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Rights and Religious Liberty - Adventus - 03-18-2020

Perhaps something already covered here at some point already. What is your understanding between how the Church sees rights and religious liberty now vs how it saw it prior to Vatican 2?

It's never an overnight change obviously, but there was certainly a change.

Before:

Leo XIII LIBERTAS (1888 AD)

"24. A like judgment must be passed upon what is called liberty of teaching. There can be no doubt that truth alone should imbue the minds of men, for in it are found the well-being, the end, and the perfection of every intelligent nature; and therefore nothing but truth should be taught both to the ignorant and to the educated, so as to bring knowledge to those who have it not, and to preserve it in those who possess it. For this reason it is plainly the duty of all who teach to banish error from the mind, and by sure safeguards to close the entry to all false convictions. From this it follows, as is evident, that the liberty of which We have been speaking is greatly opposed to reason, and tends absolutely to pervert men's minds, in as much as it claims for itself the right of teaching whatever it pleases - a liberty which the State cannot grant without failing in its duty. And the more so because the authority of teachers has great weight with their hearers, who can rarely decide for themselves as to the truth or falsehood of the instruction given to them."

http://www.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_20061888_libertas.html

After:

Vatican II Dignitatis Humanae (1965)

Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word. However, in spreading religious faith and in introducing religious practices everyone ought at all times to refrain from any manner of action which might seem to carry a hint of coercion or of a kind of persuasion that would be dishonorable or unworthy, especially when dealing with poor or uneducated people. Such a manner of action would have to be considered an abuse of one's right and a violation of the right of others.

Dignitatis humanae


How do you mesh both of them?


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - MagisterMusicae - 03-18-2020

I don't because they are contradictory notions.

The older notion is that error/evil may, for the greater good, have to be tolerated for a time. Therefore, the authority could, and sometimes had a duty to tolerate an error/evil.

The new notion is that one in error/evil has a right to believe or do this evil thing, and so a right be tolerated.

There is no meshing those together.


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - jovan66102 - 03-18-2020

You don't, or at least I've never seen it done. In fact, years ago, I asked a friend of mine, A Roman trained Priest, how to get them to agree since he maintained that they are compatible. He said he'd get back to me with the explanation. Twenty years later, I'm still waiting.

And, since Libertas and other documents that radically disagree with Vatican II, such as the Syllabus, are part of the Magisterium, and Vatican II claimed it was not changing doctrine, I see no reason to pay any attention to VII when it makes statements that disagree with them.


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - Adventus - 03-18-2020

I always understood the older church documents as a model to be followed insofar as the state relied on the Church's delegation. Since that is practically nonexistent in the world. It's like talking chivalry to a bunch of porn actors; it's superfluous. In V2 the context would have to be with what I noted in mind. Rights are only rights inasmuch as the Church isn't recognized as delegating and only bears responsibility with keeping the public peace and not coercing the Church.

Where do I err?


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - jovan66102 - 03-18-2020

The older model is the norm to be striven for, whether or not the world accepts it or not. Vatican II was a cowardly bending of the knee to the world. You could use your argument to argue that the Church ought to give way on abortion, since it is so entrenched in the world that arguing against it is 'like talking chivalry to a bunch of porn actors'.


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - Adventus - 03-18-2020

(03-18-2020, 03:29 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: The older model is the norm to be striven for, whether or not the world accepts it or not. Vatican II was a cowardly bending of the knee to the world. You could use your argument to argue that the Church ought to give way on abortion, since it is so entrenched in the world that arguing against it is 'like talking chivalry to a bunch of porn actors'.

You could, but it wouldn't be a very good one. Unlike what we should hold dear (doctrine/dogma), the situation and circumstances matter. Even under monarchies and when the Church had such delegation, other faiths lived under the Kings...it was simply kept at bay. What makes this harder also is that unlike outright heretical Councils V2, at least, affirms that it upholds prior teaching. The right to the exception of coercion in doing XYZ is not the same thing as claiming a right to do XYZ........I'm no lawyer and won't pretend to be but that's as best as I've been able to muster.




RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - 19405 - 03-18-2020

Dignitatis Humanae advocates for a negative right from coercion in religious matters. The footnotes on this indicate that is not absolute.

Libertas teaches that there is no positive right to teach without regard to truth.

Those are the intrinsically moral statements in the documents.

Decide for yourself if those cannot be reconciled (in my opinion, they can, and it's how most Christians approach the issue kinda subconsciously. That said, DH isn't infallible so...I'm not gonna die on this hill).


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - SeekerofChrist - 03-18-2020

(03-18-2020, 03:50 PM)Adventus Wrote:
(03-18-2020, 03:29 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: The older model is the norm to be striven for, whether or not the world accepts it or not. Vatican II was a cowardly bending of the knee to the world. You could use your argument to argue that the Church ought to give way on abortion, since it is so entrenched in the world that arguing against it is 'like talking chivalry to a bunch of porn actors'.

