cura being infallible, see this:

http://cardinalpole.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-on-magisterial-status-of-quanta.html
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  George Brenner on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:23 pm

How does the following quotations enter into this discussion?


Ex Cathedra: We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. [Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302]

and from Dignates Humane?

This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.

Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves UNTOUCHED traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the ONE Church of Christ.


I see no conflict personally and no dilution in the necessity of belong to the one true Church , outside which there is no Salvation.


I believe that anyone by nature of free will always be allowed to accept or reject the One , True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church right up until the end of their lives including the time of the second coming Of Jesus Christ.


JMJ,

George
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:35 pm

Well stated, George. Even Pope John Paul II agreed that Unam Sanctam was infallible:

Since Christ brings about salvation through his Mystical Body, which is the Church, the way of salvation is connected essentially with the Church. The axiom extra ecclesiam nulla salus"--"outside the Church there is no salvation"--stated by St. Cyprian (Epist. 73, 21; PL 1123 AB), belongs to the Christian tradition. It was included in the Fourth Lateran Council (DS 802), in the Bull Unam Sanctam of Boniface VIII (DS 870) and the Council of Florence (Decretum pro Jacobitis, DS 1351). The axiom means that for those who are not ignorant of the fact that the Church has been established as necessary by God through Jesus Christ, there is an obligation to enter the Church and remain in her in order to attain salvation (cf. LG 14). For those, however, who have not received the Gospel proclamation, as I wrote in the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, salvation is accessible in mysterious ways, inasmuch as divine grace is granted to them by virtue of Christ's redeeming sacrifice, without external membership in the Church, but nonetheless always in relation to her (cf. RM 10). It is a mysterious relationship. It is mysterious for those who receive the grace, because they do not know the Church and sometimes even outwardly reject her. It is also mysterious in itself, because it is linked to the saving mystery of grace, which includes an essential reference to the Church the Savior founded.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/alpha/data/aud19950531en.html

As for the infallibility of Quanta Cura, here is yet another commentary:

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/infalib.htm
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:00 am

Jehanne wrote:That Dignitatus Humanae corrects Quanta Cura is a supposition; Dignitatus Humanae nowhere even mentions Quanta Cura. All that one can say is that there is, perhaps, a contradiction and not necessarily a "correction"; one would have to "read" those words into the text, which, of course, are not there. Contrast this with numerous Papal documents from centuries past which not only condemned heretics by name but what they were teaching as well. All that you have above are opinions.
That Dignitatus Humanae corrects (“reforms”) Quanta Cura (not on a matter of faith), is NOT a supposition, it is a fact, for the words of DH are clear enough:

On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.

This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.

Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ. [i.e., the moral duty “to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.”]
As Fr. Rhonheimer explains:

These duties—as is stated immediately prior to the cited phrase—presuppose a “freedom from coercion in civil society.” It seems that, when the Declaration speaks of the duty “of individuals and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ,” the old doctrine on the functions of states as the secular arm of the Church has already been set aside.

What these duties consist in is specified in what can be considered an authentic interpretation of the debated passage. The passage is quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2105, which explains that it refers to the duty of individuals and of society of “offering God genuine worship.” This is realized when, “constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them ‘to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live’.” In their personal involvements and activities in family and professional life, Christians are required “to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church.” This, concludes the present section of the Catechism, is how the Church “shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies.”

That is, the perspective of Vatican II calls for the proclamation of the Gospel by the Church and for the apostolate of the Christian faithful so that these penetrate the structures of society with the spirit of Christ – not a word on the state as the secular arm of the Church, which by state coercion must protect the “rights of truth,” and in this way impose the kingdom of Christ in human society. The discontinuity is obvious. And even more obvious is the continuity, where it is truly essential, and therefore necessary.
Furthermore, “That Dignitatus Humanae corrects Quanta Cura is [not just] a supposition” but a fact is confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI who “concluded his exemplification of the ‘hermeneutic of reform’ with the doctrine of religious freedom with a concise statement:

“The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relations between the Church’s faith and certain basic elements of modern thought, reelaborated or corrected some decisions made in the past.”
Continuing where we left off with Dignitatis Humanae:

Over and above all this, the council intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society.

2. 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, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

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.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.
Now it gets interesting.

Jehanne wrote:
I do not believe in religious freedom. Period.
Then you have a big problem, for you “do not believe” a magisterial declaration of an Ecumenical Council which says quite clearly that “the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom [of religion] means that all men are to be immune from coercion … in civil society”.

Not only that, you previously told us “The Second Vatican Council is wholly orthodox, all of it without any exceptions whatsoever. Even Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre signed all sixteen documents of Vatican II.”

The only way you can render DH “wholly orthodox” (with your stated belief) is to make it say the opposite of what it declares, to wit, “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has [NO] right to religious freedom” and that this “means that all men are [NOT] to be immune from coercion … in civil society”, since you believe that the state has the duty to function as a secular arm of the Church (to repress, to punish and to coerce as the Church deems necessary).

Jehanne wrote:I believe that a Catholic prince not only has the right, but the duty and obligation as well, to condemn heretics to death by public immolation, if, in the prince's judgment, such serves the "common good" of his Catholic kingdom. Did such a practice from centuries past contradict Quanta Cura? Definitively not. How about Dignitatus Humanae?
Well, let's see:

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, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

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. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right. (Dignitatis humanae, 2)
As you can see in the highlighted text above, the Council was talking about human powers; as Catholic kings, prices, etc., were consecrated by the Church, they governed not as a "human" power but by divine right; therefore, Dignitatis humanae would not apply to them at all. It could only apply to non-Catholic kingdoms, whose rulers were not consecrated by the Church. Even if one would suggest that Dignitatis humanae, the "within due limits" could still be read as allowing the public executions of obstinate, unrepentant heretics by a Catholic prince.
Who would have ever thought that the “divine right of kings” would be used in the 21st century as a supporting argument against religious freedom? As the New Advent Encyclopedia says:

This "divine right of kings" (very different from the doctrine that all authority, whether of king or of republic, is from God), has never been sanctioned by the Catholic Church. At the Reformation it assumed a form exceedingly hostile to Catholicism, monarchs like Henry VIII, and James I, of England, claiming the fullness of spiritual as well as of civil authority, and this in such inalienable possession that no jot or tittle of prerogative could ever pass away from the Crown. Against these monstrous pretensions were fought the battles of Marston Moor and Naseby.

Against the same pretensions a more pacific warfare was waged by Francisco Suárez, S.J. Suárez argued against James I that spiritual authority is not vested in the Crown, and that even civil authority is not the immediate gift of God to the king, but is given by God to the people collectively, and by them bestowed on the monarch, according to the theory of the Roman lawyers above mentioned, and according to Aristotle and St. Thomas. Authority, he asserted, is an attribute of a multitude assembled to form a State. By their nature they must form a State, and a State must have authority. Authority, therefore, is natural to mankind collectively; and whatever is natural, and rational, and indispensable for human progress, is an ordinance of God. Authority must be, and God will have it to be; but there is no such natural necessity of authority being all centered in one person. Authority is a Divine institution, but kings are a human invention.
With both ecclesiastical and civil authority there resides “the moral power of command, supported (when need be) by physical coercion, which the State and the Church exercises over its respective members.” However, this authority has limits and does not extend to the state functioning as the secular coercive arm of the Church in matters of religious freedom. At the same time, “Government therefore ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favor, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare. However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its power, were it to presume to command or inhibit religious acts ['within due limits'].” [Dignitatis Humanae, no. 3.]

Jehanne wrote:In any case, I stand with the SSPX on this one.
Do you? You already told us that you “hold the teaching which Pope Pius IX taught in Quanta Cura to be infallible, that is, de fides ecclesiastica; this is also the position of the Society of Saint Pius X.” And yet, “According to Fr. Gaudron [‘a priest of the SSPX specializing in dogmatic theology’], the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council on religious freedom, in its opposition to Pius IX’s understanding of the duties of the state toward the true religion, does not oppose a dogma of Catholic faith (and thus it is not heretical), but only a theological sententia certa.”

But, I can understand your confusion, for the SSPX appears to be confused as well. Your latest post has a link to an article By Father Daniel Couture tilted, “When is the Popes infallible?”, where Fr. Couture cites the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX, for example, and the condemned errors under the “Error[s] of indifferentism (religious freedom)”, the first one of which declares: “No. 15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true” (he also lists errors 16-18). Fr. Couture then says:

Now, compare this infallible teaching to the following texts of Vatican II: “The Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. Freedom of this kind means that … nobody is forced to act against his convictions nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his convictions in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others”. (Decree on religious freedom: Dignitatis Humanae, N.2.)
His closing passage is most revealing:

To conclude: we are not free to choose between an infallible teaching and a pastoral one (i.e. a mere recommendation or some positive assertion) when they are in contradiction. Or else, Our Blessed Lady may not be the Immaculate Conception, and the Mass may as well be offered by a layman.
Jehanne, I was going to tell you that you need to get on the same page as the SSPX, but they seem to be operating from different scripts.

However, I do agree with Fr. Gaudron, ‘a priest of the SSPX specializing in dogmatic theology’, who says the position you espouse is that of the sedevacantist.

Jehanne wrote:
Quanta Cura, Exsurge Domine, etc., are still in the latest (post-Vatican II) edition of Denzinger's; are you suggesting that they should be removed?
Why would I suggest that when:

This correction” to Quanta Cura “does not imply a discontinuity at the level of Catholic doctrine on faith and morals—the competency of the authentic magisterium and possessed of infallibility, even as ordinary magisterium. The Pope thus spoke here only of an “apparent discontinuity,” since, in rejecting an outdated teaching on the state, the Church “has recovered and deepened its true nature and identity. The Church was and is, both before and after the council, the same Church: one, holy, Catholic and apostolic, making its pilgrim way through time.”

In short: the teaching of Vatican II on religious freedom does not imply a new dogmatic orientation, but it does take on a new orientation for the Church’s social doctrine—specifically, a correction of its teaching on the mission and function of the state. The Council gave the same immutable principles a new application in a new historical setting. There is no timeless dogmatic Catholic doctrine on the state—nor can there be—with the exception of those principles that are rooted in the apostolic Tradition and in Sacred Scripture. The idea of a “Catholic state” as the secular arm of the Church falls outside these principles, which in fact suggest a separation between the political and religious spheres.
Jehanne wrote:And please, answer my question from above? Will, after the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, will a devout Muslim still be able in the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ be able to practice Islam?
I already told you, it’s a logical fallacy, and the answer is no. When you can tell me what your premise has to do with the Church’s reformed teaching on the mission and function of the state, let me know.

Jehanne wrote:As for Quanta Cura being infallible, see this:

http://cardinalpole.blogspot.com/2008/12/more-on-magisterial-status-of-quanta.html
Jehanne, your hole is only getting dipper with each wild swing of the shovel, for this particular person representing “Cardinal Pole’s Blog” who writes “from an uncompromisingly Traditional and arch-reactionary perspective” attempts to “prove” that the “status of the condemnations in Bl. Pius IX’s Encyclical Quanta Cura… satisfies the four criteria that characterise Acts of the Extraordinary Papal Magisterium (E.P.M.), and that accordingly every Catholic must join with Bl. Pius in condemning those errors as most certainly false.”

If it were true, "certainly false" would necessarily mean "certainly heretical".

Perhaps you should introduce this “uncompromisingly Traditional” blogger to Fr. Gaudron, ‘a priest of the SSPX specializing in dogmatic theology’, who can explain to him his own thesis which says that “the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council on religious freedom, in its opposition to Pius IX’s understanding of the duties of the state toward the true religion, does not oppose a dogma of Catholic faith (and thus it is not heretical), but only a theological sententia certa.”

Ah, the old "theological opinion" debate (whereby one is free to reject, as you appear to do, the clear teaching of an Ecumenical Council, the meaning of which is confirmed by the reigning Vicar of Christ).

I don't think so.

Anyway, after introductions, you can introduce them both to Pope Benedict XVI and the living authentic magisterium of the Catholic Church.

See, we still have one.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:06 am

MRyan wrote:Furthermore, “That Dignitatus Humanae corrects Quanta Cura is [not just] a supposition” but a fact is confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI who “concluded his exemplification of the ‘hermeneutic of reform’ with the doctrine of religious freedom with a concise statement:

“The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relations between the Church’s faith and certain basic elements of modern thought, reelaborated or corrected some decisions made in the past.”

This is what I like to call "precision ambiguity". Of course, Pope Benedict XVI nowhere mentions "Quanta Cura," so the reader is left wondering exactly "which decisions" the Roman Pontiff had in mind in his non-fallible statement or even if he has changed his mind since then. Of course, we have Fr. Rhonheimer, an individual with no Magisterial authority, to inform us on the "true" meaning of Dignitatus Humanae, don't we?!

Father Brian Harrison makes this pertinent observation:

When it comes to the moral legitimacy of repressing the spread of false doctrine within the Christian commonwealth, however, we are faced with a solid block of near-unanimous and unwavering insistence, for over a thousand years, on the part of the pastors of the universal Church in communion with Peter's successor. We are talking about a doctrine which Pope Leo XIII declared personally in the encyclical Immortale Dei to be "the necessary growth of the teachings of the Gospel." In regard to the contrary doctrine (i.e., that government repression of anti-Catholic doctrine for the sake of the common good is intrinsically evil and unjust), Pius IX declared that this "evil opinion" must be "absolutely held as reprobated, denounced and condemned by all the children of the Catholic Church." We are looking at a doctrine to which the Bishops of the Catholic world gave their absolute and zealous support, endorsing its enforcement by the civil arm, with varying degrees of severity, for century after century; a doctrine with the gravest practical implications for the lives of millions of people, both Catholic and non-Catholic; a doctrine which formed one of the pillars of that whole world-view and civilization known historically as Catholic Christendom; a doctrine which the learned and holy Pontiff Pius XII endorsed as recently as 1953, when his Concordat with the Spanish government prohibited all exterior manifestations of non-Catholic religions in that nation. If the Church had really taught at Vatican II (as is claimed by my critic Anthony Lo Bello ) that all this was "intrinsically wrong" - an absolute, per se violation of a natural human right - then I say that the Church would have utterly destroyed her claim to be the divinely-appointed interpreter of the moral law, guarded from error in her definitive teaching by the Holy Spirit in every age of history. Roma locuta est, cause finita est would in that event have become nothing more than a hollow boast, a cynical joke, an untenable superstition. How could any intelligent person ever trust a supposed oracle of truth which contradicted itself so calamitously and ignominiously as this?

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt57.html

By the way, another interesting article from Father Harrison on "implicit abrogations":

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt94.html

MRyan wrote:Continuing where we left off with Dignitatis Humanae:

Over and above all this, the council intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society.

Just curious, "Does a soul which is condemned to eternal Hell still posses 'inviolable rights'"?

MRyan wrote:Who would have ever thought that the “divine right of kings” would be used in the 21st century as a supporting argument against religious freedom? As the New Advent Encyclopedia says:

This "divine right of kings" (very different from the doctrine that all authority, whether of king or of republic, is from God), has never been sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne

In 799, Pope Leo III had been mistreated by the Romans, who tried to put out his eyes and tear out his tongue. Leo escaped and fled to Charlemagne at Paderborn, asking him to intervene in Rome and restore him. Charlemagne, advised by Alcuin of York, agreed to travel to Rome, doing so in November 800 and holding a council on 1 December. On 23 December Leo swore an oath of innocence. At Mass, on Christmas Day (25 December), when Charlemagne knelt at the altar to pray, the Pope crowned him Imperator Romanorum ("Emperor of the Romans") in Saint Peter's Basilica. In so doing, the Pope was effectively nullifying the legitimacy of Empress Irene of Constantinople:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne#Coronation
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  George Brenner on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:48 pm

Try as I might I can not understand all the fuss. To me it is obvious that the Catholic Church would promote and take a stance that religious freedom MUST be protected, guaranteed and safeguarded as the standard and a God given right. What other option could the Church possibly teach as the basis for a person to be in a position without persecution to prayfully and correctly choose the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside which there is no Salvation. To me Religious Freedom as understood by the Church ( and hopefully me) is obvious.


JMJ,


George
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:10 pm

Jehanne,

I've been a bit preoccupied, so forgive the delay. However, let me say at this point that I am going to ratchet down the polemics and stick to the essentials. If I challenge you on a certain point, it is only to identify an inconsistency, just as you see inconsistencies of your own. There has been much confusion over this doctrine, and I do not want to appear to be saying that the various points in contention by respected theologians are not legitimate.

But there is one essential point I am going to drive home that is consistent with what I have been saying on other subjects. If Fr. Rhonheimer deserves a fair hearing, it is because his thesis is based in large part on the explicit clarifications of Pope Benedict XVI, though even here, there may be room for other interpretations, and unresolved difficulties may remain (and they do).

Thanks for your patience.

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:12 pm

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: HOMOGENEOUS OR

HETEROGENEOUS DEVELOPMENT?

BRIAN T. MULLADY, O.P.

Holy Apostles College and Seminary
Cromwell, Connecticut

Brian Mullady, O.P. (1994). "Religious Freedom: Homogeneous or Heterogeneous Development?". The Thomist 58: 93-108.

http://fatherbtm.com/
http://www.thomist.org/jourl/1994/941aMull.htm
http://www.thomist.org/jourl/explore.htm [click "Vol. 58 (1994)]

'ONE OF THE most difficult questions to confront those who hold for a natural-law conception of Catholic moral teaching which does not change with the development of the times is the area of the freedom of religion in the political order. The traditional teaching on this subject is expressed in many places. The most difficult locus for anyone who wants to defend the traditional opinion is found in The Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX. In this document, the following canons are explicitly enumerated:

77. In this age of ours it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be the only religion of the state, to the exclusion of all other cults whatsoever.

78. Hence in certain regions of Catholic name, it has been laudably sanctioned by law that men immigrating there be allowed to have public exercises of any form of worship of their own.

79. For it is false that the civil liberty of every cult, and likewise, the full power granted to all of manifesting openly and publicly any kind of opinions and ideas, more easily leads to the corruption of the morals and minds of the people, and to the spread of the evil of indifferentism. (Denizinger-Schonmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, n. 1777-1779 (2977-2979), hereafter refered to as DS.)

In this text, freedom of religion is clearly condemned. Yet one finds about one hundred years later the issue of religious freedom discussed by Vatican II. Here the conclusion reached seems quite different.

The Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. Freedom of this kind means that all men should be immune from coercion on the part of individuals, social groups and every human power so that, within due limits, nobody is forced to act against his convictions in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in associations with others. The Council further declares that the right to religious freedom is based on the very dignity of the human person as known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom must be given such recognition in the constitutional order of society as will make it a civil right. (Vatican II, Declaratio de Libertate Religiosa: Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2. Translations are taken from Vatican Council II, The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Austin Flannery, O.P., ed. (Collegevil!e, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1975).

These two documents seem to represent a significant change in the teaching of the church. Beyond the obvious change in attitude towards religious freedom, many moral theologians also see another change: the very language of the decree signals a departure from the traditional basis of the law of nature by a reference to the dignity of the human person. One example will suffice:

“It may also be a growing dissatisfaction with the traditional concept of 'nature which has contributed in recent years to the focus of moral attention moving from ' human nature ' to ' human person or 'human dignity.' Thus, the Second Vatican Council was certainly not unaware of the whole moral tradition centered on the law of nature when it nevertheless considered basing objective moral standards on 'the dignity of the human person,' and finally decided to propose the need for such standards as based on the 'nature of the [human] person and his acts.” (3 John Mahoney, The Making of Moral Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 113-114.)
Modern moralists think that the emphasis on the human person is completely new. They think that the old natural-law ethics has been replaced by a personalistic ethics. For them, norms which expressed the law of nature and were exceptionless have given way to norms which demand that exceptions be made. There are too many factors and difficulties at work in this sort of thinking (4) to be fully examined in a short article like this. Suffice it to say at the beginning that the issue of religious freedom is often invoked as an example of such a change. Not only is this offered as a change in the basis for the teaching on religious freedom, but this issue has been used to support a more general proposition that the church can and has changed her teaching completely on other matters.

