Rorate Caeli

De Mattei: "Religious Liberty - or liberty for Christians?"


Among the slogans of “politically correct” language there is the term “religious liberty”, which is used incorrectly at times by Catholics as a synonym for freedom for the Church or freedom for Christians.  In reality the terms and concepts are different and it is necessary to clarify them. The ambiguity present in the Conciliar declaration Dignitatis humanae (1965) arose from the lack of distinction between the internal forum, which is in the sphere of personal conscience, and the public space, which is in the sphere of the community, or rather the profession and propagation of one’s personal religious convictions. 

The Church, with Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos (1836), with Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus and in Quanta Cura (1864), but also with Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei (1885) and in Libertas (1888) teaches that:


  • 1. No one can be constricted to believe in the private forum, because faith is a personal choice formed in the conscience of  man.
  • 2. Man has no right to religious freedom  in the public space, or rather freedom to profess whatever religion, because only the true and the good have rights and not what is error and is evil.
  • 3. Public worship of false religions may be, in cases, tolerated by the civil authorities, with the view of obtaining a greater good or avoiding a greater evil, but, in essence, it may be repressed even by force if necessary. But the right to tolerance is a contradiction, because, as is evident even from the term, whatever is tolerated is never a good thing, rather, it is always a purely bad thing. In the social life of nations, error may be tolerated as a reality, but never allowed as a right.  Error “has no right to exist objectively nor to propaganda, nor action” (Pius XII Speech Ci Riesce 1953)


Further, the right of being immune to coercion, or rather the fact that the Church does not impose the Catholic Faith on anyone, but requires the freedom of the act of faith, does not arise from a presumed natural right to religious freedom or a presumed natural right to believe in any religion whatever, but it is founded on the fact that the Catholic Religion, the only true one, must be embraced in complete freedom without any constraints. The liberty of the believer is based on the truth believed and not on the self-determination of the individual. The Catholic and only the Catholic has the natural right to profess and practice his religion and he has it because his religion is the true one. Which means that no other believer apart from the Catholic has the natural right to profess his religion. The verification of this is in the fact that rights do not exist without responsibilities and duties and vice versa. The natural law, summed up in the ten commandments, is expressed in a prescriptive manner, that is, it imposes duties and responsibilities from which rights arise. For example, in the Commandment “Do not kill the innocent” the right of the innocent to life arises. The rejection of abortion is a prescription of natural rights which is separated from religion and whoever conforms to it. And this is the same for the seven Commandments of the Second Table. Comparing the right to religious liberty to the right to life, considering them both as natural rights, is however, nonsense.

The first three commandments of the Decalogue in fact do not refer to all and sundry divinities, but only to the God of the Old and the New Testaments. From the First Commandment, which imposes adoration of the Only True God, arises the right and the duty to profess not any religion but the only true one. This counts for both the individual and the State. The State, like each individual, has the duty to profess the true religion, also because the aims of the State are no different from those of the individual.

The reason the State cannot constrain anyone to believe does not arise from the religious neutrality of the State, but from the fact that adhering to the truth must be completely free. If the individual had the right to preach and profess publically any religion whatever, the State would have the obligation of religious neutrality. This has been repeatedly condemned by the Church.
  
For this reason we say that man has the right to profess, not any religion, but to profess the only true one.  Only if religious liberty is intended as Christian liberty, will it be possible to speak of the right to it.

There are those who sustain that we live actually in a pluralistic and secularized society, that the Catholic States have disappeared and that Europe is a continent that has turned its back on Christianity.  Therefore, the real problem is that of Christians persecuted in the world, and not that of a Catholic State. Nobody denies this, but the verification of a reality is not equivalent to the affirmation of a principle. The Catholic must desire a Catholic society and State with all his heart, where Christ reigns, as Pope Pius XI in the encyclical Quas Primas (1925) explains. 

The distinction between the “thesis” (the principle) and the “hypothesis”(the concrete situation) is noted. The more that we are obliged to suffer under the hypothesis, the more we have to try to make the thesis known.  Hence, we do not renounce the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ: let us speak of the rights of Jesus Christ to reign over entire societies as the only solution to modern evils. So, instead of fighting for religious liberty, which is the equalizing of the true religion with the false ones, let us fight in defense of liberty for Christians, today persecuted by Islam in the East and by the dictatorship of relativism in the West.

Roberto de Mattei 

[From: Corrispondenza Romana - July 19, 2012. Contribution and Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana. As always, posted articles reflect the views of their authors: we ask for a healthy debate in the comments.]

114 comments:

Mike said...

"...only the true and the good have rights.."

1. Once there has been a collapse of the Catholic state--which has happened almost everywhere, does not the first principle--re the internal forum--apply?

2.When there was a Catholic State, abuses of that authority hurt the Faith, the cause of the Faith, in the eyes of many. We must not be blind to the nature of fallen leaders who are also Catholic.

I agree that a "right to just about anything" has done massive harm to our world. I like how Pope Benedict XVI almost always makes repeated reference to the truth, the truth of reason, and of course, the truth of the Faith.

Our world has lost its reason, hence it must be educated so that it can grasp what this fine article is saying.

A long, steep road.

Clare Polansky said...

Amen. You have clearly articulated what i have been sensing but didn't know how to say. Ever since the start of this protestant-like push for social action for "religious liberty" began coming from various Cburch "leaders", i have been increasingly uncomfortable with the obvious public partnership they have formed with non-Catholics and even non-Christians just prior to the election. An election whereby no matter who wins, will result in an America without a truly Christian president. We just keep diluting our Faith at a time when we need to concentrate it. The separation of the sheep from the goats is at hand...

Knight of Malta said...

Brilliant!

Even Saladin allowed Jews to practice their religion.

But Vatican II took the Americanist position that all religions are equal by the state. That is not Catholic.

ReasonandRevelation said...

This seems to be part of the SSPX debate. The question is whether the teaching on the role of the State in enforcing religious orthodoxy is a matter of discipline or dogma (I think it is the former).

However, if it proceeds from dogma, it is the application of a general principle about the moral obligation not to lead people astray from the Catholic Faith. This general principle can remain firm while how Catholics are to apply that general principle can most certainly be revised by papal authority. Thus, the Second Vatican Council's decree on religious liberty, promulgated by Pope Paul VI, is a valid Catholic teaching, even though it might diverge a bit from how Pope Pius IX applied the principle.

Matt said...

Truth is truth and we know this of the Faith and the previous Popes taught, but in this post-modern world of ours, it's just academic. There's no way to assert this in a free society. As it is, we have to be inclusive to protect ourselves.

NIANTIC said...

What an excellent, clear and truthful article. Thanks for posting this.

"So instead of fighting for religious liberty, which is the equalizing of the true religion with the false ones, let us fight in defense of liberty for Christians, today persecuted by Islam in the East, and by the dictatorship of relativism in the West".

Bullseye!

USCCB; take notice and compare this against your anemic efforts.

Whats Up! said...

One of the best posts ever, New Catholic.

Thank you.

David said...

This is why the USCCB is so utterly foolish in making "religious liberty" the cornerstone of Catholic opposition to the HHS mandate on contraception. What will the USCCB do if a law is proposed to restrict the building of mosques? Will they support such a law? Or will they continue to play the "religious liberty" card?

Roberto de Mattei's fine essay shows that one can be in "full communion" with Rome and still point out the flaws of certain Vatican II documents.

The Ubiquitous said...

1. The reason the State cannot constrain anyone to believe does not arise from the religious neutrality of the State, but from the fact that adhering to the truth must be completely free.

2. If the individual had the right to preach and profess publically any religion whatever, the State would have the obligation of religious neutrality.

The latter does not seem to follow from the former.

Jordanes551 said...

Even Saladin allowed Jews to practice their religion.

And the Catholic Church has also always allowed the Jews to practice their religion, even when other religions were prohibited.

But Vatican II took the Americanist position that all religions are equal by the state. That is not Catholic.

Vatican II didn't say anything at all about that proposition, but DH, sadly, can be interpreted in that way.

Jordanes551 said...

What will the USCCB do if a law is proposed to restrict the building of mosques? Will they support such a law? Or will they continue to play the "religious liberty" card?

The USCCB would certainly oppose such a law, which in any case would be immediately overturned by the courts since it would be unconstitutional.

Mike said...

In regard to the HHS mandate on contraception, the argument "this is not about contraception, but about religious liberty" is not very convincing.

The state can and does mandate vaccinations as a requirement for attending public schools and colleges and universities. For the vast majority who do not have an allergy repsonse to this, it is fine for the state to do this for the common good.

It's because contraception is against the natural, intrinsically immoral, that the state has no "right" to mandate it, and indeed therein is the obligation to oppose this mandate.

Of course, we're dealing with 40 plus years of little catechesis on morals and public life. As I said before, it's a hard sell.

That doesn't mean we can opt out of the correct argument.

K Gurries said...

Like so many before him the author seems confused about the concept of the thesis-hypothesis. The "hypothesis" is not a "concrete situation" but the (analogical) application of the principle to concredte circumstances. Here below we do not live in a world of abstract ideals (thesis) -- we live in the real world of ever changing concrete circumstances. The "hypothesis" always has reference to the thesis (ideal of perfection) to a greater or lesser degree. We do not "suffer" the hypothesis -- since it represents the best application of the pricniple to concrete circumstances.

http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2009/08/intervention-of-mgr-dupanloup-part-ii_9240.html

Lee Lovelock-Jemmott said...

This article is KEY; separating the difference between heretics and heathens being allowed to worship and practice but neither been accepted as equals or being tolerated to spread error. Post Vatican II obfuscation has blurred the lines and somewhat confused Catholics into thinking that humans have the right to commit then spread error with no right of truth in correcting it. Such an approach is a pluralistic mess but most of all, emasculates Catholics from espousing Catholic Truth, unhindered and pure with no prisoners taken !

David said...

Keith,

Applying the principle to less than ideal circumstances does not mean abandoning the principle. The author argues that we have abandoned the principle.

Sancrucensis said...

"No one can be constricted to believe in the private forum, because faith is a personal choice formed in the conscience of man." That's not entirely true. As Thomas Pink has shown on this blog, the Church has the authority to hold the baptized to their baptismal promises, that is, it can coerce the baptized to believe certain doctrines.

David said...

The principle, let us be very clear, is that religious liberty applies only to the one true religion, Catholicism.

Unknown said...

Doesn't The OneTeacher, Our Lord Jesus Christ, address this topic when He admonishes us to tolerate the 'weeds' to grow with the wheat in the parable, and gives the reason as being to avoid any potential damage to the wheat? Apparently the toxic seed is planted so secretly, and grows so similarly to the wheat seed that it is virtually impossible to distinguish before it's too late to do anything about it...without damaging the good seed. Therefore, it seems indeed possible to prevent an enemy from sowing toxic seed in the feild, but unrealistic, according to Christ, that you indeed will be able to always out smart the cleverness and stealth of our enemy. It is the Angels of God who will remedy this in their proper time.

David said...

Religious liberty, wrongly understood, is the pinch of incense that Catholics are asked to place before the altar of the Secular State.

Alan Aversa said...

What De Mattei writes reminds me of the SSPX The Pastor's Corner article "Libertas Ecclesiae versus Libertas Religionis."

Jordanes551 said...

As Thomas Pink has shown on this blog, the Church has the authority to hold the baptized to their baptismal promises, that is, it can coerce the baptized to believe certain doctrines.

Incorrect. The Church does not have the ability to coerce anyone to believe anything. That is something that not even God does, so He certainly wouldn't give the Church the ability to force people to believe things that they do not believe -- anymore than the Church can force a man to be a woman or a dog to be a cat.

What you mean is that the Church has the authority to punish baptised Christians for failing to believe what baptised Christians are supposed to believe. That is correct, and the Church in various ways has always applied penal sanctions or disciplinary measures to baptised Christians who speak or act against the Faith. But no one can be forced to have faith, which is a gift from God. If the purpose of the coercion is to compel belief, then the coercion is at best a waste of time -- and in fact does a great disservice to the Church, as it gives unbelievers a reason not to believe.

Mike said...

Prof. Pink, I believe, uses "coerce" to mean using punishments, etc., to compell the baptized.

As the criminal law "coerces" one to not murder. We're talking disincentive here.

JabbaPapa said...

There are several good ideas in the article, but the theology that he uses to justify them is pretty shoddy IMO.

First, religion is by its very nature communal and collective -- the Communion of the Saints, not the lonely hermit -- so that his distinction between the individual and the public spheres is blatantly untenable.

His comments on the limitations on the degree of religious freedoms of non-Catholics towards Catholics are still justifiable, but not IMO on the theological basis provided.

He has it upside-down -- in fact, Catholic Christianity is the one true faith, and because Catholics must necessarily enjoy the religious freedoms that are described, therefore the true Faith can be freely proclaimed to all Nations, contrary to any repression by such Nations.

The beginning of one of his statements, "Man has no right to religious freedom in the public space" is, furthermore, contrary to Catholic doctrine.

---

If the individual had the right to preach and profess publically any religion whatever, the State would have the obligation of religious neutrality.

This is untrue. A State can profess the truth of Christianity without being simultaneously forced to prevent individuals preaching whichever false religions.

OTOH :

Only if religious liberty is intended as Christian liberty

... this is STILL how religious freedom is properly understood.

The Catholic must desire a Catholic society and State with all his heart, where Christ reigns

Correct, again.

But :

religious liberty, which is the equalizing of the true religion with the false ones

Nope.

Religious freedom is theologically founded on the rights of Catholic Christians to openly and freely profess the Faith ; is is a *consequence*, not a requirement, of this that religious freedom in general must be provided, because, in de Mattei's own words, the Catholic Religion, the only true one, must be embraced in complete freedom without any constraints.

Mike said...

Matt,

I respectfully disagree: so does the AMA. The study done in England had less than 40 children in it. The AMA has pulled, RETRACTED the paper.

Some children have adverse reactions, and should be exempt.

The vast majority of us should thank God for modern vaccinations.

maryvictrix.com said...

De Mattei writes:

"The reason the State cannot constrain anyone to believe does not arise from the religious neutrality of the State, but from the fact that adhering to the truth must be completely free. If the individual had the right to preach and profess publically any religion whatever, the State would have the obligation of religious neutrality. This has been repeatedly condemned by the Church."

DH teaches that not only must the truth be free, but so must the individual, because the truth is embraced only through a free act. This does not imply the religious neutrality of the State, only that the State is not the adequate or appropriate means bringing about conviction of the truth. In other words, the Church judges it inappropriate for the State to control the process of conviction, whether private or public, whether internal or expressed outwardly.

On December 22, 2005, Pope Benedict distinguished clearly between the type of religious liberty condemned by the Church, one based on the “canonization of relativism,” and the kind of religious liberty

"that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction."

This is a fundamental right of the human person. It is not a right to teach error, but a right to be free of coercion and restraint in a matter most fundamental to human nature, because were created to know love and serve God, and we can only do that freely. This kind of religious liberty, the kind taught by DH and the postconciliar popes has never been condemned by the Church.

