European Americanism — redivivus?

I’ve not made it a secret that I am very uncomfortable with the Church pandering to the UN, inculcating its worldly verbiage, and generally vindicating the non- (and anti-) Christian autonomy of the UN, but I am truly open to hearing wisdom on this matter. My basic complaint is that being in bed with the UN commits the European version of the heresy of Americanism.

I recently had chance to read Pope Leo XIII’s Au Milieu des Sollicitudes (1892), and I shall present excerpts from it in order to illuminate and buttress, I hope, my conflicted position on the UN and the post-Conciliar trend of religious liberty in the public square. My only commentary shall be bolding various phrases.

5. First of all, let us take as a starting-point a well-known truth admitted by all men of good sense and loudly proclaimed by the history of all peoples; namely, that religion, and religion only, can create the social bond; that it alone maintains the peace of a nation on a solid foundation. When different families, without giving up the rights and duties of domestic society, unite under the inspiration of nature, in order to constitute themselves members of another larger family circle called civil society, their object is not only to find therein the means of providing for their material welfare, but, above all, to draw thence the boon of moral improvement. Otherwise society would rise but little above the level of an aggregation of beings devoid of reason, and whose whole life would consist in the satisfaction of sensual instincts.

6. … Since, therefore, religion is the interior and exterior expression of the dependence which, in justice, we owe to God [as the source of all morality, beauty, and truth], there follows a grave obligation. All citizens are bound to unite in maintaining in the nation true religious sentiment, and to defend it in case of need, if ever, despite the protestations of nature and of history, an atheistical school should set about banishing God from society, thereby surely annihilating the moral sense even in the depths of the human conscience. Among men who have not lost all notion of integrity there can exist no difference of opinion on this point. … 

8. Now the history of a nation [and of nations united] reveals in an incontestable way the generating and preserving element of its moral greatness, and should this element ever be missing, neither a superabundance of gold nor even force of arms could save it from moral decadence and perhaps death.

9. … We must indicate a craftily circulated calumny making most odious imputations against Catholics, and even against the Holy See itself. It is maintained that that vigor of action inculcated in Catholics for the defence of their faith has for a secret motive much less the safeguarding of their religious interests than the ambition of securing to the Church political domination over the State. Truly this is the revival of a very ancient calumny, as its invention belongs to the first enemies of Christianity. Was it not first of all formulated against the adorable person of the Redeemer? Yes, when He illuminated souls by His preaching and alleviated the corporal or spiritual sufferings of the unfortunate with the treasures of His divine bounty, he was accused of having political ends in view. …

12. We have expressly recalled some features of the past that Catholics might not be dismayed by the present. Substantially the struggle is ever the same: Jesus Christ is always exposed to the contradictions of the world, and the same means are always used by modern enemies of Christianity, means old in principle and scarcely modified in form; but the same means of defence are also clearly indicated to Christians of the present day by our apologists, our doctors and our martyrs. What they have done it is incumbent upon us to do in our turn. Let us therefore place above all else the glory of God and of His Church; let us work for her with an assiduity at once constant and effective, and leave all care of success to Jesus Christ….

17. … Whatever be the form of civil power in a nation, it cannot be considered so definitive as to have the right to remain immutable, even though such were the intention of those who, in the beginning, determined it…. Only the Church of Jesus Christ has been able to preserve, and surely will preserve unto the consummation of time, her form of government. Founded by Him who was, who is, and who will be forever,(8) she has received from Him, since her very origin, all that she requires for the pursuing of her divine mission across the changeable ocean of human affairs. And, far from wishing to transform her essential constitution, she has not the power even to relinquish the conditions of true liberty and sovereign independence with which Providence has endowed her in the general interest of souls…. 

22. … Legislation is the work of men invested with power, and who, in fact, govern the nation; therefore it follows that, practically, the quality of the laws depends more upon the quality of these men than upon the power. The laws will be good or bad accordingly as the minds of the legislators are imbued with good or bad principles, and as they allow themselves to be guided by political prudence or by passion. … 

24. … Let it not be forgotten that law is a precept ordained according to reason and promulgated for the good of the community by those who, for this end, have been entrusted with power…. Accordingly, such points in legislation as are hostile to religion and to God should never be approved; to the contrary, it is a duty to disapprove them. It was this that St. Augustine, the great Bishop of Hippo, brought out so strongly in his eloquent reasoning: “Sometimes the powerful ones of earth are good and fear God; at other times they fear Him not. Julian was an emperor unfaithful to God, an apostate, a pervert, an idolator. Christian soldiers served this faithless emperor, but as soon as there was question of the cause of Jesus Christ they recognized only Him who was in heaven. Julian commanded them to honor idols and offer them incense, but they put God above the prince. However, when he made them form into ranks and march against a hostile nation, they obeyed instantly. They distinguished the eternal from the temporal master and still in view of the eternal Master they submitted to such a temporal master.”(10)

25. We know that, by a lamentable abuse of his reason, and still more so of his will, the atheist denies these principles. But, in a word, atheism is so monstrous an error that it could never, be it said to the honor of humanity, annihilate in it the consciousness of God’s claims and substitute them with idolatry of the State.

28. We shall not hold to the same language on another point, concerning the principle of the separation of the State and Church, which is equivalent to the separation of human legislation from Christian and divine legislation. We do not care to interrupt Ourselves here in order to demonstrate the absurdity of such a separation; each one will understand for himself. As soon as the State refuses to give to God what belongs to God, by a necessary consequence it refuses to give to citizens that to which, as men, they have a right; as, whether agreeable or not to accept, it cannot be denied that man’s rights spring from his duty toward God. Whence if follows that the State [or some global union of States], by missing in this connection the principal object of its institution, finally becomes false to itself by denying that which is the reason of its own existence. These superior truths are so clearly proclaimed by the voice of even natural reason, that they force themselves upon all who are not blinded by the violence of passion; therefore Catholics cannot be too careful in defending themselves against such a separation. In fact, to wish that the State would separate itself from the Church would be to wish, by a logical sequence, that the Church be reduced to the liberty of living according to the law common to all citizens…. It is true that in certain countries this state of affairs exists. It is a condition which, if it have numerous and serious inconveniences, also offers some advantages – above all when, by a fortunate inconsistency, the legislator is inspired by Christian principles – and, though these advantages cannot justify the false principle of separation nor authorize its defence, they nevertheless render worthy of toleration a situation which, practically, might be worse.

Have at ye!

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to European Americanism — redivivus?

  1. Tony Jokin says:

    Woah, this is a gold mine. This is another document I was not aware of till I read your article!!!

    Unfortunately though, I can see the reply someone might give you. It might go as follows:-

    Pope Leo XIII was simply giving us his opinion on the matter from what he knew. Times have changed and his approach is no longer a good way to go about doing things.

    You will probably ask him “how has his reasoning become invalid?” To which the other person will just ignore and reply “if we do as you insist, we won’t win any souls. We can’t be closed in on ourselves or isolate ourselves from the world.” bla bla bla.

    I think once a person gets it into his head that to save souls requires that one ignore reasonable conclusions stemming from doctrine regarding how we must act, no matter what you tell them, nothing gets through. They think they are doing the work of the Holy Spirit and you are the Pharisee who is impeding their saving work. They will even try to come up with elaborate theological speculation of how to justify rejecting a way of life espoused by doctrine (Cardinal Kasper’s theology of Mercy comes to mind).

  2. Dear B.C. In, The Second Vatican Council, A MUCH NEEDED DISCUSSION, Msgr. Brunero Gherardini notes (p.209) that V2 did not claim for itself the same standard as other Ecumenical Councils and he observes (p.213) The position of DH, therefore. rests on an absurd paralogism whose false reasoning makes equivocations, appearances, or illusions seem true when indeed they are not and although he partially opens the door by conceding that DH can be subjected to the hermeneutic of continuity he ends by quietly closing it If we settle for that which is rhetorically abstract, then yes;on the level of the historically concrete, however, I do not see how this is possible.

    And he continues by observing that DH did not address The Syllabus, Immortale Dei, Pascendi, Humani Generis, Mirari vis, Quanat Cura, Lamentabili, etc, before

    He is quite frank (p. 217) in confessing, The content of DH and the contents of the previous Magisterium are different. So there is neither continuity or development of the previous Magisterium in DH

    And then he drops this chilling bomb; So there are two Magisteria then ?

    But, he says, The question can not even be posed because the ecclesiastical Magisterium is by its very nature one and indivisible; that created by Our Lord Jesus Christ just before he exits the room trailing this true observation in his wake (p.218); Besides all of this, the evident fact that everyone seems to be treading his own path is enough to make one think of a divided Magisterium and so after reading this rightly renowned Thomist, I conclude that I am required to believe everything is Jake although it is obviously fake.

