Rorate Caeli

Bishop Athanasius Schneider discusses Religious Liberty

Production: Catholic News Service (CNS)


  1. This is very much to the point. The FSSPX-ers, at least the absolute majority of them, were and are from the former catholic countries that never were under Soviets. Despite the evident fact that Vatican II did not officially and clearly condemned communism, the understanding of religious liberty as formulated by Vatican II was really important for catholics within Soviet Union. As well, as it is of key importance for many nowadays living under various communist, secular-liberal or practically new-atheist or muslim regimes. This is true, despite the emerging clarity that the forces behind the scene that were working with the liturgical reform and many other issues were very much the same or close to those that were ruling the former Soviet Union.

  2. It's highly contestable that the declaration on religious liberty really liberated Catholic religion, anywhere.

    Inspired by this failed Council, mass attendance dropped to 2% in France; Catholics are banned or intimidated in the middle east, Asia and places like Indonesia.

    I'm sick of all this talk about that vomit-producing Council!

  3. The document does not distinquish between liberal democracies and atheistic communist regimes. It also does not appeal to reason alone but places its teaching in the context of Catholic faith. It says government, including constitutional government, must provide a civil right of religious liberty to all, even those who do not use their liberty properly, with violations of the natural law and public order being the only limiting principles. This is the difficulty.

  4. The problem with Bishop Schneider's interpretation is that it is not how the Vatican interprets it.
    After Vatican II, the Vatican forced Catholic countries to become not Catholic. Constitutions Concordats were changed in order to reflect the rejection of the notion of a Catholic country, and it was the Vatican that was pressuring those countries to change, not the other way around.
    Right now Liechtenstein (as one of the last) is changing. And again the initiative to change the status to that a non-Catholic country came from the Church.

  5. GladI'mNotACardinal7:09 PM

    He understands a council that repeatedly refused to condemn communism because the vatican made a deal with the soviet union not to condemn communism so orthodox clergy could observe VCII was formulating doctrines to help godly citizens vis a vis atheistic states? What a joke these "defenses" are!

    All the footage in this clip is from the 30s and 40s - how forward looking to be making changes in the 60s to meet crises that were already over!

  6. "It's highly contestable that the declaration on religious liberty really liberated Catholic religion, anywhere."

    Have you heard about Poland?

    John Paul II's election ignited the fire that led to a liberated Poland, of that there is little doubt. As well, JPII knew the context of HD very well, much as the good bishop in this video.

  7. Jason C.7:23 PM

    Exactly. Religious liberty is the easiest of the conciliar conundrums to unravel rather than react and go into fits over.

    It's a double-standard established by the Church: religious liberty for Catholics to practice the Catholic faith, which may mean the establishment of a confessional state where possible (lol, good luck) and, on the flip side, a right for Catholics not to be oppressed by their secular or atheistic governments. It is this second part that is so easily misunderstood to mean a 'human right to choose an erroneous faith.'

    TL;DR: Religious liberty means liberty for Catholics to take over the world and, if we lose, liberty for us not to be taken over by atheists/secularists.

    Make this distinction and you immediately do away with the relativistic interpretation some have given to "religious liberty" over the years.

  8. The main crux of the matter is that liberty itself consumes its own freedom to act freely because in the hands of liberals there is left no place for tradition. Legal means are then employed to restrict the actual practice such liberty demands. We witness this process throughout the western world - laws against normal orthodox morality imposing unnatural behaviour as a new paradim for personal freedom. More importantly, this perversity named liberty works against the truth which Our Blessed Saviour reveals will set us free. What a contradiction - a peace which the world can never understand and a freedom from socially and ontologically destructive vices now considered by liberals as "liberty".

  9. OzarkCatholic7:29 PM


    And I'm sick of the hyperbole in people's rhetoric. "Vomit-producing council"? I understand the negative reactions to the council, but come on-saying that doesn't help anyone at all.