Error has no rights, and all men have the obligation to seek the truth, but it is not the business of the State to sort this out. The catechism teaches:

"The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error, but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right" (2108).

As late as 2011 Pope Benedict stated the following:

"Religious freedom is, in this sense, also an achievement of a sound political and juridical culture. It is an essential good: each person must be able freely to exercise the right to profess and manifest, individually or in community, his or her own religion or faith, in public and in private, in teaching, in practice, in publications, in worship and in ritual observances. There should be no obstacles should he or she eventually wish to belong to another religion or profess none at all."

In protecting this right the Church also secures her own liberty from the State. De Mattei, while an honorable man in pursuit of the common good and especially the Social Reign of Christ the King, does not see clearly the consequences of his rejection of DH. Pope Benedict has put it this way:

"For the fusion of faith and political power comes at a price: faith becomes the servant of power and must bend to its criteria."

I believe the perspective of de Mattei is determined largely by his admiration for the theories of Plinio Correa de Oliveira, who argued for the legitimacy of a Counter-Revolutionary Dictatorship in Revolution and Counter-Revolution. The establishment of what he refers to as an “analogous traditional elite” is his social construct for the reinvention of Christendom as the fruit of a counter-revolution engineered by the counter-revolutionary intelligentsia. This is simply a personal and private opinion of de Oliviera and de Mattei. It is not the teaching of the Church.

I am a bit surprised, though, that de Mattei has gone this far, since he has claimed that his expertise is limited to history and not theology.

Pro-life said...

Matthew Rose. I'm kind of shocked at what you wrote. Vaccination does not normally result in the death of a human. Contraception almost ALWAYS results in the death of a living human being. They are nearly all abortifacient. The only type I can think of that is not is a condom. But even then something live dies. Sperm is alive.

Contraception is intrinsically evil because it kills.

Deacon Augustine said...

maryvictrix.com said... "As late as 2011 Pope Benedict stated the following:

"Religious freedom is, in this sense, also an achievement of a sound political and juridical culture. It is an essential good: each person must be able freely to exercise the right to profess and manifest, individually or in community, his or her own religion or faith, in public and in private, in teaching, in practice, in publications, in worship and in ritual observances. There should be no obstacles should he or she eventually wish to belong to another religion or profess none at all." "

So do you think the Pope meant to include Satanism or even the Apartheidhism of the Dutch Reformed Church in this apparently universal "right" to "Religious Freedom"?

What of all the African children who have been murdered in England in recent years on suspicion of their being witches - should their murderers be exempt from prosecution by the State on the grounds that they were freely exercising the ritual observances of their shamanistic religions?

By failing to make the distinction between true and false religion in his comments, the Holy Father has only served to pour more ambiguity onto the flames of this debate.

De Mattei's article is spot on. Error has no rights, because error, like sin, is evil - it is of the devil. And nobody has the "right" to do, think or promulgate anything that is evil.

beng said...

This has got to be one of the most brilliant exposition on Religious liberty!

Alan Aversa said...

De Mattei should've drafted Dignitatis Humanæ.

Matamoros said...

I don't think this is about the state controlling the process of conviction. That would be a red herring. It's about the state regulating the public expression of false convictions. It's not about the state forcing anyone to believe. Just as the state can and should prevent public immorality, it can prevent public expression of heresy and other falsehoods - which is also immorality - in the right circumstances. It has nothing to do with the TFP either - just another red herring. How much fish can one fit on on one post!

Armed with DH, Paul VI forced Spain in the late 1960s to accept religious liberty and the proselytism of false religions. This is not the continuation or "development" or "adaption" of the Church's thought or practice in any shape or form.

How did intolerance of error work in Frnco's Spain? A book by a U.S. Baptist preacher called "Pagan Spain" recounts how he was arrested in the 1950's for "talking about the Bible" (yeah, sure), put in a police cell with drunks and criminals and deported back to the U.S. I laughed when I read it because now that I see the effects of false religious liberty in Spain I have no sympathy for those Church haters who just have to express their love for God by destroying the faith of others. Death to all sects.

The fact that the state can go wrong and set a bad example changes nothing. This argument is even used on an individual level by those people who say that we shouldn't accuse others of being wrong because we are so unworthy. But silence in the face of error is the same thing as saying we don't know Christ, which surely makes us even more unworthy. Therefore, even a state composed of unworthy men should acknowledge the truth, and if required by circumstances, repress error.

If Emperor Charles V had stamped Lutheranism out at the start as was done in southern Europe, instead of waiting 20 years to act, we'd all be a lot better off.

I don't think this discussion is merely academic, even in today's world/ Firstly because post Vat II idiocy did more than a century of secularism to destroy the last Catholic states. Most importantly rejection of error is the mark of the Christian. Long before Theodosius the Great made the Roman Empire Catholic officially, we were fighting like cats and dogs against errors and sects of all kinds and toleration was never in the vocabulary of these first Christians. That, and nothing else is the reason we were fed to the lions. We wouldn't accept our place in the Empire's pantheon of Religions. We've come full circle and we mustn't try to escape the lions through misplaced niceness concerning other religions.

Alan Aversa said...

@JabbaPapa: "Man has no right to religious freedom in the public space" is, furthermore, contrary to Catholic doctrine.

No, it isn't. Pope Pius IX condemned such propositions in his Syllabus of Errors, such as:
"15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true."
"78. […] it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship."

"If the individual had the right to preach and profess publically any religion whatever, the State would have the obligation of religious neutrality."

This is untrue. A State can profess the truth of Christianity without being simultaneously forced to prevent individuals preaching whichever false religions.


"Professing" and "forcing" are two different things.

Alan Aversa said...

@maryvictrix.com: «As late as 2011 Pope Benedict stated the following:
"Religious freedom is, in this sense, also an achievement of a sound political and juridical culture. It is an essential good: each person must be able freely to exercise the right to profess and manifest, individually or in community, his or her own religion or faith, in public and in private, in teaching, in practice, in publications, in worship and in ritual observances. There should be no obstacles should he or she eventually wish to belong to another religion or profess none at all."
»

This is heretical. It directly contradicts, e.g., Bl. Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors, which condemns that "Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true" and "that persons" "shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar [non-Catholic] worship."

«I believe the perspective of de Mattei is determined largely by his admiration for the theories of Plinio Correa de Oliveira, who argued for the legitimacy of a Counter-Revolutionary Dictatorship in Revolution and Counter-Revolution. The establishment of what he refers to as an “analogous traditional elite” is his social construct for the reinvention of Christendom as the fruit of a counter-revolution engineered by the counter-revolutionary intelligentsia. This is simply a personal and private opinion of de Oliviera and de Mattei. It is not the teaching of the Church.»

No, it is not their opinions. Bl. Pope Pius IX condemned the following proposition in his Syllabus of Errors:

"77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship."

Alan Aversa said...

It seems Dignitatis Humanæ was preoccupied with the question of "forced conversions," but the notion of "forced conversion" is a contradiction; not even the angels can make someone do something against one's own will.

Shane said...

"I laughed when I read it because now that I see the effects of false religious liberty in Spain"

But how does one quantify the effects of religious liberty in Spain? Only a small fraction (albeit a small fraction too many) of Spanish Catholics have converted to Protestantism. The majority has simply apostatized.

JabbaPapa said...

Alan Aversa :

@JabbaPapa: "Man has no right to religious freedom in the public space" is, furthermore, contrary to Catholic doctrine.

No, it isn't. Pope Pius IX condemned such propositions in his Syllabus of Errors, such as:
"15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true."
"78. […] it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship."


Neither of these deliberate statements of error is equivalent to what I wrote.

That statement by DM is contrary to Catholic doctrine because

1) Taken as is, it denies religious freedom to Catholic Christians

2) Because Catholic doctrine teaches that there is an unalienable degree of religious freedom that is provided to us as incarnated souls, through the gift of Free Will -- DM's statement is a partial denial of the infallible dogma of Free Will

"Professing" and "forcing" are two different things.

That's precisely why I made that distinction in my statement.

JabbaPapa said...

Alan Aversa :

@maryvictrix.com: «As late as 2011 Pope Benedict stated the following:

"Religious freedom is, in this sense, also an achievement of a sound political and juridical culture. It is an essential good: each person must be able freely to exercise the right to profess and manifest, individually or in community, his or her own religion or faith, in public and in private, in teaching, in practice, in publications, in worship and in ritual observances. There should be no obstacles should he or she eventually wish to belong to another religion or profess none at all."»

This is heretical. It directly contradicts, e.g., Bl. Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors, which condemns that "Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true" and "that persons" "shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar [non-Catholic] worship."


You are utterly mistaken, and in the worst possible way.

1) You have contradicted a doctrinal teaching of the Holy Father, as well as the underlying teaching of the Magisterium

2) It is completely unjustified to accuse the Pope of being a "heretic", except in the most grave and solemn of circumstances -- which quite simply do not exist in this matter

3) Bl. Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors, being a catalogue of false teachings, CANNOT by its very nature be considered as a document of Catholic doctrine. Such errors as he describes therein form NO PART whatsoever in the formulation of Catholic doctrine. As such, it is a purely theological text, for the sole purpose of constituting a contribution to theological debate, so that none of its contents can therefore form the basis of any kind of Magisterial teaching.

By its very nature, that document is a personal contribution from Pius IX ; by its very nature, Catholics are not required to accept any validity of that document, notwithstanding that it is useful as a rough yardstick to sniff out various forms of theological and doctrinal errors.

Also, good Catholic doctrine cannot be naïvely understood to be the simple 180° diametric opposite of the errors described in that document -- very often, those errors will be based on some rather subtle differences, rather than a 180° about-face.

Consequently, disagreeing with your personal interpretation of the meanings of that document obviously CANNOT be even remotely called "heresy".

Only by agreeing with any of the errors described would an error be constituted -- but not every error is a heresy, but a heresy is a particular kind of error only, that denies an infallible teaching, and is therefore a mortal sin ; whereas most errors involve the denial of a fallible teaching only, and are a venial sin.

No, it is not their opinions. Bl. Pope Pius IX condemned the following proposition in his Syllabus of Errors:

"77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship."


The proper doctrine is not 180° opposite that error -- it is an error to state that the Catholic religion cannot be a State Religion ; this does not require that the Catholic religion must be a State Religion.

Barbara said...

I think Prof. de Mattei's little essay is really good and very clear - as he cites Papal authority on the matter of religious liberty without twisting it to his own ideas. The commenters who contest his authentic Catholic presentation of this matter are less clear and seem to go round in circles with their reasoning - a bit of Jappepapparwocky relativism here and there.

Thank you Alan Aversa, Deacon Augustine, Matamoros for your perfectly clear responses to the people who don't agree with this essay. Do we have the source of all happiness and liberty in Our Lord Jesus Christ - yes or no? Compared to Him the rest is rubbish - ain't worth a row of beans - blowing in the wind ......

I am all for the principal of the Social Kingship of Christ - it is a goal to preserve and strive for (How can WE NOT WANT IT?) - against all odds - O yes! - infintely worth striving and dying for (Lord grant me the grace and courage!)!

maryvictrix.com said...

Deacon Augustine @ 05 August, 2012 23:22

DH, the Catechism and the postconciliar popes all make clear that the individual right to religious liberty is not an absolute, and does not trump all claims to public order and the common good. Your objection is not to the point of the real and just claim for religious liberty.

Matamoros @ 05 August, 2012 23:39

When the state involves itself in the regulation of the propagation of religious tenets, it does, in fact, control the process of conviction, precisely because it controls the content and manner of communication. Furthermore, such control is indirect coercion, if you will, or political pressure: "if you are one of us there is no problem, but if not we have control over you and the expression of your religious convictions."

You seem to imply that a State that stays out of the Church's business, is tantamount to the Church that stays out of the Church's business. There is no logic in that. The real point here is precisely that it is the Church's business to propagate the faith and assure that its members are kept honest to what they claim to believe, not the State's.

Allen Aversa @ 06 August, 2012 00:12

No, Pope Benedict not a heretic. It his job, not yours or mine, to settle such questions and the way he has understood and resolved the problem you refer to is teach that the condemnation of previous popes applies to a religious liberty based on the convictions of liberalism and relativism. Religious liberty can never be justified on the ground that all religions are equal or that it is impossible to come to certain conclusions about religious truth. But DH, the catechism and Pope Benedict make no claims for relativism, but in fact condemn it. Religious liberty based on the need for freedom from coercion and restraint in matters of religious conviction and the need for coexistence is completely different.

If you don't see it that way your problem is with the Vicar of Christ who acts legitimately in the execution of his office. Settling this matter is his job, and no one else's.

Barbara @ 06 August, 2012 06:08

What de Mattei does is precisely to "twist" papal teaching around to "his own ideas." Read his introduction to the thought of Plinio Correa de Oliveira: "Crusader of the 20th Century." There you will come to understand both men's philosophy of history and why it is that de Mattei cannot except religious liberty no matter how it is defended by the Pope.

Catholic faith is not a matter of arriving at conclusions by means of "scientific theology," and it is certainly not a matter of historical argumentation. Apologetics is great, but the faith is not ultimately defended by an argument, but by authoritative teaching. De Mattei subscribes to a particular ideology which makes airtight claims for an "analogous traditional elite." He is most certainly bending papal teaching to his ideology.

Veritaser said...

Jabba Pappa, mary victrix,

I find it hard to believe that the Syllabus of Errors has no binding authority. But even if that is somehow true, there can be no doubt that Quas Primas, Vehemter Nos, Libertas, Immortale Dei, Quanta Cura, Mirari Vos, and even Exsurge Domine do have binding force.

Nothing in them says that their teachings are condition-based against claims of relativism only. If that is how they are now to be understood, then any pope is free to cast any traditional teaching in any context of his choosing as a vehicle through which to nullify it.

Also with regard to the state recognizing Catholicism, Franzelin's meta-norms of theology, based on tradition, holds that any official unconditional condemnation by a pope is infallible doctrinal teaching, and the quintessential example he provides for this is the condemnation of the separation of church and state.

I know all sorts of folks have been given us all sorts of elaborate DH tap dances for years, but the hard facts remain the hard facts: what our most recent several popes have proclaimed and stood for on this issue contradicts what the approximately previous 200 popes had stood for. You cannot fully agree with both sets of popes.

On this issue, I stand with Deacon Augustine, Alan Aversa, Prof. de Mattei, SSPX, and over 200 popes.

Rose said...

This post is so timely. I believe we need to focus on Christ the King and the true liberty of Christians, now more than ever. That is why I started a campaign and petition for public processions of the Blessed Sacrament to Save America, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. For more info visit www.processionsacrossamerica.com.

GMMF said...

I think de Mattei misses an important distinction, which is made by Thomas Pink in his treatment of this topic. The fact that something has no right to exist or be proliferated does not justify all means of repressing it, nor does it mean that all of the licit means of repression are licitly employed by all men.