[(4) Cf. Brian Mullady, The Meaning of the Term Moral in St. Thomas Aquinas (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1986)]

Some say that this claim of a change in church teaching is used as a justification for not taking the papal teachings on sexual ethics and birth control seriously: If one just waits long enough, the teaching of the church will be changed on these matters as it has already been changed on the issue of religious freedom. Still others say that the document of the Second Vatican Council on religious freedom is so startling a change that it falsifies the council and shows that at least this document is not the work of the Holy Spirit. The teaching contained in this document is so compromising to the traditional teaching of the church that they even call into question the authority of the Pope to teach it and suggest that perhaps Pope Paul was not a true Pope. This is a radical opinion, it is true, but it is one point of view, exacerbated perhaps by the fact that Pope Paul called this "one of the major texts of the Council.” (W. M. Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II (London: 1966), p. 674; cited in Mahoney, Moral Theology, n. 150)

The apologists for the document make their case more on juridical rather than on theoretical grounds. As the issue is not merely juridical, this seems to weaken their argument. One of the principal apologists for the document is the great American Jesuit, John Courtney Murray. Though his explanation is somewhat limited from the theoretical point of view, it contains a great deal of merit as to the practical and juridical parameters of the problem.(6) However, although John Courtney Murray was sure that this document represented a development in doctrine, he was not certain what this development might be. In the original translation of the document of the Second Vatican Council into English he states, "The course of the development between the Syllabus of Errors (1864) and . . . [this decree] . . . still remains to be explained by theologians. But the Council formally sanctioned the validity of the development itself; and this was a doctrinal event of high importance for theological thought in many areas." (Abbott, Vatican II, pp. 673, 672. Quoted in Mahoney, Moral Theology, pp. 114-115)

[(6) I shall not go into the juridical history of this problem in this paper. For those who are interested in this, they can profitably read John Courtney Murray, The Problem of Religious Freedom (Westminster, Maryland: 1965).]

Many moralists today see in this development a place where the church has entirely changed her teaching on a subject of importance. They argue that there is really no magisterial teaching which is forever fixed. This applies to many areas of interest but has been used in a particularly effective way by those who have opposed the teaching of the church on birth control in Humanae Vitae. There are numerous examples of theologians who think this way. For example,

“Even this brief look at the history of our moral teaching should prompt us to describe our teaching competence in more modest terms. Either we must admit a drastic relativism which would allege that all of that teaching was right in its day or we must admit the presence of error in the history of the pilgrim church . . . To stress this point: . . . the teaching of Gregory XVI and Pius IX that it was 'madness' to allege religious freedom as a right of man and a necessity in society, and the proclamation of Vatican II that such freedom is a right and necessity in society--such teachings are not consistent or mutually irreconcilable. Even full recognition of the historical context that spawned these statements does not establish doctrinal continuity.” (Daniel C. Maguire, "Morality and Magisterium," in Readings in Moral Theology: No. 3, eds. Charles E. Curran and Richard A. McCormick, S.J. (New York: Paulist Press, 1982), p. 45)
In this article, Daniel Maguire applies this conclusion of a lack of any sure doctrinal continuity in magisterial statements to many other moral teachings of the Magisterium, including those on usury and on contraception. Obviously, this presents a very real challenge to the continuity of any doctrinal statement. One is tempted to say that no doctrinal or moral statement is universally true through time. This would compromise the very nature of the truth and the ability of the church to define doctrines. Maguire expresses the implications very well: "Still, to assert that in all this there is no change but simply development is to play semantic games. (Ibid., p. 46)

In this article, then, I would like to examine the question of whether the teaching of the church has really changed or not. Is this development truly homogeneous or heterogeneous (change)? If the former is true, then the teaching of the Second Vatican Council should be viewed not as a conformity to the spirit of this age, but rather as an application of the same traditional teaching of the church looked at from a different point of view to correspond to new problems found in the signs of our times. In other words, we may have always taught the same teaching as Vatican II about religious freedom, but may not have emphasized this part of the truth because of other moral problems in other times.

I would like to suggest that the religious freedom condemned in the Syllabus of Errors refers to religious freedom looked at from the point of view of the action of the intellect, or freedom respecting the truth; whereas the freedom of religion guaranteed and encouraged by Dignitatis Humanae refers to religious freedom looked at from the point of view of the action of the will in morals. In other words, those who see in these different expressions a change in teaching are committing the fallacy of univocity of terms in logic. The terms "freedom" refer to two very different acts of the soul.

One of the difficulties in discerning this truth comes from the historical problem of the confessional state. John Courtney Murray makes a good examination of this problem from the point of view of jurisdiction in law. I believe that this is the only basis on which the problem of the confessional state need be discussed. In other words, the union of throne and altar is a practical problem truly limited to one particular epoch in history and really has little to do with the problem discussed in this paper. Regardless of whether there is a state religion or not, both the Syllabus of Errors and Dignitatis Humanae present their teachings as universally and necessarily true.

Another difficulty which must be addressed in this article is the issue of the natural law as the basis for morals. Many moral authorities have used the supposed change in doctrine in Magisterial teaching as a sign that the church has changed the basis upon which the church decides the reasonability of her teaching.(10) As a result, I would also like to show that the personalistic norm is itself just another way of expressing what has always been meant by the natural law, and that this in turn is truly the basis for the different meanings of religious freedom in the documents of the Magisterium.

[(10) For example, "But the founding of the right to religious freedom on the dignity of the individual human person can be seen as a further indication of the move from human nature to the human person and his dignity as the basis for moral reasoning. In the circumstances it is significant that the criterion of person rather than nature can be seen as flourishing in the thought of John Paul II, . . . in which, with reference to the subject of contraception, he invites theologians to shed more light on 'the biblical foundations, ethical grounds and the personalistic reasons behind this doctrine.'" Mahoney, Moral Theology, p. 114.]

The tradition of the church before Vatican II had already begun to invoke a distinction with respect to the term "freedom of religion." For example, Leo XIII says:

“Another liberty is widely advocated, namely, liberty of conscience. If by this is meant that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not, it is sufficiently refuted by the arguments adduced. But it may also be taken to mean that every man in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey his commands. This indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God.” (Leo XIII, Libertas Praestissimum, 30)
In this text, one can see that the Pope himself long before Vatican II makes a distinction between a freedom of conscience which suggests "everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not" and that every man "in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle obey his commands."

Vatican II explains this distinction very clearly:

“The Council further declares that the right to religious freedom is based on . . . [the] dignity of all men because they are persons, that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and . . . are both impelled by their nature and bound by moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth.” (Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2)
This clearly refers to the religious obligation of the truth which is invoked in the encyclical of Leo XIII. There is no freedom of religion regarding this because the truth about God is one. Religious freedom regarding the content of religious truth is also obviously what is condemned in the Syllabus of Errors. This freedom is always condemned in the context of nineteenth century liberalism, which viewed the supernatural as something basically unable to be defined. Real dogma was not possible, because one could really express nothing about God, or alternately, any expression about God could be true. Because God acted in the world only through human reason, the laws of the State should be the ultimate criteria for the truth of religion; the State would establish the fact that all religions were the same.

Vatican II goes on to explain another aspect of the truth of religion:

“But men cannot satisfy their obligation in a way in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy both psychological freedom and immunity from external coercion. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective attitude of the individual, but in his very nature.” (Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2)
This clearly refers to the liberty of conscience which Leo XIII expressed as the freedom to pursue one's duty free from every obstacle. The teaching of the Council on this expresses the right of a person to embrace any truth from the interior movement of his will. One should notice in these texts-- "with their own nature" and "in his very nature"-- that the basis for the judgment about the differences in which the civil law relates to freedom of will and freedom of intellect is human nature itself. This is a clue to the fact that the Council in no way changed the criteria for judgment concerning the basis for religious freedom. What forms the basis for the seeming contradiction in the statements of the texts of the Magisterium? Far from being a change in doctrine as to morals, these different judgments simply respect a classic distinction in St. Thomas Aquinas between the functions of reason and will in the moral order. The word "freedom" may express the necessary freedom from external coercion in any moral act of the will for it to truly be an act of the will; it may also express a judgment as to whether the objective truth of God binds all men to seek it. The word refers to different powers with different objects, and this situation demands that one examine the nature of those powers respecting truths about God.

This examination should lead to some insight not only into the place of the civil order in coercion about these truths, but into the place of coercion in general as well. A corollary would include the possibility of any religious truth leading to true human freedom. All of this is based, of course, on the difference between how the conscience relates to the will and how the conscience relates to the intellect.

Accordingly, I will examine the different ways in which the conscience relates to the will and to the intellect, based on the nature of each in man. Please note that although various actual situations may call for different emphases in this discussion (one may emphasize the relation to the will at one point, the intellect at another), such a change in emphasis in no sense falsifies the previous teaching. Rather, the various emphases in the teaching complement each other and help to give a complete picture of the various foundations of the human act in general, an action which follows nature. The references to the human person in Dignitatis Humanae clearly refer not to a new historically-determined condition, but rather to a transhistorical nature which is found in all men.

The teaching of the whole Magisterium about religious freedom is in no way an attempt to change the teaching of the church to correspond to the spirit of the age. Just the opposite is the case. The universal is not an impoverished sense experience which must be continuously reformed according to the culture. The way in which the intellect acts as it binds the conscience in truth and the way in which the will acts as it freely embraces the truth are based on those very powers of the soul.

The term "freedom of religion" cannot be used in a univocal sense. In the Syllabus of Errors and in Dignitatis Humanae this term refers to freedom looked upon from two very different objects in two very different powers of the soul. The term "freedom" can become very confusing unless it is delineated as to precisely what it means. Normally it is used to translate free will in human acts. At the outset of the section in the Summa Theologiae on morals, St. Thomas makes the point that free choice by which man is lord of his acts is expressed by the term "liberum arbitrium." There he explicitly states that free (liberum) choice (arbitrium) means a faculty which includes both the intellect and will.(Aquinas, ST I-II, q. 1, a. 1, c) For an act to be truly human, it must be immanent. It must issue from both intellect and will. Acts which do not issue from both do not befit rational beings and are not placed in the genus of morals. (Aquinas, ST I-II, q. 1, a. 2, c.)

However, there are not two acts with two objects present in an act of free choice. The act of free choice must be essentially one. This act may be two in power, but only one actual act. (16) So, in free choice, both the intellect and the will concur, but in different ways. Free choice is primarily an act of the will but guided always by the act of the intellect.(17) Still, the intellect and the will contribute to the act of free choice each according to its own manner of being as a power. One must then examine the contribution of each to the one act of free choice.

[(16) Aquinas, In Commentaria Super Sententias II, d. 24, q. 1, a. 3, ad 2; De Veritate, 24, (17) Aquinas, ST I-II, q. 13, a. 1, c.]

The same object can be desired by the will and known by the intellect. This object forms the basis for the distinction of powers. For example, the same object may be seen, tasted, smelled, heard, and touched, and this same object would form the basis for all of the experiences of the senses as to their objects. In the case of the movement of our souls, all objects may be looked upon in their relation to the soul. This includes God as an object of religion. There is a twofold relationship of things to the soul. A being outside the soul, whether an apple or God, has the possibility of being in the soul as it exists in itself, but experienced in the spiritual way the soul exists. This makes something knowable. (Aquinas, De Veritate, 22, 10)

A thing may also be related to the soul in that the soul is inclined to desire the thing as it exists in itself. I may desire or love God or an apple in my will as this being exists in its own right. In fact, until I actually experience the being in its mode of existence love is not satisfied.( Aquinas, De Veritate, 22, 10) There is a certain circularity in knowing and loving. The circle begins with the act of knowledge which is drawn to experience an object in the manner of the intellect and the act of the will which is drawn to experience the object as it exists.

Basically, it is the contribution of each of these powers to the act of free choice which divides morals into genus and species. This is even the basis for the division of the treatment of morals in the Summa Theologiae. St. Thomas treats of the contribution of the will to morals in ST I-II, qq. 6-17. An act is placed in the genus of morals insofar as it is free, that is, voluntary. In his treatment of this, St. Thomas examines the various conditions under which an act done by a man could not be voluntary. Common to all those conditions is the presence of a certain violence which compels a person to act against his will. Violence cannot be done to the act of the will itself (elicited). However, a person can be compelled by exterior forces to do acts of his other powers which he can command (imperated or commanded acts).

As regards the commanded acts of the will, then, the will can suffer violence, insofar as violence can prevent the exterior members from executing the will's command. But as to the will's own proper act, violence cannot be done to the will . . . In like manner a man may be dragged by force, but it is contrary to the very notion of violence, that he be thus dragged of his own will.( Aquinas, ST I-II q.6, a. 4, c.)

This violence introduces a condition into any human act which compromises the existence of the genus of morals in it. This violence may be the result of some compelling force. Someone takes my hand and stabs someone else using it. He overpowers me in doing so. It may also take the form of a kind of interior violence. My emotions are incited to such great anger that I am blinded by rage through no fault of my own. I commit murder as a result. I have committed an objective sin, but I am not responsible for the sin because my will was compelled by some force outside of it. The more these exterior forces bind the judgment of reason and move the will without this consultation, the less freedom there is in such an act. (Aquinas, ST I-II, q. 73, a. 6, c) An act of any kind, especially an act of faith, cannot be truly human and responsible unless it is in the genus of morals. The more outside factors compel such an act, the less free it is and the less it is in the genus of morals.

An act becomes human because it is voluntary and results from the will. It becomes good or evil according to the judgment of reason. No human act can be good unless this act is according to the truth. For this reason, Pope John Paul II says often that freedom does not mean freedom from the truth but freedom for the truth. Truth is not judged by the same standards as the freedom of will in an act. In fact, it is the compelling nature of the truth which is the basis for the freedom in any act of will.

The truth of a moral act must be judged not on the basis of the lack of violence done to the will, but on the basis of reason. This reason forms the foundation of the judgment of any moral act as good or evil. "Thus good and evil in human acts are considered insofar as the act is in accord with reason informed by the divine law, either naturally, by instruction, or by infusion .[and] it is evil for the soul to be outside reason as for the body to be outside of nature." (Aquinas, De Malo, 2, 4)

The conclusion naturally follows from this that the moral goodness or evil of a human act is judged by a different criterion from the human freedom of the act. For an act to be in the genus of morals it must not suffer exterior violence. For the will to be drawn to a good, all kinds of exterior influences may be brought to bear on it, but until the individual accepts a given act as good in his intellect and so moves his will, any good movement he makes will not be completely under his lordship and so it will not be a deep act of love. The union which such an act produces with the being to which it is united will be weak. Though the truth is the primary criterion for what is good and should be willed, one cannot really be compelled to embrace the truth by violence. This is true of any human assent. It is even more true of the assent of faith. This is based on the very nature of the will and the object of faith who is God Himself.

“Among the unbelievers there are some who have never received the faith, such as heathens and Jews: and these are by no means to be compelled to the faith, in order that they might believe, because to believe depends on the will: nevertheless they should be compelled by the faithful, if it be possible to do so, so that they do not hinder the faith.” (Aquinas, ST II-II, q. 10, a. 8, c)
It seems obvious to me that this text is clear about the fact that the act of religion must be an act of freedom of will at least for those who are not Christians. Though it is true that St. Thomas later in the same article says that Christians may be compelled by corporal punishment to return to a faith which they have already freely professed, the point that the primary act of faith must be an act of will seems clear enough. St. Thomas makes no distinctions in this article about the tolerance of unbelief in a state, though he does speak about it later. This shows that the teaching of Vatican II in this matter was present in germ many centuries before Vatican II. It also demonstrates that the basis for this teaching does not have its origins in twentieth century personalist philosophy. The expression of the teaching in Vatican II may use terms like "personalist norm"; but these terms are founded on all the rich tradition of the natural law about the kind of moral acts which befit someone with a reasoning soul. The teaching is based on the nature of the freedom of the will in the act of morals.

It seems equally clear to me that the teaching in the Syllabus of Errors is based on the common teaching of St. Thomas about truth in the intellect. The human intellect comes to experience all beings in its manner. The being of the thing it experiences as to its essential constitution is one. Each being expresses truth which corresponds to it. "Truths which are in things are many, as are the entities of things." (De Veritate, 1, 4) These truths are in some ways accidental to the human intellect. They would still be things in their essence if no human intellect existed. But they are not inseparable in any sense from the truth which God's intellect communicates to them. They are formed by his one idea in the Word. His Providence governs them. God is the cause of all these things and so their truth is one in Him. The truth is primarily seen as He sees it. His truth is one and there cannot be many conflicting ideas about Him which are all true. His truth is one and every human intellect is bound to know this truth to be moral and to be good insofar as it is able. The measure or standard for any truth is one if that truth is compared to the mind of God which thinks it.(Aquinas, De Veritate, 1, 4)

If this unity of truth is applied to things in general it is even more applicable to faith. Faith has as its object the first truth which makes all things one. In faith, one begins to look at the world from God's point of view, wherein the unity of creation, the order of divine Providence, and the actions of human persons become more evident. If there cannot be many truths about things looked at from God's point of view, there certainly cannot be many different conflicting ideas of God which are all true.( Aquinas, De Veritate, 14, eight) The truth of religion is such a truth. As to which religion is true, then, there is no question. There is only one.

Further, the teaching of Vatican II has often been used to justify dissent within the church as a sign of "healthy pluralism." This seems strange as the council expressly states the following:

“So while the religious freedom which men demand in fulfilling their obligation to worship God has to do with freedom from coercion in civil society, it leaves intact the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ.” (Vatican II, Dignitatis Humanae, 1)

Clearly Vatican II did not have any changes in mind regarding the traditional teaching of the church that all are bound in conscience to form a right conscience. The right conscience must pay an obligation to the order of reality. The human person does not create the truth in the order of reality with respect to any moral good, let alone religion. As to the order of truth, the presence of the thing in the mind as the mind assents to the thing in a spiritual way, the equation of the idea and the thing are necessary for truth to be present. Though there can be no such equation with God, God has revealed his inner character both in nature and in revelation. This revelation can only be one. The reflection of the human mind on it can only be of a piece and all human beings are bound in conscience to seek this insofar as they are capable.

As to the freedom of the will in coming to assent to such a thing, the more outside pressures (outside not in the sense of instruction and teaching, but in the sense of violence done to the body or the emotions), the less the act of the will becomes involved in the truth to which the person is assenting. In this sense, the act of faith, or any other act, is more and more removed from the realm of morals. The potential for virtue is reduced in direct proportion to the freedom of the inner act of the will.

After this examination, it is possible to arrive at several conclusions. First, Vatican II made reference to a traditional argument found at least in Thomas Aquinas on the difference between the binding character of the truth and the freedom of the will in morals. Second, this distinction in no way calls into question the traditional basis of the natural law for deciding on human goods. Personalist terms may be used sometimes, but these perfectly reflect the constant philosophical tradition of the church. Third, the Syllabus of Errors and Dignitatis Humanae are in perfect theoretical accord on the nature of religious freedom. The former emphasizes the intellect as bound to seek the truth, the latter the will in its freedom from every exterior coercion in order to be a natural, human act. The fact that they represent different jurisdictional ideas about the state religion is due only to the application of these principles in various times. Fourth, both teachings have to do with freedom of conscience in the civil order and cannot be used to found the right of Catholics to dissent from the teaching of the church. The only intelligent conclusion is that there is a homogeneous and not a heterogeneous development of doctrine exhibited by the two documents.'
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MRyan

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  George Brenner on Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:44 pm

Mike,

I choose door # 3 as you have written....

Third, the Syllabus of Errors and Dignitatis Humanae are in perfect theoretical accord on the nature of religious freedom. The former emphasizes the intellect as bound to seek the truth, the latter the will in its freedom from every exterior coercion in order to be a natural, human act. The fact that they represent different jurisdictional ideas about the state religion is due only to the application of these principles in various times. Fourth, both teachings have to do with freedom of conscience in the civil order and cannot be used to found the right of Catholics to DISSENT from the teaching of the church. The only intelligent conclusion is that there is a homogeneous and not a heterogeneous development of doctrine exhibited by the two documents.'


The Church desires each person to be protected and in a free state of mind and conscience that they might choose and live their lives in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, if they are of good will.

The ongoing challenge of Vatican II in this and almost all issues is that the intent of the mind of the Church seldom if ever reaches the Church Millitant with clarity and proper Catechesis. I was listening to some call in questions on EWTN today and one callers question begged for proper and specific Catholic teaching. The Priests did say that the run away nun who is promoting a female Pope along with other nonsense was misleading the young student. But as is usually the case the two priests could and would not find it in themselves to go the distance in doing the will of God. Pity !

JMJ,

George
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:56 pm

Fr. Mullady writes:

"The tradition of the church before Vatican II had already begun to invoke a distinction with respect to the term 'freedom of religion.' For example, Leo XIII says:

Another liberty is widely advocated, namely, liberty of conscience. If by this is meant that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not, it is sufficiently refuted by the arguments adduced. But it may also be taken to mean that every man in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey his commands. This indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God. (Leo XIII, Libertas Praestissimum, 30)"
Let me (MRyan) add to this the words of Pope John XXIII who, in his encyclical Pacem In Terris on The Right to Worship God According to One's Conscience, cites the same Libertas Praestissimum of Pope Leo XIII:

14. Also among man's rights is that of being able to worship God in accordance with the right dictates of his own conscience, and to profess his religion both in private and in public. According to the clear teaching of Lactantius, "this is the very condition of our birth, that we render to the God who made us that just homage which is His due; that we acknowledge Him alone as God, and follow Him. It is from this ligature of piety, which binds us and joins us to God, that religion derives its name.'' (l0)

Hence, too, Pope Leo XIII declared that "true freedom, freedom worthy of the sons of God, is that freedom which most truly safeguards the dignity of the human person. It is stronger than any violence or injustice. Such is the freedom which has always been desired by the Church, and which she holds most dear. It is the sort of freedom which the Apostles resolutely claimed for themselves. The apologists defended it in their writings; thousands of martyrs consecrated it with their blood." (Encyclical letter "Libertas praestantissimum," Acta Leonis XIII, VIII, 1888, pp. 237-238.)
Fr. Mullady continues:

In this text, one can see that the Pope himself long before Vatican II makes a distinction between a freedom of conscience which suggests "everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not" and that every man "in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle obey his commands."