    I read all of the Documents cited by the author and I have also read DH and if this brilliant man really can’t make a palatable hash out of these (to me) obviously conflicting-in-content Documents, I sure as hell can’t, but I can write that the ecclesiastical praxis of today is entirely different than the ecclesiastical praxis of the Church I was born into and if others wonder why I so often seem to be a tiger who frequently changes his spots all I can aver is that I am trying my level best to maintain the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority during an ecclesiastical epoch when the Magisterium itself seems incapable of taking clear decisions or issuing DEFINITIONS of Doctrine rather that descriptions of our times based on the dignity and rights of man.

  3. I know how hard it is for you. With great knowledge comes great sorrow. Ignorance is bliss and all that. I think I understand your position much better these days. It took me a long time, relatively at least, to thrash out my utter shock at this papacy, and I still get convulsions at times, but I concede that it is not my place to “denounce” in public. What I do feel obliged to continue, however, is perfectly embodied in this comment of yours: use my intellect and the grace of confirmation to enunciate clearly why I and others are confounded by the discontinuity between magisterial truth and ecclesial praxis, and simply trust God to bring us the reformers we need.

    (I don’t get a lot of sit-down time, so I’m sorry the email has been so late in coming. I just need to gather up some thoughts I’ve written elsewhere and compile them in an email to you. But the Internet moves so quickly, even for a whippersnapper like myself!)

    Pax tecum,

  4. Tony Jokin says:

    About the contradictory nature of DH, I think the view discussed in the following article reconciles the contradiction very well.

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/08/conscience-and-coercion

    The basic idea behind the article is that since the State had already completely separated from the Church and had become secular, the DH document is speaking from the perspective of drawing the limits and giving some guidance as to how the secular state can operate. Thus, all the aspects in prior magesterial teachings are left untouched with respect to the rights and powers of the Church.

    To this I would add that the whole idea is a compromise. The Church should be first speaking out firmly against this form of secularization of the state. But instead, the Church seemed to have approached the situation from the point of view of trying to make the best out of the current situation rather than try to reach some ideal. I think this is the core philosophy behind Vatican II and everything after. Even with ecumenism, it is a matter of just trying to play the current system of indifferentism without actually cutting through it like a sharp sword and proclaiming that Catholic Church is the only true Church outside of which a person is in a very real danger of falling in to despair, confusion and settling for lies. With the new mass, instead of asking the faithful to change their tastes and preferences to appreciate the old rite, the Church gives them more of what they want by creating a new (but valid) mass that can accommodate all sorts of banality and innovations within it’s rubrics.

    So I think there is a sense of resignation that the current situation of the world cannot strive toward an ideal. This is probably why Cardinal Kasper thinks that even staying chaste after a divorce is tough ask and something reserved for few. Even with respect to being saints, the adage seems to be that you can become one right where you are at without any real need to change your life around. Things like escaping near occasion of sin, prudence, and other things are less and less valued because such things are “burdensome” and requires one to change ones life drastically at times to strive after an ideal life. No, the Church of Vatican II would like you to remain where you are at.

    Anyway, I think I got side tracked a bit too haha. Let me stop here with my rant.

  5. Dear B.C. You are too generous. I am quite sure the ol’ timers in the hills of Vermont had me in mind when they described putative know-it-alls as Educated beyond their intelligence .

    I agree with your we-can’t-call-the-pope-a-dope in public position but that doesn’t mean (like I was trying to insist) that something can not be written about praxis, ideology, and effectively jettisoning Doctrine by manipulating Discipline when it comes to Communion for the divorced and remarried.

    t is humbling to confess that my major problem with the very sensible objections voiced by you and your ilk (I mean that in a good way), such as Mr. Price, is that y’all actualised the courage I pretended I still had.

  6. Dear Mr. Jokin. With all due respect to Dr. Pink, I think Msgr Gherardini has eviscerated that claim so substantially that it is a claim no longer defensible. It is a VERY difficult book to locate and purchase (It was being published by the Franciscans who do not now to appear to be highly favored in certain circles in our Capital) but if you can, buy it, read it and then, depending on your heritage either weep or drink (I do both).

  7. Who has the better idea for engaging with the world? Is it the modern prudential magisterium (which accepts, if not promotes) all that is lamented by this Monk?

    I am sure you will agree with the Monk;

    http://lidless-eye.blogspot.com/

  8. Tony Jokin says:

    Can you explain how Dr. Pink’s case is eviscerated by Msgr. Gherardini? Perhaps you can offer a summary of his argument against Dr. Pink?

  9. Tony Jokin says:

    If I may also clarify, I understood you before as implying the doctrine as well is irreconcilable. But if you mean that the pastoral praxis is irreconcilable, I definitely agree with you.

    However as far as the doctrinal contradictions go, I am not sure why Dr. Pink is wrong. That is why I would be grateful if you can provide the reasoning behind Msgr. Gherardini’s argument against it.

  10. Although ABS can speak for hisself, here’s the problem, as I see it:

    In the same “goldmine” which comprises this post, Leo XIII flatly rejects even a pragmatic “solution” to the Church-State issue. And yet V2 gave an ecumenical imprimatur to just such a solution. Hard as it is to fathom, pastoral adaptations can never trump dogmatic resolutions, which is just what is wrong with Pink’s analysis, and with Francis-Maradiaga-Kasper’s papacy. The point Leo XIII makes, is that there is NO SUCH THING as a real Church-State separation, and therefore even de facto separation from the Church by the State, as you summarize Pink’s position, is no more legitimate than de facto legislation in support of “gay marriage”. Americanism is a heresy precisely because it rests on a heretical division of Church and State. As a result, because DH pastorally (but not dogmatically!!) endorses this Americanist cleft, it is not to be embraced as binding orthodoxy. It cannot be flatly rejected, since this “compromise” is the current pastoral approach of the Church, to which we lowly layfolk must adapt, but we are not obliged to call it the lasting dogmatic position of the Church. Pink is, quite simply, the best apologist for pastoral compromise, but he doesn’t speak for the dogmatic perpetuities.

    NB: If you’ve seen “Insomnia”(great movie!), the scene in which the hotel manager says, “It’s a question of what you believed was right at the time, and… with what you can live with”, perfectly captures what’s wrong with V2. It made a lot of sweeping statements that seemed right at the time, and has imposed upon us many compromises that we’re having to live with.

  11. Dear B.C. Now that is a concise and accurate summary of the problem and despite the repeated requests by prelates (Bishop Athanasius Schneider) for the Magisterium to definitively declare what we must accept as binding and what is to be accepted as merely prudential pastoral praxis (by justly well regarded Thomists like Msgr Brunero Gherardini), the Magisterium has turned a deaf ear to its own flummoxed faithful and it has left them floundering about the parts of the Council which are authentic fish or nova fouls .

    Msgr Gherardini rightly observes of V2: It stands sour, not for any doctrinal impact – and even less for any dogmatic impact – but for its novelty of attitude, appraisal, movement, and action introduced into the very heart of the Church without, however, an evident or necessary connection with her truths.

    .

  12. Here Prof Pink:

    Those who believe that Dignitatis Humanae did change Catholic teaching see in the declaration a new vision of the dignity of the human person. The human person possesses a natural right not to be subject to any form of religious coercion. This is a right against coercion by any authority, whether state or Church, save where such coercion is required to protect just public order. This teaching, though new, is based on the traditional doctrine of the essential metaphysical freedom of the act of faith, which always ruled out the use of coercion as a means of evangelization. On this reading, the Church used the traditional doctrine about faith to support a new, hitherto denied doctrine of a comprehensive right to religious liberty. With Vatican II, the Church’s opposition to modern liberalism, central to nineteenth-century Ultramontanism, was finally ended through a decisive change in doctrine.

    Dear Mr. jokin. Writing just for my own self, this one paragraph is suffused with claims I take issue with.

    Sequentially,

    The dignity of the human person, while in its essence, is correct owing to Our all being created in the image and likeness of God but what Catholic would claim the dignity of the Mormon is equivalent to the dignity of the Baptised? But isn’t that typical of the lack of distinction in some of the Documents of V2?

    The rights of man isolated from the rights of Christ the King and the Duty of States to legislate according to HIS rights; that is a problem. DH ignored established Doctrine and Duties.

    New teaching, if, as it appears to do so, omits or ignores prior teaching or, worse, appears to be in opposition to prior teaching, is not just a problem in Houston.

    The Catholic Church denied doctrine in the past? What is the denial of doctrine called?

    Ultramontanism. Really? Plain and simply that means Catholics who agreed with the Pope on Doctrine and policy and that is now not only to be considered kaput but considered good that it is kaput?

    decisive change in doctrine. Well, at least he admits the obvious.

    Dear Mr. Jokin. Prof Pink is a virtual sun compared to ABS who is but a flint strike intellectually and professionally; I am unqualified to debate him and so I am just responding to this one paragraph, for now, but it alone is a synthesis of many of the complaints made against DH.

    I found it strange to read it put so bluntly.

    As for the book by the Msgr. I am mailing it to Brother Boniface at Unam Sanctam Catholicam and owing to the reality he is much more accomplished (as is B.C.) at writing logically and systematically, I suspect he will write an excellent review of it.

    O, and Msgr Brunero Gherardini is no slouch; he is Professor of Ecclesiology and Dean of the theological faculty of the Pontifical University of the Lateran.