Pink does a good job of showing how the medieval Church saw the power of coercion in matters concerning (or contrary to)revelation as resting solely in the Church, whereas the state had authority over temporal matters concerning natural reason. The Church, however, could, at its pleasure, delegate this coercive authority to its members who happened to also wield temporal authority (like a Catholic king).

Furthermore, according to the relatio and subsequent papal commentary, DH does not deal with an abstract right to err. Rather the term "right" is used in the context of DH to speak merely of the relationship between a man and the state (the "language of modern man" being employed)--and this usage is where the confusion has arisen, IMO, just as 19th century condemnations of rights of "conscience" led to similar confusion (cf. the chapter on conscience in Newman's famous letter to the Duke of Norfolk).

The constant tradition of the Church places as the ordinary means of repressing error preaching and the example of good and holy living, not force or depriving men of their liberty (cf. Paul III, Sublimus Dei). We do not follow the model of Muhammed, but of Christ. Force has been used only if absolutely necessary to preserve the common good. Archbishop Von Kettler's famous 19th century work on religious freedom explains this well.

Matamoros said...

Someone said "When the state involves itself in the regulation of the propagation of religious tenets, it does, in fact, control the process of conviction, precisely because it controls the content and manner of communication. Furthermore, such control is indirect coercion, if you will, or political pressure: "if you are one of us there is no problem, but if not we have control over you and the expression of your religious convictions."

Influence, which you call indirect coercion, is well within the obligations of the state. In a Catholic country it has (almost completely)the same subjects as the Church and therefore, even though its ends are not defined in the same manner as those of the Church, it has an obligation to favour what is right, and discourage what is wrong, in the PUBLIC sphere. Regardless of questions of toleration or otherwise, any declaration by the state that it confesses the true Faith (required by any conception of the Kingship of Christ) is by its very nature a sort of pressure on the population as a whole.
Public communication belongs to the sphere that can involve the state- it is not a matter of personal will to believe or not. Indeed, questions of truth apart, the breaking up of national unity in the name of religious liberty is definitely a matter of concern for the state.

In Spain it is true that most people are not interested in other religions - they take the Church seriously, regardless of whether they are for it or hate it and find it hard to take other religions seriously.However the symbolism involved in dethroning Christ has not been lost, even upon those who are still Catholic. Everyone knows that the Church is being demeaned and relativised. In Iberian America, the influence of Protestant sects is important in several countries and has divided nations, communities and families down the middle. There are the makings of a war of religion there if it continues. The sects come from the United States, but post Vat II notions of religious liberty killed off any idea of real resistance.

Concerning the TFP there was a serious flaw in logic. The argument runs.
Di Mattei is against DH.
TFP - which Di Mathei favours (?), is against DH.
Therefore, all those who are against DH are following the TFP. Wrong.
As logicians say "The number of terms distributed in the conclusion cannot be greater than the total number distributed in the premises". You are making assertions that go much further than the premises provided. Put simply there is no need to have heard of TFP or agree with it to have this position. I would now suggest you do some more fishing, as this red herring is really beyond its use-by date.

JabbaPapa said...

Veritaser :

This is an important comment, and thank you !!!

Jabba Pappa, mary victrix,
I find it hard to believe that the Syllabus of Errors has no binding authority. But even if that is somehow true, there can be no doubt that Quas Primas, Vehemter Nos, Libertas, Immortale Dei, Quanta Cura, Mirari Vos, and even Exsurge Domine do have binding force.

Nothing in them says that their teachings are condition-based against claims of relativism only. If that is how they are now to be understood, then any pope is free to cast any traditional teaching in any context of his choosing as a vehicle through which to nullify it.


Sorry -- but the reasons why the Syllable of Errors is not binding in the ordinary sense of the word are NOT provided by relativism !!!

It is not binding simply by virtue of the fact that it is a list of errors.

(Sorry, I actually did go into some detail to explain more fully what I meant, in the third part of my long post, but the moderators decided to only allow parts 1 & 2, which is of course their right)

Only *positive* teachings are fully binding, including *positive* condemnations of false doctrines.

A doctrine that states "XXX is wrong because YYY is the truth" would be binding in the ordinary sense of the word ; A doctrine that states "XXXX is wrong" simply condemns XXXX, but it does not create a corresponding YYYY that Catholics must adhere to. Therefore, it is binding, but to a lesser degree, because of the lack of positive teaching associated with the condemnation.

Also with regard to the state recognizing Catholicism, Franzelin's meta-norms of theology, based on tradition, holds that any official unconditional condemnation by a pope is infallible doctrinal teaching, and the quintessential example he provides for this is the condemnation of the separation of church and state.

I disagree with that opinion.

There are multiple degrees of Authority, that are associated with the multiple degrees of sin that are associated with denying them.

Some infallible doctrines are more infallible than others -- most people claiming that women should have access to the priesthood are in a situation of mortal sin, typically reduced to venial by virtue of their ignorance ; but anyone denying the Divinity of Christ has denied a doctrine so primal, that this person can no longer be considered as being Christian, let alone Catholic.

Similarly, some fallible doctrines are less fallible than others -- mainly because some of them must be adhered to de Auctoritate, whilst others needn't be.

From the doctrinal point of view, the Catholic Tradition includes everything infallible, everything to be held de fide, and everything to be held de Auctoritate --- Catholic Traditionalism and all forms of Catholic Orthodoxy must be in agreement with all of these contents and teachings.

Licit variations may occur in individual interpretations of the Mysteries, in varying approaches to the non-authoritative fallibilia ; and towards the Arcana (for complex and abstract reasons).

Bishops and theologians, and priests to a lesser degree, must adhere OTOH to this more debatable corpus of doctrine far more rigorously than other Catholics.

Veritaser said...

GMMF,

The fact remains, no matter how finely and exquisitely we wish to parse this subject, that the Church has openly officially witnessed during some 1,500 years that nobody has a right to be free from legal restriction in publicly propagating their theological evils.

The prudential judgment as to when and how this should or should not be employed it a separate matter. Nothing wrong, in principle, with being as lenient and liberal as possible, but that is not what is at issue here.

What's at issue is that our most recent 50 years of thought on this matter has shifted the ground from underneath us, and has sought to establish that what could be acceptable in the eyes of tradition as a broad liberal-oriented leniency and toleration has now trasmogrified itself into an objective natural right, directly opposed to the timeless witness of the Church.

Sorry, there is no confusion here; I believe matters are all too clear. Also I don't think de Mattei is missing anything of value and soundness from the work of Pink.

Deacon Augustine said...

@ maryvictrix.com 06 August, 2012 09:46

Perhaps, then you wouldn't mind explaining the quote you cited for me. For the Holy Father doesn't mention anything about it not being an "absolute right", but rather he asserts that it is an "essential good."

How could it ever be construed that it is an "essential good" that men should be free to "exercise the right to profess and manifest" blasphemy against the Blessed Sacrament or the Blessed Virgin Mary, for example?

On the face of it, the Holy Father seems to be saying that it is an essential good that men be free to do evil. But more than that, their freedom to do evil is a "right" they possess. Even, as you say, that is not an "absolute right", what kind of logic leads to the conclusion that any evil act is protected by the term "right"?

Or has the debate gone down a blind alley because one party has adopted the facile premise that no "religious" act and no religion can be evil?

Veritaser said...

Jabba Pappa,

It sounds like you are saying, with your clarification, that the Syllabus is binding, but to some lesser degree. I'm not clear why this should be such an issue, but again I fail to see how it has no authority. If something is promulgated as an official error, it's an important matter that must have authority. It strains credulity that the omission of a corresponding positive affirmation somehow makes the error condemnation any less important or authoritative.

Also, if we're going to start tossing out Franzelin and Van Noort, we have to start asking ourselves what do we have of the Catholic faith left other than some kind of nominalist papal magisterialism, fluctuating with the ebbs and flows of thought of whomever happens to hold the papal throne at any given time.

My question to you: what stops a pope from creating a context to undercut any authoritative teaching he wishes to change or abolish? If it's going to be accepted and defended on the topic of Church-State relations, why not give it sanction in most any other area?

maryvictrix.com said...

Matamoros @ 06 August, 2012 15:46

For the State to confess a particular faith and promote it is distinct from the use of its coercive power to restrain those who believe otherwise. The issue concerns the use of the coercive power of the State.

With respect to TFP, I neither stated nor implied the argument you suggest. Please do not put words in my mouth. What I said is that de Mattei's particular argument is very likely based on the "revolution/counter-revolutionary" theories of Plinio Correa de Oliveira, which he continually advocates. He is an elitist who believes that the plebs (Catholic or otherwise) need to be kept under the thumb of a analogous traditional elite. That he should insist that a privileged group of lay Catholics should have control over people's religious lives is no wonder.

Deacon Augustine @ 06 August, 2012 16:58

DH and the Holy Father never claim that anyone has a right to blaspheme. The Holy Father teaches no right to do evil, but rather a right to be free from coercion and restraint in matters pertaining to religious conviction, precisely because such conviction is a free act.

Because of the nature of religious conviction and its relation to the purpose of our creation, there is a real distinction between the right to freedom from coercion and restraint in religious matters and a presumed right to promote error.

This being said, again, DH, the catechism and the Holy Father all teach that there are just limits to religious liberty where it pertains to the public order and the common good.

As to your last sentence, I would ask that we presume each other's good faith. I have more than once indicated that I accept the Holy Father's position which is that a religious liberty based on the equality of religions or religious beliefs is false and heretical. I don't see how you could suggest that I believe otherwise, unless think Pope Benedict believes that "no 'religious' act and no religion can be evil," which I presume you do not.

JabbaPapa said...

Veritaser :

Thank you for this debate, it's most pleasing to this pilgrim to find someone with the same walking speed !!! :-)

(and I think I'll thank the moderators for not publishing my part 3 -- that decision has made this stimulating debate possible)

It sounds like you are saying, with your clarification, that the Syllabus is binding, but to some lesser degree. I'm not clear why this should be such an issue, but again I fail to see how it has no authority.

I did not say that it had no authority -- clearly, it does.

The Syllabus is a very difficult writing to understand -- by virtue of its inherent negativity. (NOT meant in a pejorative manner, this is simply a descriptor related to the fact that it is a condemnatory work)

There is a perfectly natural tendency to assume that the geometric opposite of a condemned doctrine must be the truth -- but this is not so.

Condemnations of doctrines very often hinge on subtle nuance, or questions of detail, rather than embracing the totality of them.

The Syllabus needs to be handled with care, because of the widespread ability of people to foment heresy, rebellion, disorder, and apostasy from their random misinterpretations of its contents -- because it does not provide good doctrines to cherish instead of the errors tha it condemns.

Also, if we're going to start tossing out Franzelin and Van Noort

Disagreeing with one statement doesn't amount to that !!!!

My question to you: what stops a pope from creating a context to undercut any authoritative teaching he wishes to change or abolish?

Faith, and the Magisterium.

GMMF said...

The Syllabus in and of itself has no authority--it's authority lies in the respective levels of authority in each of the documents it lists. It is not meant to be a series of definitive condemnations, like, say, Exsurge Domine. Rather, it is meant to reaffirm in total past pronoucements of the Pius IX on certain errors. One must go back and consult the referenced allocution to see in what sense and at what level of theological certainty the error is being treated. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on the Syllabus gives a nice summary of how the processes the Syllabus went through before being promulgated and how each listed error should be treated.

As for definitive condemnations in general, they are binding but only in the strict sense they are being condemned. They also do not imply the contrary is true, but only the contradictory.

Matamoros said...

MaryV said "Because of the nature of religious conviction and its relation to the purpose of our creation, there is a real distinction between the right to freedom from coercion and restraint in religious matters and a presumed right to promote error."

Not really, if the result is that heretics can continue the murder of souls with impunity. Once again, preventing people from destroying the faith of others by means of public actions has nothing to do with their internal processes of conviction or lack of it. As far as the state is concerned, their spiritually suicidal tendencies are of far less interest than their spiritually murderous activity involving other people. Why mix the two up? THIS distiction is perfectly clear.


Yous said that Di Mathei's beliefs on DH come from his favouring of the TFP. I may be wrong, but I believe the Inquisition was around before both Di Mathei and the TFP. The opposition to DH does not and never did derive from the Brazilian organisation in any particular way and not many care about the subject. Why keep bringing it up?

Here is an old example of the state getting involved in these affairs. Emperor Theodosius the Great establishing the Church as the official religion of the Empire in AD 380: "It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our Clemency and Moderation, should continue in the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it hath been preserved by faithful tradition; and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe the one deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity.
We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title of Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since, in our judgement, they are raving madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give to their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of the divine condemnation, and in the second the punishment which our authority, in accordance with the will of Heaven, shall decide to inflict". (Theodosius, Edictum de fide catholica).
There is no record of Pope Damasus or any subsequent Pope complaining about this until we get to the post Vat II period. "Distinctions" that don't pass the muster can't hide the truth: the Church has caved in to the world, at least for the moment.

Joshua Mincher said...

Isn't this sentence-- "The liberty of the believer is based on the truth believed and not on the self-determination of the individual"-- the key to properly understanding Dignitatis Humanae?
It is NOT because we have a right to err that men should be allowed to practice a religion that is not Christian, but because the nature of the Faith requires their freedom to do so.
It is Christ The King who has rights. His faith is a law, the New Law, but is one the nature of which requires cooperation.

Alsaticus said...

The point made by neo-Syllabusians in 2012 is simply, factually, historically proven ... wrong.

There are plenty of periods and countries where the Catholic faith has been growing up and flourishing without any Catholic state with coercion against other Christian Churches and other religions.
To have a strictly defined (as in the documents composing the Syllabus of 1864) Catholic state is in no way a necessity to preach the Gospel.

So in this specific question there is no interest to rehash a document conceived in a precise context and brought up by a lack of imagination and realism. Even for 1864.
That being said, many principles held by the Syllabus pertain to real rights of the Church and are still proclaimed by the Church after and during Vatican II : for ex. the right to teach in schools.

These principles are not limited to a context and so cannot be changed.
But making the Catholic state the alpha and omega of evangelization is simply ridiculous : the USA have been built on religious freedom and so far Catholicism grew up there considerably when during the Colonisation it was a tiny minority under several State Church provisions in favor of the Anglicans.

Africa has been evangelized under religious freedom nearly everywhere : except in Abyssinia where Catholics were tolerated with difficulties. Because of a State Church.

State Churches are by the way possible under Dignitatis Humanae (1965) if religious freedom prevails : so the Council was not against some positive rights to religious bodies.

Vatican II never supported "that all religions are equal" but that the state has no power to coerce a citizen or anyone to believe or no believe (it was the Communist era with USSR, Maoist China, Fidel Castro etc.).