Vatican II explains this distinction very clearly:

The Council further declares that the right to religious freedom is based on . . . [the] dignity of all men because they are persons, that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and . . . are both impelled by their nature and bound by moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth.(Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2.)
This clearly refers to the religious obligation of the truth which is invoked in the encyclical of Leo XIII. There is no freedom of religion regarding this because the truth about God is one. Religious freedom regarding the content of religious truth is also obviously what is condemned in the Syllabus of Errors. This freedom is always condemned in the context of nineteenth century liberalism, which viewed the supernatural as something basically unable to be defined. Real dogma was not possible, because one could really express nothing about God, or alternately, any expression about God could be true. Because God acted in the world only through human reason, the laws of the State should be the ultimate criteria for the truth of religion; the State would establish the fact that all religions were the same.

Vatican II goes on to explain another aspect of the truth of religion:

But men cannot satisfy their obligation in a way in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy both psychological freedom and immunity from external coercion. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective attitude of the individual, but in his very nature. (Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2.)
This clearly refers to the liberty of conscience which Leo XIII expressed as the freedom to pursue one's duty free from every obstacle. The teaching of the Council on this expresses the right of a person to embrace any truth from the interior movement of his will. One should notice in these texts--" with their own nature" and " in his very nature "-- that the basis for the judgment about the differences in which the civil law relates to freedom of will and freedom of intellect is human nature itself.

This is a clue to the fact that the Council in no way changed the criteria for judgment concerning the basis for religious freedom. What forms the basis for the seeming contradiction in the statements of the texts of the Magisterium? Far from being a change in doctrine as to morals, these different judgments simply respect a classic distinction in St. Thomas Aquinas between the functions of reason and will in the moral order. The word "freedom" may express the necessary freedom from external coercion in any moral act of the will for it to truly be an act of the will; it may also express a judgment as to whether the objective truth of God binds all men to seek it. The word refers to different powers with different objects, and this situation demands that one examine the nature of those powers respecting truths about God.

This examination should lead to some insight not only into the place of the civil order in coercion about these truths, but into the place of coercion in general as well. A corollary would include the possibility of any religious truth leading to true human freedom. All of this is based, of course, on the difference between how the conscience relates to the will and how the conscience relates to the intellect.

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:05 pm

PACEM IN TERRIS

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH, JUSTICE, CHARITY, AND LIBERTY, APRIL 11, 1963:

Error and the Errant
158. It is always perfectly justifiable to distinguish between error as such and the person who falls into error—even in the case of men who err regarding the truth or are led astray as a result of their inadequate knowledge, in matters either of religion or of the highest ethical standards. A man who has fallen into error does not cease to be a man. He never forfeits his personal dignity; and that is something that must always be taken into account. Besides, there exists in man's very nature an undying capacity to break through the barriers of error and seek the road to truth. God, in His great providence, is ever present with His aid. Today, maybe, a man lacks faith and turns aside into error; tomorrow, perhaps, illumined by God's light, he may indeed embrace the truth.

Catholics who, in order to achieve some external good, collaborate with unbelievers or with those who through error lack the fullness of faith in Christ, may possibly provide the occasion or even the incentive for their conversion to the truth.

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:50 pm

Mike,

There's quite a bit to read here, some of it contradictory, and I'll do my best to get at it over the next several days, but until then, here are some questions which I would like your opinion on:

1) Do souls condemned to eternal Hell still possess any "individual dignity"? If so, what kind or type? Do souls in Hell have any "rights"? If so, can you describe those "rights" of the damned?

2) Are souls in Hell free from "eternal coercion"? Do they possess "liberty of conscience" for instance?

Thanks.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:30 am

Jehanne wrote:Mike,

There's quite a bit to read here, some of it contradictory, and I'll do my best to get at it over the next several days,

Why don’t you take the time to digest it before you say “some of it is contradictory”? But I am in interested in where you see these contradictions.

Jehanne wrote:but until then, here are some questions which I would like your opinion on:

1) Do souls condemned to eternal Hell still possess any "individual dignity"? If so, what kind or type? Do souls in Hell have any "rights"? If so, can you describe those "rights" of the damned?

2) Are souls in Hell free from "eternal coercion"? Do they possess "liberty of conscience" for instance?

Thanks.
Do the souls in hell have the capacity, much less the freedom (of the will), to love God?

The answer should be obvious, rendering your questions entirely meaningless to this discussion. Please explain how any of your questions are even remotely relevant.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:58 am

MRyan wrote:Do the souls in hell have the capacity, much less the freedom (of the will), to love God?

We lack that capacity, also! The only reason why we can love God is due to the grace which the One and Triune God gives to us which allow us, as a response of our own free will, to love, serve, and obey Him.

In reading the voluminous articles (note how short my post to all of them will be) which you "copied and pasted", I cannot help but be reminded of the following verse from Sacred Scripture:

At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes." (Matthew 11:25)

And, apparently, to "lay theologians" such as myself. Here's the rub; once again, from our Lord:

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

The issue here is not in one's capacity to embrace error and heresy, but in the "supposed right" to spread those errors and heresies to others, especially, the Catholic faithful. Saint Thomas understood this important distinction (as did our Lord, of course):

“With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.

On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but 'after the first and second admonition,' as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Gal. 5:9, 'A little leaven,' says: 'Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame.'” (Summa Theologica, IIa IIae, q.11, a.3)

Put it this way, "Would you tolerate a public school teacher at your local high teaching that the South had won the American Civil War?" Or, that Abraham Lincoln was, in fact, born in China and was a Chinese spy? Or that Ronald Reagan was a space alien? The list here is, of course, endless.

If not, why should a Catholic prince allow someone to publicly hold the view that "Jesus of Nazareth never existed as historical person"? Or that He did not "bodily and corporeally rise from the dead?" Or, that infants need not be baptized for the remission of original sin? Or, that the Catholic Church is not the One True Church which Christ founded, "outside of which no one at all will be saved"?

I hope that you see my point here.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  George Brenner on Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:23 am

Jehanne,

I think that you can take comfort in knowing that there is accountability to teach, correct if necessary and discipline in charity but with conviction NOT only for each one of us but also for ALL in position to take action, especially the clergy. Eternal reward or punishment lies in the balance.



JMJ,


George
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:55 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:Do the souls in hell have the capacity, much less the freedom (of the will), to love God?
We lack that capacity, also! The only reason why we can love God is due to the grace which the One and Triune God gives to us which allow us, as a response of our own free will, to love, serve, and obey Him.
Of course, this flies in the face of your own questions regarding the souls in hell who have neither the capacity nor the freedom to love God. A soul born to know, to love and to serve God cannot possess supernatural faith or charity without “the grace which the One and Triune God gives to us which allow us, as a response of our own free will, to love, serve, and obey Him”, but it is precisely that free capacity to embrace the truth and for love which differentiates us from the condemned.

Furthermore, for those souls who have not yet come to the true faith, “there exists in man's very nature an undying capacity to break through the barriers of error and seek the road to truth. God, in His great providence, is ever present with His aid. Today, maybe, a man lacks faith and turns aside into error; tomorrow, perhaps, illumined by God's light, he may indeed embrace the truth.” (Pope John XXIII, Pacem In Terris)

Again, your questions as to whether the souls in hell possess "individual dignity", "rights", "liberty of conscience" and freedom from “eternal coercion” have absolutely nothing to do with the capacity of free men to know, to love and to serve God. That without God’s assisting grace “we lack the capacity, also” is entirely irrelevant to the situation of the eternally condemned, for no man with the capacity to reason and to will lacks the capacity to embrace the truth (even the Devil knows the truth) – and to love God in true charity, which is why your attempt at an analogy with the condemned souls in hell falls flat on its face.

Jehanne wrote:In reading the voluminous articles (note how short my post to all of them will be) which you "copied and pasted",
Rather than provide only the link to an important article (from a reputable and approved Dominican theologian) which I believe sheds some much needed light on this controversial and difficult topic, I did not just “copy and paste” the article, but took the time to format it (with original emphasis) for the forum (no small task) before posting it. The article, as it appears on the on-line version of “The Thomist”, has certain formatting flaws, to include the unintended removal of the means for identifying citations (by quotations or by indentation), which I corrected. For ease of reading, I also removed the original page headings and the Latin footnote translations, and inserted the brief footnotes (most of which were the cited works of St. Thomas Aquinas) into the body of the relevant paragraph.

This is not to dissuade anyone from reading the on-line edition, but it’s nice to know you appreciate my efforts. Sad

Jehanne wrote:I cannot help but be reminded of the following verse from Sacred Scripture:

At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes." (Matthew 11:25)
Yes, I agree, for the “babes” in this case are all of those who trust in the Magisterium and our Holy Father with the faith of children, as opposed to “the wise and understanding” to whom our Lord “hast hidden these things”, to wit, those who accuse the Magisterium and the Holy Father of prescinding from the truth, of deception, of error, etc. etc.

Jehanne wrote:And, apparently, to "lay theologians" such as myself. Here's the rub; once again, from our Lord:

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
So now, Jehanne, as an untrained “lay theologian”, you suggest that whoever trusts in the Magisterium in its declaration (and its understanding) on religious freedom under the guidance of Pope BXVI runs the very real risk of falling into sin, so “it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” then to trust that the teaching of a solemn Ecumenical Council is in no way opposed to Truth.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll address the rest of your post in due time.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:13 pm

MRyan wrote:So now, Jehanne, as an untrained “lay theologian”, you suggest that whoever trusts in the Magisterium in its declaration (and its understanding) on religious freedom under the guidance of Pope BXVI runs the very real risk of falling into sin, so “it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” then to trust that the teaching of a solemn Ecumenical Council is in no way opposed to Truth.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll address the rest of your post in due time.

That's point; I do not know what Pope Benedict or his immediate predecessors mean nor do I know for sure what Vatican II meant or did not mean. One can read their words in so many different ways. For instance, I received an email here recently from the group which runs the website which I link to in my OP:

Dear Mr Flood,

Thank you for your interest in the Vatican II - Voice of the Church website which is maintained by a small lay volunteer group who are independent of all organisations, but have an interest in promoting the Second Vatican Council and its teaching. The question you raise is essentially related to the development of doctrine rather than contradiction. In the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) it is stated:

The tradition that comes from the apostles makes progress in the church, with the help of the holy Spirit. There is a growth in insight into the realities: and words that are being passed on. This comes about through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts (see Lk 2:19 and 51). It comes from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience. And it comes from the preaching of those who, on succeeding to the office of bishop, have received the sure charism of truth. Thus, as the centuries go by, the church is always advancing towards the plenitude of divine truth, until eventually the words of God are fulfilled in it. ( DV n.8 )

Thus, our understanding of the content of faith is dynamic not static and the Council set out to articulate the faith suitable for the modern era taking account of more recent scholarship, insights and experience. You quote two particular cases where the Council documents cite previous councils.

The quote from Lumen Gention n.51 relates to the cult of saints and in particular the veneration of saints, images and relics. This aspect of faith was dealt with by Nicea II (session 7) and Trent (session 25) and Lumen Gentium n.51 builds on the teaching of these councils by deepening the theological foundation for the cult of saints by reating it in the context of the eschatological nature of the pilgrim Church and her union with the Church of heaven as this article comes at the end of the chapter on the Pilgrim Church which gives a dynamic sense of the Church.

Similarly, the quote from Dei Verbum makes a general reference to Trent and Vatican I as these councils also dealt with matter pertinent to divine revelation which Dei Verbum is also concerned with. Prof Nicholas Lash states that the reference to the earlier councils 'was added at the request of several council fathers, bears witness to that concern for doctrinal continuity which one would expect from a general council. Yet it remains simply an assertion. There is, at least in this article, no attempt to demonstrate that, underlying the manifest discontinuity between this treatment of revelation and that adopted by Trent and Vatican I (a discontinuity sufficiently evident to have provoked the demand for the inclusion of this phrase!), there is a deeper underlying continuity. It is not, in other words, quite clear what path the footsteps have taken. (Change in Focus, A Study of Doctrinal Change and Continuity, 1973, Sheed & Ward, London, p11)

For a more extensive commentary on Dei Verbum, including a comparison of the document with pertinent teaching from Trent and Vatican I, in a current publication we recommend Scripture: Dei Verbum, Ronald D. Witherup, 2006, Paulist Press, New York/Mahwah in the Rediscovering Vatican II series by the publisher.

Editorial Team
Vatican II - Voice of the Church website

Do you agree with the above email? Take any exceptions to what the "Editorial Team" said?

Once again, if Quanta Cura does not meet the criteria for Papal infallibility:

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/infalib.htm

then what, exactly, is it "lacking"? What could Pope Pius IX had stated differently? And, if we can trust a "solemn Ecumenical Council," why can't we trust a 19th-century Pope who spoke ex cathedra, which Vatican II did not ever do! Why not just say that "human power" did not (and does not) apply to rulers whom been consecrated by the Church and that "within due limits" would mean full religious tolerance in a non-Catholic society but suppression of error and punishment of heretics in a Catholic society? Wouldn't that perspective "fix" things?

And, yes, do please reply to the rest of my post.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:30 pm

Jehanne wrote:The issue here is not in one's capacity to embrace error and heresy, but in the "supposed right" to spread those errors and heresies to others, especially, the Catholic faithful.
There is no “supposed right” to spread those errors and heresies to others, especially, the Catholic faithful”, as if “any expression about God could be true”, for all men are “both impelled by their nature and bound by moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth [the intellect is bound to seek the truth].(Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2.); but, “in referring to the liberty of conscience which Leo XIII expressed as the freedom to pursue one's duty free from every obstacle”, the will must be free ‘from every exterior coercion in order to be a natural, human act’, as the Vatican Council declared:

“But men cannot satisfy their obligation in a way in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy both psychological freedom and immunity from external coercion. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective attitude of the individual, but in his very nature. (Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2.)
In the subjective attitude of the individual (as opposed to objective truth), error has no “right to religious freedom”, the “right to religious freedom” extends only to “both psychological freedom and immunity from external coercion” which recognizes man’s moral “obligation to seek the truth … in a way in keeping with their own nature”, AND “leaves intact the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ.” (Dignitatis Humanae, 1)

Jehanne wrote:Saint Thomas understood this important distinction (as did our Lord, of course):
Yes, they did. They also understood that this distinction in moral principles, as it relates “to the application of these principles in various times (e.g., state sponsored suppression of religious error vs. an “interior form of coercion -- the power of the truth as it enters the mind” [K. Gurries]) represents “different jurisdictional ideas about the state religion”, and, with respect to the latter, not de fide truth. St. Thomas seems to have recognized this same truth:

“Among the unbelievers there are some who have never received the faith, such as heathens and Jews: and these are by no means to be compelled to the faith, in order that they might believe, because to believe depends on the will: nevertheless they should be compelled by the faithful, if it be possible to do so, so that they do not hinder the faith.” (Aquinas, ST II-II, q. 10, a. 8, c)

Jehanne wrote:(citing St. Thomas):
“With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.
That heretics “deserve … to be severed from the world by death” is a subjective judgment, not an “infallible truth” that compels and justifies the state to act as the secular arm of the Church. The Church has tempered (reformed) this teaching (she stopped putting heretics to death centuries ago) by appealing more to a sinner’s “undying capacity to break through the barriers of error and seek the road to truth" (Pope John XXIII, Pacem In Terris), then to any danger (corruption) the heretic poses to the faithful.

The Church still uses, though to a lesser degree, the ecclesiastical (and even temporal) measures at her disposal (e.g., excommunications, censures, edicts) both for the correction of the heretic and to protect the faithful from error. However, she no longer recognizes the state as the secular arm of the Church (only in protecting the rights of the Church, and the civil rights of other faith/religious traditions), “which by state coercion must protect the ‘rights of truth,’ and in this way impose the kingdom of Christ in human society.” (Fr. Rhonheimer)

St. Thomas:
On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but 'after the first and second admonition,' as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Gal. 5:9, 'A little leaven,' says: 'Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame.'” (Summa Theologica, IIa IIae, q.11, a.3)
It should be obvious, Jehanne, that the Church no longer gives up on her hope for “the conversion of the wanderer” and “delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death”, as our Popes have expressed in Pacem In Terris and (Dignitatis Humanae. Here is a letter by Pope John Paul I titled “ Is Lefebvre right?:

I have met him on the train. Seated in front of me, to a certain point, he stopped the reading of his magazine and told me:

- Excuse me, Reverend, I think this Lefebvre is right; the Church has really changed course, it has surrendered when, on the Council, it declared on religious freedom.

I slowly closed the Breviary, that I was praying, and replied:

- Yes, from a certain angle, the Council has changed. It thought on Charles Magnus, who cut the Saxons heads, because they rejected the Baptism; on Bernard Gui, the inquisitor, who charged against the Catars of Southern France; on other similar cases, and it has humbly confessed: in the Church of the past, "sometimes there was a behaviour less according to the evangelical spirit, rather, opposite" (DH 12). The Council, therefore, has admitted a series of not at all praiseworthy facts, it has deplored them, it has said they shouldn't to be repeated; in this sense, it has changed. Regarding the education of the past, however, it has not changed, if it has been able to state: the Church "has always kept and transmitted the Master of the Apostles' doctrine... nobody must be forced to embrace the faith" (DH 12).

- The Master?, my interlocutor continued. But here - and he took a quick look at the magazine - Lefebvre mentions precisely the words of Christ: "Who does not believe in Me, will be condemned".

And I:
- One moment. "He will be condemned". But by God, but after the present life. The Council has never dreamt of saying that we were free before God: all we must, in fact, look for the truth, embrace it as soon as it is known, reply God and His Church, if we have accepted to take part of it. The Council has wanted, however, to speak of its freedom before the State in religious things. The title of the Council document, in fact, talks about "social and civil freedom in religious matter". The political power, Catholic or not, that - according to the Council - neither can force to embrace the religious faith that does not please, nor can prevent from embracing and professing a faith that pleases.

- But you haven' t let me see how the Council is following Christ and the Apostles, yet!

- If you wish, I'll try to tell it to you, now. Do you remember the parable of the grain and the bearded darnel? The servants wanted to uproot the bearded darnel from the fields, but the owner: "No, leave the one and the other one grow together in the field until the harvest, that is, until the end of the world. Only then, the separation will be made.

In other words: Jesus, right, wants that "all the men can reach the knowledge of the truth". Jesus has invited so many times his listeners to have faith and on faith and works he will judge us after our death.

But the faith supposes a free consent. And Jesus has never imposed his truths by force when he preached; he has never stopped the opposite opinions propaganda. When James and John proposed to make the fire come down from Heaven over the Samaritans, He reproached them both and said: "You don' t know what kind of spirit you are of".

- Well, but tell me: with certain ideas and certain individuals that are around the world, don' t you think the chaos will come if the State misses everything?

- The Council does not say to miss everything; it indicates, rather, two cases in which the State must take part and limit.

- And which ones?
- First: when religious freedom is used by somebody in such a way to endanger the freedom or the rights of the others.
- And the second case?
- It is regarding the common good and the public order. The State, in fact, must be at the service of all, assuring a real peaceful existence in pluralism.

- So the Council thinks of having disarmed all the Church adversaries with its document on "social freedom in religious things?"

- The Council Fathers knew very well that the Church will have always adversaries. It was urgent for them to let everybody know the Church doesn' t feel as an adversary of anyone; that it wishes to live the spirit of Christ, its Lord, who has declared Himself meek and humble, that He has come not to be served but to serve with the Servant of Jahve' s method: "He will not break the cane that is broken, and he will not extinguish the wick that is still smoking". (http://www.papaluciani.com/eng/teachings/homilies/homilies1.htm)

From "Gente Veneta", May 1977
reported by "Humilitas", August 1987
Again, this is the same “liberty of conscience” taught by St. Thomas Aquinas, Leo XIII, Dignitatis Humanae and Pope BXVI, which does NOT mean “that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not” for this error “is sufficiently refuted by the arguments adduced”, but is “taken to mean that every man in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey his commands. This indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God. (Leo XIII, Libertas Praestissimum, 30)"

Jehanne wrote:Put it this way, "Would you tolerate a public school teacher at your local high teaching that the South had won the American Civil War?" Or, that Abraham Lincoln was, in fact, born in China and was a Chinese spy? Or that Ronald Reagan was a space alien? The list hhistorical ere is, of course, endless.
These are poor examples, because in each case objective truth is evidenced by undisputed historical fact. Catholic truth is not proven by way of subjective historical facts (both Muslims and Jews believe in the historical Jesus), but on reason and the gift of faith.