    What specific statement did the Bishop make that you disagree with? He never said that the document "liberated Catholics". In fact, he aid it was to show how we should approach dialogue with reason along the lines of natural law, to show the compatibility of natural law and reason with the faith.

  10. After hearing this I require an Elavil I.V.

    Man of man, I thought this Prelate was Aces but he seems to me to conflate praxis and doctrine.

    There was no requirement that the Catholic Church change her Doctrine so she could dialogue with Commie Russia; besides, the Soviet Union Constitution already recognised Religious Liberty - and if ya can't trust the promises of the Commies, who can ya trust?

    This is very very sad.

    It is not as though the Catholic Church could not have continued to exist as she always has; that is, continue to proclaim her Uniqueness while at the same time dialogue with the Commie bastids.

    I mean, did Saint Francis Xavier require such a change before he launched out into the depths of the East?

    Missing from this analysis is Fatima.

    Fatima, say, that's a plan worth trying, right?

    How about doing what our Blessed Mother said rather than to jettison classic Catholic Doctrine in favor of naturalism?

  11. Anonymous7:51 PM


    Bishop Schneider, as Pope, would right the course of Holy Mother Church. He is indeed, a great man.

    Vatican 2 failed horrifically by not publically condemning Communism. The 'fruits' of this gaff are evenident everywhere. Daily.



    The Catholic Church was talking with, and to, the Commies which makes the Doctrinal change questionable.

  13. Cathal8:01 PM

    With regard to some of the footage: Brick by brick! But let's hope this clip will help to break down the wall between SSPX and Roma.

  14. Im sick of whiners who blame the council but dont understand the the problems existed before the council. That they showed up after the council is no surprise to any person who studies church history following any council when their interpretation is taken to extremes by both sides. Modernism was going to hit whether you had a stong Pope or not. Think of all the Bishops at the council and who they were given their ordinations by, Pius X sent them underground and when the culture of madness in the 60's and 70s was most fruitful they struck. Stop whining, pray, pray and teach the faith to those who are confused. Condemnation of people only goes so far they need love, patience and facts. That is the New Evangelization in a nutshell.
    -Pax Christi

  15. Knight of Malta,

    And I am sick of this vomiting against the Council and the Holy Father.

    In Chirst,

  16. Terth8:39 PM

    Knight: "Inspired by this failed Council, . . . Catholics are banned or intimidated in the middle east."

    Are you saying that the texts of Vatican II are responsible for the islamist regimes in Saudia Arabia and other places in the middle east? That seems a little bit of woe-is-me history.

  17. Dear Knight, I can agree with you about the vomiting, however, bishop presents the much wider prospective, that most in the West have no experience to grasp (your argument about France just proves it). Actually, the present Western civilisation is moving into the situation very close to the one that existed in Soviet Union. It is not the same, but not radically far from it. Religious liberty is just one issue, which the FSSPX likes to stress all over the road, looking back only to 19th century Europe. If to look back to history, one of the most significant acts of religious liberty was a certain Edict of Milan, issued by certain emperor Constantine 1700 years ago. It radically changed the world.

  18. Common Sense9:37 PM

    Schneider is an honorable man, and a good Bishop. Nonetheless, he is still a man of the Council. Interesting clip. I recognise in it Leon Trotsky, who met his end in Mexico accordingly. I witnessed one of those Communist-staged parades myself and the memories still resonate within me as I watched the display of power by the Church of Satan. A friend of mine many years ago came to know some of the work the Communists were doing, and he was amazed at how dedicated and, please notice, consistent, they were in their endeavour. According to his words, most of the Commos would take even many Traditional Catholics for dead. The Novus Ordo lot didn't even rate.

    So, dear contributors, you can see for yourself how much work there has to be done to restore all things in Christ. Holy Mother Church utilised the best minds; so does the Church of Satan. In this struggle, there is no place for mediocrity. One doesn't need to be a genius to understand the obvious. I am only an ordinary tradesman who goes about his business consistently.