Moreover the position of Vatican II is nothing but the practical position of all Modern popes from Pius VII protesting against Bonaparte's Articles organiques of 1802 (introducing religious freedom) but respecting them to Pius IX himself who endorsed Bp Dupanloup's distinction between thesis (Syllabus) and hypothesis (reality) and saying we can live within the present situation to Pius X who protested vehemently against the suppression of the Concordate in spite of its contradiction with the Syllabus through the 1802 law or Pius XII who repeated that wisdom was often to accept the coexistence of several different religions, "in some cases" he said though it was everywhere on the planet apart from the City of the Vatican.

Ultimately who on earth and where is supporting the political idea of exclusive and coercive Catholic state or of a State inquisition ?
Has someone here read one - just one - profession of faith of a Catholic candidate somewhere in the world who is seriously proposing what the Syllabus is demanding ?

Who in the USA or in Europe will launch a bill to grant complete immunity to Catholic priests so they can be judged only by Church courts according to Canon law ? It is a complete lack of political sense.

We are Catholics, it does not imply we are lunatics with zero political conscience and living in a dream world.

Finally the main flaw in Prof. de Mattei's analysis is his conclusion. We don't need to have or simply claim for a Catholic state to build up the Social kingship of Christ. Everywhere on earth (nearly) we can see this kingship to be built up with parishes, Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, numerous social/economic lay associations, intellectuals, artists, the whole God's People is working on it every day.

And that doesn't mean either that Catholics don't care about politics or the legislation : we have to fight and promote the Catholic doctrine in our local laws and policies or at a regional/global level. This is a legitimate doctrinal principle when the Catholic state is not a fundamental doctrine but a historical accident in some parts of the world.

Alsaticus

Matamoros said...

Yes Indeed, a confessionally Catholic state is not necessary for evangelisation - we did pretty well in pagan Rome despite being martyred by the million for three hundred years. Thankfully, the early Catholics didn't give up like Alsaticusven - even after 300 years where there were no catholic states, not even a few acres of Vatican territory to call their own.

Nobody is saying that burning heretics is the most urgent matter requiring the attention of politicians. But doctrine is doctrine and the Reign of Christ the King, though wildly imcompatible with the American style society that we've been told is modernity, is something Catholics must think about, strive for and believe in.

It is the "pragmatism" that was also called Americanism that largely led to DH in the first place. Have no fear, we will ditch this junk and soon.

+ Wolsey said...

" we have to start asking ourselves what do we have of the Catholic faith left other than some kind of nominalist papal magisterialism, fluctuating with the ebbs and flows of thought of whomever happens to hold the papal throne at any given time."

An excellent description of one of the errors that bedevils the thought of many "orthodox" catholics. The other is the heresy of Americanism.

+ Wolsey said...

I bet those imbued with Americanism, while demanding that the church condemn the idea of the state being obliged to confess the catholic faith, have no problems with inflicting force upon others so as to have them accept the ideas of liberal democracy - just like the French revolutionaries.

David said...

I withdraw my earlier unequivocal support for Prof. de Mattei's thesis. Subsequent comments have convinced me that there is room for well-reasoned disagreement between Traditional Catholics on this issue. Many thanks to New Catholic for facilitating a healthy debate on this important topic.

Barbara said...

Prof. de Mattei writes: "Hence, we do not renounce the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ: let us speak of the rights of Jesus Christ to reign over entire societies as the only solution to modern evils."


So according to some here this is not an OK thesis? Ridiculous? A dream? I see.... so where does that place the Catholic Creed?

In my very humble opinion - I do not think for one minute that Prof de Mattei imagines such a "dream Catholic State" given the fraility of so many things in present human society - but I read that we must strive to keep and promote through whatever state in life we hold, the principle of Our Lord's Social Kingship.

There is something not very Catholic about the defeatist attitude towards the DESIRE for His Social Reign...in order to save as many souls as possible -

A perfect Catholic Christian Society is not what this short article is about but a reminder of Our Lord's Social Kingship which the modernist mind-set of many - including Catholics - cannot stand even hearing ... So we don't mention it then and it all may go away...

Maryvictix said:
" He (de Mattei) is an elitist who believes that the plebs (Catholic or otherwise) need to be kept under the thumb of a analogous traditional elite. That he should insist that a privileged group of lay Catholics should have control over people's religious lives is no wonder."
If this is true - I agree it is absolutely not bery nice at all - and certainly not what the Social Kingship of Christ implies. I have read many of his writings and have never sensed that he held such a position....

Barbara

Jordanes551 said...

Prof. Pink, I believe, uses "coerce" to mean using punishments, etc., to compell the baptized.
As the criminal law "coerces" one to not murder. We're talking disincentive here.


Coercion might be a disincentive to spreading error, but it can never be an incentive to have divine daith. As I said above, it is impossible to coerce anyone to have faith. It's a sin even to try. Attempting to force someone to have faith is contrary to the very essence of salvific grace, which must be received willingly and freely. Any punishments or sanctions that either the Church or the State applies to the wayward baptised may never have the purpose of attempting to coerce belief.

JabbaPapa said...

Barbara :

Prof. de Mattei writes: "Hence, we do not renounce the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ: let us speak of the rights of Jesus Christ to reign over entire societies as the only solution to modern evils."

John 18:36 Respondit Jesus: Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo.

Knight of Malta said...

Coercion, oc course, is used by every parent in the world who forces their children to go to church, instead of being on the Wii all day sunday. But as to faith itself, the child will ultimately accept it or reject it. But requiring a child, in a kind way, to go to mass greatly increases the chance that they will accept the Faith.

Veritaser said...

Alsaticus,

You are creating artificial distinctions in Catholic teaching, seemingly in order to uphold some teachings while being able to deconstruct, if not disparage, other teachings.

Governments having to recognize Catholicism as the true faith and hold to it as a state religion is official, binding, traditional Catholic teaching, there can be no doubt about that. Not just Pius IX held this, but so did popes prior to him, as well as Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII after him. Pius X denounced separation of Church and state as a grave error, and this traditionally has been held to be infallible.

Nowhere did those who promulgated these doctrinal teachings ever say that they were context bound; this seemingly only gets claimed by those who want to jettison the teaching. The fact that we can have successful evangelization without a Catholic state does not make it undesirable, unimportant, or any less of a Catholic teaching. I'm sure we can successfully evangelize in a country that recognizes homosexual marriages and has legal abortions as well.

But let's pursue this 'context' idea for a moment. If you really wish to hold firm with this, please explain in clear, full, precise detail exactly how the context of 1953 fundamentally differed from the context of 1963 and 1965.

In 1953, we have Cardinal Ottaviani's address on the rights and duties of a Catholic state, which he descried as firm and unchanging, Pius XII's Ci Riesce allocuation predicated upon the state being Catholic and having the moral rightful prerogative to impose restriction on public expressions of non-Catholic faiths, and the Spanish Concordat.

By 1965, we have Dignitatis Humanae, and Pacem in Terris is already 2 years old.

So where is the monumental change of context between these two years, that justifies this sharp break?

maryvictrix.com said...

Matamoros @ 06 August, 2012 23:05

With all due respect, Matamoros, I never mentioned the TFP until you did. Why do you keep bringing it up? In my first comment I mentioned the counter-revolutionary philosophy about which de Mattei speaks frequently and which he expressly admits he has adopted from de Oliveira. It is pertinent to the topic insofar as we are talking about the thought of de Mattei. Since the first time I mentioned de Oliveira I have only responded to your comments.

Then @ 07 August, 2012 00:45

"Nobody is saying that burning heretics is the most urgent matter requiring the attention of politicians."

Telling.

This is a good reason why IMO Pope Benedict is not eager to see the Church fall into the hands of well-intentioned laymen, who have often proved themselves not only capable of crossing the line of their competence, but also of threatening the liberty of the Church.

None of you have any guarantee that the use of the sword against the ordinary communication of ideas that are repugnant to the faith will solve anything. Pope Benedict refuses to submit the good of the Church to the demands of this kind of power, which could through ordinary workings of the secular sphere turn right back against the authority of the Church.

Barbara @ 07 August, 2012 05:12

"If this is true - I agree it is absolutely not bery nice at all - and certainly not what the Social Kingship of Christ implies. I have read many of his writings and have never sensed that he held such a position…."

Read "Crusader of the 20th Century." And you are exactly right, such things are not necessary for the Social Reign of Christ the King. A confessional state does not depend on the use of the coercive power to control the communication of ideas and the regulation of the process of religious conviction.

Gratias said...

This seems to me a wedge issue that divides and weakens Catholics. Catholic states are of the past. The best hope for traditional Catholicism is here in the United States because we have religious liberty. We are a small remnant made possible by constitutional freedom of religion in a mainly protestant country.

When our Bishops fought back the Democrat agenda on Abortion recently they chose religious freedom, which is consonant with the Constitution, and Cardinal Dolan had some success with this approach. Having the SSPX separate over this issue is a wasted opportunity. Call me practical.

Jordanes551 said...

Coercion, oc course, is used by every parent in the world who forces their children to go to church, instead of being on the Wii all day sunday. But as to faith itself, the child will ultimately accept it or reject it. But requiring a child, in a kind way, to go to mass greatly increases the chance that they will accept the Faith.

It is immoral, however, for the State to treat all of the individuals under its authority as children.

Matamoros said...

Freedom is very badly understood by all of us who have grown up in liberal societies. The only sin nowadays is is any thwarting of our right to do as we please. Of course force is a dirty word now.
I've used some colourful language to shake people out of moulds a bit, and here's some more.

The state has every right to prevent the distribution of pornography because of the effect it has on individuals and society. Yet the spreading of error is even worse than the sale of pornography if it kills the faith of other individuals. It's a little strange that those who reject any use of the law against heresy in any circumstances because it is some kind of "influence" will readily agree to the state's right to use the full force of the law to prevevent the distribution of pornography. Yet liberalism comes in infinite varieties, and people can be found straight away to defend the freedom to dsitribute such material because in the final analysis it come down the individual adults to make a free decision on whether to buy it or not: freedom from coercion!

Matamoros said...

Dear MaryV
If you mention de Oliveira you are talking about the TFP. Di Mathei's arguments on DH do not depend on Oliveira/TFP. Now can we get back to the subject?

Sobieski said...

What is clear to me is that regardless of interpretation DH states that it leaves the traditional Church teaching on religious liberty in place. As a result, it must be interpreted in light of what has gone before and not as a replacement or revision of prior dogmatic, magisterial teaching. While it seems to me Dr. Pink overstates the so-called rift between what he terms "jurisdiction" and "person-centered" teaching, as well as that between medieval and 19th-century teaching, I do think his account offers a path to reconciliation between seemingly divergent teachings:

"The person-centered view of religious liberty is that all people have a uniform right not to be coerced in religious belief or practice - a right generated immediately by the metaphysical dignity of the person, and in particular by the person's metaphysical freedom and rationality. And it is generally taken for granted that the person-centered view is straightforwardly taught by Dignitatis humanae, which certainly does express itself by appeal to human nature and its dignity. But such a reading assumes that the subject-matter of the declaration is religious liberty and coercion in all their forms. And that is not the subject-matter which the declaration itself claims to address. Instead the declaration proposes to address a specifically political or civil liberty, and its argument and structure make no sense on any other assumption. Moreover traditional teaching on the obligations that base the ecclesial jurisdiction and coercion is expressly left intact. This leaves it open for us to give a jurisdiction-centered reading. And that reading seems forced on us by the dogmatic nature of Trent's decree on baptism; as arguably it is also forced on us by the dogmatic law of the Church in its present as in its earlier forms. The Church's canon law forms a structure of laws and penalties coercively directing the baptized; and what this structure aims coercively to enforce on the baptized, however restrained and limited in its present application and methods it has become, is, quite unsurprisingly, fidelity to Catholic belief and practice." ("What is the Catholic doctrine of religious liberty?", p.43)

"What then is the force of Dignitatis humanae? This declaration, we have shown, is about political or civil authority. And at the very least when understood (as it must be) in the context of the Catholic teaching as a whole, the declaration of Vatican II tells us that the human state possesses no authority to coerce religious faith and practice as does the Church. And it is plain why that should be so. The limits to state authority are fixed by natural law, since the ends natively served by the state are ones specific to human nature. While the Church serves supernatural ends and so ends that transcend human nature; and it is this fact which preserves the nature and extent of the human right to liberty from being fixed in the same way for every kind of authority by human nature on its own. For the point to our exercise of metaphysical freedom lies in a destiny beyond anything human nature can of itself attain or to which 'merely human' political and civic institutions can direct us. Which is why subjects of the state have no obligations to it in matters of religion comparable to those that the baptized have to the Church. It is that supernatural destiny - the life not under nature but under grace to which baptism admits us - that fixes both the nature and extent of the right to liberty of the baptized, and the authority of the Church legally and so coercively to govern and guide the baptized to that end." (Ibid., p. 45)

continued...

GMMF said...

Parents have a right to coerce their children, of course. The Church also has a right to coerce the those subject to its jurisdiction--the baptized. (cf. Canons 1311 and 1312). The Church, however, has never claimed a coercive power over the unbaptized.

The power of coercion depends on the object of coercion and the one who would coerce. The traditional jurisdictional approach gives the state in and of itself coercive power over temporal matters only , and over spiritual matters only when acting as the arm of the Church (when the rulers are members of the Church, and are acting according to the consent and will of the Church) (NB: DH treats the state in and of itself, not as an arm of the Church).

To use the example above, a parent has been given complete jurisdiction over his children in both spiritual and temporal matters. This is one reason why St. Thomas says it is a sin to baptize a child against the will of his parents before he has attained the age of reason. Until that point, the parents retain the sole right of determination in that matter (a practical right before men, not a metaphysical right before God of course, who requires all to believe and be baptized).

The question is a very narrow one really. Can the state's inherent power of coercion in spiritual matters be exercised beyond what is necessary for the common good? All agree it can coerce in matters contrarty to reason and the natural law. All also agree it may coerce in spiritual matters if the common good requires. What is at issue is ultimately whether the state can go farther than that based solely on its own authority, and not a power derived from the Church? It seems to me, from what I've read, the medievals said no. The 19th century papal interventions aren't really helpful in this regard since they are generally concerned with concemning the idea that neither the Church nor the State may EVER coerce in these matters, as well as condemning the idea that the common good ALWAYS requires broad or absolute liberties be granted to all forms of worship. They also generally reject the state proclaiming a metaphysical right to error (as opposed to a merely practical one).

How much limits are necessary in a particular situation is a prudential decision of course.

It also bears pointing out that the idea of a Catholic state is ultimately not connected to this question. Catholicism as the established Church of a state does not therefore imply the state will necessarily be coercing those erring in spiritual matters. Likewise, a state without an established religion may try to assert a coercive power in spiritual matters.

Likewise, talk of the social reign of Christ does not hit the issue. The question is not whether His reign is good, but whether coercion by the state in spiritual matters above what is necessary for the common good is consonant with that reign.

Sobieski said...