Jehanne wrote:If not, why should a Catholic prince allow someone to publicly hold the view that "Jesus of Nazareth never existed as historical person"? Or that He did not "bodily and corporeally rise from the dead?" Or, that infants need not be baptized for the remission of original sin? Or, that the Catholic Church is not the One True Church which Christ founded, "outside of which no one at all will be saved"?
Because the true faith is not necessarily threatened by public error, neither does public error infallibly lead to the heresy of indifferentism.

Jehanne wrote:I hope that you see my point here.
I do, but I hope you see the point of the Church.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:26 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:So now, Jehanne, as an untrained “lay theologian”, you suggest that whoever trusts in the Magisterium in its declaration (and its understanding) on religious freedom under the guidance of Pope BXVI runs the very real risk of falling into sin, so “it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” then to trust that the teaching of a solemn Ecumenical Council is in no way opposed to Truth.

For the sake of brevity, I’ll address the rest of your post in due time.
That's point; I do not know what Pope Benedict or his immediate predecessors mean nor do I know for sure what Vatican II meant or did not mean. One can read their words in so many different ways.
That's true, but isn't that all the more reason to listen to the Church? If you do not understand the difficult doctrine, just trust that the Church's doctrine is not opposed to Truth or to the perennial Magisterium.

Jehanne wrote:For instance, I received an email here recently from the group which runs the website which I link to in my OP:

Dear Mr Flood,

Thank you for your interest in the Vatican II - Voice of the Church website which is maintained by a small lay volunteer group who are independent of all organisations, but have an interest in promoting the Second Vatican Council and its teaching. The question you raise is essentially related to the development of doctrine rather than contradiction. In the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) it is stated: [...]
Do you agree with the above email? Take any exceptions to what the "Editorial Team" said?
Yes, and I have no problem with any of the above.

Jehanne wrote:Once again, if Quanta Cura does not meet the criteria for Papal infallibility:

http://www.catholicapologetics.info/modernproblems/vatican2/infalib.htm

then what, exactly, is it "lacking"? What could Pope Pius IX had stated differently?
Jehanne, it not that Quanta Cura or its attached Syllabus do not contain infallible teachings (they do), the problem with Father Couture's (SSPX) thesis is that he alleges that "in this text (Quanta Cura) ... the four conditions of the most solemn papal infallibility" is "clearly fulfilled" in the "proscribed errors ... specially mentioned in this Letter” (the 80 condemned propositions in the Syllabus of Errors).

But it can be easily demonstrated that "the four conditions of the most solemn papal infallibility" are not fulfilled (Bishop Josef Fessler, Secretary to VCI, should have put that error to rest), and I dare say that no respected theologian today would dare suggest that they are. In fact, as I demonstrated before, “According to Fr. Gaudron [‘a priest of the SSPX specializing in dogmatic theology’], the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council on religious freedom, in its opposition to Pius IX’s understanding of the duties of the state toward the true religion, does not oppose a dogma of Catholic faith (and thus it is not heretical), but only a theological sententia certa.”

And of course, not a single one of the noted theologians and scholars who have weighed-in on this subject agrees with Fr. Couture (such as Martin Rhonheimer, Thomas Pink, Brian Mullady, Thomas Crean, Jaques Maritain, John Lamont, Cardinal Dulles, Brian Harrison, etc.).

But, if you really want to get this debate going, read “Catholic teaching on religion and the state” by John Lamont (highly recommended by Brother André Marie, here: http://catholicism.org/conciliar-theologian-is-too-understanding-of-sspx-position.html).

Here is Lamont’s original article: http://www.academia.edu/877072/Catholic_teaching_on_religion_and_the_state

I believe Lamont’s position is closest to what you have been trying to say (see his “A-F” list of “infallible” propositions, which, he says, are not necessarily infallible individually, but only collectively and by repetition), even if by his own admission his “solution” is as implausible as one is likely to find it (as I do).

He also says this:

The teaching (DH) also adds something new to the traditional position, by clearly distinguishing between the object of the coercive powers of the Church in religious matters and the object of the coercive power of the state in such matters. The object of the Church’s coercive powers extends to making baptized Christians carry out the obligations incurred by baptism. The coercive powers of the state, however, do not extend thus far; they only extend to preventing behaviour that harms the spiritual well-being of society.
As we have already seen, the teaching itself is nothing “new”; its newness can be found in its application to historical circumstances, for the teaching is as old as Scripture and was articulated in the moral theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Jehanne wrote:And, if we can trust a "solemn Ecumenical Council," why can't we trust a 19th-century Pope who spoke ex cathedra, which Vatican II did not ever do! Why not just say that "human power" did not (and does not) apply to rulers whom been consecrated by the Church and that "within due limits" would mean full religious tolerance in a non-Catholic society but suppression of error and punishment of heretics in a Catholic society? Wouldn't that perspective "fix" things?
No "ex cathedra" pronouncements relative to this subject, but we can trust the 19th century popes and the conciliar popes (he who hears you hears Me), and, by the same (and even stronger) measure, we can trust the Second Vatican Council. We can also trust that the “hermeneutic of reform” leaves in tact the Church's infallible teachings on faith and morals.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:01 pm

MRyan wrote:But it can be easily demonstrated that "the four conditions of the most solemn papal infallibility" are not fulfilled (Bishop Josef Fessler, Secretary to VCI, should have put that error to rest), and I dare say that no respected theologian today would dare suggest that they are.

Then demonstrate it, if it is "so easy" to do so! Specifically, what is Quanta Cura missing? What could Pope Pius IX have added to Quanta Cura to make it ex cathedra? Finally, what is Father Couture's error in his article? Where does he go wrong?

MRyan wrote:And of course, not a single one of the noted theologians and scholars who have weighed-in on this subject agrees with Fr. Couture (such as Martin Rhonheimer, Thomas Pink, Brian Mullady, Thomas Crean, Jaques Maritain, John Lamont, Cardinal Dulles, Brian Harrison, etc.).

I am surprised that you would include Father Brian Harrison in your "laundry list" of theologians (of course, most Catholic (sic) theologians today are on record as believing "gay sex" to be moral, but that's another post for another time!) In any case, as I posted before, here is what Father Harrison has to say on this subject:

When it comes to the moral legitimacy of repressing the spread of false doctrine within the Christian commonwealth, however, we are faced with a solid block of near-unanimous and unwavering insistence, for over a thousand years, on the part of the pastors of the universal Church in communion with Peter's successor. We are talking about a doctrine which Pope Leo XIII declared personally in the encyclical Immortale Dei to be "the necessary growth of the teachings of the Gospel." In regard to the contrary doctrine (i.e., that government repression of anti-Catholic doctrine for the sake of the common good is intrinsically evil and unjust), Pius IX declared that this "evil opinion" must be "absolutely held as reprobated, denounced and condemned by all the children of the Catholic Church." We are looking at a doctrine to which the Bishops of the Catholic world gave their absolute and zealous support, endorsing its enforcement by the civil arm, with varying degrees of severity, for century after century; a doctrine with the gravest practical implications for the lives of millions of people, both Catholic and non-Catholic; a doctrine which formed one of the pillars of that whole world-view and civilization known historically as Catholic Christendom; a doctrine which the learned and holy Pontiff Pius XII endorsed as recently as 1953, when his Concordat with the Spanish government prohibited all exterior manifestations of non-Catholic religions in that nation. If the Church had really taught at Vatican II (as is claimed by my critic Anthony Lo Bello that all this was "intrinsically wrong" - an absolute, per se violation of a natural human right - then I say that the Church would have utterly destroyed her claim to be the divinely-appointed interpreter of the moral law, guarded from error in her definitive teaching by the Holy Spirit in every age of history. Roma locuta est, cause finita est would in that event have become nothing more than a hollow boast, a cynical joke, an untenable superstition. How could any intelligent person ever trust a supposed oracle of truth which contradicted itself so calamitously and ignominiously as this?

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt57.html

You didn't respond to Father Harrison's article before, so, please, do so now.

MRyan wrote:But, if you really want to get this debate going, read “Catholic teaching on religion and the state” by John Lamont (highly recommended by Brother André Marie, here: http://catholicism.org/conciliar-theologian-is-too-understanding-of-sspx-position.html).

I read Brother Andre's post -- the SSPX thinks that Vatican II contradicts earlier, more authoritative, Magisterial teachings. What's the point here?

From your other post:

MRyan wrote:These are poor examples, because in each case objective truth is evidenced by undisputed historical fact. Catholic truth is not proven by way of subjective historical facts (both Muslims and Jews believe in the historical Jesus), but on reason and the gift of faith.

It is enough that the Catholic Faith is objectively true, in fact, the highest objective truth for me to say that some heretics, in times past, deserved to be burned alive at the stake. One must wonder why some Inquisitors, now canonized Saints of the Church, could have erred on this issue??? Or, for that matter, the Popes who canonized them?! But, if Quanta Cura is not infallible, then Exsurge Domine is probably not either, huh?

MRyan wrote:Because the true faith is not necessarily threatened by public error, neither does public error infallibly lead to the heresy of indifferentism.

To make this "stick", you have to put all infants who perish before the Age of Reason into Paradise, whether they were sacramentally baptized or not. In your "Mercy Reigns" theology, infants who die with sacramental Baptism have an "assurance" of eternal life, else, they have a "certain hope" of it. By doing this you can make the Anabaptists be our "separated brethren" as opposed to the despicable heretics that they are, if, in fact, they are excluding scores of infant children from Heaven by not sacramentally baptizing them.

"One novelty begets another," and so the cycle continues...
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:23 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:But it can be easily demonstrated that "the four conditions of the most solemn papal infallibility" are not fulfilled (Bishop Josef Fessler, Secretary to VCI, should have put that error to rest), and I dare say that no respected theologian today would dare suggest that they are.
Then demonstrate it, if it is "so easy" to do so! Specifically, what is Quanta Cura missing? What could Pope Pius IX have added to Quanta Cura to make it ex cathedra? Finally, what is Father Couture's error in his article? Where does he go wrong?
It does not appear that you understood the article by Fr. Couture, for nowhere does he suggest that Quanta Cura contains any solemn ex cathedra definitions. He said, rather, that "in this text (Quanta Cura) ... the four conditions of the most solemn papal infallibility" is "clearly fulfilled" in the "proscribed errors ... specially mentioned in this Letter” (the 80 condemned propositions in the Syllabus of Errors).

In other words, he suggests, there are two components forming the basis for the alleged 80 dogmatic definitions. The first is Quanta Cura, which, “by our Apostolic authority, reprobate denounce and condemn, in general and in particular all the evil opinions and doctrines specially mentioned in this Letter”; and second, there is the appended Syllabus of Errors containing the 80 condemned propositions or “Errors of our time which the Holy Fathers have on different occasions denounced”.

However, there is a third component that must be included in the solemn ex cathedra equation, and it is the referenced encyclicals, allocutions or letters from which each of the condemned propositions is taken. However, though they may contain infallible truths, none of the referenced encyclicals, allocutions or letters contain solemn definitions of faith or morals, so it appears that Fr. Couture is of the opinion that in Quanta Cura Pope Pius IX raised all his utterances on the 80 errors contained in the Syllabus to the position of ex cathedra dogmatic definitions.

However, with respect to the Syllabus, as Bishop Fessler, Secretary to the First Vatican Council, said, “there is nothing to show … under what category of condemned propositions, according to old ecclesiastical usage, a particular error falls, [so] we are compelled to have recourse to the records or sources, in which the particular propositions of the Syllabus have been on previous occasions condemned by Popes, in order to learn whether it is condemned simply as erroneous, or whether it has some other designation, and notably whether it has been condemned as heretical.”

By “under what category of condemned propositions, according to old ecclesiastical usage, a particular error falls” is meant the type of condemnation (theological note) as is typically found in the formally condemned errors of ages past, whether the pope was denouncing an “evil opinion” or a “doctrine” (not all of which are heretical), either of which may be “reprobated, denounced and condemned, in general and in particular” as “savouring of heresy” or as “schismatic”, or simply as “erroneous, or false”; or “dangerous”, or “scandalous”, or “perverse”; or “leading to heresy, or to schism, or to disobedience to ecclesiastical superiors”.

Here is what Fr. Couture said:

There is often much talk on papal infallibility: the different degrees, the conditions, etc. Rarely though, a clear text is given as example. Here is one from Pope Pius IX, of December 8th , 1864. It is taken from his encyclical Quanta Cura which was accompanied by the Syllabus of Errors, a solemn condemnation of 80 modern errors.

“…Amid so great a perversity of depraved opinions, We, remembering Our Apostolic duty, and solicitous before all things for Our most holy Religion, for sound doctrine, for the salvation of the souls confided to Us, and for the welfare of human Society itself, have considered the moment opportune to raise anew Our Apostolic voice. Therefore do We, by our Apostolic authority, reprobate denounce and condemn, in general and in particular all the evil opinions and doctrines specially mentioned in this Letter, and We will and We command that they may be held as reprobated, denounced, and condemned by all the children of the Catholic Church…”
The violence of such a condemnation may appear to some really astonishing.
Actually, anyone familiar with the ecclesiastical tradition for the formal language of Papal “Rescripts” would know there is nothing “astonishing” about it; it is the standard ecclesiastical language (varying with the ages) of formal papal documents, whether disciplinary or dogmatic.

Fr. Couture continues:

But a closer look at this passage reveals the fulfillment of the four conditions of infallibility. These are:

3 – That the Pope must clarify, condemn or define, that is that he must say something clear, not optional, not hypothetical. The least we can say here is that the Pope didn’t beat around the bush, but called a spade a spade!

“…We, by our Apostolic authority, reprobate denounce and condemn, in general and in particular all the evil opinions and doctrines specially mentioned in this Letter, and We will and We command that…”
So all "evil opinions" are heretical? Calling “a spade a spade” does not necessarily amount to a solemn ex cathedra definition on faith or morals. For example, from the Syllabus, condemned proposition #38 declares:

38. The Roman pontiffs have, by their too arbitrary conduct, contributed to the division of the Church into Eastern and Western. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851
And this is supposed to represent a defined article of Catholic faith? Does “arbitrary conduct” refer to acts of solemn definitions, or to prudential conduct that may be construed (even unjustly) as contributing to the acrimony that fanned the flames of division between East and West?

Pope Pius IX quoted directly from his 1851 apostolic letter, Ad Apostolicae, and is there any indication he was defining as an “ex cathedra” matter of Faith that declares “The Roman pontiffs have, by their too arbitrary conduct, contributed to the division of the Church into Eastern and Western”? Or is this one of the “evil opinions” the enemies of the Church used as an excuse to cast opprobrium against the Church? In other words, Jehanne, do you know the context of this condemned proposition as it is cited in Ad Apostolicae, or are we to accept at face value that the condemned proposition is an ex cathedra definition of the supreme teaching office on a matter of faith, the denial of which is tantamount to heresy?

Really? I suppose there was nothing “arbitrary” about the papal emissary who in 1054 entered the Hagia Sophia during Mass and, in plain sight of the congregation, placed the Bull of Excommunication (against the patriarch) on the altar. Oh no, the Pope’s conduct cannot be construed as contributing to the division between East and West, for we have, allegedly, a formal ex cathedra dogmatic definition declaring that it is heretical to even suggest such a thing!

As Bishop Fessler said of another alleged de fide definition brought forth by Dr. Schulte:

It would indeed be dreadful if, together with the definition de fide of the Vatican Council, delivered by the Infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, this was an article of faith which every Catholic, who hoped to be saved, was obliged to believe and obey. But if anybody has felt a qualm on reading this proposition, he may set his fears at rest. The case is not, after all, so desperate; it is only one of Dr. Schulte’s self-invented Catholic de fide doctrines, of which the Catholic Church really knows nothing at all; it was invented by Dr. Schulte to horrify people, and to keep them from giving their assent to the real de fide doctrine on the Infallibility of the Pope in doctrinal definitions.”
He went on to say:

Again, the Papal laws do not always rest their motivum or principle on divine teaching alone, but not unfrequently on a human view of the Jus publicum, as it was regarded in the period in which they were passed, or after thorough consideration of the measures which, according to human wisdom, were the best that could be adopted. We can easily see what a wild-goose chase we should be led if, every one for himself, we had to hunt up the supposed motives for ever so many Papal laws, in or to make out of them so many Papal infallible and unalterable definitions of faith!
In fact, Jehanne, with respect to your imaginary dogmatic definition that renders infallible “That heretics ‘deserve … to be severed from the world by death’”, Bishop Fessler responds:

26. The TWELFTH Proposition of Dr. Schulte is: ‘The Pope can deprive excommunicate persons of all their social rights, and in particular can dissolve their marriages.’

(1) The first proof of this is: Innocent IV. in his Bull Cum adversus of Oct. 31, 1243,1 confirms the laws of the Emperor Frederick II by accepting them. These laws condemn those guilty of heresy to the punishment of death at the stake; so in his Bull Ad extirpanda of May 15, 1243, there follows a long list of punishment against heretics.

Dr. Schulte recklessly brings forward as infallible, and therefore unalterable definitions of doctrine issued for the whole Church, laws of Popes expressly made for particular occasions. The penal laws of the Popes against heretics, he has piled together in his notes, have nothing whatever to do with unalterable definitions of doctrine, but are examples of the spirit of the age in which they were passed, and of a discipline subject to change, but they in no way belong to the Infallibility of the Pope.
Continuing with the matter of the Syllabus, immediately after the last of the 80 condemned propositions, it declares:

The faith teaches us and human reason demonstrates that a double order of things exists, and that we must therefore distinguish between the two earthly powers, the one of natural origin which provides for secular affairs and the tranquillity of human society, the other of supernatural origin, which presides over the City of God, that is to say the Church of Christ, which has been divinely instituted for the sake of souls and of eternal salvation.... The duties of this twofold power are most wisely ordered in such a way that to God is given what is God's (Matt. 22:21), and because of God to Caesar what is Caesar's, who is great because he is smaller than heaven. Certainly the Church has never disobeyed this divine command, the Church which always and everywhere instructs the faithful to show the respect which they should inviolably have for the supreme authority and its secular rights....
In "The True and False Infallibility of the Pope" by Bishop Fessler, there is an interesting footnote:

On July 20, 1871, after the publications of Bishop Fessler’s pamphlet, Pope Pius IX. received a deputation of the Academy of the Catholic religion. He exhorted its members to do their best to refute with all possible care the statements of those who made it their business to misconstrue the meaning of the Infallibility of the Pope, declaring it to be a pernicious error, to represent the Infallibility as comprising in itself the right to dethrone sovereigns, and release their subjects from their oath of allegiance. ‘This right,’ the Pope said,’ has, indeed, been exercised by Popes in extreme cases, but the right has absolutely nothing in common with Papal Infallibility. It was a result of the Jus publicum then in force by the consent of Christian nations, who recognized in the Pope the supreme judge of Christendom, and constituted him judge over princes and peoples even in temporal matters. The present situation is quite different. Nothing but bad faith could confound things so different and ages so dissimilar; as if an infallible judgment delivered upon some revealed truth had any analogy with a prerogative which the Popes, solicited by the desire of the people, have had to exercise when the public weal demanded it! Such statements are nothing but a mere pretext to excite princes against the Church.’ The Pope’s approbation of the Pastoral Instruction of the Swiss Bishops, in which this declaration of his is referred to, renders its authenticity indubitable.
While we are at it, in reference to The True and False Infallibility of the Pope, here is an "Extract from a Brief addressed to Bishop Fessler by his Holiness Pope Pius IX, April 27, 1871":

‘. . . . .We esteem it a very opportune and useful thing to have beaten back the audacity of Professor Schulte, inciting as he does the secular powers against the dogma of Papal Infallibility, as defined by the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican. For it is a matter the true meaning of which, not all men, and especially not all laymen, have a thoroughly clear understanding of, and the truth, when lucidly set forth, is wont to expel from properly constituted minds opinions which men perhaps have drunk in with their mother’s milk, to confirm others in a right mind, and fortify them against insidious attacks. Wherefore, if you continue to refute figments of this kind, you will deserve well of our most holy religion, and of all Christian people, in that, like a good pastor, you withdraw them from poisoned pastures. We make known to you, then, the great pleasure you have given Us, both by reason of the book which you have presented to Us, as well as by reason of your most affectionate letters; and We pray that you may receive a rich reward for your deference to Our authority and devotion towards Ourselves. . . . .’ (Signed by the Pope’s own hand.)
Continuing:

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:And of course, not a single one of the noted theologians and scholars who have weighed-in on this subject agrees with Fr. Couture (such as Martin Rhonheimer, Thomas Pink, Brian Mullady, Thomas Crean, Jaques Maritain, John Lamont, Cardinal Dulles, Brian Harrison, etc.).
I am surprised that you would include Father Brian Harrison in your "laundry list" of theologians
First of all, I read every one of the theologians and scholars included in my “laundry list” who have weighed-in on this subject, have you?