    I had to oversee the writing of a thesis on Religious Freedom in Vatican II…This process gave me the opportunity to try and link the rather explosive Declaration Dignitatis Humanae (DH) with the traditional teaching of the Church. Indeed, it was like clutching at straws, but the undertaking did not seem totally impossible. Today I have a few more doubts about the famous conciliar Decree than I had then.

    He goes on to question even if there can be a right to refuse a religious orientation – The question already shows that the concept is intrinsically limited, at least in the sense that, morally speaking, no one is free from the personal duty of knowing God and what he might be asking of him

  13. Tony Jokin says:

    Thanks Elliot for clarifying.

    You said that Leo XIII is clear on there being no valid form of Church – State separation. That I agree with you. But how does one behave in a society that has already established such a disconnect? Yes, we must try and reverse this disconnect but how does one go about doing that? That to me is what VII tries to address.

    To this end, I see DH as merely giving a possible road map on how to go about the business of the Church in an environment where the separation has come in to full fruition. That doesn’t contradict doctrine but merely looks at a way to go about doing the mission of the Church in a situation of disadvantage, right?

    Like would you accuse the first Apostles of not speaking out against the idea of religious liberty or not trying to establish Christianity as a state religion etc.?

    I think the real mistake happened when the faithful and prelates embraced the situation of Church-State separation as perfectly fine and have started to look at it as a new doctrine. VII lends itself to this mistake because of the somewhat rosy looking expositions in regards to the current time. So people are more likely to get the wrong idea that the “Church is now fine with such separation!”. That is an error not taught in Vatican II but merely something inferred from it’s tone and emphasis on trying to give ways on what can be done in this dire situation.

  14. Tony Jokin says:

    I should point out that the paragraph you quoted is Dr. Pink explaining what those who claim ‘VII changed doctrine’ tend to argue. In the very next paragraph, Dr. Pink states his position on their view as

    “But this interpretation of Dignitatis Humanae as a revision not just of policy but of doctrine is based on a fundamental misunderstanding.”

    So I believe you are actually debating the exact party Dr. Pink is arguing against.

  15. Tony Jokin says:

    ABS, the position in the paragraph you critiqued is not actually Dr. Pink’s position but the same one he is attacking. That is what I meant to say.

  16. O, lmao. It was so bad I stopped there. Well, I proxy should read the whole thing first

  17. Dear Mr. Jokin. Ok, I read a few more paragraphs until I got to this one;

    So the state, whose peculiar purpose it is to provide for the temporal common good, should certainly recognise and promote the religious life of its citizens. With equal certainty it exceeds the limits of its authority if it takes upon itself to direct or prevent religious activity.

    But that simply is not true. Is it a violation of the Constitution of the Sate of Florida; is it a violation of universal objective morality; is it a violation of Catholic Doctrine, for the State of Florida to work to prevent the deaths of animals that is a crucial part of Santeria?

    What about poisonous snake handling as part of religion?

    And what about the definition of religion? It means Bond with God and as it is the plain and simple truth that it was God Himself who established such a Bond it is ineluctable that there is only one religion and there has always only been one religion and to treat the one true religion as equivalent before the law with all of the various false religions is to, at the very least, obfuscate Truth – and that ain’t supposed to be a duty of the Faith once delivered.

    And I haven’t even referred to the great Encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII…

    No, this can not stand and that is why so many of the flummoxed Faithful continue to petition the Holy See to issue clarifications.

    O, and look over to the right to find and then click on Superflumina and read the excellent collection there abut DH authored by Mr Baker.

    Thankfully, I have no authority or office to decide who is right (Msr G is) about what is clearly confusing claims about Religious Liberty for when one finds highly educated and highly intelligent and faithful Catholics like Prof Pink and Prof Gherardini at loggerheads over the meaning of a conciliar Document then that Document itself is the problem and it will not disappear as a problem by the repetitious claim of hermeneutic of continuity (which does not refer, as I recall, to continuity of doctrine – for there is discontinuity with continuity accord to Pope Benedict XVI – but, rather, refers to the continuing existence of the Magisterium irrespective of doctrinal continuity.)

    Said otherwise, if there IS a disagreement, the men in disagreement are taught to bring the disagreement to The Church and then hear the Church which speaks with the authority of Jesus Christ; but if the Church refuses to hear and decide which is right?

    Then we end-up with cynicism, indifference, schisms,sedevacantism, and apostasy and flummoxed faithful who try to do their level best to ignore the reality and find safe places (FSSP, ICK, Eastern Rite Catholicism etc) to ride out the storm of confusion.

  18. Leo XIII was aware of such “ultimate” separations between the Church and State; that’s precisely why he wrote Au Milieu. I’m not well versed enough to know which encyclical I should direct you to for a more systematic statement of the point, but you should at least read Au Milieu from the start and in full.

    Meanwhile, the meta-point, you might call it, is WHY Dr. Pink’s work is such a godsend in the first place. I can almost remember the day a very knowledgeable friend of mine, a conservative Catholic, posted on Facebook the good news that Pink’s essays had finally put the debate to rest. I was not a “Trad” then, and am still learning as I go, but that always struck me as odd. How had I missed this ongoing debate for so long and why was it so intractable as to need almost half a century and then a layman’s treatment to solve? If it takes a Dr. Pink to solve the riddle, then DH caused the trouble.

    More alarmingly, however, if V2 was never meant to alter official Church teaching, how could it come about that DH, among other documents, could lead to such a dispute? IOW, if it REALLY had simply restated perennial Catholic doctrine, then why did it signal a breakthrough for liberals and a breakdown for conservatives? If it–along with all other V2 documents–actually did not say anything new, then how did it manage to say something new (the “pastoral” novelty which you and Dr. Pink admit)?

    As I say, I am learning day by day, so I am very much out of my league on these things. Take ABS’s advice and read up on it at Superflumina, and from Leo XIII’s corpus. I’m working on getting a copy of Gherardini’s book (I’m even prepared to buy the Italian original and learn Italian by/while reading it!), so I’ll let you know what I learn as time goes on.

    For now here are some pertinent links to sate your appetite:

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2012/02/in-defense-of-mons-brunero-gherardini.html

    –> http://centreleonardboyle.com/PastoralCVII.html <–

    http://www.dici.org/en/news/vatican-council-ii-a-debate-that-has-not-taken-place-by-msgr-brunero-gherardini/

    http://www.dici.org/en/documents/exclusive-excerpts-from-the-ecumenical-vatican-council-ii-a-much-needed-discussion-by-msgr-brunero-gherardini/

  19. Tony Jokin says:

    Ok so I think we have to set aside our bias here a bit 🙂 You can’t read Dr. Pink paragraph by paragraph till you meet something to disagree with. That will defeat the purpose. In fact, Dr. Pink’s position might not be completely correct and yet you might find something in his argument that you can develop minus the defect. I just thought I should throw that out there first.

    Now about the paragraph you have trouble with, the issue pointed out there is that a secular state has no basis to prevent religious activity. This is essentially (in my understanding) stating that only the Catholic Church has the right to engage in such coercion. That is true, no?

    Because lets take Islam. We would argue that Muslims have no right to suppress Christianity because they are simply not even the true faith. Similarly, a secular state also has no such right as long as they are operating based on a secular principle. They are only right in so far as they mirror the Catholic Church in her teaching (which admittedly is rarely the case).

    So a secular state which rejects religion plus God, from the perspective of a logically consistent framework, has no actual basis for a right to coerce on religious matters. I am not sure what is problematic about that statement.

  20. Tony Jokin says:

    Thanks again Elliot, I shall give those links a read hopefully soon.

    The slight issue I have is that I am not entirely sure how Leo XIII’s teachings will have a bearing on religious liberty as spoken by VII. Because none of the Pre-VII Popes spoke of what can be done in a society where a purely secular state is in power. Instead, almost all the Pre-VII Popes were trying their best to avoid having a secular state by reminding the faithful of the rights of the Church and the error behind such a separation.

    VII on the other hand deals with “Ok, we have arrived at the day we dreaded. What do we do?”

    Now obviously for some this can look as if the Church now accepts Church and State separation. But that is due to an error in the pastoral approach which tries to portray things that way.

    As to why it took 50 years and for a Dr. Pink to solve the issue, I think that is due to a far reaching problem with the entire Church today that doesn’t want to exercise any authority to settle confusion. The Church prelates seem to think that being in confusion is a great place to be for reaching out ecumenically and to the secular world. But that is again getting side tracked.

    Speaking of DH alone, what would you say is irreconcilable with Dr. Pink’s explanation?

  21. Dear B.C. I am already mailing a different book to Brother Boniface at USC today and so if you email me your address, I can mail you (book rate is cheap) Msgr Gherardini’s book to read. I think I purchased one of the few remaining English versions of there book

  22. Now about the paragraph you have trouble with, the issue pointed out there is that a secular state has no basis to prevent religious activity.