I think a problem is that DH is susceptible of being read or at least has been read by some as espousing an absolute right, as opposed to merely a civil right, to religious liberty. But absolutely speaking, religious error has no rights as others have stated. The human person has a right and corresponding duty to worship God as He has revealed Himself to man. Subjectively speaking, an individual might be invincibly ignorant of the truth and thus not blameworthy of error, but the profession of any religion other than the true one is ultimately *objectively* erroneous. Furthermore, the prudential course of action for the Church in certain circumstances could well be toleration of error to prevent greater evils from breaking out in society. But regardless of those qualifications, earlier popes were right to argue for the defense of the faith and preservation of Christendom and the Catholic state, which was not an accident of history but rather a development.

As the situation has continued to devolve over time due to the actions of the enemies of Christ and in some cases the unfortunate failings of Catholics, the Church now finds itself in a post-Catholic, secularized era. As the Church is primarily responsible for the regulation of religion in the (Catholic) state and the state only derivatively so, the Church today can consistently argue in principle for a civil religious freedom, I think, in the interest of protecting the faithful and all peoples from unjust suppression by the state. Obviously such is not an ideal situation as earlier popes acknowledged. Apart from the Church, the state at most could regulate religion according to natural law (i.e., what is in keeping with monotheism and natural morality), but the modern state is often hostile towards religion altogther (e.g., liberalism, communism, etc.). Today Catholic social principles are applied differently as the Church is no longer associated with the state, and there is no longer any state profession of the faith to protect. We now just hope to survive and preserve the freedom to publicly profess and practice our Catholic faith as similar to the situation in pagan Rome. As a US citizen, I am concerned about the rapidly worsening trajectory of the practice of orthodox Catholicism in my county. The current milieu of a practical, if not ideologically aggressive, religious and moral relativism in which the Church finds itself cannot be seen as an ideal. We should never lose sight of the true ideal, which is the acknowledgement of the Kingship of Christ and His Church, not only by the Church, but also by the state and all peoples, who owe their allegiance to Him. By the mercy of God and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, things can turn around drastically, and if there is any truth to centuries' worth of approved private prophecy, they certainly will.

Picard said...

Alsaticus wrote:

"There are plenty of periods and countries where the Catholic faith has been growing up and flourishing without any Catholic state with coercion ... Catholic state is in no way a necessity to preach the Gospel."

That´s not what is the debate about. Nobody says that such a state is necessary.

But - that is the point of the debate -
a) it would be - at least in many circumstances - BETTER for preaching the gosple
b) it is a question of principle: is it prinicpially good and allowed to have such a Catholic state, using coercive power to repress the spreading of error resp. protecting the truth?

Tradition says yes - modern Popes and bishops say no. - That is the point of debate here.

And that even if not necesarry it would be much better to have a Catholic state let´s read and quote Leo XIII´s LONGINQUA OCEANI

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_06011895_longinqua_en.html

"... Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority."

Picard said...

Sobieski:

But this all is also not the point of debate here.

None denies that we live in other circustances than 100 or 200 years ago, nobody denies that in such circumstances it is prudent to have religious freedom as a civil right in most constitutions.

So that is all not what we discuss.

We discuss the principles.

Picard said...

So LEo XII as quoted above says:

Oh, the constitution and laws of the US is quite ok (as the "thesis") -

but it would be much better, if the US were a Catholic state, using its power to protect the true Church (so the "hypothesis").

And, as all Popes before Vat. II, he would say that this "hyphothesis" is desireable and praisworthy.

That is what DH and the modern Popes deny.

maryvictrix.com said...

GMMF @ 07 August, 2012 17:24

"It also bears pointing out that the idea of a Catholic state is ultimately not connected to this question. Catholicism as the established Church of a state does not therefore imply the state will necessarily be coercing those erring in spiritual matters. Likewise, a state without an established religion may try to assert a coercive power in spiritual matters.

"Likewise, talk of the social reign of Christ does not hit the issue. The question is not whether His reign is good, but whether coercion by the state in spiritual matters above what is necessary for the common good is consonant with that reign."

Exactly. Well said.

JabbaPapa said...

Matamoros :

Freedom is very badly understood by all of us who have grown up in liberal societies. The only sin nowadays is is any thwarting of our right to do as we please.

This is a VERY good point !!

Clearly, religious freedom as defined in the Catholic doctrine can NOT of the same nature as the freedom that is promoted in Americanism or by Modernism or Relativism etc.

Matthew M said...

The Catholic Church has no temporal or secular power in and of itself or through any other form, nation, state, military. So what the Catholic Church teaches about religious liberty, religious tolerance, or freedom of belief if moot, null and utterly void except in a personal, private way or forum. That is why the objections of the Traditionalists like the SSPX is irrelevant. If they cannot see that then they are blind, deaf and dumb. The Church has no ability to enforce anything outside itself and barely is able to do so within its own realm.

New Catholic said...

Watch out, "Wolsey".

Sobieski said...

@Picard

It is to the point as I *am* discussing principles. Dr. Pink's explanation of religious liberty as found in DH is that it can be reconciled with prior Magisterial teaching because it does not rule every form of religious coercion or the Catholic state, and it does not grant an absolute right to religious liberty or error. If so, it seems to me one can say:

1) The Catholic state and Christendom are the best historical manifestation of the Church and state relationship, not religious pluralism. Under such circumstances and for the common good, the Church can tolerate religious error to avoid greater social evils. Regardless, the unbaptized are not to be coerced into the faith, though the public expression of their religion could be prohibited for the preservation of the Faith and the salvation of souls

2) In the absence of that situation and now in the presence of an often hostile state, the Church advocates for civil religious liberty, such that citizens are free presumably within the bounds of monotheism and/or natural morality to pursue their conscience as regards religious adherence. This civil right does not entail an absolute right to religious freedom in the sense of a right to pursue and profess error or effectively marginalize the Catholic religion as merely another one-among-many alternative. Ultimately, the right to regulate religion is a function of the Church and not the state. As the modern state is typically disassociated from the Church, then the Church argues for religious liberty such that its members are free to practice their faith.

I don't deny that there has been a change in orientation by the Magisterium since Vatican II. Neither do I argue that the proclamation of the Kingship of Christ and His Church should be abandoned. Many in the Church today including prelates seem to speak as if there is an absolute right to religious liberty and/or that the pluralistic society is a better situation for the Church than that of the confessional state. Here, I would say that continuity with tradition (and logic for that matter) is strained at best. All one need do is look at the wasteland of American culture and its impact on the religious belief and practice among Catholics to see evidence of its deleterious effect. We seem to be on the road to a tyranny that will not tolerate the expression of orthodox Catholicism for much longer. As evidence, here's one of today's headlines:

Pope cites 'unprecedented gravity' of threat to religious freedom in US

But the opinions of some Catholics regarding religious liberty is not necessarily an accurate representation of the current Magisterial teaching on the matter. That is why I cited Pink on Dignitatis humanae as not being a rupture. The pope may think it better prudentially for the Church to adapt itself to the modern state of affairs rather than argue for the confessional state. But it seems to me this is a prudential and not a dogmatic issue, where there can be legitimate disagreement. Further, given his work on Dominus Iesus and in deference to him, I would interpret his comments on religious liberty in light of that document and not as advocating religious pluralism.

Nimio zelo said...

"We are Catholics, it does not imply we are lunatics with zero political conscience and living in a dream world."

Thank you, Alsaticus. Yoking the cause of Catholic tradition to the millstone of "neo-Syllabusian" positivism will never end well. Until the restoration of the Bourbonn monarchy, of course...

Barbara said...

I get it Jabbapapa - but it is quite clear from Pope Pius XI how we can translate this as we walk upon the earth. I am a hoplessly "ROMANTIC" Catholic - I believe in the Social Kingship Of Our Lord Jesus Christ - and I am not alone in this vision...I keep good company...

" Quas Primas
7. It has long been a common custom to give to Christ the metaphorical title of "King," because of the high degree of perfection whereby he excels all creatures. So he is said to reign "in the hearts of men," both by reason of the keenness of his intellect and the extent of his knowledge, and also because he is very truth, and it is from him that truth must be obediently received by all mankind. He reigns, too, in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors. He is King of hearts, too, by reason of his "charity which exceedeth all knowledge." And his mercy and kindness[1] which draw all men to him, for never has it been known, nor will it ever be, that man be loved so much and so universally as Jesus Christ. But if we ponder this matter more deeply, we cannot but see that the title and the power of King belongs to Christ as man in the strict and proper sense too. For it is only as man that he may be said to have received from the Father "power and glory and a kingdom,"[2] since the Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with him, and therefore has necessarily supreme and absolute dominion over all things created."

Our Lord's social reign may manifest itself differently from the Catholic States of the past (it was never a perfect society even then) - but I'm not ever giving up on the principle - as it is the Church's whole aim to bring as many souls to Our Lord as possible and SHE has all the necessary graces to do thus and not only to be expressed spiritually but concretely through political forums - (here come the martyrs!)

It is pure joy to read QUAS PRIMAS!
I wanted to QUOTE ALL OF IT!

JabbaPapa said...

This simple headline :

Pope cites 'unprecedented gravity' of threat to religious freedom in US

... is a clear illustration that the doctrine of religious freedom is incompatible with the Americanist and modernist conception of freedom.

Religious freedom is a property of groups of people sharing the same religion within the group and within the religion ; not of individuals versus other individuals, nor of some groups versus other groups.

JabbaPapa said...

The one single thing that I like the most about this discussion is that it demonstrates quite powerfully that it is not only possible, but frankly positive and pious, to engage in the discussion of the Vatican II doctrine of religious freedom in a hermeneutic of continuity with the Catholic Tradition, as the Holy Father has requested of us.

This is the sort of orthodox and obedient approach that will really help bury forever the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II".

I too would like to thank New Catholic for having facilitated this debate, that I'd guess many of us have profited from. :-)

Alan Aversa said...

@JabbaPapa: De Mattei's statement in context is that "Man has no right to" the "freedom to profess whatever [non-Catholic] religion". This is why we must distinguish "libertas Ecclesiæ" from "libertas religionis".

And, yes, I understood your "professing" versus "forcing" distinction.

@JabbaPapa: Even conceding that the Syllabus has no doctrinal authority, there are similar statements in other magisterial documents, e.g., in Pope Gregory XVI's Mirari Vos, which Bl. Pope Pius IX reiterated in Quanta Cura:

«[A]gainst the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they {the Naturalists} do not hesitate to assert that "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." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way."»

(What Pope Gregory XVI calls an "insanity" is almost verbatim what Pope Benedict XVI said in his 2011 World Peace Day message cited above.)

@maryvictrix.com: So, when it seems the current pope contradicts previous popes, the current pope's teaching should take precedence?

Matamoros said...

Thanks for the quote from Quas Primas. If it's true that prudence demands different kinds of behaviour according to circumstances, it is nonetheless true that the great nineteenth century popes had a radically different idea of what was prudent in modern times to the popes that followed Vat II. Posterity has often not been kind to these previous popes because they are seen to have failed in their political endeavors. But it becomes more and more obvious that it is the contemporary papacy that is mistaken on what's prudent and appropriate.

Why was it right for Paul VI to pressure Spain in the late 1960s to allow proselytism for false sects? It wasn't due to any pressure within the country, but it pleased the world outside. The changes in the Church have singlehandedly done more than anything to produce the Spain of today. Nobody should doubt this.

I think that on this issue liberalism somehow manages to marry itself to a kind of pietism which is actually uncomfortable with all official, social recognition and glorification of the true faith. Its dogma is that this is a kind of riches that must inevitably corrupt the church and violate the wills of individuals on their personal spiritual meanderings. As some contributors here have incredibly stated, they consider the North American society today as ideal.

This is not a Catholic sentiment. The whole purpose of Papal teaching on the Kingship of Christ is that his reign is NOT just internal and invisible, but public, social, political and visible. North American society is probably one of the more religious in the West today in the sense that its individuals are often religious, but it is lightyears away from the reign of Christ the King because almost nobody even knows what it it is, let alone aspires to it.

This ideal North American society has sent the sects off to do their work in Iberian America, tearing the faith away from tens of millions and dividing previously Catholic societies. What we should do about it is another question, but I maintain that a society like Spain in the 1960s or Iberian American countries without any local Protestantism, were in their rights to prevent proselytism by false sects, using the force of the law. Nobody's conscience is being violated in this case, only the will of foreign preachers to change the faith of people in a country thousands of miles from their own. Yet the post Vat II papacy says "let them be".

No. The divisions caused by religious liberty in Iberian America have already produced the area's first Protestant dictator and war criminal, General Montt, in Guatemala. His regime killed 200,000 Catholic peasants (sopposedly communitsts, but definitely not in sympathy with Uncle Sam). This problem is only going to get worse south of the Rio Grande, where half the world's Catholics live, and most of the culturally Catholic nations are to be found.

THIS is not a dream world. It may be of no concern to those who wish to maintain a comfortable and respectable position for the Church in the U.S. Open your eyes, because wealth is very volatile and the real decisions perhaps are going to be made elsewhere, beyond the Rio Grande (or maybe the Ozarks, the way the U.S is going).

Picard said...

Mathew M:
"The Catholic Church has no temporal or secular power in and of itself or through any other form.."

That´s not only wrong but heretical. See the article of Prof. Pink here on Rorate.

I do not consent to anything Pink says - but re this he is right.

And - but that is what Pinks seems to overlook or neglect - the state has also a power and right in itselfe to protect truth and oppress error and the spreading of it.

JabbaPapa said...

Alan Aversa :

@JabbaPapa: De Mattei's statement in context is that "Man has no right to" the "freedom to profess whatever [non-Catholic] religion". This is why we must distinguish "libertas Ecclesiæ" from "libertas religionis".

And, yes, I understood your "professing" versus "forcing" distinction.

@JabbaPapa: Even conceding that the Syllabus has no doctrinal authority


You understand almost nothing, sorry.

It is not true that "the Syllabus has no doctrinal authority".

More importantly, the dogma of Free Will transcends all of these petty concerns.

Picard said...

@ Sobiesk:

What you said under 1) and under 2) (first paragraph) is right, we agree in this principles (what are the Catholic ones).

But the problem is some later statements.

a) the modern Popes do reject the Catholic state not only out of prudence in the pastoral order but out of principle. The famous Christmass speach of 2005 of the Holy Father makes this very clear. As well as other utterances of the Popes do. Or the fact, that after Vat.II all the Catholic States (as Spain, Columbia, the Wallis) had to change their constitutions under pressure of the Vatican!

Also Prof. Rhonheimer admits this - he is cited by Pink, but Pink rejects Rhonheimers view. But - as I will argue now - Pink´s view here is not convincing, but Rhonheimer´s is.

b) You resp. Pink are/is not right that DH as well as the pre-Vat.II -teachings are not about the duties of the state as such but only about the Church´s coercive power (and re the state only insofar it is the temporal arm of the Church).

Prof. Rhonheimer is right here, that it is in fact about the state an his power as such.

Because Pink correctly says that the Chruch has only power re the baptized.
So as the teaching re rel. liberty is also about supressing the public acts of the unbaptized, it is about the power and right of the state as such (via natural law), not in his function as the temporal arm of the Church.

c) Conneted with b) Pink is wrong if he stresses that DH would only deal with political of civil rights.