And why are you surprised? Have you already forgotten that I listed Fr. Harrison in the same category of theologians and scholars who are NOT of the same opinion of Fr. Couture in elevating the 80 condemned errors in Syllabus to formal ex cathedra doctrinal definitions of the solemn teaching office?

Why, for example, in opposition to Fr. Couture, did Fr. Gaudron (also ‘a priest of the SSPX" who happens to specialize "in dogmatic theology") say that “the doctrine of the Second Vatican Council on religious freedom, in its opposition to Pius IX’s understanding of the duties of the state toward the true religion, does not oppose a dogma of Catholic faith (and thus it is not heretical), but only a theological sententia certa”?

There is a profound difference between “heretical” and sententia certa, don’t you think?

Jehanne wrote: (of course, most Catholic (sic) theologians today are on record as believing "gay sex" to be moral, but that's another post for another time!)
You are implying, in your totally gratuitous and asinine statement, that one (or more) of the referenced theologians is included in “most Catholic (sic) theologians today are on record as believing ‘gay sex’ to be moral”, or, at the very least, your are suggesting that one or more of the theologians (sic) is guilty by association. Whatever you are implying, your statement is factually incorrect, disgusting, inflammatory and typical -- for you.

As Fr. Harrison does NOT hold Quanta Cura + the 80 condemned propositions of the Syllabus as representing de fide dogmatic definitions, I am under no obligation to respond to your challenge to respond to his article until you acknowledge this fact.

Besides, I am still waiting for you to identify the "contradictions" in Fr. Mullady's article.

And this is a good place to end this post.
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MRyan

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:50 pm

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote: (of course, most Catholic (sic) theologians today are on record as believing "gay sex" to be moral, but that's another post for another time!)

You are implying, in your totally gratuitous and asinine statement, that one (or more) of the referenced theologians is included in “most Catholic (sic) theologians today are on record as believing ‘gay sex’ to be moral”, or, at the very least, your are suggesting that one or more of the theologians (sic) is guilty by association. Whatever you are implying, your statement is factually incorrect, disgusting, inflammatory and typical -- for you.

Most Catholic theologians approve of same-sex marriage and Catholics generally do not differ much from the overall population on this issue.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/11/do-most-catholic-theologians-support-same-sex-marriage.html
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:53 pm

Leave it to you, Jehanne, to cite the anti-Catholic liberal pro-gay “Daily Beast”, which in turn cites the heretic Dr. Daniel Maguire who, right on Q, says, “Most Catholic theologians approve of same-sex marriage”, when “most” means most of the relatively FEW theologians who dissent from Church teaching like Maguire, which very well may be “most” of the theologians who teach in so-called “Catholic” institutions. But, when you can take that poll and bounce it against the mainstream theologians who scoff at such nonsense, let me know. That you simply take Maguire’s word for it is actually quite amazing.

And yes, I believe the poll that says 51% of “Catholics” believe in the right of same-sex marriage. That’s the miserable state of today’s catechetics. Ever wonder why the Pope has called for this “Year of Faith” and a “new evangelization”?

The Daily Beast, to show how objective it is, trots out the obligatory voice of “orthodoxy”, this time as represented by “Rev. James Martin, SJ, author and culture editor of the Catholic magazine, America” (uh-huh) who rather weakly says, “'The church is extremely clear about its teaching and there is very little room for change,” Martin said. 'The church teaches that homosexual activity is everywhere and always wrong, and that same-sex marriage is always wrong. As a result, it is very difficult for Catholic theologians to consider new ways to offer reflections on the experiences of gays and lesbians.'”

Gee, I guess it is, but that won’t stop them from trying!

But where do you get off linking my “laundry-list” of respected theologians to heretics like Maquire? That's my real objection, Jehanne, which you ignore as you saunter off to the beat of your own agenda.

Have you no shame?

Marquette heretic writes new book: a review of Dr. Maguire’s Whose Church?
Posted on 24 September 2008 by Thomas Klind
http://www.thewarrior.org/tag/daniel-maguire/



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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:26 pm

Jehanne wrote:
I am surprised that you would include Father Brian Harrison in your "laundry list" of theologians (of course, most Catholic (sic) theologians today are on record as believing "gay sex" to be moral, but that's another post for another time!) In any case, as I posted before, here is what Father Harrison has to say on this subject:

When it comes to the moral legitimacy of repressing the spread of false doctrine within the Christian commonwealth, however, we are faced with a solid block of near-unanimous and unwavering insistence, for over a thousand years, on the part of the pastors of the universal Church in communion with Peter's successor. We are talking about a doctrine which Pope Leo XIII declared personally in the encyclical Immortale Dei to be "the necessary growth of the teachings of the Gospel." In regard to the contrary doctrine (i.e., that government repression of anti-Catholic doctrine for the sake of the common good is intrinsically evil and unjust), Pius IX declared that this "evil opinion" must be "absolutely held as reprobated, denounced and condemned by all the children of the Catholic Church." We are looking at a doctrine to which the Bishops of the Catholic world gave their absolute and zealous support, endorsing its enforcement by the civil arm, with varying degrees of severity, for century after century; a doctrine with the gravest practical implications for the lives of millions of people, both Catholic and non-Catholic; a doctrine which formed one of the pillars of that whole world-view and civilization known historically as Catholic Christendom; a doctrine which the learned and holy Pontiff Pius XII endorsed as recently as 1953, when his Concordat with the Spanish government prohibited all exterior manifestations of non-Catholic religions in that nation. If the Church had really taught at Vatican II (as is claimed by my critic Anthony Lo Bello that all this was "intrinsically wrong" - an absolute, per se violation of a natural human right - then I say that the Church would have utterly destroyed her claim to be the divinely-appointed interpreter of the moral law, guarded from error in her definitive teaching by the Holy Spirit in every age of history. Roma locuta est, cause finita est would in that event have become nothing more than a hollow boast, a cynical joke, an untenable superstition. How could any intelligent person ever trust a supposed oracle of truth which contradicted itself so calamitously and ignominiously as this?

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt57.html

You didn't respond to Father Harrison's article before, so, please, do so now.
Why would I respond to a straw-man, e.g., the "contrary doctrine (i.e., that government repression of anti-Catholic doctrine for the sake of the common good is intrinsically evil and unjust ... [and] "an absolute, per se violation of a natural human right". If such a false notion were true, "then I [would] say [with Fr. Harrison] that the Church would have utterly destroyed her claim to be the divinely-appointed interpreter of the moral law, guarded from error in her definitive teaching by the Holy Spirit in every age of history".

F. Harrison is rebutting one Anthony Lo Bello, and his errant arguments are not my arguments, nor the argument of any of the theologians I have cited to date; neither do they represent the teachings of the Church.

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  George Brenner on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:14 pm

As taken From Courageouspriest.com......







In a 2004 document entitled “Catholics in Political Life,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

A petition protesting the university’s decision to invite Sebelius has gained more than 24,000 signatures in one week.

Bishop Morlino said that Catholic educators “have to get involved and act in accord with what we teach.”

“I’m afraid too many of them have strayed from that direction,” he cautioned.

He pointed to Pope Benedict’s recent address to a group of U.S. bishops gathered at the Vatican, explaining that the education of young Catholics in the faith is “the most urgent internal challenge” facing the Catholic Church in America.

“I embrace that wholeheartedly,” Bishop Morlino said.


In the Year of Faith the Church must teach the Faith. We must all do our part. What will we do to be part of the cure?



JMJ,


George
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:19 pm

MRyan wrote:As Fr. Harrison does NOT hold Quanta Cura + the 80 condemned propositions of the Syllabus as representing de fide dogmatic definitions, I am under no obligation to respond to your challenge to respond to his article until you acknowledge this fact.

(The context makes it clear that, by the expression "dogmatic judgment", Gasser here means any infallible definition having to do with dogma, not only with dogmas in the strict sense, because he notes in the same paragraph that the Council is proposing to define that "the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are infallible"; and as we have seen, a central point of the whole relatio is that the new formula being presented to the Fathers does not limit papal infallibility to dogmas in the strict sense, i.e., points of revealed truth.) In other words, Gasser was able to assert in passing - that is, as something which did not need arguing and would be taken for granted by his audience - that there had already been "thousands and thousands" of infallible definitions issued by former Popes! Even allowing for the fact that he doubtless did not intend to be taken quite literally here, and meant only to make the point that "a great many" such definitions were ex cathedra, it is obvious that he cannot have had in mind only solemn definitions of revealed truth, such as Pius IX's definition of the Immaculate Conception a few years previously. There have in fact been only a few such definitions. So Gasser obviously meant to include the many papal definitions of secondary truths, including censures less than heresy, as genuine ex cathedra, infallible definitions. In line with this, the noted dogmatic theologian J.M. Hervé, in his standard work, specifies all eighty of Pope St. Pius V's censures against the errors of Du Bay (DS 1901-1980) as infallible definitions, as well as all the errors condemned by Pius IX in the 1864 encyclical Quanta Cura.48 The conventional modern view that ex cathedra definitions are "extremely rare"49 is thus at variance with the Vatican I relator's view of the matter, and is evidently based on the falsely restrictive presupposition which Gasser and the entire deputation de fide went to such pains to exclude.

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt43.html

Before explaining this, however, a subsidiary issue needs to be clarified. I am very glad that my work has helped Davies (as he says on pp. 272-273) to see that there is no formal contradiction between Pius IX's 1864 encyclical Quanta Cura and the doctrine of Dignitatis Humanae. This encyclical (whose teaching, I agree, is ex cathedra and irreformable) is often a major stumbling-block for traditionalists who find genuine difficulty in accepting the Vatican II teaching. I hope that Davies' influence amongst such Catholics will be a significant factor in laying this unnecessary scruple to rest. Nevertheless, in referring to the Syllabus which accompanied Quanta Cura, Davies states (pp. 273-274):

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:28 am

Jehanne,

Excellent presentation by Fr. Harrison. It's been some time since I read it, and it sheds additional light on the present topic, for sure.

I look forward to returning to this when time permits.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:01 pm

As these threads tend to twist and turn depending on whatever point someone is trying to make that may or may not be entirely relevant to the original subject matter (where we find the initial disagreement), the initial subject (and disagreement) is often easily forgotten or ignored, and may remain largely unaddressed in the fog of tangential or subsidiary issues and disagreements. Perhaps, then, we should go back to the original point of contention so that we do not lose our focus on the central issue. That core issue can be found early on in the thread, here:

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:[Citing Martin Rhonheimer]This right implies the abrogation of the earlier claim of the so-called “rights of truth” to political and legal guarantees, and the renunciation of state repression of religious error. However one views the question, the conclusion is unavoidable: precisely this teaching of the Second Vatican Council is what Pius IX condemned in his encyclical Quanta Cura.
Wow, Mike, the above highlighted text sums things up nicely! I hold the teaching which Pope Pius IX taught in Quanta Cura to be infallible, that is, de fides ecclesiastica; this is also the position of the Society of Saint Pius X. If your reasoning is correct, then Pope Paul VI, when he signed Dignitatis humanae, was guilty of heresy, which means that the sedevacantist position must be correct. However, is there another alternative (that is, another interpretation which reconciles Quanta Cura and Dignitatis humanae?) I pose this question to all forum members.
Jehanne, the point you are missing, and the point Frs. Rhonheimer, Mullady and Harrison (and others) have made, is the fact that discontinuity lies ONLY in the application of immutable or divine doctrine to contingent and changeable circumstances, or, as Fr. Rhonheimer said: “The Council gave the same immutable principles a new application in a new historical setting”; Fr. Harrison agrees, and sums it up like this: “it is correct to see this interpretation as a norm of ecclesiastical law; that is, as a changeable human application of divine law rather than an immutable requirement of divine law itself.”

The fact that Frs. Rhonheimer and Harrison (or other theologians) may disagree on certain subsidiary issues does not change the fact of their essential agreement on this fundamental point. The only theologians who disagree with this essential point are sedevacantists, fence-sitters, the SSPX and others like them who see the “discontinuity of reform” essentially as a rupture with immutable doctrine. Recognizing that a solemn Ecumenical Council cannot err in its teachings on matters of faith or morals it proposes to the universal Church, the sede’s take their errant view to its logical conclusion, while the SSPX simply calls the teaching of an Ecumenical Council an “error” of the “ordinary magisterium” that must and can be rejected because VCII is “only” a “pastoral” [fallible] Council” that “defined” nothing.

This is why the issue of whether Quanta Cura and its appended Syllabus are held as infallible “ex cathedra” definitions of the pope’s solemn teaching office is actually irrelevant to the essential point being made by all of the orthodox theologians (mentioned and presented here) who have distanced themselves from the errant opinion of the SSPX and the sedevacantists, both of whom fail to recognize or make this critical distinction:

Vatican II has effectively given a new application to the immutable principles in light of modern circumstances. The civil authorities still have the same duties towards religious truth. These duties, however, are now fulfilled by the Christian faithful (including political authorities) in an organic manner and without direct recourse to coercive measures. The use of coercion remains legitimate, however, should a particular religious practice go beyond the "due-limits" established by law in view of the common good (CCC 2109).(Fr. Harrison, http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html)
Again, the failure to recognize this distinction is the main error that has driven certain trads to the sedevacantist camp, and has led the priests and Bishops of the SSPX to separate themselves from the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff and to accuse the Church of teaching a “new” doctrine that, allegedly, stands in blatant contradiction to an “infallible” teaching, and even an “ex cathedra definition” of the solemn and supreme teaching office of the pope.

In other words, Jehanne, that Fr. Harrison holds the teaching of Quanta Cura “ex cathedra and irreformable” is irrelevant to the fact that he (and the other theologians I mentioned) sees “no formal contradiction between Pius IX's 1864 encyclical Quanta Cura and the doctrine of Dignitatis Humanae”. By “formal”, of course, he means irreformable doctrine.

So your issue is NOT with Fr. Harrison, it is not with Fr. Rhonheimer, and it is not with Thomas Pink, Brian Mullady, Thomas Crean, Jaques Maritain, John Lamont, Cardinal Dulles and other established theologians who are unanimous in their essential agreement that there is “no formal contradiction between Pius IX's 1864 encyclical Quanta Cura and the doctrine of Dignitatis Humanae”. No, your issue, especially if Quanta Qura and the 80 condemned errors of the Syllabus are held as infallible “ex cathedra” definitions of the pope’s solemn teaching office (or even as infallible teachings of the Ordinary and Universal magisterium), is with Fr. Couture and others of the SSPX who hold this view while at the same time accusing the Church of teaching an opposing doctrine.

In other words, “If [their] reasoning is correct, then Pope Paul VI, when he signed Dignitatis humanae, was guilty of heresy, which means that the sedevacantist position must be correct."

That’s the “wow” of it, and nothing else; the tangential issues we’ve been “debating”, as interesting as they are, have served as distractions to this central issue.

We can discuss these subsidiary issues further, and I will, but I wanted to get this on the table, Jehanne, before this essential point is lost altogether.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:08 pm

MRyan wrote:Jehanne, the point you are missing, and the point Frs. Rhonheimer, Mullady and Harrison (and others) have made, is the fact that discontinuity lies ONLY in the application of immutable or divine doctrine to contingent and changeable circumstances, or, as Fr. Rhonheimer said: “The Council gave the same immutable principles a new application in a new historical setting”; Fr. Harrison agrees, and sums it up like this: “it is correct to see this interpretation as a norm of ecclesiastical law; that is, as a changeable human application of divine law rather than an immutable requirement of divine law itself.”

Well, if it changed once, it can change again, and that's point! It's not inconceivable (albeit, extremely improbable) that heretics and schismatics could, someday in the future, get their "just deserts" by being burned alive at the stake, and if not that, at least burning in Hell for all time and eternity. Dignitatis humanae was just that, a declaration, which means that it itself is reformable. "Development of doctrine" is not necessarily a "one-way" street, and all it would take would be a few (perhaps, a single) ex cathedra pronouncement from the Chair to set the groundwork for the "secular arm" to once again, proudly, "bear the sword" on behalf of the One True Faith & Church. Improbable, certainly! Impossible, no way!! In fact, Christ will do just that when He comes again in Glory.

In any case, I have to ask myself with respect to all of these message board posts, "So what?" Maybe Pope John Paul II is, at this very moment, burning in Hell, along with most bishops who were at the Second Vatican Council. Granted, the Holy Spirit may have protected the See of Peter from all error during JP II's reign, but JP II himself may have sinned mortally by his poor example and teachings, and as such, he may have lost his immortal soul for all time and eternity. In fact, even with Gaudium et Spes' optimism, it may be that virtually all individuals born as Jews, Muslim, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, etc., will spend eternity in the "fiery furnace" as well as the countless "cafeteria Catholics." Perhaps Heaven will be a sparsely-filled place indeed!

"Time will tell," I suppose. In the end, Truth will defend itself. Just remember, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre signed all 16 documents of Vatican II and there's no indication that he saw things in the same light as did Fathers Rhonheimer, Mullady and Harrison (and others), and there is no indicated that Pope Paul VI, who was the one who signed all 16 documents of Vatican II, saw things from their perspective, either. As for me, I am taking my stand with the SSPX; with them at least, one knows where they stand. If the Righteous Judge will say to me, "Well, he who hears you hears Me," I will reply, "My Lord, your most recent Popes spoke with a forked tongue." I believe that He will agree with me!
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:01 pm

Jehanne wrote:
In any case, I have to ask myself with respect to all of these message board posts, "So what?" Maybe Pope John Paul II is, at this very moment, burning in Hell, along with most bishops who were at the Second Vatican Council.
I have to agree with the first part, especially when reading responses such as yours. “So what", indeed; what’s the point of all this when it appears to be a complete waste of time?

Jehanne, its simple, stay off "message boards" and you won't have to respond to Fr. Harrison and all of the other orthodox theologians mentioned here, as well as to Pope Benedict XVI, with "So what?" (that is, after all, the best you can do); and we in turn won't have to listen to you wonder out loud if this or that "conciliar pope" is burning in Hell, clearly implying that they deserve to be.

Jehanne wrote:
As for me, I am taking my stand with the SSPX; with them at least, one knows where they stand. If the Righteous Judge will say to me, "Well, he who hears you hears Me," I will reply, "My Lord, your most recent Popes spoke with a forked tongue." I believe that He will agree with me!
Good for you, and good luck with that.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:14 pm

MRyan wrote:Jehanne, its simple, stay off "message boards" and you won't have to respond to Fr. Harrison and all of the other orthodox theologians mentioned here, as well as to Pope Benedict XVI, with "So what?" (that is, after all, the best you can do); and we in turn won't have to listen to you wonder out loud if this or that "conciliar pope" is burning in Hell, clearly implying that they deserve to be.

I love Father Harrison's writings:

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

I just don't think that he is saying what you're "making him out to be saying". In fact, the following is an email reply which I received from Father Harrison from 10 years ago (he never told me not to share it, as he has with certain other emails, so I do not believe that he would mind me doing so now):

Dear Don,

I presume you refer to Leo X's condemnation of the proposition that the "burning of heretics is contrary to the Holy Spirit". It needs to be noted that the Pope didn't specify what GRADE of error each of the many condemned propositions in that document was. The final part of the document gives a list ranging from "heresy" (gravest censure) down to "rash" and "offensive to pious ears" (mildest censures), but without saying which censures applied to which propositions.

Since there is no proof that Leo meant that the above proposition was, in his judgement, anything worse than "rash" or "offensive to pious ears", we are entitled to interpret it in that light. We can agree that in 1517 the proposition would have sounded "rash" and "offensive" to ordinary devout Catholics, because it went against a penal practice which the Church had approved for 300 years. That would have given many at that time the impression that there was really nothing too grave about the sin of heresy, and/or that burning people to death for any offence whatsoever is an intrinsically evil practice.

Both of those "impressions" would in fact be wrong. We can't say no sin is bad enough, in itself, to deserve burning, for that would undermine the doctrine of hell - an eternal punishment far worse than being burnt to death in this life. It would also involve the falsehood of saying that God Himself once ordered people to do what was intrinsically evil. The fact is that God prescribed burning to death in Old Testament times (see Leviticus 20: 1, 8, and 22 in conjunction with v.14). Liberals and modernists of course squeamishly maintain that God could never really have said that; but they thus deny the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture.

The proposition condemned by Leo X, in view of its reference to the Holy Spirit, could also give the "offensive" impression that burning heretics was actually an UNPARDONABLE sin - i.e., the "sin against the Holy Spirit". That too, would of course be false.

I think we would all agree today with the following proposition, which would be in accord with Dignitatis Humanae: "Burning heretics, while not intrinsically unjust if their heresy is such as to endanger a just public order, is nevertheless too harsh a punishment to be appropriate for a Christian society governed by the New Testament norms of mercy and lenience recommended and practised by Christ". How would Leo X have responded to THAT proposition? We don't know, because nobody at that time, as far as we know, put the issue in those terms. In any case, we should not confuse the requirements of justice with those of mercy.

I hope these comments are of some help.