    Yes, it does. Santeria
    .
    And, having conceded that Mahometanism is an Abrahamic religion (which it isn’t) on what basis does one lodge a complaint when that false faith suppresses Christian Catholics as it is constrained to do according to its religion.

    You think an appeal to Freedom of Religion means anything to them?

    I can think of other examples but these alone show that DH was a prudential error that ought be reconsidered if not junked.

  23. Syllabus of Errors vs D.H. (1)

    X. ERRORS HAVING REFERENCE TO MODERN LIBERALISM
    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

  24. Syllabus of Errors vs D.H.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. — Encyclical “Noscitis,” Dec. 8, 1849.
    5. The Church is not a true and perfect society, entirely free-(THIS is Catholic Tradition vis a vis Religious Liberty) nor is she endowed with proper and perpetual rights of her own, conferred upon her by her Divine Founder; but it appertains to the civil power to define what are the rights of the Church, and the limits within which she may exercise those rights. — Allocution “Singulari quadam,” Dec. 9, 1854, etc.
    6. The ecclesiastical power ought not to exercise its authority without the permission and assent of the civil government. — Allocution “Meminit unusquisque,” Sept. 30, 1861.
    7. The Church has not the power of defining dogmatically that the religion of the Catholic Church is the only true religion. — Damnatio “Multiplices inter,” June 10, 1851.

    Next? I open the Doctrinal Bomb Bay Doors and drop the nuke….

  25. Pope Leo XIIILibertas

    1. 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.

    I know I ought quit and not leave this wise-ass dropping behind me, however…

    Whenever I hear or read claims of continuity I hear a Hip Hop hood saying, “It’s all good” as he stands amidst the mayhem, madness, and violence.

    I challenge anyone to locate in Catholic Tradition a substantial antecedent to D.H. It doesn’t exist insofar as I know (and remember, I am a know-it-all).

    Seriously, check the Early Church Fathers; check the 34 Doctors of the Church; check the Catholic Encyclopedia; check Denzinger’s; check Ludwig Ott; check please…I’m out.

  26. O if any are interested, TAN used to sell, Light in the Heavens which is a collection of the great Encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII, or, one can find all of them online gratis.

    If you wonder why you so rarely, if ever, see him referenced by the Hierarchy, just read his Encyclicals and you will understand the reason for the dynamic silence applied to him

  27. Tony Jokin says:

    I am not sure I understand your argument.

    What are you thinking of as the basis for a secular state to oppose a religious conviction? See, I think you might automatically be thinking of a Secular State as something different from what is understood to be the characteristics of it.

    A secular State has no basis to discriminate between religions. Why? Because by default, it believes in no single religion as true. It is an indifferent entity. Now is that a good thing? NO. NO. NO. It is BAD. How do we know? From writings of pre-VII Popes that you are obviously familiar with.

    So the issue here is that this bad thing has come to pass. We have is a society where the State is exactly what Catholics wanted to prevent it from becoming. When DH goes and states that such a state has no right to suppress a religion, that is obviously correct and even a necessary claim.

    The Islam example highlights this very point. The only way I can oppose the tenets of Islam that contradict or oppose the Catholic Church with a consistent basis is by pointing out that there is no reason to think Islam as true and that there is good reason to think Catholicism as true. But I can do so because I am already holding on to a religion. In other words, I am not secular.

    Now if I had been secular State, my basis would then be something like a democratic decision based on “common good” (whatever that means) i.e. Liberalism. That is obviously unacceptable. A State cannot decide which religion is true or which religion should be suppressed purely based on safeguarding which it democratically defines as it’s common good. That is the point made in DH.

    To show a contradiction then, you must point out a teaching of the Church that states that a secular State has a right to suppress or promote a religion. This should be obvious to you that there is no such teaching because the Church never dealt with such a problem for a long time till now.

  28. Sorry. I didn’t copy correctly. It is paragraph 21, not 1 as it appears

  29. Tony Jokin says:

    Let me state it this way.

    For me or anyone else to oppose another religion as false, I must already know what the true religion looks like myself. Therefore my opposition to certain religious tenets of other religions will be based on the truth (that I know from the true faith). But a secular State has no such idea of a true faith. All it has is a principle that one must ensure some common norms so that every individual would be maximally free to pursue their own made up notion of happiness.

    So in a secular framework, there is no basis or a real right for the State to suppress religions. One could say the secular State has such a right in the name of ensuring that common set of norms. BUT, such a common set of norms is arbitrary (dependent on democratic decision making, social engineering etc) and hence objectively speaking it is not an actual true basis. Those norms are not based on a true faith but simply pragmatic thinking. Do you see the issue now in saying that a secular State has a right to suppress a religion?

    The only problem in VII documents in this sense is the rosy tone they carry about the “modern” world. I think it safe to say that the tone is entirely reflective of the ideas and thoughts of the prelates that got involved in the council. But the actual doctrinal content (rosy tones don’t obviously qualify) seems consistent with the truth.

  30. Tony Jokin says:

    I think you are really missing the plot here ABS.

    All of the things you quote are 100% true and binding. But what you fail to realize is that there is a State (one of many) out there that rejects all those teachings with the backing of a sufficiently large group of people. These States are established as secular states and they are in the process of getting rid of religion from the public sphere entirely.

    To remind the faithful about the teachings of Pope Leo XIII is not sufficient then. Why? Because people are living in a reality where such a secular State exists. So in that setting, the Church has to make clear what the secular State can do and cannot do. It is no longer enough to say that a secular State should not exist. The Pastoral errors however after Vatican II is because the Church has completely ignored even speaking of teachings of Pope Leo XIII. So it naturally lends itself to a view of contradiction.

    I think the moment you acknowledge the fact that the secular State is well and truly established already, you will start to see what DH is saying and trying to make clear in the doctrinal content. Hence there is no doctrinal contradiction. Is there a pastoral contradiction? Yes, there is. But you don’t need to question the authority of the council to point those out.

  31. Eggsactly. The speed with which some popes are canonized is inversely proportional to the speed with which Leo ought to have been elevated. Funny how that happens.

  32. If it’s not up to the state to arbitrate between religions, on the assumption that all religions are equally false to a secular state, then how DOES the state arbitrate between religious activity on such a regular basis? The Church-State connection is inescapable, precisely because the True Religion is inherently social, and thus a true society. It is the duty of the state to acknowledge and foster that fact. A secular state is as abhorrent and incoherent to Catholic teaching as “gay marriage”. A secular state, presumably, cannot defend “true marriage” (as you say it can’t defend “true religion”), and yet it is incumbent on the state to do so. DH ignores this simple truth for dubious pastoral aims.

  33. Branch says:

    And isn’t it true to say that, to a secular state, while it may attempt to be completely irreligious because all religions are equally false (or at least irrelevant) to it, it is actually impossible to be “religiously neutral,” for the state, like any individual or entity, will inevitably require some foundation for the laws which it maintains, and those laws will ultimately have some metaphysical basis. So even if the state, say, tries to be religiously neutral, it must presuppose a certain view of reality (like materialism) as the basis for which it proceeds.

    Therefore, just as with any individual soul, the state cannot opt out of the question of truth and this why the Church can never ultimately simply play nice with the secular world for Christ is always opposed to “the world” and sooner or later, these deeper questions come to the fore and conflict of some kind is inevitable.

  34. On the impossibility of religious neutrality:

    I find it quite ironic that, while the Nouvelle Theologie argued against a pure state of nature, on the grounds that in every moral and intellectual God is implicitly willed and known, yet the same immanentist thinking is foresworn in DH.

    (Does that make any sense?)

  35. Branch says:

    I think so.

    All souls go to heaven because everyone is really an anonymous Christian, yet we should allow all men protection by law to choose to the way they wish to construct society (with or without God) because this freedom is a natural right stemming from their dignity as persons?

  36. To begin with, America had existed for quite some time when this Encyclical was written so there is nothing new about the existence of a secular state

    The only plot I will ineluctably not miss is my grave but I am not either lightly or gravely missing the plot of quicksand that is D.H.

    DH ought not to have been written at all rather than the way it was written if its justification is to change the church to fit the world and we simply inhabit different intellectual worlds if you think the content of D.H does not differ from the content of the Faith that preceded 1962 (our surrender to the enlightenment).

    Just look up “liberty” in the Catholic Encyclopedia and read there its description of the principles of the French Revolution and that entry essentially describes the principles/praxis of DH.

    The Catholic Church also recognizes the worldwide acceptance of fornication, sodomy, artificial birth control, abortion, euthanasia etc etc etc and it deals with it as she now finds those evils and does so without changing its doctrine or in any indicating its accepts such heretofore denounced evil.

    I think the best that could be said for D.H. is that it does not even address the content of the faith prior to V2 but that ain’t continuity in doctrine vis a vis the State and its duties.

  37. I meant “liberalism” in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

    O, and there is no entry for “Religious Liberty” in the Catholic encyclopedia for the ONLY Religious Liberty with Tradition is the liberty of Holy Mother Church to act wherever and however she desires.

  38. Dale Price says:

    I remain baffled as to why Leo has no active cause, or at least not one that I’ve ever observed. Maybe that’s why–too much intellectual firepower to have to finesse.