He is even not consistent in his own text, because later he says:
"Its subject matter is state and civil coercion under natural law"

So now he is right: it´s about the state´s power under NATURAL LAW.
So therefore (again back to b)) it is not (only) about the State under Chruch law / positve Divine law, as he argued before.

DH states that the freedom from coercion also in the public sphere is a NATURAL LAW (of every man) that every state must respect (in giving it the status of a civil law/right)!

Alsaticus said...

to Picard

"Picard said...

Alsaticus wrote:

"There are plenty of periods and countries where the Catholic faith has been growing up and flourishing without any Catholic state with coercion ... Catholic state is in no way a necessity to preach the Gospel."

That´s not what is the debate about. Nobody says that such a state is necessary.

But - that is the point of the debate -
a) it would be - at least in many circumstances - BETTER for preaching the gosple
b) it is a question of principle: is it prinicpially good and allowed to have such a Catholic state, using coercive power to repress the spreading of error resp. protecting the truth?

Tradition says yes - modern Popes and bishops say no. - That is the point of debate here."

The "little" problem in these statements is that Church history is reducing them into ... powder.

Claiming the Catholic state with coercion is "better" is not always verified by history, far from it. Is France in the XVIIIth with a Catholic state torturing protestants "better" and immuned from sin, a thriving period for French Catholicism ? Nope ... it's the exact opposite and the cradle of the Enlightment anti-Catholic philosophy.
Moreover the XVIIIth in Catholic Europe is seeing huge encroachment of the States into the Church internal affairs (re. the suppression of the Jesuits etc.)

The statement from these popes is simply idealistic but not backed by the facts everywhere, in every country.

So they are in no way a "principle", much less a "principle" of Faith (bring me the Creed ? the profession of faith of Pius IV or the Church catechism ?). This is what Vatican II Fathers considered it was in 1965 a mere prudential judgement based on a cultural and historical context, completely outdated already in 1832 and 1864 but even more one century later, and even more in 2012.

You still had a handful of politicians in 1864 that were ready to claim for a strictly Catholic state (in Europe) with a religious police and expelling or killing heretics and non believers (very, very few).
But in 2012 in what country do you have any political party supporting this ? No one, nowhere.
So where is the prudential judgement in claiming this in 2012 when we ALL know very well (and Picard admits this too) that it is entirely superfluous for spreading the Gospel which the n°1 mission of the Church ?

To Barbara, like I wrote before, Vatican II is supportive of the Social Kingship of Christ. The formal Catholic state is not a requirement to build up a powerful Catholic movement, a Catholic society and have Catholic laws even some leaders asking for a consecration to the Sacred Heart. Belgium had nearly all this from the 1880's to the end of the 1990's with a constitutional separation.

Once again making a fuss out of this is completely absurd : in the past 200 years minimum, the Church grew up without any 1864-type Syllabusian Catholic state nowhere (except in Rome where it is necessary, the only state that is matching the statements is the Vatican City and this is perfectly logical there).

People should not waste their time in this ghost of Catholic state of a distant past and focus on truly building the Social Kingship of Christ and renewing the Church where it is absolutely necessary. The priority in 2012 is certainly not the "Catholic state".

ps.Besides like I said, even the popes of the XIXth never made this their actual priority : they merely reprinted this claim without never drawing any consequences out of it. Why being "more" Catholic than Pius IX, Pius X, Leo XIII or Pius XI themselves ?

Alsaticus

maryvictrix.com said...

Allen Aversa @ 08 August, 2012 16:21

"So, when it seems the current pope contradicts previous popes, the current pope's teaching should take precedence?"

The teaching of the current occupant of the Chair of St. Peter takes precedence over both armchair theology and scientific theology. The pope does not need to prove he is right. Faith seeks understanding. Academic theology in its proper forum is one thing. But de Mattei is writing for the masses, and, for example, the open letter to the pope which he signed is not a matter of academics but of politics.

Pope Benedict, as I am sure you will admit, is neither a ignoramus nor a heretic and his teaching expressed as a function of his office, even if not protected by the charism of infallibility, is never merely private opinion, like your opinion on this matter is, or mine.

I think this thread has demonstrated that the matter is not as simple as you would have it, and that the problem calls for a good faith discussion, but one that squarely respects the legitimate and necessary authority of Peter.

Picard 08 August, 2012 20:07:

"the modern Popes do reject the Catholic state not only out of prudence in the pastoral order but out of principle. The famous Christmass speech of 2005 of the Holy Father makes this very clear."

Exactly where does the Holy Father reject in principle the Catholic State in his December 22, 2005 address?

Picard said...

Alsaticus:

Ok., I admit, you made a good argument and objection to me re a)

But not re b)

And this is the crucial question.
The old teaching was that is is at least allowed (let alone if better or not) for the state to intervene in the public sphere because the error-spreading persons do NOT have a strict right to be free from such coercion in the public sphere.

This crucial question is a question of principle, not of prudence and circumstances.

So do the modern Popes, bishops, Catholics, Cath. politicans,... still hold it or not (this principle)?!

And do you still hold it or not, Alsaticus?!

THAT´S exactly the question resp. problem of DH, Vat.II and post-Vat.II-era!

Barbara said...

I was not making a fuss Alsaticus - but just learning and discussing about one of my favourite subjects with other serious Catholics - it is not so easy to find a common interest on this subject among the Catholics where I live - How nust we learn otherwise?

Thanks for your contibution to my learning!

Barbara

Sobieski said...

@Picard

We cannot know the true religion by reason alone. Natural knowledge does not get us that far. At most it points to it (e.g., preambles of faith like God's existence) and can be directed by the manifestation of visible signs (e.g., miracles). A natural law state would presumably regulate religion according to monotheism (as we can know by reason that one God exists) and natural morality (e.g., say, along the lines of Aristotelian-Thomistic ethics and politics). The modern, secular state, however, is not even a natural law state and is often at times hostile to religious belief, whether Catholic or otherwise. So given this, how is the modern, pluralistic (or even anti-religious) modern state going to suppress religious error? What is "error" in this context? Objectively speaking the state may have certain obligations, but said states are not founded on Catholic principles. Granted, it's a totally messed up situation. Can the state divorced from the Catholic religion fully legislate for truth and against error in the Catholic sense? I don't see how. Thus, a prudential path in such a situation is to argue for civil religious liberty.

As regards coercion of the unbaptized, Pink holds that the Catholic state does have the right to prohibit public profession of false religion for the preservation of the Faith and the salvation of souls. There is no right to coerce the baptized into believing. So I don't think the prohibition of false religion would be a function merely of natural law, and it wouldn't apply to all false religions because one might try to make the case that certain religions fall within the ambit of natural reason and morality.

In any event, I thought Pink offered a useful account, but I haven't read Rhonheimer on this topic. My main concern is to be faithful to Christ, His Church and its duly appointed leaders. The Magisterial teaching in question is one thing; the wrongheaded actions or beliefs of Catholics is another. I am not familiar with all the history, but if the Vatican did encourage Catholic states to secularize, which in turn resulted in the decline of faith in those countries, then this could be attributable to errors in judgment or weakness and not due to a change and resulting contradiction in official magisterial teaching. I agree with Matamoros' comments @ Aug. 8, 16:37.

As regards Pope Benedict, the only consistent position regarding his remarks seems to me to be arguing for civil religious liberty and corresponding freedom from coercion by the state. I don't think these items contradict prior teaching, though emphasis on them evidences a change in orientation. I confess that after reading his statements from Dec. 2005 and Jan. 2011, however, he does seem to be saying more than this, viz., that religious liberty seemingly without respect to Catholicism is in principle an essential good vs. a necessary evil in the sense of toleration of error for a greater social good. It seems that it should be applied in any state and that persons have not only a right to not be coerced, but to publicly profess and spread their belief as a positive good. If so, I frankly don't know how to reconcile his comments with prior magisterial teaching. His statements do appear to directly contradict those of Bl. Pope Pius IX as an example. In 2005, the pope in fact states the 19th century Church's "bitter and radical condemnation" of the spirit of the modern age was basically and overreaction and that Vatican II has "reviewed and even corrected certain historical decisions." I don't see, however, how 100+ years worth of prior magisterial pronouncements from numerous popes contrary to his view on this topic were completely time-bound and devoid of binding dogmatic content. Regardless, I refrain from making any judgment out of respect for the pope and am open to explanations.

Sobieski said...

@Alasticus

"The 'little' problem in these statements is that Church history is reducing them into ... powder."

By this reasoning, the Church's teaching on contraception is being reduced to "powder" as the vast majority of people in the world, including Catholics, ignore it as backwards, unhygienic and outmoded. The same could be said for a whole host of Catholic teachings or even of Christ Himself as he was initially followed by a small band of disciples and put to an ignominious death on the Cross by His own people. Truth isn't based on popular opinion, however, especially in a corrupt and depraved civilization, even if the whole world falls into error. I find it quite astonishing that any orthodox Catholic would attack and ridicule the magisterial pronouncements of past popes, even if viewing them as time-bound. More has been written officially on the topic of the Catholic state, primacy of the Church, Kingship of Christ, religious liberty, etc. by the pre-Vatican II popes and Magisterium than what has been written since. If we can just laugh it off, then a fortiori is that the case as regards later teaching. Furthermore, Dignitatis humanae explicitly states that it leaves the prior teaching in place. So if it is "simply idealistic but not backed by the facts everywhere," then why advert to such outmoded and embarrassing teaching in the first place? The concern, however, should be to reconcile two seemingly divergent sets of principles, if possible, not treat the former as nonsense to only be replaced by the latter.

I would gladly live in a Catholic state defects come what may, as there will never be a utopia on earth free from human sin and corruption. A Catholic state faithful to its principles, however, would be far superior to the moral sewer we live in now. You are quick to attack past Catholic states, but mention nothing about the 100s of millions of lives snuffed out by pluralistic and communist (i.e., non-Catholic, secular or "modern") societies in the 20th century. What about the abortion holocaust? What about rampant immodesty, divorce, promiscuity, mammonism, sodomy, pornography and the promotion of every perversion under the sun? The Church and its members are seriously affected by these social and spiritual evils, which are now being labeled as "rights" that we are all being forced to accept in one way or another, and there is no sign things will be getting better anytime soon. I have to raise my young children in this toxic, soul-killing environment. The John Courtney-Murray model of ordered liberty is a dismal failure. All it has done is served to water down the Faith and weaken the Church (cf. Mr. Obama's honorary doctorate and dinner invitation). No Catholic state true to its principles would have ever willingly tolerated such soul-killing wickedness on such a massive scale. Sorry, the devil, the world and the flesh are the enemies of Christ and the Church, and no amount of Pollyanna wishful thinking, good intentions and warm feelings are going to change that fact and truth of our faith.

Veritaser said...

Sobieski,

With all due respect to you and RC, I don't consider myself to be quite so reluctant.

You do not see how to reconcile the opposites because, I would say, there is no reconciling what our most recent popes are saying with what came before. And, correct, what was said before cannot credibly be said to be time bound. And what came before wasn't just 100 or 150 years prior, but has its roots in Aquinas, Augustine and goes back all the way to the 4th century.

You can be open to explanations, but I would contend there are none, at least no good, credible ones. If personages like George Washington and Adolf Hitler can justify certain wholesale changes to official Catholic doctrinal teaching, then I fear we have a very serious problem.

Picard said...

@Sobieski.

Here you make a very good objection, realy worth of deeper consideration.

Thank you for this good and scholarly discussion.

Well, I mean your argument about natural law etc. - not your remarks re the recent Popes. Here you seem to be plainly wrong - and Veritaser gave the right answer [but, well, I did not get his point about Washington etc. btw., but anyway].

So I honestly admit that your answer to me was in the main points a very estimable, considerable one - and that this aspect is worth of deeper examintation and investigation.

So I am going to do this and to re-think your argument carefully. - Thus I hope you see that I am interested in a real, scholarly, truth-seeking debate.

But as I am still not convinced I will give you some counter-objections; and even if what Pink or you argue for were right in principle, we would still have the other problem that not only the modern Popes do not assent to this interpretation and principles, but also DH does not. It says sth. different (than you and Pink say and allege that DH says).

So here my objections:

1. "We cannot know the true religion by reason alone. Natural knowledge does not get us that far.
That´s wrong. It´s a modernistic view, against the perennial teaching of the Church.(Cf. f.e. the old apolgetic-manuals or Leo XIII´s Satis Cognitum or the anti-modernist oath (" Secundo: externa revelationis argumenta...")).

I recognize that you yourselfe pointed to this in your next sentences ("at most it points to it" etc. - But a) the "at most" is wrong here - of course it points to it etc. according to those above mentioned sources (ont only "at most" b) That contraditcts your first sentences, insofar as that it points to it etc. in such a way that you can aknowledge the Catholic Church as the true religion by this poiniting to.

2. So there is the possibility of a pagan aknowledging the true religion and protecting it even before himselfe getting a Catholic - and even before establishing a totally Catholic state.
We had something similar in history: Constantine the Great and his laws...

[to be continued]

Picard said...

[contin.]

But there is some more important point, I think (and that´s the core of this fine debate):

3. Even if you have really Catholic rulers and/or a real Catholic state it seems to be some mix of principles from natural law and positive Divine law.

So it really may be that some principles and knowledge of postive Divine law is also involved. But I would argue: not necessarily alone and only. There can be additional some principles from natural law (or re natural law) be involved (or better vice versa: the Divine law is additional here)

So f.e. (me thinks) if Catholic rulers protect the true faith and the faithful from pagan, muslim or jewish errors then it is not (only) out of revealed principles and as the temporal arm of the Church but (at least also) because of the duty under natural law to protect their subjects and to help them.

Well, this natural law or duty of the state is per se abstract and does not say anything about religion resp. about a specific religion and specific religiouse errors.

But after the revelation (so added by some information from positive Divine law) this abstract duty becomes more concrete. Now you can see that the true religion is the Catholic one and that you have to protect your subjects from all error that is contrary to it.

So the deeper (abstract) underlying principle is one of natural law and of duties of a state as such.
The very reason to supress the errors is a right and duty by natural law. [ - Hope you (or others) got that importnt point that I tried to make here, because it is some complicated or call it: complex - but one crucial question of what we debate here]

4. Irrespective of 1.-3. beeing true, the problem reamains that not only the Popes but also DH do/does hold some totally different view (neither mine nor Pink´s/yours) resp. do not deal with that points and questions.

DH rejects even the POSSIBILITY of an Catholic state in the form we discuss it here (and you as Pink do consent to).

DH - as I pointed to before - rejects all supression of error out of religious motives in the public sphere IN PRINCIPLE, PRINCIPIALLY!!

It really speaks of a natural law. Directly not of some re the duty of states - but directly of some of the human persons. They have the NATURAL LAW to be free from all violence in the public sphere re religiouse things that EVERY (!!!) state must aknowledge.