Blessings,

Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:37 pm

The following extracts are taken from Google Books, “The Works Of Orestes A. Brownson: Containing The Second Part Of The Writings On Christianity And Heathenism In Politics And In Society by Orestes A. Brownson and Henry F. Brownson" (Editor), circa 1863.

Selections are from the chapter “You Go Too Far”, pp. 95 -101:

Preliminary note: In this section, Brownson continues his response to Jean Edme Auguste Gosselin, who wrote the following book [http://archive.org/details/a583585501gossuoft]:

* The Power of the Pope during the Middle Ages; or an Historical Inquiry into the Origins of the Temporal Power of the Holy See, and the Constitutional Laws of the Middle Ages, relating to the Deposition of Sovereigns, with an Introduction on the Honors and Temporal Privileges conferred on Religion and on its Ministers by the Nations of Antiquity, especially by the first Christian Emperors. [1853] By. M. Gosselin, Director in the Seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris. Translated by the REV. MATHEW KELLY, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. London: 1858. [p. 95]
Continuing:

… M. Gosselin, in so far as his theory excludes the temporal authority, at least indirect, of the church, by divine right, cannot make it incumbent upon us to accept it. If he is free to assert, we are equally free to deny it. Rome has never been partial to it, and has shown, on more occasions than one, what she thinks of it. We do not believe it. We believe, we have been forced to believe, after the fullest investigation we have been able to make on the subject, the direct temporal authority of the pope, as vicar of Jesus Christ on earth. We do not put this forth as Catholic dogma, nor have we ever insisted on it in our pages, but we believe Catholic dogma requires us to assert, at least, the indirect power contended for by Bellarmine and Suarez, unless we forego our logic. […]

Without expressly denying the theological doctrine of the divine right of the church to temporal authority, M. Gosselin contends that the temporal authority of the popes in the middle ages did not originate in that doctrine, for they possessed it, he says, before that opinion, as he calls it, was known, and therefore it could not have been its source. Whether that opinion be true or false, he contends, it did not originate the title by which they held and exercised their temporal power. The title by which they really did hold and exercise it, he maintains, was the jus publicum of the times, the constitution and laws of Catholic states in the middle ages. They had a real and valid title to it jure humano, but not jure divino. That the temporal authority of the popes in the middle ages was part of the jus publicum we certainly do not deny, but that it derived from the jus publicum we do not believe. …

All history fails to show an instance in which the pope, in deposing a temporal sovereign, professes to do it by the authority vested in him by the pious belief of the faithful, generally received maxims, the opinion of the age, the concessions of sovereigns, or the civil constitution and public laws of Catholic states. On the contrary, he always claims to do it by the authority committed to him as the successor of the price of the apostles, by the authority of his apostolic ministry, by the authority committed to him of binding and loosing, by the authority of Almighty God, of Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords, whose minister, though unworthy, he asserts he is,--or some such formula, and expressly sets forth that his authority is held by divine right, by virtue of his ministry, and exercised solely in his character of vicar of Jesus Christ on earth. To this, we believe, there is not a single exception…

End of extract.

Here, once again, is the response by Pope Pius IX to such exaggerations (as Dr. Schulte’s), who, “On July 20, 1871, after the publications of Bishop Fessler’s pamphlet, … received a deputation of the Academy of the Catholic religion. He exhorted its members to do their best to refute with all possible care the statements of those who made it their business to misconstrue the meaning of the Infallibility of the Pope, declaring it to be a pernicious error, to represent the Infallibility as comprising in itself the right to dethrone sovereigns, and release their subjects from their oath of allegiance. Continuing,

‘This right,’ the Pope said, ‘has, indeed, been exercised by Popes in extreme cases, but the right has absolutely nothing in common with Papal Infallibility. It was a result of the Jus publicum then in force by the consent of Christian nations, who recognized in the Pope the supreme judge of Christendom, and constituted him judge over princes and peoples even in temporal matters. The present situation is quite different. Nothing but bad faith could confound things so different and ages so dissimilar; as if an infallible judgment delivered upon some revealed truth had any analogy with a prerogative which the Popes, solicited by the desire of the people, have had to exercise when the public weal demanded it! Such statements are nothing but a mere pretext to excite princes against the Church.’
As the footnote says, “The Pope’s approbation of the Pastoral Instruction of the Swiss Bishops, in which this declaration of his is referred to, renders its authenticity indubitable.” ("The True and False Infallibility of the Pope" by Bishop Josef Fessler)
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:16 pm

I am perfectly okay with jure humano; who wouldn't be? Mike, if you think that American democracy is a good thing, then you are definitively not Catholic, because no true Catholic could endorse a system of government which allowed the deaths of 56 million individuals (the number of abortions since Roe v. Wade). Democracy is an intrinsic evil ipso facto for having allowed this unspeakable loss of life to occur unabated within its very borders, something which no Catholic monarch would have ever tolerated. Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of the medieval monarchies as being "legitimate governments":

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

It is unfortunate that the CCC condemns judicial torture, misunderstanding, at it does, the desire of Catholic princes to prevent, as much as they could, the everlasting torture of their subjects, in addition to maintaining the public and spiritual order of their kingdoms in accordance with the common good of their subjects.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  columba on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:41 pm

Translated by the REV. MATHEW KELLY, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. London: 1858.

St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, is a little outside Dublin, Ireland, not London.
keeping it factual.. just keeping it factual.

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:51 pm

columba wrote:
Translated by the REV. MATHEW KELLY, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. London: 1858.

St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, is a little outside Dublin, Ireland, not London.
keeping it factual.. just keeping it factual.

Yes, of course, and there is a "period" after "Maynooth" (where it was translated) for a reason. "London" is where the book was published, in 1858 by "C. Dolman". Rolling Eyes
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:37 pm

Here's a different perspective on the Church's view of monarchies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_right_of_kings#Catholic_Justified_Submission
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  George Brenner on Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:48 pm

As posted by Lionel Andrades on Eucharistic Mission:



"One of Archbishop Müller’s trickier tasks is overseeing the reconciliation process with the Society of St Pius X. When I probed to get an idea of the current situation between Rome


and the SSPX, Archbishop Müller answered pithily: “There remain misunderstandings about Vatican II, and these must be agreed upon. The SSPX must accept the fullness of the Catholic faith, and its practice.


“Disunity always damages the proclamation of the Gospel by darkening the testimony of Jesus Christ.


“The SSPX need to distinguish between the true teaching of the Second Vatican Council and specific abuses that occurred after the Council, but which are not founded in the Council’s documents.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

True, but very incomplete and very NON SPECIFIC in working with SSPX concerning the decades of not resolving the rupture between Rome and SSPX. The Church heirarchy were very derelict in not accepting and owning up to and resolving the abuses from the get go as if discipline, execution, implementation, accountability, reverence, abuse and follow up does not fall squarely on the shoulders of the Church Heirarchy themselves. The problem lies in not clearly explaining to the clergy let alone the Church millitant the complexity of the documents, teaching and ' mind of the Church ' in clear terms. It is no wander that there are sedevacanist along with SSPX, SSPV, Rad trads, fence sitters and the multitude of fallen away Catholics along with the most prevalent Catholic which has been reality for quite some time and that specifically is the "Cafeteria Catholic" whereby you pick, choose and discern your own interpretations and conclusions on what you think the Church teaches. The Church needs to teach clearly and with simplicity such subjects as : No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church, Baptism of Desire, Baptism of Blood implicit and explicit, known and unknown, invincible ignorance,etc etc. Our faith was never meant to be complicated. The great news is that I believe that we did hit bottom {or if not may God help us.} In this the year of the Faith, I can see real change and some progress in restoring the Faith to previous levels of doing the will of God. Yes truth must be accompanied with Charity but..... Charity , love and ecumenism without truth does and has done great damage to our faith and the main reason for the ill results of VII.

So what is a Catholic to do? Prayer is always the priority. We need to be part of the solution. If only 18 % of "Catholics" believe in "No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church", what can we do to personally bump that to 19 % , then 20 % etc. There are many great and holy priests and laymen in the Church. The Saintly and Holy Cardinal Ottaviani who did much pre work before the start of VII and warned Pope Paul VI th of the dangerous waters we were entering and yet clearly did the will of God after he had his say in being completely obedient and supportive of his Holy Father and VII. I have a Priests Sacramentary from the pre Vatican Council II that has all the changes and eliminations of words like kneel and others crossed out and Why? so sadly and tragically evident in comments. I have letters sent to my Mom and Dad from Priests stating 'for your eyes' only that clearly indicate the suicidal impact on our faith that we were entering with reverence being compromised. The Holy Ghost protects our Church and we know that this will pass. The Holy Father needs our prayers and for us to live our faith by being a good example and having a positive effect on anyone whose lives we touch. It is not as if we have been tapped on the shoulder by the Holy Ghost or had a dream and been given a message by an angel that we were personally appointed to interpret and reconcile VII with previous ages and councils. VII is a completely legitimate Council whose proper and Holy implementation were clearly hijacked by the works of the devil. There can be no positive results for believing or holding in our hearts or minds that a Pope has been condemned to hell as if we there are ever any high fives on the loss of even one soul or that this attitude might not effect our eternal destiny. We cannot live in the past or continually curse the darkness in trying to prove how bad things were (are). We are expected to be part of the solution. This will be my last post on the Crisis in the Church other than to answer this specific post or to report someone to his or her superiors who are clearly attacking our Faith of which I believe that I am accountable in that silence can be sinful. There is so much good and Heaven expects us to be all that we can be in doing the will of God.


JMJ, May all of you have a happy and Blessed Christmas..... CHRIST MASS

George


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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:17 pm

Jehanne wrote:I am perfectly okay with jure humano; who wouldn't be?
That is not the issue, for you cannot say you are for "jure humano" while also saying you are for "jure divino"; and this you most certainly did with your "divine right of kings" post, my answer to which you never responded.

You want it both ways, so when you say "I am perfectly okay with jure humano; who wouldn't be?", you act as if you never advocated jure divino, which we both know to be false.

Jehanne wrote: Mike, if you think that American democracy is a good thing, then you are definitively not Catholic, because no true Catholic could endorse a system of government which allowed the deaths of 56 million individuals (the number of abortions since Roe v. Wade). Democracy is an intrinsic evil ipso facto for having allowed this unspeakable loss of life to occur unabated within its very borders, something which no Catholic monarch would have ever tolerated.
Another logical fallacy. The sin of abortion is not the result of "democracy", it is the result of sin, and of the failure of governments and of men to obey the objective moral order.

About democratic forms of government, Pope Leo XIII declared:

44. Again, it is not of itself wrong to prefer a democratic form of government, if only the Catholic doctrine be maintained as to the origin and exercise of power. Of the various forms of government, the Church does not reject any that are fitted to procure the welfare of the subject; she wishes only -- and this nature itself requires -- that they should be constituted without involving wrong to any one, and especially without violating the rights of the Church. (Libertas, On the Nature of Human Liberty, 1888)
And, from LONGINQUE OCEANI, "ON CATHOLICITY IN THE UNITED STATES, ENCYCLICAL OF HIS HOLINESS POPE LEO XIII, JANUARY 6, 1895":

4. Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. [...]

5. That your Republic is progressing and developing by giant strides is patent to all; and this holds good in religious matters also. For even as your cities. in the course of one century, have made a marvelous increase in wealth and power, so do we behold the Church, from scant and slender beginnings, grown with rapidity to be great and exceedingly flourishing. Now if, on the one hand, the increased riches and resources of your cities are justly attributed to the talents and active industry of the American people, on the other hand, the prosperous condition of Catholicity must be ascribed, first indeed, to the virtue, the ability, and the prudence of the bishops and clergy; but in so slight measure also, to the faith and generosity of the Catholic laity.
In another words, Jehanne, the "heresy" of "Americanism", which is condemned by Pope Leo XIII in Testem benevolentiae nostrae for the watering down of irreformable doctrine to make it acceptable to converts, has nothing to do with "democracy" being a legitimate form of government. That a democratic constitutional republic can fail in its moral duty to God and men does not render the government "intrinsically evil"; and, immoral/unjust laws are no laws.

Jehanne wrote:
2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.
It is unfortunate that the CCC condemns judicial torture, misunderstanding, at it does, the desire of Catholic princes to prevent, as much as they could, the everlasting torture of their subjects, in addition to maintaining the public and spiritual order of their kingdoms in accordance with the common good of their subjects.
It is unfortunate that you understand neither the CCC nor Dignatus Humanae with respect to the Church's "correction" of this misguided violation of the legitimate and fundamental rights and dignity of the human person; that dignity Pope Leo XIII aptly defines as “that freedom which most truly safeguards the dignity of the human person. It is stronger than any violence or injustice. Such is the freedom which has always been desired by the Church, and which she holds most dear."

Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, in no uncertain terms condemned the injustice of civil intolerance committed on behalf of the Church. The Pontiff declared:

Another painful chapter of history to which the sons and daughters of the Church must return with a spirit of repentance is that of the acquiescence given, especially in certain centuries, to intolerance and even the use of violence in the service of truth.

It is true that an accurate historical judgment cannot prescind from careful study of the cultural conditioning of the times, as a result of which many people may have held in good faith that an authentic witness to the truth could include suppressing the opinions of others or at least paying no attention to them. Many factors frequently converged to create assumptions which justified intolerance and fostered an emotional climate from which only great spirits, truly free and filled with God, were in some way able to break free. Yet the consideration of mitigating factors does not exonerate the Church from the obligation to express profound regret for the weaknesses of so many of her sons and daughters who sullied her face, preventing her from fully mirroring the image of her crucified Lord, the supreme witness of patient love and of humble meekness. From these painful moments of the past a lesson can be drawn for the future leading all Christians to adhere fully to the sublime principle, stated by the Council: "The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it wins over the mind with both gentleness and power."
Now that begs the question: Did the Church, in "correcting" these acts of violence and repression which (the Church teaches) violate the dignity and natural rights of man, condemn these acts as "immoral"? If they are not immoral acts, and are construed only as reformable disciplines that can change with the times, then Jehanne would be right when he suggests that the Church may one day "develop" her doctrine in the opposite direction by permitting once again these acts of violence (e.g "that heretics and schismatics could, someday in the future, get their 'just deserts' by being burned alive at the stake").

However,

... Fr. Harrison uses "intrinsically [unjust, immoral, evil, or vicious]" to refer to something which is essentially or per se unjust, immoral, evil, or vicious, and therefore absolutely (i.e.. without exception "always and everywhere") unjust, immoral, evil, or vicious. Ibid., 87, 134-136. But see RLC, 135, where he appears to hold that an act, not intrinsically evil, may nevertheless be immoral in specific contexts because it leads to evil consequences. He also appears to hold that a law or policy, not intrinsically unjust, can conceivably be objectively unjust (as distinguished from being imprudent) in some determinate circumstances because of its evil consequences (LT93. 5-6: F89, 40-41). Such injustice can, I think, be properly called extrinsically or instrumentally unjust. [...]

It is possible that a judgment that a particular act or practice is morally evil, whether or not intrinsically so, may well depend upon the discernment of empirical facts which have neither been divinely revealed nor are necessarily connected thereto. See Donum Veritas: Instruction on Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian (24 May 1990) (Boston: St. Paul Books & Media, n.d.), # 24. For example, DH, # 9, declares that "the right of people to religious freedom have their basis in the dignity of the person, the demands of which have come to be more fully known to human reason from the experience of centuries" (Tanner II, 1006). Similarly, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has declared: "the legitimate demand for freedom in the absence of constraint is a necessary condition for the loyal inquiry into truth" (Donum Veritas, # 32). ("Contra Harrison in Re Libertate Religiosa: On the meaning of Dignitatis Humanae", by Arnold T. Guminski, Endnote #49)

Guminski's lengthy article can be found here:

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=8798&repos=1&subrepos=0&searchid=636318

Btw, Fr. Harrison responded to Mr. Guminski with "What Does Dignitatis Humanae Mean? A Reply to Arnold Guminski" (http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8775). Here is an extract from the last section:

... I no longer hold, as I did in 1993, that according to traditional doctrine, there can never (i.e., from Pentecost until judgment Day) be a natural right of any non-Catholics "in predominantly Catholic states" to be tolerated in the public profession of their religion. This modification enables me to withdraw in turn another claim — rather shaky, as I now see it — which I logically had to make in the same book review in order to sustain my central thesis that DH does not contradict traditional doctrine. I refer to the claim — severely criticized by Mr. Guminski — that the right to public freedom implicitly recognized by DH for non-Catholics living "in predominantly Catholic states" is not in fact, according to the Council, a natural right, but only "an acquired right granted by the Church."(111) My critic points out that this expression effectively reduces the public religious liberty of non-Catholics in such states to "a matter of legislative grace"(112) — a mere privilege, in effect. I am now inclined to agree with him that this reading of the Council "presents difficulties," and probably does not do justice to the mind of the Pope and conciliar Fathers. It would imply, for instance, that the right of non-Catholics in Spain to immunity from coercion in publicly manifesting their religion began to exist only on December 7, 1965, precisely by virtue of the Church's promulgation of DH. I now think it more likely that the true mind of the Church at that moment was that she was discerning an already-and-independently-existing reality, not creating a new reality by her own legislative fiat. [...]

[...] Readers may perhaps welcome a thumb-nail summary of my overall thesis. My basic position is that the big difference between the Church's stance on religious liberty before and after Vatican II lies not in her old and new doctrinal teachings respectively; for these, though certainly not identical, are quite compatible, thanks largely to their very general (non-specific) content. Rather, it lies in the Church's very different pre- and post-conciliar prudential judgments as to how much restriction on false and immoral propaganda is in fact required by a just public order, given the dramatic social and political changes of recent centuries.
Finally, in LIBERTAS, Pope Leo XIII tells us on what firm basis "the very bonds of human society rest":

25. Wherefore, this liberty, also, in order that it may deserve the name, must be kept within certain limits, lest the office of teaching be turned with impunity into an instrument of corruption. Now, truth ... is of two kinds: natural and supernatural. Of natural truths, such as the principles of nature and whatever is derived from them immediately by our reason, there is a kind of common patrimony in the human race. On this, as on a firm basis, morality, justice, religion, and the very bonds of human society rest: and to allow people to go unharmed who violate or destroy it would be most impious, most foolish, and most inhuman.
In other words, Jehanne, abortion and other immoral acts that are protected by the government are clear violations of the "principles of nature" upon which "a firm basis, morality, justice, religion, and the very bonds of human society rest: and to allow people to go unharmed who violate or destroy it would be most impious, most foolish, and most inhuman".





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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:29 pm

Well, if Pope John Paul II is "burning in Hell" at this very moment, I certainly hope that he does not feel that his "fundamental rights and liberties" are being violated! As for his famous (or infamous) "apology", who knows what he is talking about??? Is he condemning the various Catholic Inquisitions? If so, he does not say that! The canonized Saints who oversaw them? Ditto. Burning heretics alive at the stake??? Again, ditto. St. Bartholomew's Day massacre? (That one I would agree with!) Who knows what he is thinking; his whole apology seems like a "trial balloon."

So, democracy is not evil; well, I suppose that the same thing can be said about fascism, communism, dictatorships, etc. Nazism, as a form of government, was not evil; it's the way they behaved that was evil. (The Nazis did not tolerate abortion, by the way; the guillotined a woman for it -- See the movie "The Story of Woman" or something like that. The Nazis also did not tolerate homosexuality -- they were very "pro-family"!) Okay, I think that psychologists refer to this as the "A-B relationship" or is it the "B-A relationship"??? Governments which engage in mass murder can still be intrinsically good?! Okay, now I get it! Separation of Church & State has been such a wonderful blessing to the unborn, hasn't it?! But, wait, the souls of murdered and/or babies go to Heaven, even if they are not been sacramentally baptized! It's not abortion, but "angel making"! Well, we can all smile at that, can't we!!

So, Father Harrison is a "flip-flopper"! I cannot help but wonder if his "change of heart" was after his letter to me in 2001. So, burning heretics alive at the stake is intrinsically evil and/or wrong? Is that what DH is saying?! If so, it never said it, and understanding the "mind of the Pope" or his predecessor, well, that's almost a full-time job. One does not exactly know what these guys are saying. But, I have you to tell me "their mind," don't I? But, let's put the question to rest, shall we? So, answer it:

Is the punishment of being burned alive at the stake for the crime and sin of heresy against the Catholic faith an intrinsically evil act by what was declared in Dignitatis humanae?

'Yes' or 'No', if you please.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:49 pm

Jehanne wrote:Well, if Pope John Paul II is "burning in Hell" at this very moment, I certainly hope that he does not feel that his "fundamental rights and liberties" are being violated! [...]
Jehanne, put a sock in it, lest you find yourself on the other side of the divide begging for a drop of moisture from the tip of Blessed JPII's finger, which he would gladly give to you if only he could. Knock it off.