    To conclude, error doesn't have rights. It came after the Council in avalanche proportions and flooded out the entire world, only because of the complicity of those in charge. In the Gospel, when the Pharisees posed Jesus impertinent questions, whether they were blind or otherwise, Our Divine Lord responded thusly: "If you were blind, you wouldn't be in sin; but because you claim that you see, your sin remains."

  19. @Knight of Malta: Yes, especially since countries with Catholic constitutions were forced to secularize them in the name of the supposed "fundamental right to religious liberty," which is a Vatican II novelty completely contrary to, e.g., Quanta Cura §3!

    «For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they 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." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling.»

  20. Bishop Schneider goes further in the article from CNS.


    ...the council’s document was not properly understood by everyone. Interpretations of the document that suggested a “rupture” with previous church teaching were many, the bishop said.

    “Even human societies have to serve the Creator. … It is not always possible because of the consequences of original sin and the activity of the devil, but in theory we have to say this, and this is not a contradiction with ‘Dignitatis Humanae.’ We have to reconcile this.”

    The bishop also said that in Catholic-majority countries, it is a matter of justice and also of democratic principle that the government respect this majority.

    “It does not mean that other religions will be persecuted or discriminated, but it is an issue of justice for the majority,” Bishop Schneider said.

    In Catholic countries, the bishop also said that the proselytizing actions of “false religions and sects” may be curbed.

    “For example, in Latin America, the aggressive Protestant proselytisms (are) destroying large Catholic populations. We cannot as Catholics be content with this and cannot say this is an application of religious liberty. … In these cases we must defend Catholics,” Bishop Schneider said.

    That defense is first the responsibility of the bishop and clergy through preaching, but the bishop did not rule out political defenses as well.

    “When there is (a Catholic majority) then false religions and sects have not the right to make propaganda there.” That doesn’t mean that governments can “suppress them, they can live, but (governments) cannot give them the same right to make propaganda to the detriment of Catholics.”

  21. He notes that "human dignity" is something atheists can understand‽ Do they really understand it‽ Look at the bloodshed due to atheism from the 19th century until today!

    States must uphold the 1st Commandment, else there will be no way for God's grace to restore our fallen human nature, and there would be no human dignity.

  22. Matthew,

    Thanks for the additional remarks from the Bishop.

    I highly recommend his short work, "Dominus Est!", on proper reverence and adoration giving to Our Eucharistic Lord.

  23. BreadandCircuses10:36 PM

    What I think is great is the religious liberty for Catholics that has come into effect since Vatican II. Apparently these pro-abortion politicians are excommunicated, but also apparently the pope presides over their reception of communion at his big stadium masses. The pope is imitated by his bishops ad nauseam.

    "Panetta, a practicing Catholic who teaches a course each year at the Jesuit-run Santa Clara University, accumulated a strong pro-abortion record as a California congressman, including co-sponsoring the Freedom of Choice Act in 1990. During his run as Clinton’s Chief of Staff, he supported the president’s veto of the partial-birth abortion ban."

    "Ater the Pope addressed the gathering, Panetta and several staff members lined up to meet the pontiff, who gave them rosaries.

    Panetta kissed the Pope’s hand, and the Pope said, “Thank you for helping to protect the world.”

    Panetta’s aides said it was his third papal audience. The first took place when he came to Rome as President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and met with Pope John Paul II. He met with John Paul again when the pope visited Washington.

    You can also find Pope Benedict handing communion to the king of spain after he signed an abortion and also a gay marriage law - because the vatican made spain separate church and state. And now the king isn't passing these laws, he's "sanctioning"them.

    Sanctioning evil is what the pope is doing under all the big words. Meanwhile his secretary and newest "bishop" is on the cover of VANITY FAIR.

  24. Truth Seeker10:41 PM

    If the Catholic Faith is the true faith, then it does not need the artificial support of the secular civil authority.

