Dignitatis Humanae Revisited
#1
Is there a problem with this?

First, the council professes its belief that God Himself has made known to mankind the way in which men are to serve Him, and thus be saved in Christ and come to blessedness. We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus He spoke to the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you" (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embrace the truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.



(05-17-2009, 08:07 PM)columba Wrote:
Dignitatis Humanae Wrote:A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man,(1) and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.

Do whatever you want or don't do what you don't want. Nobody can force you.

A little further on DIGNITATIS HUMANAE (#2, third paragraph) says:
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[/i].

Somehow I'm having a very great difficulity reading [i]Do whatever you want or don't do what you don't want
into this.

Then, there is the fact that Free Will is defined Catholic dogma:

Quote:The Council of Trent The Sixth Session: Justification Canons http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/ar...trent.html

CANON IV. If any one shall affirm, that man’s freewill, moved and excited by God, does not, by consenting, cooperate with God, the mover and exciter, so as to prepare and dispose itself for the attainment of justification; if moreover, anyone shall say, that the human will cannot refuse complying, if it pleases, but that it is inactive, and merely passive; let such an one be accursed"!

CANON V.- If anyone shall affirm, that since the fall of Adam, man’s freewill is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing titular, yea a name, without a thing, and a fiction introduced by Satan into the Church; let such an one be accursed"!

CANON VII.-If any one saith, that all works done before Justification, in whatsoever way they be done, are truly sins, or merit the hatred of God; or that the more earnestly one strives to dispose himself for grace, the more grievously he sins: let him be anathema.

Free will and coercion are mutually exclusive.

DIGNITATIS HUMANAE is about Catholics having the right to practice their faith, and the Church having the right to minister to her children, and also to preach the Gospel to all peopes, in every land and in every time, without coercion from the temporal powers, whether those authorities are secular or religious.

The Church has the Gospel of Truth.  She doesn't need "penal laws", whipping posts, torture racks, or stakes to do her job.  She doesn't need to "attack", or even really need (IMHO) to disparage other "religious" systems.  She simply needs the freedom to preach the Gospel - the Holy Spirit handles the rest.
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#2
(05-17-2009, 09:50 PM)moneil Wrote: The Church has the Gospel of Truth.  She doesn't need "penal laws", whipping posts, torture racks, or stakes to do her job.  She doesn't need to "attack", or even really need (IMHO) to disparage other "religious" systems.  She simply needs the freedom to preach the Gospel - the Holy Spirit handles the rest.

Beautifully said, Moneil!

- Lisa
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#3
(05-17-2009, 09:50 PM)moneil Wrote: Free will and coercion are mutually exclusive.

DIGNITATIS HUMANAE is about Catholics having the right to practice their faith, and the Church having the right to minister to her children, and also to preach the Gospel to all peopes, in every land and in every time, without coercion from the temporal powers, whether those authorities are secular or religious.

The Church has the Gospel of Truth.  She doesn't need "penal laws", whipping posts, torture racks, or stakes to do her job.  She doesn't need to "attack", or even really need (IMHO) to disparage other "religious" systems.  She simply needs the freedom to preach the Gospel - the Holy Spirit handles the rest.

From the Gospel According to Saint John:
14 And he found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. 15 And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew.


And Saint Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica II, II, q. 10, a. 8 )
Article 8. Whether unbelievers ought to be compelled to the faith?


Objection 1. It would seem that unbelievers ought by no means to be compelled to the faith. For it is written (Matthew 13:28) that the servants of the householder, in whose field cockle had been sown, asked him: "Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?" and that he answered: "No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it": on which passage Chrysostom says (Hom. xlvi in Matth.): "Our Lord says this so as to forbid the slaying of men. For it is not right to slay heretics, because if you do you will necessarily slay many innocent persons." Therefore it seems that for the same reason unbelievers ought not to be compelled to the faith.

Objection 2. Further, we read in the Decretals (Dist. xlv can., De Judaeis): "The holy synod prescribes, with regard to the Jews, that for the future, none are to be compelled to believe." Therefore, in like manner, neither should unbelievers be compelled to the faith.

Objection 3. Further, Augustine says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.) that "it is possible for a man to do other things against his will, but he cannot believe unless he is willing." Therefore it seems that unbelievers ought not to be compelled to the faith.