Jehanne wrote:So, Father Harrison is a "flip-flopper"! I cannot help but wonder if his "change of heart" was after his letter to me in 2001.
No one said Fr. Harrison was a "flip-flopper". I was demonstrating where he came to amend a previous position he had formulated, he says, in his "review of Michael Davies’ book, The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty (LT #44, January 1993), at www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html. The argument developed in that review article has since been modified in one important respect: for my revised position, cf. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., 'What Does Dignitatis Humanae Mean? A Reply to Arnold Guminski' (Faith & Reason, Vol. XXX, nos. 3 & 4, Autumn & Winter, 2005, pp. 243-295, especially section IV.4, pp. 277-282)." (Endnote 2, DIGNITATIS HUMANAE: A NON-CONTRADICTORY DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT, March, 2011, http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt151.html)

Now, does that mean that what Fr. Harrison "appears to hold", he in fact holds? Only he can answer that question, and perhaps he has, but I"m not sure (I haven't finished reading his response to Guminski). Again, Guminski said:

Fr. Harrison "appears to hold that an act, not intrinsically evil, may nevertheless be immoral in specific contexts because it leads to evil consequences. He also appears to hold that a law or policy, not intrinsically unjust, can conceivably be objectively unjust (as distinguished from being imprudent) in some determinate circumstances because of its evil consequences (LT93. 5-6: F89, 40-41). Such injustice can, I think, be properly called extrinsically or instrumentally unjust. [...]"

Jehanne wrote:
So, burning heretics alive at the stake is intrinsically evil and/or wrong? Is that what DH is saying?! If so, it never said it, and understanding the "mind of the Pope" or his predecessor, well, that's almost a full-time job. One does not exactly know what these guys are saying. But, I have you to tell me "their mind," don't I?

But, let's put the question to rest, shall we? So, answer it:

Is the punishment of being burned alive at the stake for the crime and sin of heresy against the Catholic faith an intrinsically evil act by what was declared in Dignitatis humanae?

'Yes' or 'No', if you please.
No, and NO ONE said it was. I suppose its difficult to discern the mind of the author (let alone the mind of the pope) when one cannot be bothered to read, let alone try to understand, his actual words.


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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  Jehanne on Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:17 pm

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:Well, if Pope John Paul II is "burning in Hell" at this very moment, I certainly hope that he does not feel that his "fundamental rights and liberties" are being violated! [...]
Jehanne, put a sock in it, lest you find yourself on the other side of the divide begging for a drop of moisture from the tip of Blessed JPII's finger, which he would gladly give to you if only he could. Knock it off.

If I am in eternal Hell someday, it won't be because I kissed the "holy book" of some infidels and/or prayed alongside them as they prayed to their false gods. It will, rather, be for other sins.

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:So, Father Harrison is a "flip-flopper"! I cannot help but wonder if his "change of heart" was after his letter to me in 2001.
No one said Fr. Harrison was a "flip-flopper". I was demonstrating where he came to amend a previous position he had formulated, he says, in his "review of Michael Davies’ book, The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty (LT #44, January 1993), at www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html. The argument developed in that review article has since been modified in one important respect: for my revised position, cf. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., 'What Does Dignitatis Humanae Mean? A Reply to Arnold Guminski' (Faith & Reason, Vol. XXX, nos. 3 & 4, Autumn & Winter, 2005, pp. 243-295, especially section IV.4, pp. 277-282)." (Endnote 2, DIGNITATIS HUMANAE: A NON-CONTRADICTORY DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT, March, 2011, http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt151.html)

Now, does that mean that what Fr. Harrison "appears to hold", he in fact holds? Only he can answer that question, and perhaps he has, but I"m not sure (I haven't finished reading his response to Guminski). Again, Guminski said:

Fr. Harrison "appears to hold that an act, not intrinsically evil, may nevertheless be immoral in specific contexts because it leads to evil consequences. He also appears to hold that a law or policy, not intrinsically unjust, can conceivably be objectively unjust (as distinguished from being imprudent) in some determinate circumstances because of its evil consequences (LT93. 5-6: F89, 40-41). Such injustice can, I think, be properly called extrinsically or instrumentally unjust. [...]"

Well, all those articles are on his website:

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

If he does not agree with them, perhaps he should remove them or at least add an "update" section to them. Of course, Father Harrison has removed other LT articles for that very reason.

MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:So, burning heretics alive at the stake is intrinsically evil and/or wrong? Is that what DH is saying?! If so, it never said it, and understanding the "mind of the Pope" or his predecessor, well, that's almost a full-time job. One does not exactly know what these guys are saying. But, I have you to tell me "their mind," don't I?

But, let's put the question to rest, shall we? So, answer it:

Is the punishment of being burned alive at the stake for the crime and sin of heresy against the Catholic faith an intrinsically evil act by what was declared in Dignitatis humanae?

'Yes' or 'No', if you please.
No, and NO ONE said it was. I suppose its difficult to discern the mind of the author (let alone the mind of the pope) when one cannot be bothered to read, let alone try to understand, his actual words.

Then we have no argument here. If the Pope recognizes the intrinsic right of a Catholic prince to execute the law on his land, including, the right to put heretics to death, if, in the judgment of the Church and himself, such individuals constitute a thread to the public order and/or common good of his subjects, then there is absolutely no rupture with Tradition.

As for the idea of the "divine right" of Catholic princes, the arguments for that were set forth in the Wikipedia article which I posted:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_right_of_kings#Catholic_Justified_Submission

Catholic Justified Submission

Catholic thought justified submission to the monarchy by reference to the following:

1. The Old Testament, in which a line of kings was created by God through the prophecy of Jacob/Israel, who created his son Judah to be king and retain the sceptre until the coming of the Messiah, alongside the line of priests created in his other son, Levi. Later, a line of Judges (who were not kings as they only had the power to provide insight to the people and not to take action to enforce their rulings) was created alongside the line of High Priests created by Moses through Aaron. Later still, the Prophet Samuel re-instituted the line of kings in Saul, under the inspiration of God.

2. The New Testament, in which the first pope, St. Peter, commands that all Christians shall honour the Roman Emperor (1 Peter 2:13-17), even though, at that time, he was still a pagan emperor. Likewise, Jesus Christ proclaims in the Gospel of Matthew that one should "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's"; that is at first, literally, the payment of taxes as binding those who use the imperial currency, but more widely interpreted as the offer of obedience and submission to the proclaimed worldly king (Matthew 22:20-21) in matters not contrary to conscience.

3. The endorsement by the popes and the church of the line of emperors beginning with the Emperors Constantine and Theodosius, later the Eastern Roman emperors, and finally the Western Roman emperor, Charlemagne and his successors, the Catholic Holy Roman Emperors.
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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:45 pm

Doctrinal Development on Religious Liberty

By Dr. Jeff Mirus, June 23, 2010 4:15 PM

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=447

'One of our generous supporters, Jonathan Liem, has asked me to examine the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on religious liberty in order to resolve the questions some have expressed about how the Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae) can be reconciled with certain preceding elements in Catholic Tradition. I had addressed this question briefly in Conflicting Teachings of the Magisterium? [http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=300], pointing out that a number of scholars have shown different ways in which the various Magisterial teachings can be reconciled, but the Church herself has not approved one explanation over another. Therefore, in this essay, I can only indicate what I believe the best solution to be.

Setting the Stage

'This is a complex topic, and I will propose that anyone wishing to understand its resolution completely must be willing to read two longer essays available in our library, which I believe are the best things yet written on the subject. These essays demonstrate conclusively, in my judgment, first that there is no conflict between past teaching and the teaching of Vatican II once one carefully parses what each really requires Catholics to believe; and second that the Council actually provided a legitimate doctrinal development of the Church’s teaching on religious liberty, a development which makes that teaching clearer and more complete. As an essential preliminary, however, it is necessary to consider the proper method to be followed in cases of this kind, and to clear away factors which, while possibly clouding our judgment, ought to have no real bearing on the question.

'Whenever we perceive a conflict or confusion between two Magisterial teachings, the proper approach demands that we recognize that the deficiency is in our own lack of perception, not in the truth of the Magisterial teachings. This lack of perception may consist in a misunderstanding of one or the other teaching because we have jumped to a conclusion about “what it must mean” without analyzing it with sufficient care to determine what it specifically requires us to believe. Or it may consist in a confusion of common theological opinion or even widespread Catholic practice with what the Magisterium actually teaches. Or it may simply consist in our own personal inability to perceive how two or more statements can be reconciled. For example, it took theologians centuries to understand how the Scriptural statements which emphasize Christ’s omniscience could be reconciled with His statements of apparent limitation, such as not knowing the time of the end of the world. Yet none of the Church Fathers held that some passages were true and others false.

'In any case, the proper attitude is one of acceptance of the Church’s Magisterium in all its manifestations, confident of their truth even when we do not wholly understand them. It is not possible to prefer the authority of one statement to another, if both are properly Magisterial, as if the Magisterium is protected from error in some eras but not in others. In the right spirit, therefore, one must lay out all the relevant statements and closely analyze what each says, striving to come to an understanding which admits the truth of all.

Four Difficulties with this Particular Issue

'The Second Vatican Council upheld the right of all persons to be free from coercion by the State in religious matters, within due limits. Some have taken this to contradict an earlier emphasis by the Church on the duties of the State to acknowledge the truth and to suppress error in religious matters. In the continuing debate, it is possible to identify four particular difficulties which have made the relevant questions more difficult for many people to resolve.

'Category Mistakes: The first difficulty is the tendency to get bogged down in irrelevant matters. This has been the case, for example, with those commentators who have applied principles appropriate to Canon Law to the elucidation of doctrine, which is a category mistake. Thus we cannot resolve doctrinal problems by appealing to other statements made at the time of the doctrinal formulation which shed light on what the formulators (either pope or council) had in mind, or from the common practice of the Church at the time. No, what they may have had in mind—or how most Churchmen acted—is doctrinally irrelevant. It is only what the Magisterium succeeded in writing down and promulgating that matters, for it is precisely at this stage that the Holy Spirit ensures that mistaken aspects of the human understanding do not bleed through to the final draft.

'As an example, Fr. Brian Harrison, who has written many good things about the issue of religious liberty, has sometimes fallen afoul of this methodological difficulty, and his critics have done the same. Indeed, the long and still ongoing debate between Fr. Harrison and Arnold Guminski (some of which is available in our library) is extremely difficult to follow because it quickly gets lost in arguments over intention (irrelevant), the “practical infallibility” of ecclesiastical practice in earlier times (an infallibility which does not exist), and other similar confusions. These are highly relevant to the interpretation of law, but they have no bearing on doctrinal questions whatsoever.

'Preconceptions: A second difficulty has often afflicted both modernists and traditionalists in their handling of the religious liberty issue. I refer to preconceptions and predispositions. Modernists don’t accept the consistency and stability of Church teaching, so they find no problem in what others may perceive as innovation. Their understanding of religioius truth is risible and cannot possibly interest us in resolving the concerns before us now. Traditionalists have an unfortunate tendency to assume that they know what older Magisterial statements “must mean” without parsing them precisely and in light of more recent and equally authoritative statements. There tends to be a traditionalist animus against newer doctrinal developments in favor of older emphases, and this apparent willingness to accord the Magisterium supreme authority in one era but not in another too often leads to sloppiness of interpretation.

'I will dwell on this particular predisposition for just a moment because it is, in fact, the traditionalist inability (or refusal) to see how the older and more modern texts fit together that continues to fuel a controversy which, for everybody else, was laid to rest by scholarly work done within 20 years of the Council. Essentially, the traditionalist view of the matter is lifted from the work of the late Michael Davies, an extremely articulate scholar who was uniformly critical of the Council and the post-conciliar Church, and who had the unfortunate habit of appearing to master extensive traditional references while failing to understand their precise meaning, their authoritative weight, or the irrelevance of his own inability to imagine a satisfactory reconciliation of what he perceived as divergent statements.

'It is one of the best services of Fr. Harrison on this subject that he has made these problems of understanding eminently clear in the case of Davies’ treatment of the religious liberty controversy, by his review of Davies’ book on the subject [http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=9020&CFID=28352881&CFTOKEN=70210143]. It is worth noting in this context that the one article referenced by Jonathan Liem in asking me to address this issue was taken from a traditionalist newspaper, The Remnant, and written by a guest columnist, John Salza, who apparently follows Davies in every respect. In some circles, Michael Davies tends to be regarded as more authoritative than the pope, but I honestly cannot over-emphasize the need to detach oneself from the shortcomings of his traditionalist (not to say traditional) perspective as a precondition for fully understanding the problem of religious liberty.

'Rights: The third problem which afflicts this issue is a misunderstanding of human rights. Human rights are never absolute in and of themselves, but always entail corresponding duties, the failure of which nullifies the right. Even the most basic right, the right to life, can be forfeited if we fail in our duty to refrain from attacking innocent persons. So too with lesser rights, such as the right to freedom of speech (one may not shout “Fire!” in a crowded room). This is also the case with the right of the State to suppress error (it depends on how the error has been determined and what the consequences of attempting to suppress it are). Finally, this also applies to religious liberty, which carries a corresponding duty to engage in one’s quest for God in a manner that neither subverts the common good nor does violence to the Catholic religion. Thus Vatican II talked about religious liberty “within due limits”, and the nature of those limits is highly relevant to our discussion.

'Divine Brinkmanship: A fourth and final major difficulty which applies in a special way to the problem of religious liberty is what Fr. William Most has called “divine brinkmanship.” Freedom is built into God’s creation of man, because the decision to love is inescapably a free decision. This means that God (from His own love) is constrained to do everything He can to ensure man’s salvation without violating man’s freedom. Therefore, in all matters touching human liberty, we see God’s “brinkmanship” at work, that is, His perfect ability to give exactly what is due to His effort to bring man to salvation (and no more) and to give exactly what is due to human freedom (and no more)—two trajectories which are held, in ways often obscure to ourselves, in a precise balance which compromises neither. We should not be surprised, then, to find that the question of religious liberty with respect to the authority of the State participates in this same delicate balance, and that God’s requirements as expressed in Catholic doctrine on this subject are similarly characterized by a delicate balancing of the twin trajectories in yet another instance of Divine brinkmanship.

Resolving the Issue

'The first task in reconciling apparent contradictions among magisterial texts is, as we have seen, to examine the texts and determine carefully what each one enjoins or prohibits, and then to seek an understanding of the doctrinal question which satisfies the requirements of each of the texts. We might refer to this exercise as “finding the overlap”, for whenever a series of statements, all known to be true, appear to contradict each other, a close examination will reveal that there is some confluence in their requirements within which, by expressing the doctrine within this overlapping region, all statements are understood to be true. It is in fact exactly this process which permits us to clarify doctrine over time, understanding it more precisely as divergent aspects of the issue it represents are considered under different circumstances and in the face of different problems.

'Back in 1983, when I was a professor at Christendom College and the editor of the College’s academic journal, Faith & Reason, I requested several scholars of noteworthy intelligence and unimpeachable orthodoxy to contribute articles reconciling the older Magisterial pronouncements on religious liberty with the newer teachings in Dignitatis Humanae at Vatican II. The two most successful treatments I have ever seen were submitted and published in response to this request, and so you can see why I have not been overly concerned about this topic since that time. These are the two articles referred to above which I insist must be read for a complete understanding of the problem of religious liberty at Vatican II.

'The first, by the late Scripture scholar and theologian Rev. William G. Most, did a superb job of setting forth the proper method to be used (some of which I have summarized above), of marshalling the relevant Magisterial texts, of showing what each formally enjoins or excludes, and of demonstrating the “overlap” within which we find an understanding of religious liberty which recognizes all the Magisterial statements as true. Not coincidentally, Fr. Most was the foremost scholar in the world on the question of grace and free will, having made breakthroughs on this topic in the 1950’s when he published his masterwork Grace, Predestination and the Salvific Will of God: New Answers to Old Questions. While his article is not overly long, and is exceedingly easy to follow, it is certainly too much to repeat here. Instead I present it as required reading number one: Religious Liberty: What the Texts Demand. [http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=8776]

Clarifying the Statements

'Exploring the texts of Pope Gregory XVI, Pope Pius IX, Pope Leo XIII, and Pope Pius XII, Fr. Most first seeks to set forth their teachings according to the strict requirements of what these texts enjoin or prohibit. He draws out seven definitive statements which represent a precise and proper understanding of the Church’s full teaching on religious liberty prior to Vatican II:

1. No one has a right to just any wrong belief or worship. (Gregory XVI)
2. It is wrong to say that one can be saved precisely by false beliefs. (Gregory XVI)
3. It is wrong to say that no authority at all, church or state, has any right to restrain manifestation and publication of errors no matter how gross or immoral they are. (Gregory XVI)
4. It is wrong to say that those who do violence to the Catholic religion should not be restrained unless public order demands it. (Pius IX)
5. The state has the obligation to worship God, and to do it in the way God wills. (Leo XIII)
6. But it is necessary, for the common good, to permit some errors, as God Himself does. (Leo XIII)
7. Moreover, God does not give a right to repress certain kinds of errors at all. (Pius XII)

'Fr. Most then concludes by examining the teachings of the Council in order to find an understanding which satisfies not only Vatican II but earlier teachings, in particular the potential source of conflict in proposition number 4. He finds that a consideration of what it means to “do violence” to the Catholic religion (Pius IX) and the exercise of religious liberty “within due limits” (Vatican II) present plenty of room for an accommodation of all teachings, as indicated by “the nicely balanced teaching of Pius XII in Ci riesce: In some cases, God does not even give a right to repression, and the good of the universal Church would exclude repression.”

'Again, to get the full force of the examination, with all aspects of the problem duly considered, it is necessary to read the article.

Doctrinal Development at Vatican II

'In my own ideal solution to the questions we have been discussing, I wish to take the matter one small step farther than did Fr. Most. I believe that the teaching of Vatican II on religious liberty is not only something that can be understood to fit within the already established tradition. Rather, in one particular way it extends that tradition through a legitimate development of doctrine—that is, as Newman put it, a change which makes Catholic doctrine more precise while corroborating, rather than obscuring, the teachings from which it springs. We saw exactly this kind of development in the case of the Church’s teaching on capital punishment during the pontificate of John Paul II, who pointed out that the traditionally-acknowledged right of the State to execute for a grave reason was legitimately exercised only when it was necessary to protect society.

'The same thing, I believe, occurred with respect to religious liberty at the Second Vatican Council, and it is very important to examine a compelling review of the Church’s teaching which includes a formulation of exactly how the Council developed it. This is the contribution made by the second critical essay in my arsenal, by Dr. William H. Marshner, entitled “Dignitatis humanae and Traditional Teaching on Church and State”, published in the same Fall 1983 issue of Faith & Reason. Dr. Marshner is one of the founders of Christendom College, the first chair of its Theology Department, and still a professor of Theology there. He is an acknowledged expert not only in theology but in the intersection between theology and politics. For a full understanding, his article is required reading number two. [Marshner: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=8778&repos=1&subrepos=0&searchid=950826]

Identifying the Development

'There is one point on which I disagree with Dr. Marshner as he expresses himself in the article in question, though I do not know whether his opinion has changed since that time. He held then that the new ground broken at Vatican II “is non-infallible teaching” but still part of the Church’s Magisterium, meaning that “the kind of religious assent which Catholics owe to that teaching is the kind of assent which does not exclude the logical possibility that the teachings is wrong; rather, our assent excludes any probability that the new teaching is wrong.” I have never been comfortable with this distinction (not that it is a matter of personal comfort), but it makes no practical difference to Marshner’s effort to understand the texts, and he concludes that “the new ground can be given an adequate rationale within the framework of the old”. Nonetheless, I wish to state again my own view that as an ecumenical council (i.e., a full expression of the Church’s authority in the body of bishops confirmed and promulgated by the pope), Vatican II actually is infallible in everything it intended to teach to the whole Church on faith or morals.

[MRyan Comment: I agree with Dr. Mirus, but would add that even if Dr. Marshner still holds this view, he provides some additional context by way of two end notes which clarify these statements: “As a believer, I simply yield that [religious] assent. As a theologian, however, I have a duty to clarify the intellectual grounds on which such assent may be seen to be prudent”:

Dr. Marshner wrote:
So when I say that the possibility exists that Vatican II is wrong on one or more crucial points of Dignitatis humanae, I do not simply mean that the Council's policy may prove unfruitful. I mean to signal a possibility that the Council's doctrine is false.