    Curiously enough, this is what we see happening in the new mahomentainst regimes in Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, and elsewhere. Sharia is enforced by the coercive power of these states.

  25. Since the SSPX was mentioned in the comments anyway, here is a link to the short sermon Bp. Fellay gave at the feast of Epiphany.

    If you don't read French, I hope you'll find some translator site/programme.

  26. @Truth Seeker: "If the Catholic Faith is the true faith, then it does not need the artificial support of the secular civil authority."

    But the Catholic Church has a temporal aspect, too; how else could She spread the faith? "Secular civil authority" has an obligation to help the Church, insofar as it can, in her temporal mission.

  27. Steven4:29 AM

    "But the Catholic Church has a temporal aspect, too; how else could She spread the faith? "Secular civil authority" has an obligation to help the Church, insofar as it can, in her temporal mission."

    Does the Church of the post-Vatican II era believe that?

  28. Lynda4:33 AM

    The Bishop is attempting to explain the minimum versus the optimal in respect of man's "religious liberty". The minimal can be attained in practice where the temporal leaders do not know or accept the true Faith but are men of goodwill who are amenable to reason.

  29. @ Jonvilas: "Actually, the present Western civilisation is moving into the situation very close to the one that existed in Soviet Union. It is not the same, but not radically far from it."

    I'm so sick of Westerners who try hard to victimize themselves and to pose as virtual martyrs. No wonder that the same prideful Western trads who claim they are about to be "persecuted" are so condescendent and spit so much venom when it comes to the stance of Vatican II towards the Communist bloc. Does any of you have any idea how it was to live in the '50s, beyond the Iron Curtain, to be a priest accused of being a "Vatican spy", to be incarcerated and beaten until you become paralyzed? Thanks to Vatican II, religious persecutions in the name of chasing "Vaticans spies" eased in the '60s. But I guess this is unimportant for some of you.

  30. Jonvilas to Unknown. The matter is, that I have experienced that Soviet system myself in my youth. Therefore, I dare to speak about certain tendencies in present declining Western society.

  31. V2 had to shed (shred?) the Papal Teachings of Pre-V2 Popes so as to be able to ascend to the mount of Religious Liberty and from which height the Church could preach the concept of Religious Liberty which has slain the Constitution of Lichtenstein and led AmBishops to promote Americanism with their local pastoral letters praising the protestants who built a "city on a hill" (That is, Heaven on Earth, accrd to naturalism) but woe betide the layman who thinks the entire exercise was superfluous if not destructive for he will be judged a man suffused with venom-spitting hatred or condemned as one lacking concern for the other members of the Church militant.

    And as for the Church Fathers at Vatican Two who refused to sign D.H. Nostra Aetate, and S.C.? Well, they left the Council fully in union with the Catholic Church, never having had to accept all of the documents or face anathemas; no, such is the state of the church that anathemas have been recast as mere rhetorical moral failings to be applied to the laity who refuse to accept what their Bishops were allowed to reject.

    Here is another view of religious liberty from one who in in full communion.

  32. The good bishop is using circumstances, but what about principles. Do men have the "right" to worship a false god or not? Do people have the "right" to worship the true God in a false way? Answer to both - absolutely not. Reason...because error has no rights and those in error have no right to be tolerated. Rather governments can chose to tolerate such an evil in order to prevent a greater evil.

  33. CredoUtIntelligam3:49 PM

    For clarification, here is how Pope Benedict characterized religious liberty in a recent address.

    For these reasons, Christians are particularly concerned for the fundamental rights of the human person. It is wrong to claim that these rights are only “Christian” human rights. They are nothing less than the rights demanded by the dignity of each human person and each citizen, whatever his or her origins, religious convictions and political preferences.