    He rewards careful reading like few teachers ever do.

  39. The Pastoral errors however after Vatican II is because the Church has completely ignored even speaking of teachings of Pope Leo XIII. So it naturally lends itself to a view of contradiction.

    Dear Mr. Jokin. Msgr Gherardini observes (p. 72) that Pastoral was never defined despite repetitious appeals to it and he avers: Since we are dealing with a teaching that is presented so strongly and reiterated so insistently, it should be possible to deduce from this a certain clarity of ideas and proposals….Pastoral is just the kind of adjective that can be made to say just about anything, including its opposite.

    Thus, one Bishop can cite pastoral reasons to permit the Traditional Mass while a Bishop in an adjacent Diocese can cite pastoral reasons for refusing the Traditional Mass.

    Pastoral reminds me of the great biblical word, Cleave, in that cleave can mean either cling to or sever.

    When it comes to Vatican Two – which the great Msgr Gherardini says is a real, legitimate Ecumenical Council (albeit unlike all other EC’s) – I think I am left to figure-out these things for my own self because more than one Pope has turned a deaf ear to pleas that these contentious problems be ironed-out with a definitive declaration, citing his own authority, teaching how each Document does or does not conform to Tradition and how each Document does or does not bind us for if we (and by “we” I mean me) think of Doctrine as a man, then the Doctrine of Vatican Two is a Bachelor who did not produce Chapters and Canons as his children and thus it does not bind me as previous Ecumenical Councils like Vatican I and Trent.

    O, and I have not even posted some of the toothier observations of this highly intelligent, faithful, and humble man. In many instances he really lays into V2 like a Vermont woodsman taking a mall and a wedge to a chunk of maple cord wood in winter.

    I am sending Msgr Gherardini’s book to a man capable of writing a worthy review of it (not to put him on the spot) for the man in question is capable of many things I am not – such as writing systematically and logically.

    O, and he is a man I admire.

  40. Tony Jokin says:

    Sigh. It is like you are more convinced that anything that VII MUST be a contradiction than even in a solution to the problem.

    Let me try this one more time,

    1) All doctrinal content of Pope Leo XIII is binding
    2) But Pope Leo XIII does not bother to answer the question as to what must be done in a society where the State that has already rejected the Church

    Which part of this is confusing you? Can you point out to me a single pre-Vatican II document that discusses the road-map for a society that has completely rejected the authority of the Church? The reason why there is no entry on “Religious Liberty” is because we were never in such a hopeless position since Constantine.

    Vatican II is merely giving advise on what to do in this state of affairs. But just like it’s abusers, you have misunderstood it to mean that VII is declaring some break in doctrine. Is that going to look similar in using arguments that were there in the French Revolution? Well obviously. Do you know why? Because the current political system is one of Liberalism that has some of it’s roots from the F.R.

    As for whether or not DH should have been written, I think that is something we cannot answer for sure. But what we can say for sure is that it shouldn’t have been written the way it was written with that positive optimistic tone in the background regarding the present situation.

  41. Tony Jokin says:

    Look, I appreciate the replies. But ABS, if you want to discuss something, you have to step away from being biased.

    I am pretty sure even though you are arguing here, you never bothered to read the entire position of Dr. Pink. How do I know this (lest someone accuse me of rash judgement)? Because you yourself quoted the very position Dr. Pink was attacking as his and tried to refute it. Then when it was pointed out, you proceeded to just read till you found another paragraph that you felt didn’t sit well with you. That is not exactly being intellectually honest.

    With all due respect to Msgr. Gherardini, in this day and age the titles don’t mean much. Even Hans Kung enjoys a great position that you would think should have been stripped from him given his very vocal views.

    Also, a method on how to reconcile two opposing looking claims (Which is what Dr. Pink attempts) cannot be criticized by not addressing his argument. So far, you have only attacked a straw man position of his argument, right? Once it was the same position he was criticizing and then it was out of a serious misunderstanding on your part as to what a secular state means.

    Here is a challenge for you. Explain to me what it means for a secular state to suppress a religion or be at the service of a “true faith” when by definition, the secular state considers all religions to be more or less equal and irrelevant for governance. The moment you realize what a secular State actually means, then you will realize why your insistence on restating Pope Leo XIII to that State is of no value.

  42. Tony Jokin says:

    Elliot,

    What you are getting at is the problem with Liberal political theory. Your argument, with a little modification can certainly deal some blows to Liberal political theory. However, the theory itself is logically consistent granted you accept it’s axioms.

    The Liberal political theory does not need a religion but only the axioms that

    1) every man should be able to pursue their happiness
    2) there should be laws to facilitate this

    In this view, the State is only obligated to defend the true definition of marriage if such a regulation is required to safeguard the pursuit of happiness of others. But obviously, as many secular States are realizing today, it doesn’t seem to be needed. That is why it is completely valid in the Liberal political theory to allow it.

    This is also why Catholics feel the need to tell the State of various “studies” performed to show how gay marriages will have bad effects on children, society etc. It no longer means anything to say it is immoral. One has to show that the pursuit of happiness will be challenged to a sufficient degree and therefore the State must act.

    I think you are also not asking yourself a practical question. What does it mean in this day and age to reject the current Church and State separation? Do I just tell the State you should do X because the Church says so? Sure, you can say that but the State won’t care. What then?

    Just imagine yourself as St. Peter. Do you think it would have done the Church any good for him to just go tell Caesar in Rome that he should be at the service of the Catholic Church? Think of how he might have had to act. I think it is the same thing today. Only difference here is that there seems to be a load of Catholics who also think the Church is approving the current state of affairs as desirable due to bad pastoral practice.

    If people were simply told “Look, we are in a bad spot now. We are going to have to stop expecting things from the State and play the system to make sure we do our job and evangelize.” everything would be fine.

    INSTEAD, we had our Popes and prelates doing the Kumbayah and evangelization and rejecting errors has became an after thought even within the Church.

  43. Dear Mr. Jokin. The last unbiased man died riding a unicorn; that aside, I read Prof Pink’s piece when it first was posted on Rorate Caeli but I concede I was wrong (didn’t I already do that?) as regards your point that I addressed arguments the Prof was refuting as though it was his own position. That was lazily lame in the extreme.

    I have already addressed the reality, ignored by you, that Pope Leo XIII promulgated Libertas long after America had been established and so it remains invaluable, although, it is also the reality that D.H. chose to ignore it (and other Pre V2 Doctrinal content) for D.H. is a document that could not have been written as it was if it dealt with the entirety of Tradition.

    Now, I could have cited the excellent attempt by Thomas Storck to resolve the apparent contradictions but his excellent effort serves to illustrate, once again, that highly intelligent men differ as to what in hell D.H. means which, to me, means that D.H. must be addressed by the Pope who could settle the captious questions about D.H. for when Christian Catholic men have a dispute they must take it to the Church and then we hear the Church – but, the Church won’t hear her flummoxed faithful and so me and thee are at loggerheads and neither of us has any authority to settle the dispute but the Pope does.

    O, and while i am merely aspiring to middle brow status, I do know what a secular state actually means 🙂

  44. O, and as regards Msgr Gherardini, it is not just his Title, it is also his VERY lengthy faithful service to the Catholic Church and his reputation as a Thomist is impeccable which accounts for the reality his criticism of Vatican Two is rarely heard of and never publicly dealt with by the Hierarchy.

  45. Msgr has developed substantial objections to D.H. and he has shown how its content does not conform to the doctrinal content prior to V2 and this profoundly intelligent and humble man has submitted his appeal to the Pope (while Pope Benedict XVI was still Pope) and his Bishop, Mario Oliveri, has completely backed this legitimate appeal.

    There are legitimate complaints about not only this document of V2 but others as well and it simply will not do for the Hierarchy to respond that the problems of V2 can be answered by reading the texts of V2 owing to the confusion generated by the very texts of V2. Frankly, that is teeth-gnashing counsel that deflects from the substantial matter under dispute.

    As for D.H., Msgr Gherardini, correctly, observes: The freedom covered by the Declaration D.H. does not regard an aspect of the human person, but its essence and all of its individual and public activity in so far as man is to be free from any political or religious interference; this has little or nothing in common with Mirari vos of GregoryXVI; Quanta Cura and the attached Syllabus of Bl. Pius IX; Immortale Dei of Leo XIII (especially regarding the relationship between civil authority and the government of the Church; Pascendi dominici gregis of St. Pius X and the previous decree Lamentabili of his Holy Office; and Humani Generis of Pius XII. It is not a question of different language; no, it is a substantial difference, and therefore inflexible. The content of DH and the contents of the previous Magisterium are different. So there is neither continuity nor development of the previous Magisterium on DH.

    Dear Mr. Jokin. I think it is clear that we are not going to agree and this is just dragging on toward no possible resolution as we differ in our opinions about D.H.

    I thank B.C. for his patience it letting us conduct this lengthy exchange.

  46. Tony Jokin says:

    Look, lets make this easy for both of us.