But may a Catholic theologian admit that such a possibility exists? Of course he may. The decree Dignitatis humanae is a non-infallible document, and the teaching which it presents is admitted to be a "new development," hence not something which is already acknowledged dogma ex magisterio ordinario. Therefore, the kind of religious assent which Catholics owe to that teaching is the kind of assent which does not exclude the logical possibility that the teaching is wrong; rather, our assent excludes any probability that the new teaching is wrong.(4)

[(4) On the points that the kind of assent owed to non-infallible doctrines proposed in authentic but non-irreformable acts of the Church's Magisterium is religious assent, that this assent is unlike the higher act of assent involved in acts of divine and Catholic faith in the precise respect that such faith does, and religious assent does not, exclude one's admitting the remote possibility that the doctrine is false, and that what religious assent does exclude is the probability of falsity, the reader can consult any number of standard scholastic manuals. E.g, Dominic Palmieri, Tractatus de Romano Pontificie cum prolegomeno de ecclesia, 2nd ed. (1891), pp. 718ff.; Ludwig Lercher, Institutiones theologicae dogmaticae in usum scholarum, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Innsbruck: Rauch, 1934), I, p. 519; locahim Salaverri, S.J., De Ecclesia Christi nos. 659-713, in Patres Societatis Jesu in Hispania Professores, Sacrae Theologiae Summa, 5th ed., 4 vols. (Madrid: BAC, 1962), I, pp. 704ff.]

As a believer, I simply yield that assent. As a theologian, however, I have a duty to clarify the intellectual grounds on which such assent may be seen to be prudent.(5) [(5) That is, I must try to show that an act of withholding religious assent (e.g. in an act of theological dissent), though sometimes permissible within certain limits in cases of this kind, would be intellectually imprudent, groundless, unjustified, and hence temerarious in this case.]

We are on a terrain of social and spiritual facts. We know from the Syllabus (as I am arguing it is), then Vatican II tells us, in effect, that there is another kind of degree of religious liberty (namely, the kind endorsed by DH) which is socially and spiritually safe. Now: if it is to be the case that the Council is, in all probability, correct in this assertion, then there must be something tutelary in the Council's manner of defining the liberty it endorses — something which makes it probable that this sort of liberty would be safe.
Continuing with Dr. Mirus:

'Be that as it may, Dr. Marshner demonstrates the unfolding of the Church’s teaching on religious liberty with unrivalled lucidity. Reading his analysis will reinforce, clarify, and make even more coherent and memorable the lessons drawn from Fr. Most’s preliminary textual analysis. Marshner enumerates first the principles which Vatican II clearly teaches which are obviously compatible with previous doctrine:

* No one ought to use force to change another’s beliefs (especially his religious beliefs).
* No human authority may set penalties for non-conversion to Catholicism or for failure to elicit the first assent of supernatural faith.
* God obligates all men to obey the natural Moral Law; and beyond that, God obligates all men to seek and embrace the religious truth which He has revealed.
* Since God obligates all men to seek and embrace the religious truth which He has revealed, it follows that man has, over against any human government, a right to seek and hold that truth.


'Dr. Marshner then seeks to properly express the special teaching about these matters which Vatican II “projects into the social sphere, onto the terrain of exercise”—that is, the “rights affirmed” in the preceding principles—and he does so as follows:

* No one ought to interfere with anyone’s doing those acts which (a) he believes he ought to do on religious grounds and which (b) cannot justly be treated as crimes because they conform to Natural Law norms of intellectual probity and moral innocence.
'Conclusion

'Like Fr. Most, Dr. Marshner concludes that Pius XII in Ci riesce had already provided the key to understanding that the State’s duty to suppress moral and religious error is limited. As Marshner puts it, Pius XII taught that “the duty to suppress moral and religious error, though genuine, is not the Catholic State’s ultimate norm of action.” He explains what he means by quoting Pius XII: “It must be subordinated to higher and more general norms which, under certain circumstances, permit, and may even show that the best choice for promoting greater good is, the toleration of error.” Thus, Pius XII established what Marshner calls a “must-do” law of toleration—teaching, in effect, that when the Church notifies the State of errors on the part of its citizens, then if repression of such errors would harm the common good, the State “will have a genuine right to tell the clergy to carry out their own evangelical mission to immunize the faithful, and stop asking the police to solve their problems for them.”

'Finally, Dr. Marshner concludes that “all Vatican II does” is add another “must-do” law of toleration, which he expresses thus: “To the precise extent that those holding a religious error nevertheless profess something rationally defensible and practice what is morally inoffensive, they enjoy an immunity from civil penalties by virtue of which the State has a second ground for telling the Church that it cannot justly use its force against them.” He is quick to point out that this does not revoke the State’s obligation, authority and power to protect supernatural truths. Rather, the right of religious liberty enjoyed by every human person simply requires that the State’s actions be determined by reason of injurious natural consequences rather than by reason of supernatural error itself.

'This, I believe, is the development of doctrine on religious liberty which occurred at the Second Vatican Council, and it is completely consistent with the Magisterial statements on these issues which preceded the Council. I grant that it would be very helpful to many if the Church would authoritatively clarify the matter, presumably along these lines, in order to lay to rest needless worries. Until that happens, however, those who wish to get the entire picture firmly in mind really should complete my “required reading”. Or, you could simply rest assured that the Church does not contradict herself, and so put your mind at rest. I am also happy to note that, when we come at length to the Declaration on Religious Liberty in my ongoing series on the documents of Vatican II, this exposition is going to save us all a great deal of time.[END]'

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MRyan

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:48 pm

I have provided herein a brief summary (OK, briefer) of the essential principles of religious liberty, as well as the entire section III, "Vatican II and the Catholic State" from Dignitatis humanae and Traditional Teaching on Church and State by Dr. William H. Marshner (Faith & Reason, Fall 1983).

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=8778&repos=1&subrepos=0&searchid=950826

Religious Liberty

Principles, on which both the Council's teaching and previous tradition are clear (“beyond the reach of theological dispute”):

(0) No one ought to use force to change another's beliefs (especially his religious beliefs).

(0a) No human authority may set penalties for non-conversion to Catholicism or for failure to elicit the first assent of supernatural faith.

(0b) God obligates all men to obey the Natural Moral Law; and beyond that, God obligates all men to seek and embrace the religious truth which He has revealed.

(0c) Since God obligates all men to seek and embrace the religious truth which He has revealed, it follows that man has, over against any human government, a right to seek and hold that truth.

(2) The proper authorities ought to interfere coercively with the commissions of acts that are crimes.

Religious inquiry that is objectively honest is not just sincere but on a vector towards Catholic truth; it proceeds by defensible arguments from defensible premises, and it yields fruits of action which are in harmony with the Natural Moral Law. The social projections of such inquiry can only be statements and actions that are creditable intellectually, innocent and upright morally. Thus religious preachments which are philosophically absurd (like Scientology), false to historical fact (like Mormonism), or exegetically incompetent (like the claims of Jehovah's Witnesses), would not have to count as protected expressions. More importantly, religiously motivated deeds which objectively violate the Natural Law would not have to count as protected activities. I say "more importantly" because, as a matter of practicality, few governments are likely to make intellectual respectability the test of what they will feel duty-bound to tolerate; but most governments will accept moral inoffensiveness, the tendency and capacity of a religion to form "model citizens," as a realistic value for their statutes to capture.

In short, by any consistent route, we arrive at the following principle:

(1') No one ought to interfere with anyone's doing those acts which (a) he believes he ought to do on religious grounds and which (b) cannot justly be treated as crimes because they conform to Natural Law norms of intellectual probity and moral innocence.
This is the real principle with which Vatican II projects into the social sphere, onto the terrain of exercise, the rights affirmed in principle in (0)(0c). That the whole matter is thus handled in a tutelary way, defined so as to leave unprotected all that would conduce to what Pius IX feared, should be obvious. It will be useful to conclude this essay, however, with a few defensive observations.

III. Vatican II and the Catholic State

First, does the doctrine of DH weaken in any way the traditional case for having a Catholic State, as opposed to having a "neutral" or non-confessional one? Surely not. For the way in which DH resolves the religious liberty question, namely by way of (1'), mandates a State which knows, embraces, and acts upon the norms of Natural Law. These norms are knowable by man's natural reason "in principle," even after the Fall, but not easily or reliably so. Disordered passions and inordinate interests have all too famous a power to prevent, darken, or corrupt this knowledge in each of us. And if a sage in the calm of his meditations can make mistakes, how much more a politician in the cross-fire of vested interests and group pressures?

Each Catholic, in his private life, can therefore verify the fact that his moral reason has been many times saved, buttressed, corrected and protected by that Faith which sets before him the divine authority of the teaching Church. How much more must each Catholic statesman, acquainted with the temptations which tend to exclude sound morality from public policy, verify the same fact? And if the witness of the Church is thus necessary to the maintenance of a morally sound public policy, why should that necessity receive no institutional recognition? In a word, Vatican II resolves the problem of religious liberty in a way which, far from weakening the case for a Catholic, confessional State, adds weight to it.

Second, does the doctrine of DH weaken the just and traditional powers of a Catholic State?

Suppose we have a Catholic State conscientiously determined to render to the Church all such assistance as the traditional "thesis,'-'-the harmony of sacerdotium and imperium, renders obligatory. Suppose there arises within this State some new, hitherto unsettled problem of religious error or heresy. How does the problem come to the State's attention.

There are really only two possibilities. The first is that the problem emerges through the normal working of the apparatus of justice. The heresy involves the violation of some just criminal statute — bigamy, fraud, conspiracy, treason, public nuisance, etc. Under the doctrine of Vatican II, as under the older one, the State has every right to prosecute. And it would seem that we can therefore continue to defend, as doctrinally and morally sound, a healthy majority of our past political actions in defense of the unity of Christendom.

The other possibility is that the new error or heresy is brought to the State's attention by the Church. The sectaries have fallen afoul of no civil laws, but the Church sees them as a danger to the good of souls. Armed with this diagnosis, the Church approaches the State with a request for civil action. Has the State no just response but an automatic acquiescence, or may the State take the request under advisement, evaluate the situation from its own perspective, and sometimes refuse?

It has always been Catholic doctrine that the State can have a just cause to practice toleration in a given case. This is, in effect, a "can-do" law of toleration. By virtue of it, the State is not always obligated of prosecute religious error.

But what if the State fails to convince the relevant Church officials that a toleration would be wise? Traditional doctrine failed to state explicitly any ground on which the State could then continue to refuse to act on the Church's request. That is, it failed to explicate such a ground until the time of Pius XII.

In his Ci riesce (December 6, 1953), Pius XII made it clear that the duty to suppress moral and religious error, though genuine, is not the Catholic State's ultimate norm of action.(eight) "It must be subordinated to higher and more general norms which, under certain circumstances, permit, and may even show that the best choice for promoting greater good is, the toleration of error."

This is no substantive novelty; it is political common sense. Yet the explication of this sensible point within the fabric of Catholic theory had a new consequence: for the first time, the State is given an explicit ground in justice for refusing a Church request to move against some error or heresy. If State action would injure some aspect of the Common Good more fundamental than the aspect thereof which is being threatened by the new error (e.g. if prosecution would touch off a civil war), then the State not only may but must, out of duty to its own ultimate norms of action, decline to bring its force to bear against the error. Rather, the State will have a genuine right to tell the clergy to carry out their own evangelical mission to convert these people, carry out their own catechetical mission to immunize the faithful, and stop asking the police to solve their problems for them.

In a word, what the Ci riesce contributes, for the first time, is a "must-do" law of toleration. It is thus good, pre-conciliar doctrine, authentically taught by papal ordinary magisterium, that there can be such a law.

All that Vatican II does is add another one. Principles (0)-(0c), projected into the social sphere by (1') and (2), have no other effect than to say as follows: to the precise extent that those holding a religious error nevertheless profess something rationally defensible and practice what is morally inoffensive, they enjoy an immunity from civil penalties by virtue of which the State has a second ground for telling the Church that it cannot justly use its force against them. This is a second "must-do" law of toleration. Nothing in tradition says that there cannot be such a law, any more than tradition excluded the must-do law of Ci riesce.

But does it not follow that the State's power to protect higher truths, specifically supernatural truths, has been revoked? By limiting the State's initiative to matters of public order, which includes the Natural Law but not the Supernatural — instead of allowing the State to strike at anything injurious to the temporal Common Good, which does embrace the Supernatural in certain respects — doesn't Vatican II shackle the State to a "natural law" perspective, as the partisans of the "Lay State" have always wanted, in contradiction to previous papal teaching?

No. First, the partisans of the "Lay State" formulated their theory of a jusnaturalistic, unsupernaturalizable State as part of their argumentation on the "thesis" question — which question the Council does not touch. Hence their radical jusnaturalism must not be read into the Council's intent. Secondly, whereas natural truths cannot entail supernatural ones (otherwise semirationalism would be true), the negations of supernatural truths often have false consequences in the natural domain. "Since all authority comes from God (Romans 13), authorities guilty of notorious sin are eo ipso deposed," is a heresy, the negation of a supernatural truth; in the hands of Wyclif and Hus, it had political consequences injurious to the natural order. "Those who are spiritually perfect are bound by no law" encounter the same problem, as does "In Christ there is no male or female; hence sexual discriminations are contrary to the Gospel." "Reason is so fallen that Scripture is our only source of truth"; "the Christian State must turn the other cheek"; on and on the list could go.

Against all such heresies the doctrine of DH allows the State to take action. (Hence another major aspect of our history; remains defensible.) The Council merely requires the State to act by reason of the injurious natural consequences, rather than by reason of supernatural error per se, which seems perfectly reasonable. Supernatural truth and error is primarily the Church's business; but insofar as the error has deleterious consequences on natural truth, it becomes also the State's business, because it is precisely through these consequences that the error impacts upon the temporal Common Good.

But can there not be some supernatural errors (anti-filioquism, for instance) which, by virtue of their subject matter, simply have no entailments in the order of natural truths? (I suppose so.) And wouldn't the Catholic State be restrained by Vatican II from suppressing those errors? (Yes, I think it would.) Therefore, while it is false to say that Vatican II revokes or eliminates the State's power to defend supernatural truths (indirectly, ratione naturali), is it not still true to say that the Council has reduced or limited this power? (Yes, I would say so.) And isn't that still a bad thing?

To the contrary, it may be a very good thing. Supernatural errors which involve no damage to the natural interests of the State really ought to be left to the Church's care. They deserve spiritual remedies. This is not to deny that religious unity (I mean, the unity of substantially the whole citizen body in professing the true Faith) is itself a component of the temporal Common Good and hence a legitimate interest of the State. It is only to deny that coercive means are always "in principle" appropriate tools to preserve this unity. It is to affirm that spiritual tools are sometimes the only appropriate ones, not just pragmatically but "in principle."

Not only is this point intrinsically reasonable; it is apologetically valuable. It is a help to the very politics of restoration.
After all, with the best will in the world, non-Catholics can hardly be expected to thrust us with the reins of power, if our only answer to their anxiety about a Catholic State is either a harsh assertion of the sole right of Truth or else a pragmatic, always revocable pledge of tolerance. But if we can answer with Vatican II, that their religion will enjoy immunity in our State, on the sole condition that it teach no folly or wickedness, then we have a creditable answer for them — stern but fair, as befits a Catholic majesty. And it will be the answer that we ourselves made in other days, to the majesty of Rome, when our apologists appealed for tolerance on the twin grounds that our doctrine was not absurd (unlike the pagan myths) and our lives were unspotted (unlike the pagan lives).

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MRyan

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Re: Vatican II - Voice of The Church

Post  MRyan on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:29 pm

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:Well, if Pope John Paul II is "burning in Hell" at this very moment, I certainly hope that he does not feel that his "fundamental rights and liberties" are being violated! [...]
Jehanne, put a sock in it, lest you find yourself on the other side of the divide begging for a drop of moisture from the tip of Blessed JPII's finger, which he would gladly give to you if only he could. Knock it off.
If I am in eternal Hell someday, it won't be because I kissed the "holy book" of some infidels and/or prayed alongside them as they prayed to their false gods. It will, rather, be for other sins.
So you believe JPII committed the mortal sins of sacrilege and communicatio in sacris with infidels, and will remind us at every opportunity that he deserves to burn in hell for those sins. Never mind that JPII had no intention of committing sacrilege, and never mind that he did not "pray with infidels" to their false gods – Jehanne has spoken.

That you are only turning up the potential heat of your own eternal punishment doesn't seem to faze you; you even brazenly state that you are ready to stand before your Judge and justify your accusations against His Vicar - and seem damned proud of it.

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:So, Father Harrison is a "flip-flopper"! I cannot help but wonder if his "change of heart" was after his letter to me in 2001.
No one said Fr. Harrison was a "flip-flopper". I was demonstrating where he came to amend a previous position he had formulated, he says, in his "review of Michael Davies’ book, The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty (LT #44, January 1993), at www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html. The argument developed in that review article has since been modified in one important respect: for my revised position, cf. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., 'What Does Dignitatis Humanae Mean? A Reply to Arnold Guminski' (Faith & Reason, Vol. XXX, nos. 3 & 4, Autumn & Winter, 2005, pp. 243-295, especially section IV.4, pp. 277-282)." (Endnote 2, DIGNITATIS HUMANAE: A NON-CONTRADICTORY DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT, March, 2011, http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt151.html)

Now, does that mean that what Fr. Harrison "appears to hold", he in fact holds? Only he can answer that question, and perhaps he has, but I"m not sure (I haven't finished reading his response to Guminski). Again, Guminski said:

Fr. Harrison "appears to hold that an act, not intrinsically evil, may nevertheless be immoral in specific contexts because it leads to evil consequences. He also appears to hold that a law or policy, not intrinsically unjust, can conceivably be objectively unjust (as distinguished from being imprudent) in some determinate circumstances because of its evil consequences (LT93. 5-6: F89, 40-41). Such injustice can, I think, be properly called extrinsically or instrumentally unjust. [...]"
Well, all those articles are on his website:

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html
Not quite; the article where he modified his position is not available on his "rtforum" website, but it is available here: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8775 (What Does Dignitatis Humanae Mean? A Reply to Arnold Guminski).

Jehanne wrote:If he does not agree with them, perhaps he should remove them or at least add an "update" section to them. Of course, Father Harrison has removed other LT articles for that very reason.
It is not unusual for someone to modify/correct certain arguments without changing one's core position, and Fr. Harrison’s core position remains unchanged: “DH does not contradict the Church’s traditional doctrine.” (A NON-CONTRADICTORY DOCTRINAL DEVELOPMENT, Mar. 2011, http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt151.html).

In other words, where Michael Davies and the SSPX (and you, since you stand with the SSPX) see an alleged doctrinal discontinuity (as it was presented by Michael Davies), Fr. Harrison said “it is correct to see this interpretation as a norm of ecclesiastical law; that is, as a changeable human application of divine law rather than an immutable requirement of divine law itself.” (http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html)

And in this, he has been consistent throughout. So please do not tell me that he is not saying what I am "making him out to be saying". Apparently, you haven’t read everything he has written on this subject, especially his later works.

Jehanne wrote:
MRyan wrote:
Jehanne wrote:So, burning heretics alive at the stake is intrinsically evil and/or wrong? Is that what DH is saying?! If so, it never said it, and understanding the "mind of the Pope" or his predecessor, well, that's almost a full-time job. One does not exactly know what these guys are saying. But, I have you to tell me "their mind," don't I?

But, let's put the question to rest, shall we? So, answer it:

Is the punishment of being burned alive at the stake for the crime and sin of heresy against the Catholic faith an intrinsically evil act by what was declared in Dignitatis humanae?

'Yes' or 'No', if you please.
No, and NO ONE said it was. I suppose its difficult to discern the mind of the author (let alone the mind of the pope) when one cannot be bothered to read, let alone try to understand, his actual words.
Then we have no argument understands here.
Actually we do, for I was referring only to your immediate question posed in red which asked if “being burned alive at the stake for the crime and sin of heresy” is "an intrinsically evil act', and I said NO, it is not, and never has been. However, I take exception to your first formulation of the question where you asked:

So, burning heretics alive at the stake is intrinsically evil and/or wrong? Is that what DH is saying?!
Again, it is not “intrinsically evil”, but it is still (now) morally “wrong”, meaning no longer is it morally justifiable. Once again, Guminski said:

Fr. Harrison "appears to hold that an act, not intrinsically evil, may nevertheless be immoral in specific contexts because it leads to evil consequences. He also appears to hold that a law or policy, not intrinsically unjust, can conceivably be objectively unjust (as distinguished from being imprudent) in some determinate circumstances because of its evil consequences (LT93. 5-6: F89, 40-41). Such injustice can, I think, be properly called extrinsically or instrumentally unjust. [...]
I’ll leave it at that, but may respond to Fr. Harrison’s 10 year old email to you in a separate post.

Jehanne wrote:If the Pope recognizes the intrinsic right of a Catholic prince to execute the law on his land, including, the right to put heretics to death, if, in the judgment of the Church and himself, such individuals constitute a thread to the public order and/or common good of his subjects, then there is absolutely no rupture with Tradition.

As for the idea of the "divine right" of Catholic princes, the arguments for that were set forth in the Wikipedia article which I posted:
Don’t bother, for none of your references even remotely suggest that there exists some alleged “intrinsic right of a Catholic prince … to put heretics to death, if, in the judgment of the Church and himself, such individuals constitute a thread to the public order and/or common good of his subjects, then there is absolutely no rupture with Tradition.”

Palpable nonsense, there is no such "intrinsic right of a Catholic prince", and never has been.
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MRyan

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