    26. Religious freedom is the pinnacle of all other freedoms. It is a sacred and inalienable right. It includes on the individual and collective levels the freedom to follow one’s conscience in religious matters and, at the same time, freedom of worship. It includes the freedom to choose the religion which one judges to be true and to manifest one’s beliefs in public.[21] It must be possible to profess and freely manifest one’s religion and its symbols without endangering one’s life and personal freedom. Religious freedom is rooted in the dignity of the person; it safeguards moral freedom and fosters mutual respect. Jews, with their long experience of often deadly assaults, know full well the benefits of religious freedom. For their part, Muslims share with Christians the conviction that no constraint in religious matters, much less the use of force, is permitted. Such constraint, which can take multiple and insidious forms on the personal and social, cultural, administrative and political levels, is contrary to God’s will. It gives rise to political and religious exploitation, discrimination and violence leading to death. God wants life, not death. He forbids all killing, even of those who kill (cf. Gen 4:15-16; 9:5-6; Ex 20:13).

    27. Religious tolerance exists in a number of countries, but it does not have much effect since it remains limited in its field of action. There is a need to move beyond tolerance to religious freedom. Taking this step does not open the door to relativism, as some would maintain. It does not compromise belief, but rather calls for a reconsideration of the relationship between man, religion and God. It is not an attack on the “foundational truths” of belief, since, despite human and religious divergences, a ray of truth shines on all men and women.[22] We know very well that truth, apart from God, does not exist as an autonomous reality. If it did, it would be an idol. The truth cannot unfold except in an otherness open to God, who wishes to reveal his own otherness in and through my human brothers and sisters. Hence it is not fitting to state in an exclusive way: “I possess the truth”. The truth is not possessed by anyone; it is always a gift which calls us to undertake a journey of ever closer assimilation to truth. Truth can only be known and experienced in freedom; for this reason we cannot impose truth on others; truth is disclosed only in an encounter of love.

  34. Further to the posts of Fr. Collins and IANS, see the discussion of the development of Dignitatis Humanae in Prof. de Mattei's book "The Second Vatican Council (an unwritten story)", now available in English from Loreto Publications:

    On this point alone there are very substantial quotes from Council fathers like Cardinal Siri detailing their opposition to the schema, and a very interesting, but not edifying, account of the passage of the document (implying it was understood to be at Paul VI's insistence). This book is a must read for any Traditional Catholic.

  35. Common Sense9:27 PM

    Dear Unknown,

    Yes, some of us actually do know what it means to be victimised by the secret police behind the Iron Curtain. Let me tell you that any secretly-ordained priest was as good as dead if caught. Yes, thanks to the Second Vatican Council, we now have global conditions expressed by Benedict XVI as "the tyranny of relativism". I suggest that you get yourself better informed. Have you not experienced the tyranny of political correctness at every level, how the modern State perverts the minds of young, violating every moral code? You can end up in prison when you open your mouth against homosexuals, against Talmudic Judaists, unwelcome immigration, etc. So many Trads experience obscenity and ridicule from the medical establishment on account of their large families. How cruel and humiliating. We may not be getting beaten and thrown in prison just yet, but every day we have to put up with the imbecilic mindset which they attempt to impose on everyone. It is the same moronic mindset which only aggravates an ever-worsening rule of law. It is the entire demonic system which imposes itself impertinently on everybody else. It is extremely intolerant towards anyone who thinks differently, such as we Catholics, and for that matter, any decent and sensible person.

    Should you, God forbid, one day become the victim either of senseless violence or any serious crime, which are daily conceived in the minds of so many stoned whackos, then if you still have the chance, contemplate the beauty and majesty of VII. That may be consoling to you. If you wish to do something good and useful, something which really benefits civil society and glorifies Our Divine Lord, there are better ways to do so than scorning faithful Catholics. It is unproductive.

  36. For their part, Muslims share with Christians the conviction that no constraint in religious matters, much less the use of force, is permitted

    Catholic Encyclopedia: In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imâm. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the "Infidel". Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.