    Dr. Pink’s argument is essentially as follows

    1) The Church has a right to coerce and suppress religious error
    2) The State had a right to do the same in so far as the Church gave permission or invoked the assistance of the State
    3) Hence the State separated from the Church has no such right to suppress any faith

    Now whether it be you, Msgr. Gherardini, or the smartest man on the planet, all of you need to show what is wrong with the above argument.

    The only premise you or anyone attacks is (2) using Libertas of Pope Leo XIII. BUT, none of you can show that the case made in Libertas states that a secular State should suppress religious beliefs based on a secular principle.

    So this brings us to the problematic aspect. You are willing to carry out a discussion without giving any thought to what a secular state actually means. A secular State is one which operates based on a non-religious principle, usually, Liberalism. Such an entity has no right to suppress a religion based on its Liberalist principles. I would think that obvious.

    It is that trivial honestly.

    Now does Dr. Pink’s solution settle the matter once for all? No, because as you correctly pointed out, the Pope/Magesterium has to settle the matter. BUT, as Catholics we should be in favor of solutions that reconcile two doctrines without contradiction rather than be in favor of an interpretation (Whether it be Msgr. Gherardini or anyone else) that insists on a reading that contradicts. Right?

    As for the dating of Libertas, honestly, at the time there was hope that the secular trend could be reversed with such instruction. Today, there is no such hope to be had that such an immediate turn around will occur. A Pope can send the same encyclical anew to all Catholics and most Catholic politicians wouldn’t give a dime.

    So it is a time where we try to deal within the current system (though the system itself is flawed). Think of it like first Apostles working within the rules of the Roman Empire which promoted it’s own religion and cults with no care for Christianity.

  47. Tony Jokin says:

    Lest you or anyone else misunderstand. I am not defending the current state of “pastoral” positions in the Catholic Church. I think they are just plain bad because

    1) They don’t make it clear enough that the outside world (society run by a secular State) is bonkers and instead promote a view that it is great
    2) They also apologize for legitimate actions of the Church before VII in this area and act as if the Popes and Saints of past were just a product of their times

    So what am I saying then? I am only stating that what is in DH has not violated any doctrinal content in its content. In fact, DH has only stated the obvious if properly understood what it is addressing i.e. a secular State has no right to suppress religious freedom based on its secular principles (it doesn’t make sense to speak of suppression based on religious principles for a secular State by definition does not operate on religious principles).

  48. Tony:

    The problem is that DH inverts the role of the first two premises you cite. It begins by POSITING (or, as you would say, ACCEPTING) that the Church’s authority is qualitatively separate from the ambit of the State’s authority. Then it predicates the Church’s authority to suppress error on the condition that a State grants the Church such permission. The State not only has a “right” to suppress error (cf. ABS’s example of Santeria and radical Islam), but a DUTY to promote the common good in accord with religious–and thus universal–truth, just as all men are obliged to conform their lives to the truth of the Catholic faith. Now, you might argue that the State, as a collective person, is excused from such a duty due to “invincible ignorance” of the truth of Catholicism, but that’s not only a dubious concept in itself, but also hugely untenable, given how explicit the call “to the nations” is to repent. To legitimize the “secular autonomy” of the State (i.e. to agree that the State is not duty-bound to promote the common good in accord with truth on every level), is just to say that humankind as such is not duty-bound to be converted unto the Lord on every level of human existence (spiritual, moral, social, political). As such, the pastoral concession of DH is not a very subtle species of creeping indifferentism.

  49. Tony Jokin says:

    I am not sure I understand still. Is there such a notion as a “secular State that is compatible with Catholicism”? My understanding was that there is none because a secular State by definition adheres to it’s principles to make decisions rather than a religious obligation.

    The opening of DH does not seem to indicate that the present situation of having a secular State is good. It only seems to indicate the idea that there should be such a notion as “religious freedom” in such a State is in line with what the Church holds as well (which seems true for a secular State should never be [and does not have the right to be] the arbiter of which religion to promote or suppress).

    Also, DH does state in the first section that “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.”

    The reason I bold “Civil Society” is because the whole notion of a public vs. private with respect to the State or the referred to elements by the phrase is itself something novel that stems from Liberal political theory.

    To add, DH goes on to state

    “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.”

    So it seems, at least to me, that DH is saying no human authority (a secular State or group) may coerce but is silent on what the Church, that possess Divine Authority, can do. If you read section 2 of that document (where the above quote is from), it seems like the whole idea behind this declaration of “Religious Freedom” is to make sure people are free to become Catholic.

    Maybe I am biased and reading it with colored glasses. So what are your thoughts on these observations and I am open to being convinced otherwise.

  50. D.H. is not only a surrender, a justification for its existence is, ultimately, an act of self-destruction.

    Here is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

    The text [of the document Instruction on theTheologian’s Ecclesial Vocation) also presents the various types of bonds that rise from the different degrees of magisterial teaching. It affirms – perhaps for the first time with this clarity – that there are decisions of the magisterium that cannot be the last word on the matter as such, but are, in a substantial fixation of the problem, above all an expression of pastoral prudence, a kind of provisorial disposition. The nucleus remains valid, but the particulars, which the circumstances of the times influenced, may need further correction.

In this regard, one may think of the declarations of Popes in the last century [19th century] about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time [on evolutionism]. As a cry of alarm in the face of hasty and superficial adaptations, they will remain fully justified. A personage such as Johann Baptist Metz said, for example, that the Church’s anti-Modernist decisions render the great service of preserving her from falling into the liberal-bourgeois world. But in the details of the determinations they contain, they became obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at their proper time.

     

Well, so much for former Popes and their authoritative decisions which everyone thought permanent; however, the then Cardinal was serving as his own sapper of Magisterial Authority was he not?

 If he can zap what every Catholic thought were irreformable teachings then what is putatively permanent about V2 decisions which are pastoral, not dogmatic, decisions and how can they said to be binding?

    Are they only binding until the next CDF Prefect decides to ditch them as, essentially, time bound and if that is the criteria, then only Dogmatic Teachings can be said to survive throughout time and, even then they are said to be in need of reformulation so as to make sense to the catholic alive as some future point (omega point?)

    If that is true, than we are dealing with merely positive law of the current Magisterium and if the once-thought irreformable teachings of the past can have the sacramental of defenestration applied to them, then we know that these prudential pastoral ideas are already on life-support given the rapidity of change in the world.

    I’m sorry but this is not the Catholic Church I was born into in 1948

    I have one other thing to follow, B.C.

  51. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:

    

Let us content ourselves here with stating that the text [of Gaudium et spes] plays the role of a counter-Syllabus to the measure that it represents an attempt to officially reconcile the Church with the world as it had become after 1789. On one hand, this visualization alone clarifies the ghetto complex that we mentioned before. On the other hand, it permits us to understand the meaning of this new relationship between the Church and the Modern World. “World” is understood here, at depth, as the spirit of modern times. The consciousness of being a detached group that existed in the Church viewed this spirit as something separate from herself and, after the hot as well as cold wars were over, she sought dialogue and cooperation with it.


    IT IS SEPARATE FROM US!!!!!!!!

    
Would someone please tell me how these two views of how Catholics ought manage their relationship with their ancient enemy, the world, is indicative of continuity.


    
Reconciliation, dialogue, and cooperation with our ancient enemy the world. Really?
 I was learnt that the World, the Flesh, and the Devil are our permanent enemies but our permanent enemies are now to be considered partners in dialogue and cooperation?

    Ought we dialogue with the Devil?

    No, prolly not; for that was Eve’s first mistake.

    Ought we cooperate with the Devil?

    Who knows, admittedly he is highly intelligent and he requires no down time ?

    Ought we dialogue with the sins of the flesh (oops, that is the wrong question for these sodomising times, isn’t it) ?

    Out we cooperate with the sins of the flesh?

    OK, one can see the absurdity of dialoguing and cooperating with those two permanent enemies (Saint Meatloaf would be glad).

    But dialoguing and cooperating with the world which hates our guts with an undiminished passion and works tirelessly to destroy us?

    MMM, well, why not; what could go wrong?

    
This is Catholic Tradition?

    

The plain and simple truth is that Ecclesia Docens that I was born into in 1948 has been supplanted by Ecclesia Dialogus and I can not surrender to the everything-is-different-nothing-has-changed ideology that I, apparently, am expected to welcome as a new springtime of evangelization without necessity of conversion.

    Seriously, I am vacating the no-drinking-on-a-school-night rule tonight.

    O, and B.C. – thanks for the space for me to rant

  52. Tony Jokin says:

    I hate to point out the obvious but do you see even a single line in your post that addresses the specific arguments and observations I mentioned in my post?

    All I see is you stating a quote from Cardinal Ratzinger that tries to arrives at the opposite conclusion of what I said. But as you may already know, the conclusion of my arguments and observations stand or fall on the things I presented. You cannot simply say “you are wrong” by appeal to a fallible authority (which at the end of the day, includes Cardinal Ratzinger).