And therefore the state would violate a NATURAL LAW if he uses such force in the public sphere. So indirectly DH speaks also about the duty and rights of the state - of the state GENERALLY, so by NATURAL LAW.

That - as I said above - is the very main and crucial problem.

Yours in CHrist through Mary
- again thanking you for such a substantial debate -
Pic.

Picard said...

@ Sobieski:

Small correction:

I re-read your comment and to call your remarks re the Pope(s) "plainly wrong" seems to be to strong - because you yourself show in your comment that you tend to say essetnially the same re the Pope that I do (that his views are contradicting tradition).

Well, with Veritaser I should only add that we do not only have to tend to see the contradition between the current Pope´s view and tradition but that this is obvious and clear.

But, anyway, I am really happy that in essence we see the same problems and that you are honestly admitting this problems.

But again I must add:
It´s not only the problem of the modern Pope(s) but also of DH itselfe - that was interpreted by the current Pope authentically 2005 - - but not in accordance with tradition!!!

What you deplored in your comment about the Pope´s view it all applies to DH too, as I said in my prevoius comment.

But anyway, nice to recognize that in essence we see the same problems and we are (in essence) one re this - re the crucial problems that were discussed here.

Hope also others here see that there is this real problem with the current Popes and DH, what our discussion clearly showed!
GOD bless!

Lynda said...

Those who govern over men have an objective duty to recognise objective human rights, freedoms and duties as a matter of reason and the Natural Law that is discernible by that reason. Obviously not all self-professed religions satisfy the test of objective reason and the Natural Law.

Sobieski said...

@Picard

That´s wrong. It´s a modernistic view, against the perennial teaching of the Church.

No, it is not a modernist view at all. Nothing I said was contrary to what Pope Leo XIII says in Satis Cogitum. To make my point, I will quote Vatican I:

"1. The perpetual agreement of the Catholic Church has maintained and maintains this too: that there is a twofold order of knowledge, distinct not only as regards its source, but also as regards its object.

"2. With regard to the source, we know [a] at the one level by natural reason, [b] at the other level by divine faith.

"3. With regard to the object, besides those things to which natural reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief mysteries hidden in God which, unless they are divinely revealed, are incapable of being known.

"Wherefore, when the Apostle, who witnesses that God was known to the gentiles from created things [29], comes to treat of the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ [30], he declares: We impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this. God has revealed it to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God [31]. And the Only-begotten himself, in his confession to the Father, acknowledges that the Father has hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to the little ones [32]..." (Vatican I, Session 3, Ch. 4)

So my point was that certain truths of the faith like that God is triune or that the Second Person of the Trinity was incarnated in Jesus Christ or that Jesus Christ founded a Church, which is divinely instituted and His mystical body, etc. cannot be known by unaided reason. Thus, a natural law state, strictly speaking, cannot know these things because it would be operating under [a] natural reason alone and not by [b] faith .

That said, would it be unreasonable to found a Catholic state in the sense that founding it on revealed Catholic truth would be akin to founding it on a myth, fable or blind faith? No, and this is where Pope Leo XIII's comments come. First we can know certain truths by reason which accord with what has been revealed in the matter of faith (e.g., God's existence and certain of His attributes). Second God has attested to the truths He has revealed by signs or proofs, which are the miracles performed on its behalf:

continued...

Sobieski said...

"...Christ proves His own divinity and the divine origin of His mission by miracles; He teaches the multitudes heavenly doctrine by word of mouth; and He absolutely commands that the assent of faith should be given to His teaching, promising eternal rewards to those who believe and eternal punishment to those who do not." (Satis Cogitum, no. 8)

The pope says "assent of faith" and not "assent of reason." So by proof here, he cannot mean that we can *know* by reason the divine realities revealed, but only that we have proof of their truth by means of miraculous signs, which direct the mind to assent to them by faith. This teaching, like that which I cited from Vatican I, are straight out of the first chapters of St. Thomas's Summa Contra Gentiles Bk. 1. Against this, if we say we can actually know these truths by reason, then we become rationalists who do away with faith and hold that truth is only what is naturally known by the intellect.

In any event, if a state recognizes the true religion and makes special provision for it, then it becomes a Catholic, confessional state and is no longer a natural law state. Strictly speaking, a natural law state would allow for the practice of religion in accord with natural reason and virtue. Presumably that would entail monotheistic religion, though Muslims, for example, do not always act in accord with reason as they often use violence as an unjust means to propagate their faith.

But most states today are not natural law states. Maybe they were at one time in the sense of the culture of their citizenry, but as culture has paganized over time that is no longer true. Founders like John Adams said "we have no constitution which functions in the absence of a moral people" because the Constitution did not found the country on natural law principles in any strong sense of the notion.

So in the presence of the typical modern, a-religious state, which ultimately enshrines religious and moral relativism as the norm, what is religious "error"? The state does not recognize the rights of the Catholic Church above other religions. So in the absence of a Catholic state, the Church prudentially argues for a civil right to religious liberty.

As regards your point 2, if a pagan acknowledges the true faith and enshrines it as the religion of the state, then it seems to me, the state becomes a Catholic state. Constantine became a Catholic after all, whereas Julian the Apostate attempted to suppress Catholicism in favor of paganism.

As regards point 3, that a Catholic state is founded upon a mixture of naturally and divinely known principles is not an either/or proposition. You say:

Well, this natural law or duty of the state is per se abstract and does not say anything about religion resp. about a specific religion and specific religiouse errors.

I agree. It is only until divinely revealed truth is acknowledged by the state that Catholicism is then recognized as the true religion. When that happens the state is no longer a merely natural law state, but becomes a Catholic one. The former natural law principles employed do not then vanish, but are built upon with principles from faith. Grace builds on nature after all.

continued...

Sobieski said...

As regards point 4 and after perusing DH again, I don't think the document has to be interpreted asy speaking about an absolute right to religious liberty or ruling out the Catholic state in principle. In fact, it might even be treating of the state as one based on natural law. Here are some relavent citations:

"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." (DH, 1)

The remainder of the document has to be interpreted according to the paragraph above in my opinion.

"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." (DH, 2)

Here DH is talking about religious liberty in the context of a civil right in the modern state. It says it rules any type of coercion as regards religion, but this has to be understood in a qualified way because later it states:

"In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed." (DH, 2)

So the state (contrary to Pink on this point) does have the right according to DH to coerce as regards the maintenance of public order. The following paragraph, in fact, seems to refer to the state in terms of the natural law and not in regard to any religious practice whatsoever:

"Further light is shed on the subject if one considers that the highest norm of human life is the divine law-eternal, objective and universal-whereby God orders, directs and governs the entire universe and all the ways of the human community by a plan conceived in wisdom and love. Man has been made by God to participate in this law, with the result that, under the gentle disposition of divine Providence, he can come to perceive ever more fully the truth that is unchanging. Wherefore every man has the duty, and therefore the right, to seek the truth in matters religious in order that he may with prudence form for himself right and true judgments of conscience, under use of all suitable means." (DH, 3)

Granted the focus here is different from that of the 19th and early 20th century popes, but then again DH is talking about a civil right to religious liberty in the secular state.

If NC will allow it, I think this post from "SaintSebastian" on Fisheaters in defense of DH is well worth the read against those who would say the document cannot be interpreted in line with Catholic Tradition.

Sorry for the length and may God bless you.

Sobieski said...

@Veritaser, Picard

As regards Pope Benedict XVI, I think his comments have to be understood in terms of a civil right to religious liberty and the right to freedom from coercion in matters religious. If he means anything other than this, then he would seem to not only contradict prior, pre-Vatican II magisterial teaching, but subsequent teaching as well (e.g., CCC). For the sake of time, I would refer to the "SaintSebastian" post on Fisheaters re: his comments. Cf. towards the end. What do you two think?

Veriitaser said...

Sobieski,

I'm not clear at all how SaintSebastian's claim can work, nor DH in general, for that matter.

Interesting that Bishop de Smedt was stressing that this is purely pastoral, yet DH itself and its distillation in the CCC talk in terms of doctrinal development and the natural rights of man. Very hard to see how that can be merely pastoral.

If we're going to entertain this context bugaboo, I still ask the key unanswered question that I believe has no valid answer: how was the context of 1953 fundamentally different from the context of 1965? If they weren't, then it seems the Council Fathers were labeling the teaching and governance of Pope Pius XII as an abridgement of man's very human digniity.

I fail to see how shifting contexts can be the basis for Church teaching like this. And if it somehow could, you'd have to pinpoint the exact moment when the context changed. So when did this supposedly change of context occur? The moment Pope Pius XII died? A little too convenient, not to mention intellectually untenable. And why didn't the Vatican notice that moment of change of context and immediately broadcast to the world that one of the most monumental shifts in contextual doctrine had just happened?

If words have any intrinsic meaning left, then DH teaches that in the area of strict theology and doctrine [to the exclusion of public peace, public safety, intrinsic moral order, and proper dignified matters of presentation] man has an unconditional right to be free from legal restriction in publicly spreading any and all theological error and evil.

This contradicts what is taught in Exsurge Dominie, Mirari Vos, and Immortale Dei, not to mention what could be seen as the moral indefectibility of the Church through 1,600 years of innumerable ecclesial laws and official acts of the Holy See, including concordats and the Index of Forbidden Books.

While Quanta Cura's language and scope of content is somewhat less precise, I think any reasonable read of it points to the same conclusions.

Sobieski said...

@Veritaser

...yet DH itself and its distillation in the CCC talk in terms of doctrinal development and the natural rights of man.

I do not see where doctrinal development is asserted in the texts, but as SaintSebastian explains natural right means that "'[f]reedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.' Thus, the right to religious freedom is a right before the state, not a right before God." The CCC says that the "right of religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error, but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities." (#2108)

If we're going to entertain this context bugaboo, I still ask the key unanswered question that I believe has no valid answer: how was the context of 1953 fundamentally different from the context of 1965? ...

Pope Benedict cites the period between the WWI and WWII as a changing point, though granted that was before 1953. But your argument presupposes that Cdl. Ottaviani and, say, Vatican II were addressing exactly the same issue and contradicting one another. Yet VII says that it leaves the traditional teaching in place, so I am not convinced your contention is valid. Regardless, beyond the natural right I wrote about above, I think DH is speaking at the level of prudence and pastoral application as the Bishop de Smedt citation shows. Thus, that VII and subsequent popes took a different pastoral approach is not necessarily a problem at the doctrinal level, even if one thinks such an approach was ultimately mistaken. As Matamoros argued, the political position of prior popes was seen by some in the Church as a failure, so a new orientation to the world was deemed necessary, one requiring more openness and cooperation. One could hold this was an overly optimistic view, placing too much faith in the good will of those outside the Church.

If words have any intrinsic meaning left, then DH teaches that in the area of strict theology and doctrine [to the exclusion of public peace, public safety, intrinsic moral order, and proper dignified matters of presentation] man has an unconditional right to be free from legal restriction in publicly spreading any and all theological error and evil.

DH uses phrases like "within due limits" and "provided that just public order be observed" as cited above. That is not unconditional at the theological level. I think at most we may be talking about natural religion, founded on reason and natural law. Regardless the CCC quote above, which references both DH and earlier magisterial pronouncements like QC, is clear in condemning a "right to error" as was Pope Benedict in his 2005 address:

continued...

Sobieski said...

"[I]f religious freedom were to be considered an expression of the human inability to discover the truth and thus become a canonization of relativism, then this social and historical necessity is raised inappropriately to the metaphysical level and thus stripped of its true meaning. Consequently, it cannot be accepted by those who believe that the human person is capable of knowing the truth about God and, on the basis of the inner dignity of the truth, is bound to this knowledge.

It is quite different, on the other hand, to perceive religious freedom as a need that derives from human coexistence, or indeed, as an intrinsic consequence of the truth that cannot be externally imposed but that the person must adopt only through the process of conviction."

I agree that the wording BXVI uses in the same address could be interpreted as an absolute right to profess and promote one's religious belief, which as I mentioned earlier, I didn't see how to reconcile. But then BXVI would seem to be contradicting himself in the same address. So I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Nevertheless in terms of DH itself, I agree with SaintSebastion when he says that:

"I agree with Cardinal Newman who ascribes a dogmatic character to the solemn condemnation in QC. It can't really be 'overcome.' If DH did fall under its condemnation (I don't think it does, but my understanding could be wrong) then it is DH which has a reformable character which would have to be reformed, rather than the solemn condemnation in QC. The Syllabus itself is a bit of a different animal altogether. Its authority lies in the respective degrees of authority in the actual allocutions, etc. cited..."

"...As has been pointed out, the definitive condemnations in QC are irreformable (the CCC wouldn't cite this document on the very points it addresses if it were out of date today.) On the other hand, DH, in as much as its statements are intended for specific times and circumstances, is of a reformable nature and it would not violate any theological principles for it to fall into desuetude at some point [cf. de Smedt]."

It seems to me a problem area is referring to religious liberty as a "natural right" inasmuch as one has the right to not be coerced into belief, but also that one has a right to publicly profess and promote belief. If this natural right is glossed, however, as a "right to do what we ought" and not as a "right to religious error," then it is not problematic. As noted, recent popes and the CCC all reject the latter sort of right.

"The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is 'the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.'" (#2105)

Veritaser said...

Sobieski,

I'm sorry, but with all due respect, your latest response here is simply not holding together.

You say you don't see where doctrinal development is asserted in the texts. The following comes straight from DH.

"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."

I don't think it gets much clearer than that, when the actual words 'doctrine' and 'develop' are used.

You suggest that Pope Benedict XVI is saying that we had some monumental change of context betwee the two world wars, that allegedly necessitates a change of church doctrine.

Well, if this is so, then we still have a real problem. For if this is true, then obviously Pope Pius XI and Pius XII had a papal obligation to recognize this earth-shattering change of context, and make immediately commensurate changes to church doctrine.

But they didn't. How did two august popes miss such an obivous, monumental contextual development, and proceed to uphold traditional, antiquated teachings that now would constitute them peddling an ungodly immoral affront against man's very human dignity?

This is what I mean by all attempts to defend DH going nowhere, or even worse. I've heard from some we cannot question DH for that might impugn Pope Paul VI or the popes who came after him. But apparently, it's alright to, in effect, impugn Pius XI and Pius XII??? Well, if some great change did occur between the two world wars, then there really is no choice but label Pius XII, and most likely Pius XI, as wrecklessly misreading critical temporal contextual shifts and being advocates of affronts against human dignity. Even after the 1948 UN declaration of the [alleged] rights of man, Pius XII and Cardinal Ottaviani were still at it, supposedly denying humanity its basic rights during all of the events of 1953. Amazing.

By the way, going back to my question, when exactly, precisely did the alleged change of context occur? 1923? 1928? 1930? If there was a true change, there has to be a clear precise moment when it happened, so we presumably can know at what point the doctrine should have been changed, yes?