You could, but it wouldn't be a very good one. Unlike what we should hold dear (doctrine/dogma), the situation and circumstances matter. Even under monarchies and when the Church had such delegation, other faiths lived under the Kings...it was simply kept at bay. What makes this harder also is that unlike outright heretical Councils V2, at least, affirms that it upholds prior teaching. The right to the exception of coercion in doing XYZ is not the same thing as claiming a right to do XYZ........I'm no lawyer and won't pretend to be but that's as best as I've been able to muster.

I'll offer a few concerns that I have, based on my very limited knowledge.  Dignitatis Humanae has this to say, toward the beginning:

Quote:2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth. However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed.

I would think that rights also come with obligations.  This section of DH even states that people have the obligation to seek the truth but when they fail to do so, well, the first part of this section clearly states they have an inherent right to religious freedom rooted in their human dignity and revealed by God's word, and so they are free to persist in their errors.  Is it only the duty of the Church to teach them the errors of their ways?  We read this in DH as well:

Quote:6. Since the common welfare of society consists in the entirety of those conditions of social life under which men enjoy the possibility of achieving their own perfection in a certain fullness of measure and also with some relative ease, it chiefly consists in the protection of the rights, and in the performance of the duties, of the human person.(4) Therefore the care of the right to religious freedom devolves upon the whole citizenry, upon social groups, upon government, and upon the Church and other religious communities, in virtue of the duty of all toward the common welfare, and in the manner proper to each.

Notice how this section even calls on the Church to uphold the right to freedom of religion for heretics, apostates, pagans, etc.  The first sentence in this section is also quite bizarre.  What of the Social Kingship of Christ and the common welfare?  How can the common welfare of society be achieved without the Reign of Christ the King over that society?  A society where any religion has the same rights as Him and His Church, how on Earth can the common welfare of that society actually be achieved, let alone the eternal salvation of the individual members?

I'm sure we can find parts of DH that seeks to uphold the traditional view, or at least attempts to do so, but as I've studied more about the history of VII, what I've learned is that these documents were compromise documents, between a faction of liberals and a faction of conservatives, and so you can find some bones the liberals threw to the conservatives, to get their support.  The documents are flawed, at the very least. But DH seems especially problematic.


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - Melkite - 03-18-2020

(03-18-2020, 02:56 PM)Adventus Wrote: Leo XIII LIBERTAS (1888 AD)

"24. A like judgment must be passed upon what is called liberty of teaching. There can be no doubt that truth alone should imbue the minds of men, for in it are found the well-being, the end, and the perfection of every intelligent nature; and therefore nothing but truth should be taught both to the ignorant and to the educated, so as to bring knowledge to those who have it not, and to preserve it in those who possess it. For this reason it is plainly the duty of all who teach to banish error from the mind, and by sure safeguards to close the entry to all false convictions. From this it follows, as is evident, that the liberty of which We have been speaking is greatly opposed to reason, and tends absolutely to pervert men's minds, in as much as it claims for itself the right of teaching whatever it pleases - a liberty which the State cannot grant without failing in its duty. And the more so because the authority of teachers has great weight with their hearers, who can rarely decide for themselves as to the truth or falsehood of the instruction given to them."


There is no problem with this up to the point of demanding that only truth be taught and to banish error from the mind.  The problem comes in that, in matters of faith, assent to various articles is demanded rather than proof striven to be provided.  Truth is objective.  Yet, in demanding assent to what the Church teaches as truth, and rejecting as error what other religions teach as truth, simply by depending on the Church's self-proclaimed authority, the Church goes against it's own teaching above by only allowing for what it subjectively defines as truth to be taught, rather than only teaching as true what can objectively be shown to be. 

Yes, we're talking about matters of faith that cannot be objectively proven true. The Church teaches that what it believes is objective truth, but can only say so subjectively.  In so doing, the Church ascribes to itself a right under the same pretenses that it denies such to exist for anyone else.   Error ought not be taught, yet any given matter of faith cannot be truly shown to be erroneous or true in such a concrete manner as is demanded by a strict rule requiring only truth to be taught.  This is a problem.


RE: Rights and Religious Liberty - Adventus - 03-19-2020

"But this interpretation of Dignitatis Humanae as a revision not just of policy but of doctrine is based on a fundamental misunderstanding. The declaration is not a statement about religious liberty in general but about a specifically civil liberty: religious liberty in relation to the state and other civil institutions. It does not oppose religious coercion in general, but coercion by the state. The state is forbidden to coerce in matters of religion, not because such coercion is illicit for any authority whatsoever, but because such coercion lies beyond the state’s particular competence."

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

Worthwhile read when time permits.