    The Koran and some Hadiths re. the putative religious liberty of Mahometanism.

    I find all of this unworldly and depressing and I mean no disrespect for Our holy Father but there certainly exists the likely possibility that those Mahometans he speaks with are practicing Taqiyya (and what other religion counsels lying for its adepts?)

  37. Ibn Warraq, a former participant in Catholic - Mahometan dialogue knows how vapid and vain it is:

    Nearly ten years ago, I was the guest of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) of Rome. PISAI is dedicated to interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims. But as the director at the time said to me, "There is no real dialogue, since Muslims never reciprocate the goodwill gestures made by the Christians. The result is we sit down together, and the Christians say what a wonderful religion Islam is, and the Muslims say what a wonderful religion Islam is."

  38. Xavier8:54 AM

    Yes, Bishop Schneider is quite correct. Here is Pope Leo XIII in Libertas explaining a similar concept, making the appropriate distinctions and explaining the true sense of liberty.

    "Another liberty is widely advocated, namely, liberty of conscience. If by this is meant that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not, it is sufficiently refuted by the arguments already adduced. But it may also be taken to mean that every man in the State may follow the will of God and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey His commands.

    This, indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God, which nobly maintains the dignity of man and is stronger than all violence or wrong - a liberty which the Church has always desired and held most dear. This is the kind of liberty the Apostles claimed for themselves with intrepid constancy, which the apologists of Christianity confirmed by their writings, and which the martyrs in vast numbers consecrated by their blood."

  39. Dear Xavier. I liked this in libertas

    ,, ...And, first, let us examine that liberty in individuals which is so opposed to the virtue of religion, namely, the liberty of worship, as it is called. This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion or none.

    20. But, assuredly, of all the duties which man has to fulfill, that, without doubt, is the chiefest and holiest which commands him to worship God with devotion and piety. This follows of necessity from the truth that we are ever in the power of God, are ever guided by His will and providence, and, having come forth from Him, must return to Him. Add to which, no true virtue can exist without religion, for moral virtue is concerned with those things which lead to God as man's supreme and ultimate good; and therefore religion, which (as St. Thomas says) "performs those actions which are directly and immediately ordained for the divine honor",(7) rules and tempers all virtues. And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practice that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognize by certain exterior notes, whereby Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because, in a matter of such moment, the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error. Wherefore, when a liberty such as We have described is offered to man, the power is given him to pervert or abandon with impunity the most sacred of duties, and to exchange the unchangeable good for evil; which, as We have said, is no liberty, but its degradation, and the abject submission of the soul to sin.

    21. This kind of liberty, if considered in relation to the State, clearly implies that there is no reason why the State should offer any homage to God, or should desire any public recognition of Him; that no one form of worship is to be preferred to another, but that all stand on an equal footing, no account being taken of the religion of the people, even if they profess the Catholic faith. But, to justify this, it must needs be taken as true that the State has no duties toward God, or that such duties, if they exist, can be abandoned with impunity, both of which assertions are manifestly false. For it cannot be doubted but that, by the will of God, men are united in civil society; whether its component parts be considered; or its form, which implies authority; or the object of its existence; or the abundance of the vast services which it renders to man. God it is who has made man for society, and has placed him in the company of others like himself, so that what was wanting to his nature, and beyond his attainment if left to his own resources, he might obtain by association with others. Wherefore, civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority. Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness-namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engravers upon it. This religion, therefore, the rulers of the State must preserve and protect, if they would provide - as they should do - with prudence and usefulness for the good of the community. For public authority exists for the welfare of those whom it governs; and, although its proximate end is to lead men to the prosperity found in this life, yet, in so doing, it ought not to diminish, but rather to increase, man's capability of attaining to the supreme good in which his everlasting happiness consists: which never can be attained if religion be disregarded.