Objection 4. It is said in God's person (Ezekiel 18:32 [Ezekiel 33:11]): "I desire not the death of the sinner [Vulgate: 'of him that dieth']." Now we ought to conform our will to the Divine will, as stated above (I-II, 19, A9,10). Therefore we should not even wish unbelievers to be put to death.

On the contrary, It is written (Luke 14:23): "Go out into the highways and hedges; and compel them to come in." Now men enter into the house of God, i.e. into Holy Church, by faith. Therefore some ought to be compelled to the faith.

I answer that, Among unbelievers there are some who have never received the faith, such as the heathens and the Jews: and these are by no means to be compelled to the faith, in order that they may believe, because to believe depends on the will: nevertheless they should be compelled by the faithful, if it be possible to do so, so that they do not hinder the faith, by their blasphemies, or by their evil persuasions, or even by their open persecutions. It is for this reason that Christ's faithful often wage war with unbelievers, not indeed for the purpose of forcing them to believe, because even if they were to conquer them, and take them prisoners, they should still leave them free to believe, if they will, but in order to prevent them from hindering the faith of Christ.

On the other hand, there are unbelievers who at some time have accepted the faith, and professed it, such as heretics and all apostates: such should be submitted even to bodily compulsion, that they may fulfil what they have promised, and hold what they, at one time, received.

Reply to Objection 1. Some have understood the authority quoted to forbid, not the excommunication but the slaying of heretics, as appears from the words of Chrysostom. Augustine too, says (Ep. ad Vincent. xciii) of himself: "It was once my opinion that none should be compelled to union with Christ, that we should deal in words, and fight with arguments. However this opinion of mine is undone, not by words of contradiction, but by convincing examples. Because fear of the law was so profitable, that many say: Thanks be to the Lord Who has broken our chains asunder." Accordingly the meaning of Our Lord's words, "Suffer both to grow until the harvest," must be gathered from those which precede, "lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root the wheat also together with it." For, Augustine says (Contra Ep. Parmen. iii, 2) "these words show that when this is not to be feared, that is to say, when a man's crime is so publicly known, and so hateful to all, that he has no defenders, or none such as might cause a schism, the severity of discipline should not slacken."

Reply to Objection 2. Those Jews who have in no way received the faith, ought not by no means to be compelled to the faith: if, however, they have received it, they ought to be compelled to keep it, as is stated in the same chapter.

Reply to Objection 3. Just as taking a vow is a matter of will, and keeping a vow, a matter of obligation, so acceptance of the faith is a matter of the will, whereas keeping the faith, when once one has received it, is a matter of obligation. Wherefore heretics should be compelled to keep the faith. Thus Augustine says to the Count Boniface (Ep. clxxxv): "What do these people mean by crying out continually: 'We may believe or not believe just as we choose. Whom did Christ compel?' They should remember that Christ at first compelled Paul and afterwards taught Him."

Reply to Objection 4. As Augustine says in the same letter, "none of us wishes any heretic to perish. But the house of David did not deserve to have peace, unless his son Absalom had been killed in the war which he had raised against his father. Thus if the Catholic Church gathers together some of the perdition of others, she heals the sorrow of her maternal heart by the delivery of so many nations."
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#4
(05-18-2009, 12:33 AM)Underdog Wrote:
(05-17-2009, 09:50 PM)moneil Wrote: Free will and coercion are mutually exclusive.

DIGNITATIS HUMANAE is about Catholics having the right to practice their faith, and the Church having the right to minister to her children, and also to preach the Gospel to all peopes, in every land and in every time, without coercion from the temporal powers, whether those authorities are secular or religious.

The Church has the Gospel of Truth.  She doesn't need "penal laws", whipping posts, torture racks, or stakes to do her job.  She doesn't need to "attack", or even really need (IMHO) to disparage other "religious" systems.  She simply needs the freedom to preach the Gospel - the Holy Spirit handles the rest.

From the Gospel According to Saint John:
14 And he found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. 15 And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew.


And Saint Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica II, II, q. 10, a. 8 )

Article 8. Whether unbelievers ought to be compelled to the faith?