    I should also point out that Cardinal Ratzinger in your quotes does not go on to say why he thinks that VII is certainly a disconnect. Rather, Cardinal Ratzinger merely proceeds to describe how it is a disconnect and that disconnect is FINE.

    Do you see the problem?

  53. Tony Jokin says:

    You know, Rahner, Balthasar are also people who enjoyed a “reputation”. I think we need to stop giving Theologians and Philosophers credit merely based on reputation. If we had given credit and respect based on reputation, the Catholic Church would have bowed to many Philosophers who were bonkers during the 19th century.

  54. I just saw this.

    So you agree that DH was dumb.

    What I still fail to fathom is why we owe a defense to a dumb strategy, which has not only made the traditional doctrine of religious freedom obscure, but also gives succor to the erroneous idea that the coherence of Catholic teaching stands or falls with extrinsic historical political developments. The best defense of DH amounts to the claim that, while the Church’s traditional position on religion and the common good is still binding, it is no longer true “in our day” (i.e. it has been rendered incoherent and fictive due to current political realities). Alas, that historicist pastoral compromise is just Modernism and Americanism all over again.

  55. In a word, DH teaches (sadly, of course) that Christ is no longer King because there are no longer Catholic kings. Praise Him as King of Heaven; meanwhile, the Earth belongs to Modern Man.

  56. Tony. You seem to summarize liberal political theory (LPT) like so: “All it has is a principle that one must ensure some common norms so that every individual would be maximally free to pursue their own made up notion of happiness.” Correct?

    The problem, once again, is that DH teaches exactly the same thing! Just like LPT, DH subverts the common good to “public order” (basically, social restraint; cf. DH §2 infra). Just like LPT, DH claims that the chief function of the State is to ensure non-coercive public order (cf. §7 infra, “full freedom”, “people are given the maximum of liberty”). In contrast, however, the Church has always insisted that public order must serve the common good, which entails fostering the supreme good of true religion, and that any State which does not foster the highest goods is radically defective, even if that State does not consider itself Christian. Even when DH (§9) admits that “revelation does not affirm the right of immunity from external coercion in religious affairs” (ahem!), it concludes (§15 infra) on the high note of affirming the “supreme” right and duties of personal liberty. Indeed, even when DH comes close to affirming the whole doctrine on the common good (§7), it settles on the very anemic, Enlightened idea of “the due protection of public morality”, without noting that some religions are to be suppressed or promoted precisely insofar as they violate or perfect the moral order, respectively.

    There’s a reason Edward Hahnenberg, professor of Church history at the Gregorian U. in Rome, was able to write the following in his preface to DH in a recent collection of essential V2 texts: “To put it bluntly, many bishops had trouble endorsing religious freedom because, for much of its history, the Catholic Church had condemned it. … After the Council, [John Courtney] Murray observed that what made the passage of Dignitatis Humanae so difficult–and, at the same time, so important–was that it took up the issue under all the other issues at Vatican II: the development of doctrine. At its most official level, the council helped the Church step into the currents of history. It forced a question that always remains open: How much is the Church willing [!] to change?”

    Along similar lines, in the same volume, James Carroll, whose introduction follows right after Benedict’s famed “hermeneutic of continuity” Christmas address–an editorial arrangement which perfectly captures the effects of V2 (thanks, grandpa, but we normal Catholics know how to read between the lines so we’ll take it from here)–was so emboldened by the decades following V2 as to write: “Against reactionaries who still insist that nothing of substance changed at Vatican II…, change was the Council’s overriding motif. … The Church’s politics changed. … In 1899 the Vatican had condemned the newest of ‘Americanism,’ but now basic notions of the liberal democracy that had flourished in America were armed, especially in Dignitatis Humanae…. That the Catholic people took to hear the elevation of conscience in Dignitatis Humanae is reflected in their resounding rejection–even while remaining Catholics in good standing–of Humanae Vitae….”

    The sad fact is, while good men like Dr. Pink are forced to confect coherently Catholic readings of DH, the vast majority of normal Catholics have been galvanized to read it, and all things pertaining to the Kingship of Christ, with the Americanist lens that was given such a boost in DH.

    And, to recall the meta-issue once more, DH, like most of V2, is defective precisely because it persistently lends itself to these kinds of debates. As long as the Magisterium keeps sitting on its hands, we layfolk are left to bicker over the ambiguity. Dr. Pink might be right, but if the recent surveys of Catholics and the part decades of ecclesial decline are any indication, DH really has effected a sea change in Catholic teaching as it is lived. No one is saying that V2, which is an ecumenical council, is heretical, but what must be granted is that DH, based on pretty obvious and ephemeral political pressures, did such a lousy job of presenting the fullness of the traditional doctrine that it either needs to be scrapped (as a merely pastoral confabulation) or magisterially normalized. As things stand, the document, like much of V2, is a wax nose that gives succor to plain old liberalism and Americanism.

  57. The point cuts both ways. You are saying that ABS misunderstands a truly secular State, which I doubt, but that is by the by, yet for your own part you seem not to grasp what a true State is according to the Church. Even if we grant, arguendo, that “a totally secular state” is possible, the crux of the matter is that the Church would not consider such a utopia a true State in the first place. Bereft of justice towards God, it would be a shrunken, misshapen, radically incomplete state of affairs masquerading as a State (i.e. the organ ordained for promoting the true common good). The problem, once more, is that DH is at odds with the complete Catholic social teaching by treating these secular pseudo-states as states worthy of the name. It can’t be theologically right about religious libertinism if its best defense requires being conceptually wrong about what the State is.

  58. Dear Mr. Jokin. Earlier I had written that I saw no reason to continue our exchange and so my rant was not intended as a response to you and your support of Prof Pink’s position.

    We simply disagree about Prof Pink’s position but there is no way for us to have an exchange because you have not read Msgr. Gherardini who develops substantial evidence that D.H. is opposed to that which came before V2 despite claims to the contrary made by other Faithful Catholics.

    Earlier I asked you to identify in Tradition one antecedent justifying D.H. You never responded and I can guess why.

    It can’t be, done for the entirety of Tradition is opposed to Religious Liberty for false faiths; what is part of Tradition is the liberty of Holy Mother Church irrespective of whether or not a state is secular. for H.M. Church had its problems with Catholic Princes and Kings in the past.

    I do not know but I would guess that the Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was constrained to address the previous Magisterial Teachings against Religious Liberty (and evolution) and to essentially vacate them in toto (Kansas included) owing to the growing opposition to D.H. as a document that is opposed the content of Catholoic Tradiiton prior to V2.

    Really, what other choice did he have? He could not reconcile opposites.

    I sincerely do not understand any argument advanced that claims cataclysmic change is continuity with the past and I confess that is owing to my very limited intellect; what once was vice is now virtue?

    Now, I suppose that Pope Benedict XVI’s statement about there being discontinuity within continuity (even Doctrinal?) makes sense to the philosophically sophisticated but to this poor boy from the hills of Vermont it does not.

    The depressing thing is that no new doctrine had to be developed. H.M. Church could have maintained her Tradition of opposing secular states while insisting on her own religious liberty (and hers alone) and she still could have cooperated with false faiths and satanic states to the extent she was able.

    Look, even Bob Dylan knows you have to serve somebody and a secular state is not neutral towards religion (that is an ontological impossibility) it is Satan’s servant even if it is not written in its crummy constitution. One is either for Christ or against him.

    Expecting me to concede that the Catholic Church ought accept that a state can be neutral towards her is like me expecting The Bride to accept my claim that I can be neutral towards her and all other women.

  59. Tony Jokin says:

    Elliot,

    Well no, I am not saying DH is dumb. DH would be dumb if it said Christ is no longer king and that the Secular Church and State separation was a great thing. But it never says that, no?

    I posted this yesterday but it might have been missed but it summarizes what I am trying to say.


    I am not sure I understand still. Is there such a notion as a “secular State that is compatible with Catholicism”? My understanding was that there is none because a secular State by definition adheres to it’s principles to make decisions rather than a religious obligation.

    The opening of DH does not seem to indicate that the present situation of having a secular State is good. It only seems to indicate the idea that there should be such a notion as “religious freedom” in such a State is in line with what the Church holds as well (which seems true for a secular State should never be [and does not have the right to be] the arbiter of which religion to promote or suppress).

    Also, DH does state in the first section that “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.”

    The reason I bold “Civil Society” is because the whole notion of a public vs. private with respect to the State or the referred to elements by the phrase is itself something novel that stems from Liberal political theory.

    To add, DH goes on to state

    “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.”

    So it seems, at least to me, that DH is saying no human authority (a secular State or group) may coerce but is silent on what the Church, that possess Divine Authority, can do. If you read section 2 of that document (where the above quote is from), it seems like the whole idea behind this declaration of “Religious Freedom” is to make sure people are free to become Catholic.

    Maybe I am biased and reading it with colored glasses. So what are your thoughts on these observations and I am open to being convinced otherwise.