  40. CredoUtIntelligan9:14 PM

    I Am Not Spartacus,

    What you quote from Libertas is directly contradicted in Pope Benedict's comments above. This raises the question: what does the Roman Catholic Church actually TEACH on the issue of religious liberty?

  41. Xavier3:33 AM

    Not Spartacus, well Pope Leo XIII distinguishes a false liberty (that recognizes no duty on the part of the State) from true liberty (the right to fulfil one's duties free from obstacle)

    The former is untouched by DH,

    "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.

    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."

    So the confessionally Catholic state is still ideal where this is in fact possible.

    The latter is the same true liberty mentioned by DH "It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth ... 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."

    This is not false liberty, but true liberty, the "right and duty to seek the truth" not the "right to error" or "right to choose a false religion". Bishop Fellay himself commented on this recently.

  42. Common Sense5:07 AM

    Dear Xavier,
    Haven't you read just a few paragraphs before, what Pope Benedict XVI stated in his writings? He goes a step further than B. John XXIII. How does that square up with Popes before VII? Have you ever met and spoken to the Christians from the Middle East about the treatment they receive from their musulman fellowmen? You really must believe that everyone is an idiot on this blog. Your quotes from DH are reminiscent to those annoying Jehovah Witness visitors and their bible 'interpretations'; which is usually out of context. Eg. 'Jesus and his brothers', implying subsequently that Jesus had siblings. They are quite shrewd and shifty to quote out of context. For all that matter, the basic Christian principle in a matter of liberty is this: live and let live; and do to others what you wish for others to do to you. Capisce? Besides, the modern so called 'fecund' theological discourses are just loads of gibberish.

  43. Xavier1:34 AM

    No, I do not think anybody is an idiot? Why such a needless provocation? Do you think Bishop Fellay had no idea what he was talking about when he said, "Looking closer, I have the feeling not many knows what the Council actually said about it. The Council is presenting a religious liberty that is very, very limited"? Do you think Bishop Schneider is mistaken in saying the two instances are very different? Forgive me if I do not delight in the idea that the Magisterium has contradicted herself.

  44. Common Sense3:38 AM

    Dear Xavier,

    You are persevering indeed. The reason why I'm responding is not for the last word, or for my own sake, but for the sake of the facts. And the facts are that V II was a revolutionary endeavour. And unless, in the words of Christian Rakovsky, you understand the science of the Revolution, then it equates to an attempt to explain colours to the blind. V II was revolutionary. Period.

  45. Dear Xavier. You claim that D.H. left Catholic Tradition intact.


    15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true. -- Allocution "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862; Damnatio "Multiplices inter," June 10, 1851.

    16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846.

    17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.

    24. The Church has not the power of using force, nor has she any temporal power, direct or indirect. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851.


    55. The Church ought to be separated from the .State, and the State from the Church. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.


    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. -- Allocution "Nemo vestrum," July 26, 1855.

    78. Hence 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. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852.

    79. Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of indifferentism. -- Allocution "Nunquam fore," Dec. 15, 1856.

    80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.- -Allocution "Jamdudum cernimus," March 18, 1861.

    ++++++++++ end of quotes++++

    Well, that was then and this is now and what was taught then has been cast aside now....

    Gaudium et Spes as a "Counter-Syllabus"
    Inaugurated by the French Revolution

    Let us be content to say that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789.

    ~ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology,

    How can everything remain intact when much of what was considered irreformable has simply been trashed?

    The different twixt what Pope Saint Pius X taught about Church-State relations and the political praxis of the Post 1950s Papacy is a dramatic and cataclysmic difference that can not be gainsaid.

    I challenge you to identify one of the V2 Popes who has taught what Pope Saint Pius X taught as it concerns Church -State relations.

    You can not do it - don't even try; but even more dramatic, you cannot identify one Prelate in full communion with the Pope who would be caught dead saying publicly what Pope Saint Pius X taught.

    There has been a clear and calamitous break with the recent past and it is simply not credible to claim that Doctrinal continuity has been maintained.


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