Also, I am well aware that DH talks about due limits. As I noted, these limits pertain to matters like public peace, public safety, moral natural law, and proper forms of presentation of ideas. None of the due limits has anything to do with purely theological doctrinal matters that do not touch upon public order or morals. Therefore the right to be free from restriction in publicly airing any error or evil in these areas is full and absolute.

Sobieski said...

@Veritaser

Sorry that I didn't take cognizance of the "development" statements from DH earlier:

"To this end, [the Vatican Council] searches into the sacred tradition and doctrine of the Church-the treasury out of which the Church continually brings forth new things that are in harmony with the things that are old...

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 the traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.

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." (DH #1)

I was thinking more in terms of a change or revision in doctrine. Nevertheless, if we are talking about 1) doctrine in the sense of a pastoral or prudential application, or 2) doctrine that isn't concerned with the same issue (a civil right before the state vs. absolute right before God), then it seems to me there is no conflict. Like I have repeatedly said, and as is evidently clear from DH, subsequent papal statements and the CCC as cited, the type of religious liberty being discussed here is a civil liberty and not an absolute right to religious error. Far from rejecting documents like QC, the CCC actually cites them.

As for the context change, that to me is not central to the issue as we are dealing with a pastoral application per Bishop de Smedt. If SaintSebastian is correct, 'pastoral' means the application of doctrinal principles to circumstances in time and place. They are judgment calls of a prudential nature, are reformable and can be mistaken. So a change in direction in such matters is far different from a change in dogmatic or de fide matters re: the integrity of the Faith. So the fact that one set of Church leaders might disagree on a pastoral application of principles at a later time, even if mistaken, does not present a problem in my mind. Even if subsequent magisterial statements can be interpreted in isolation as granting an absolute right to religious liberty, what is absolutely clear to me is that such a right is explicitly rejected elsewhere in the same sources.

Therefore the right to be free from restriction in publicly airing any error or evil in these areas is full and absolute.

I agree that this is a key, if not the key, difficulty. How are we to understand this? If it means a "full and absolute right" to religious freedom before God, which is nothing but a right to error, then we have a contradiction not just between pre- and post-VII popes, but in the very same texts of the CCC and in Pope Benedict's 2005 Christmas address. Is that reasonable? It wouldn't seem so if we are going to assume any level of intelligence and good will on the part of the authors. Again we have to remember that what is being spoken of here is supposed to be in the context of the state, politics and civil rights as I have pointed out. Furthermore, if this is a pastoral application of Catholic principles, then there can be legitimate room for disagreement among orthodox Catholics on these matters (all due respect and submission to our religious superiors aside). SaintSebastian cites Saurez and Bellarmine as examples of differences of opinion on the matter.

Veritaser said...

Sobieski,

Understood that DH is not teaching a right to religious error. I don't really know of any objector, at least no knowledgeable objector, to DH who is making any such claim.

It is hard to see DH as a prudential application. It makes clear that it is doctrinal, and, if so, marks a sharp break from the past. To be prudential would mean it has to be predicated upon something that is a more foundational absolute. But there really is none. Pius XII gave us such a wonderful allocution in Ci Riesce. What's being presented in DH is clearly doctrinal.

If the SVC fathers are claiming some kind of re-application, then, again, we're talking about a change of context in order to justify it. And that is simply a non-starter. Nobody can begin to put forth a coherent answer as to when and how such a context changed. And unless one is going to pursue the self-serving absurdity that the context changed when Pius XII died, then one pope or another is in for a scathing indictment. In my book, it's John XXIII and Paul VI for departing from tradition. There is no basis for indicting Pius XI or Pius XII for simply upholding what the Church has always stood for.

Sobieski said...

@Veritaser

Understood that DH is not teaching a right to religious error. I don't really know of any objector, at least no knowledgeable objector, to DH who is making any such claim.

But it seems to me that is precisely what traditional Catholics, myself included, are struggling with. Otherwise, what's the problem? The key issue is how one has a natural right to not only be free from coercion in the state but to also have religious freedom without the latter entailing a right to religious error. My point has been that DH and the other sources explicitly reject any right to religious error. The question then becomes whether the texts are consistent.

It is hard to see DH as a prudential application. It makes clear that it is doctrinal, and, if so, marks a sharp break from the past. To be prudential would mean it has to be predicated upon something that is a more foundational absolute.

In terms of doctrine, I would have to do some research to know what the division of its categories have traditionally been held to be, but theology can be both theoretical and applied. Casuistry, for example, which is the application of moral principles to concrete situations, falls under the science of moral theology. This newer teaching is supposedly limited to the context of civil liberty and politics. So the only way I can see any reconciliation between the newer teaching and what PXII is saying in Ci Riesci is to say that the former is framed from the vantage point of the state as a civil right and not absolutely with respect to the Church and God. The perennial teaching of the Church is that the regulation of religion is ultimately a matter of the Church and not the state. So beyond safeguarding the common good, the state has no business suppressing religious practice apart from the Church. Thus all citizens should have a right to religious freedom within due limits vis-a-vis the state. As noted, the sources rule out any absolute right to religious liberty before God because they rule out a right to error. So again the question would seem to be how to frame religious freedom vis-a-vis the state as natural, but at the same time as somehow qualified and not absolute.

If the SVC fathers are claiming some kind of re-application, then, again, we're talking about a change of context in order to justify it. And that is simply a non-starter. Nobody can begin to put forth a coherent answer as to when and how such a context changed.

If we are dealing with a prudential application, I think the context change isn't critical. I am not trying to have things both ways; for a contradiction to hold, we have to be speaking about the same thing in the same respect. The Magisterium of PXII could hold history hasn't changed things at all as regards absolute principles, whereas the Magisterium of BXVI could say a new historical context required a new practical approach, which was taken by a subsequent Magisterium. This wouldn't necessarily entail a change in principles, only a change in application or emphasis (e.g., rights vis-a-vis the state vs. the Church and God). Maybe that doesn't work, but again DH is supposedly dealing with ideas at the applied or prudential level per Bishop de Smedt vs. the de fide level. Thus we are dealing with judgment calls, which are revisable and potentially mistaken. SaintSebastian quoted Suarez on this matter as being a possible interpretive aid for DH.

Sobieski said...

continued...

Suarez: "St. Thomas, however, rightly distinguishes two kinds of religious practices: there are those which go against reason and against God insofar as he can be recognized through nature and through the natural powers of the soul, e.g., the worship of idols, etc. Others are contrary to the Christian religion and to its commands not because they are evil in themselves or contrary to reason as, for example, the practices of Jews and even many of the customs of Mohammedans and such unbelievers who believe in one true God..."

"As regards the other religious practices of unbelievers which go contrary to Christian beliefs but not counter to natural reason, there is no doubt but that the unbelievers, even though they are subjects, may not be forced to abandon them. Rather the Church has to tolerate them.

"St. Gregory addressed himself clearly to this problem regarding Jews, and he forbade anyone to deprive them of their synagogues or to prevent them from observing their religious practices therein. (Lib. I Epistol. 34) Elsewhere he reaffirmed that no one should prevent Jews from participating in their religious observances. (Lib. II. Ep. 15) The reason is that such observances do not in themselves violate the natural law, and therefore, the temporal power of even a Christian ruler does not confer a right to forbid them. Such action would be based on the fact that what is being done goes contrary to the Christian Faith, but that is not enough to compel those who are not subject to the spiritual authority of the Church. This opinion is also supported by the fact that such a ban would involve, to some extent, forcing people to accept the Faith; and that is never permitted." (Tract. de Fide Disp. 18 Sect. III)

SaintSebastian: "I believe that generally the Council Fathers adopted similar reasoning when promulgating Dignitatis Humanae (obviously the reasons for voting for it may not be the same for all).

"Man must be free to fulfill his duties to God (in other words, forced atheism of Communism is an evil) and man must make the act of faith freely. While the fact that banning outright all false religious activity can lead to forcing others to accept the faith is a practical judgment, DH is intended to be just that kind of judgment."

If the teachings are reconcilable then it will be along these lines, I think. Otherwise, IMO documents like DH will ultimately be revised or more likely just fall into desuetude over time. I don't know that I have much more to say on the matter at this point, so I will let you have the last word.

Veritaser said...

Sobieski,

I can't help but think that, to some degree, we seem to be talking past each other in some ways.

Nonetheless, I'll make a final comment here, and wish you well.

I don't see any issue with regard to coercion, or right to be free from restriction in the private sphere of what I will call religious freedom. A non-Christian has no right to their non-Christian religion. They do have the right not to be coerced by government or anybody else into becoming a Catholic Christian. They also have something of a basic private right to religious freedom, that the government will not prevent them from privately worshipping, studying, teaching their children.

The crux of the DH issue is a the newly minted alleged right to freedom from restriction in the public sphere of religious freedom. Traditionally, the Church had always held that there was no such right for non-Christians and non-Catholics, though it could be allowed for a greater good, as an option of toleration.

The Church has now said, in effect, in Pacem in Terris and DH that such a right does basically exist for the public expression of purely theological errors that have no bearing on public order, public safety, or the moral order. This is a significant departure from tradition, I see no other way of viewing it.

Sobieski said...

@Vertitaser

Best wishes to you as well. I am not opposed to continuing the conversation, but just don't want to go in circles.

I don't see any issue with regard to coercion, or right to be free from restriction in the private sphere of what I will call religious freedom. A non-Christian has no right to their non-Christian religion. They do have the right not to be coerced by government or anybody else into becoming a Catholic Christian. They also have something of a basic private right to religious freedom, that the government will not prevent them from privately worshipping, studying, teaching their children.

No disagreement here.

The crux of the DH issue is a the newly minted alleged right to freedom from restriction in the public sphere of religious freedom. Traditionally, the Church had always held that there was no such right for non-Christians and non-Catholics, though it could be allowed for a greater good, as an option of toleration.

Right, I agree that this is the crux of the issue. But if this expression of religion in public is not granted under toleration of error, but as a positive right, then it would seem to be a right to error because the profession of any religion other than the true one is ultimately an error. Yet all the post-Vatican II pronouncements emphatically deny any such right. So either they contradict themselves or the right in question is somehow not a right to religious error. Is there any other way to frame it?

If not, the only way out, if there is a way out, of contradiction as I currently see things is to again note that the later pronouncements are speaking of a civil right with respect to the state or temporal power. As it is the Church's place to regulate religion, the state only has the right to regulate religious practice in terms of reason, natural law and public order. It is clearer if we look at the secular state. What is toleration in the Catholic sense in, say, the USA or the former USSR? Neither state is Catholic. In such scenarios, the Church might champion religious liberty for all within due limits vs. focusing on the traditional teaching of the rights of the Church and toleration of error as the latter would go unheeded. In the context of a Catholic state, it is less clear how anything but toleration of error is legitimate. But again if we are dealing with a prudential application of principles, say along lines of Suarez who is hardly a post-VII thinker, then we are dealing with something that could be reformed at a future time.

Picard said...

@ Sobieski (I do not know if you still follow this thread and sorry, I had no time to answer earlier - and thanks for the link to Fisheaters!):

"Understood that DH is not teaching a right to religious error. I don't really know of any objector, at least no knowledgeable objector, to DH who is making any such claim."

But it seems to me that is precisely what traditional Catholics, myself included, are struggling with. Otherwise, what's the problem? The key issue is how one has a natural right to not only be free from coercion in the state...


Sorry, but then you do not have grasped the problem at all.

I really thought - as Veritaser did - that this point were clear and also that you got it. Honestly I am really wondering. I thought we were in our discussion at the point not to repeat this again, I thought we had a common ground that it is not the question of a natural right to error before God.

So to repeat what Veritaser already said: No, it is not the question of a right to error - it is only the question of a natural right to be free from coercion in the state, namely in the PUBLIC sphere.

This we debate.

And here the problem is that DH and the modern Popes claim such a natural right (and therefore deny the right of the state to use coercive power to repress error) whilst the old magisterium denied such a right of the persons (resp. defended the right of the state in the public sphere to opress error).

I hope this is now crystal-clear and we can go on (so, as Veritaser correctly said, no serious objecter is accusing DH and the Popes of promoting a right of rel. error!!) - and need never come back to this.

So then next step.

[To be cont.]

Picard said...

[cont.]

But then again you or Pink seem to claim that DH or the modern Popes only argue for a mere civil right, not a natural one, to be free form coercion.

But that´s not only wrong but also absurde (i.t.s. that it can not be, it is impossible).
It is impossible - because the Church has no competence in cases of mere civil right/law, of mere positive human right/law.
The teaching office of the Church does only include natural law/right and positive Divine law/right (and positive eccl. law, of course - but not mere pos. state-law!!)

And thanks again for the link to Fisheaters. It´s really a good discussion there.
Exactly in this thread on Fisheaters DH is correctly quoted (by Telemaque):
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.

Here I think may be the reason for some misunderstanding (for you or Pink). Yes, it speaks of the civil right - but about a mere civil right?? - Of course not - as I said: that would be absurde, the Church has no competence to speak about mere civil rights.

No, it says "this right of the human person is to be recognized... and thus is to become a civil right".

So it speaks of a "right of the human person" that (as made clear before) is a natural right/ right of natural law - that then should become also a civil right. And more, DH speaks about "is to be" and "is to become", so speaks about a DUTY of the state to put this natural law into positive human law.

And this DUTY again is a duty of natural law, of course.
Again - you can not repeat it often enough: It can only be a duty of natural law (or of positive Divine law or eccl. law) -- because otherwise DH could not speak about it --- because the Church can not teach things that are mere civil rights/law! That would be nonesense.

And then the CCC makes it also clear expressely that we deal here with a natural law/right - again I quote from Fisheaters, and here exactly from the post of SaintSebastian you linked to:

"2108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error,37 but rather a NATURAL RIGHT of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities."

Emphasis mine -- so here you can read it black on white: a NATURAL RIGHT!!

[to be cont.]

Picard said...

[cont.]

But then, DH speaks also of some limits to this natural right of freedom from coercion in the public sphere.

And here we must go into deeper discussion, because here we have some good argument that we can perhaps interprete it in harmony with tradition via considering this limitations.

But then we see that in DH it is only the "just public order" (or public peace) - and that´s not enough!
Later DH speaks also of the "objecitve moral order" or equivalent expressions. - But that is still not enough!
Here Prof. Rhonheimer is right: such limitations are not enough to meet the traditional teaching and to bring it in harmony with it.

But I admit: the CCC has something more, it speaks not only about these two but in addition of them also of the "common good".

And here we really could argue that this can be interpreted as meeting the old standards and beeing in harmony with them.


So - I admit - the CCC can be perhaps interpreted in continuity with Tradition by this limitation by the "common good".

DH can not, because the due limits here are not wide enough, are only liberal or mere natural ones, as Prof. Rhonheimer correctly pointed to, and do not meet the old standards, the old teaching and it´s principles! (If DH had also the "common good" or the "rights of the faithful to be protected from error", then it could perhaps been interpreted with a hermeneutic of continuity. But it does not have such limits, that´s the problem here!)

Best greetings from Germany
in CHRIST through Mary!