    So I think DH is essentially a document conveying that every man should be free to become Catholic (Section 2) and that is something that a Secular State (or other human powers) must respect. It further goes on to say that even those who had not yet arrived completely at Catholicism would have some freedom within due limits that the Secular State will have to respect (because it might just be a temporary stop on the way to Catholicism and search for the truth). The Church has no such need to respect it because at the end of the day, the Church knows what is true and how to get a person to the truth. A Secular State does not know that.

    Should we work to end this idea of a Secular State? Restore a Catholic monarchy? DH mentions that the traditional teaching is intact so I see no reason to infer from DH that those things are no longer relevant. What DH is more concerned about is outlining how to view the current state of affairs.

  60. Tony Jokin says:

    [I posted it on a fresh thread in case you might miss it amidst the clutter of posts above]

    Elliot,

    Well no, I am not saying DH is dumb. DH would be dumb if it said Christ is no longer king and that the Secular Church and State separation was a great thing. But it never says that, no?

    I posted this yesterday but it might have been missed but it summarizes what I am trying to say.

    I am not sure I understand still. Is there such a notion as a “secular State that is compatible with Catholicism”? My understanding was that there is none because a secular State by definition adheres to it’s principles to make decisions rather than a religious obligation.

    The opening of DH does not seem to indicate that the present situation of having a secular State is good. It only seems to indicate the idea that there should be such a notion as “religious freedom” in such a State is in line with what the Church holds as well (which seems true for a secular State should never be [and does not have the right to be] the arbiter of which religion to promote or suppress).

    Also, DH does state in the first section that “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.”

    The reason I bold “Civil Society” is because the whole notion of a public vs. private with respect to the State or the referred to elements by the phrase is itself something novel that stems from Liberal political theory.

    To add, DH goes on to state

    “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.”

    So it seems, at least to me, that DH is saying no human authority (a secular State or group) may coerce but is silent on what the Church, that possess Divine Authority, can do. If you read section 2 of that document (where the above quote is from), it seems like the whole idea behind this declaration of “Religious Freedom” is to make sure people are free to become Catholic.

    Maybe I am biased and reading it with colored glasses. So what are your thoughts on these observations and I am open to being convinced otherwise.

    So I think DH is essentially a document conveying that every man should be free to become Catholic (Section 2) and that is something that a Secular State (or other human powers) must respect. It further goes on to say that even those who had not yet arrived completely at Catholicism would have some freedom within due limits that the Secular State will have to respect (because it might just be a temporary stop on the way to Catholicism and search for the truth). The Church has no such need to respect it because at the end of the day, the Church knows what is true and how to get a person to the truth. A Secular State does not know that.

    Should we work to end this idea of a Secular State? Restore a Catholic monarchy? DH mentions that the traditional teaching is intact so I see no reason to infer from DH that those things are no longer relevant. What DH is more concerned about is outlining how to view the current state of affairs.

  61. Tony Jokin says:

    ABS,

    The support you need from Tradition for DH is that Tradition has never addressed the rights of a secular State. The Tradition has always dealt with making it clear that a Secular State is an error.

    But after a Secular State has been well and truly established, one needs to answer those questions, right? Catholics all over the world can’t just protest that all governments should be overthrown?

  62. Tony Jokin says:

    ABS, Elliot,

    This is a question to both of you. Let us say there was no Vatican II. How does one go about implementing the traditional Catholic teaching on this subject in ones society?

    Should the Catholics then simply protest the secular Government? Or ask that the Government pledge allegiance to the Catholic Church? Ask that non-Catholic faiths be suppressed?

    None of those are courses of actions with any chance of success.

    On the other hand, it would make sense that one try to preserve at least the freedom to remain Catholic, learn about it and convert if someone wishes. So DH to me seems to try and see what can be done in that regard. It merely proceeds to identify that “Religious Freedom”, which is something part of many governments in Christian areas at the time, is something we should try to preserve in such a secular Society. Because if we get rid of that principle in a “Civil society”, then we are left with the danger of a direct threat against Catholicism.

    What do you think of that line of thought?

  63. Dear Mr. Jokin. Pope Leo XIII was not ignorant about the existence of secular states (seeing as how there had been two famously revolutionary ones already well established) and he did address why they were wrong so to say he, or any subsequent Pope, ought to have addressed their “rights” seems to me an admission that error has rights.

    From reading Mr, David Wemhoff in the pages of “Culture Wars” I have become convinced that Catholic Bishops have the duty to work to establish a Catholic Confessional State and he will soon be publishing a well-sourced (Teachings from Tradition) book trying to prove that is a duty they have.

    As it stands now, we are in a state where godless states are said to have rights whereas the rights of Christ the King are never, never as in ever, spoken about, say nothing about insisted upon.

    ( I dont know why I have this habit of writing that I am disengaging form this or that exchange and then finding myself responding to some additional point. One would think I would learn but I never do).

  64. I hate the idea. I sees no reason for the Church to have mutilated its doctrine so that it no longer teaches it is the sole religion to have liberty.

    There is only one religion; one religion, many false faiths.

    Holy Mother Church ought to have continued down the path of Tradition and not changed a whit. It could still ceaselessly teach that all states have a duty to offer public worship of the one true God and it could continue to hammer than truth home until the cows come home.

    So what if the world and the godless states will reject that truthful message? Holy Mother Church was not told to do that which can only reasonably hope to succeed.

    Far better that the Church hammer away, tooth and nail, at the truth and have her children constantly alerted about the dangers to their Faith and their souls rather than have her children learnt indifferentism via the new orientation and naive, open, attitudes.

    Holy Mother Church has enemies and they do not have her best interests at heart and it is heart-breaking to see my Holy Mother act as though her enemies are her friends.

    Look, me Mom is irish Catholic and she had six children and she is 88 years old and she is now firmly convinced that anyone can be saved no matter what “religion” they are a member of and she says she is happy “we no longer believe those things” and back in the Ol’ Sod (we are Corkies) , our progenitors are spinning in their graves like an anemometer atop Mount Washington because although everything is different their descendants are being told nothing has changed and that there is continuity with the past.

    I am not deaf; I am not blind: I am not psychotic; everything has been changed since 1962, (Doctrine, Mass, Liturgy, Sacraments, Religious, Seminaries, Missionary Activity, Liturgical prayers and music,Catechesis, Ecclesiastical Praxis etc etc) and yet I continue to hear claims about continuity.

    I am effectively an orphan as far as H.M. Church is concerned (at best, me and my ilk are tolerated as demented dullards) and I do not like that I have been abandoned by Holy Mother Church and left to fend for myself in some dingy swamp in the lower forty of the sheep gate but that is just the reality and so I live with that while still maintaining the Bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority.

    I am not asking for pity or sympathy. I know the score and I know things will not change during my life time but I have found a way to survive during this execrable ecclesiastical epoch and all I can do is pray for others who have not yet caught a clue that they have similarly abandoned along some extreme edge of the sheep gate.

    You like me, you really like me are the words of Sally Fields to the Academy Awards audience; they are not mine to the Hierarchy. I know the Hierarchy does not like me and that is written as the plain and simple truth for I have had LONG experience dealings with Bishops and Priests of the new orientation.

  65. Tony Jokin says:

    Look, this is honestly the most bizarre discussion I have engaged in for sometime now because this matter seems trivial and the error somewhat obvious.

    You keep insisting that Pope Leo XIII doctrinally declared that a secular State has a right to curb religious freedom of those under it. I am telling you that your interpretation that he told such a thing is an error.

    Now why do I say that? Because your interpretation is an absurdity. To state in propositional form

    1) Pope Leo XIII said that a secular State must be at the service of the true faith and suppress error/heresy etc.
    2) But a secular State determines error and heresy according to it’s principles/philosophies and not according to Catholicism – this is a fact that stems from the definition of a secular State
    3) Therefore, Pope Leo XIII will be speaking nonsense if he had said such a thing

    The only thing that Pope Leo XIII can be read as is saying that a secular State should not remain secular i.e. it is an error itself.

    Vatican II not going to remind the faithful of all that traditional teaching shows that those involved in Vatican II were making pastoral errors already. BUT BUT BUT, the doctrinal content of Vatican II, DH to be precise in this case, is FINE! i.e. there is no contradiction.

    The bottom line here is that I reject your idea that DH is a contradiction that is irreconcilable. I think the trivial solution of Dr. Pink ends any contradiction. Now the big issue why our discussion is not progressing is that you fail to address any of the arguments made by Dr. Pink or myself. Instead, your whole discourse is based on appeal to authority.

    Part of the problem is that the authorities like CARDINAL Ratzinger or Msgr. Gherardini do not qualify as infallible authorities. As for Pope Leo XIII you quote him with the wrong interpretation i.e. that he is addressing the rights of a secular State when he clearly is not. Pope Leo XIII is pointing out that any State should be at the service of the Church.

    But just as it did not make sense for St. Peter to state this truth to Caesar, it makes zero sense for the Pope today to state this to the governments in the world.

    Now which part of this argument do you have a counter argument for? And please don’t quote me another individual or text that simply agrees with you that VII is a contradiction. That does not help further this discussion but only keeps it in the same place.

Be kind, be (relatively) brief, be clear...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s