Objection 1. It would seem that unbelievers ought by no means to be compelled to the faith. For it is written (Matthew 13:28) that the servants of the householder, in whose field cockle had been sown, asked him: "Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?" and that he answered: "No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it": on which passage Chrysostom says (Hom. xlvi in Matth.): "Our Lord says this so as to forbid the slaying of men. For it is not right to slay heretics, because if you do you will necessarily slay many innocent persons." Therefore it seems that for the same reason unbelievers ought not to be compelled to the faith.

Objection 2. Further, we read in the Decretals (Dist. xlv can., De Judaeis): "The holy synod prescribes, with regard to the Jews, that for the future, none are to be compelled to believe." Therefore, in like manner, neither should unbelievers be compelled to the faith.

Objection 3. Further, Augustine says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.) that "it is possible for a man to do other things against his will, but he cannot believe unless he is willing." Therefore it seems that unbelievers ought not to be compelled to the faith.

Objection 4. It is said in God's person (Ezekiel 18:32 [Ezekiel 33:11]): "I desire not the death of the sinner [Vulgate: 'of him that dieth']." Now we ought to conform our will to the Divine will, as stated above (I-II, 19, A9,10). Therefore we should not even wish unbelievers to be put to death.

On the contrary, It is written (Luke 14:23): "Go out into the highways and hedges; and compel them to come in." Now men enter into the house of God, i.e. into Holy Church, by faith. Therefore some ought to be compelled to the faith.

I answer that, Among unbelievers there are some who have never received the faith, such as the heathens and the Jews: and these are by no means to be compelled to the faith, in order that they may believe, because to believe depends on the will: nevertheless they should be compelled by the faithful, if it be possible to do so, so that they do not hinder the faith, by their blasphemies, or by their evil persuasions, or even by their open persecutions. It is for this reason that Christ's faithful often wage war with unbelievers, not indeed for the purpose of forcing them to believe, because even if they were to conquer them, and take them prisoners, they should still leave them free to believe, if they will, but in order to prevent them from hindering the faith of Christ.

On the other hand, there are unbelievers who at some time have accepted the faith, and professed it, such as heretics and all apostates: such should be submitted even to bodily compulsion, that they may fulfil what they have promised, and hold what they, at one time, received.

Reply to Objection 1. Some have understood the authority quoted to forbid, not the excommunication but the slaying of heretics, as appears from the words of Chrysostom. Augustine too, says (Ep. ad Vincent. xciii) of himself: "It was once my opinion that none should be compelled to union with Christ, that we should deal in words, and fight with arguments. However this opinion of mine is undone, not by words of contradiction, but by convincing examples. Because fear of the law was so profitable, that many say: Thanks be to the Lord Who has broken our chains asunder." Accordingly the meaning of Our Lord's words, "Suffer both to grow until the harvest," must be gathered from those which precede, "lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root the wheat also together with it." For, Augustine says (Contra Ep. Parmen. iii, 2) "these words show that when this is not to be feared, that is to say, when a man's crime is so publicly known, and so hateful to all, that he has no defenders, or none such as might cause a schism, the severity of discipline should not slacken."

Reply to Objection 2. Those Jews who have in no way received the faith, ought not by no means to be compelled to the faith: if, however, they have received it, they ought to be compelled to keep it, as is stated in the same chapter.

Reply to Objection 3. Just as taking a vow is a matter of will, and keeping a vow, a matter of obligation, so acceptance of the faith is a matter of the will, whereas keeping the faith, when once one has received it, is a matter of obligation. Wherefore heretics should be compelled to keep the faith. Thus Augustine says to the Count Boniface (Ep. clxxxv): "What do these people mean by crying out continually: 'We may believe or not believe just as we choose. Whom did Christ compel?' They should remember that Christ at first compelled Paul and afterwards taught Him."

Reply to Objection 4. As Augustine says in the same letter, "none of us wishes any heretic to perish. But the house of David did not deserve to have peace, unless his son Absalom had been killed in the war which he had raised against his father. Thus if the Catholic Church gathers together some of the perdition of others, she heals the sorrow of her maternal heart by the delivery of so many nations."

You rather missed the whole point.  DH is about our Holy Mother Church's, and our's, as believers, freedom to practice the faith.  Your citations do not address in any way the statement I made in the first paragraph you quoted.

As to the second paragraph, with all due respect to the Angelic Doctor, are you suggesting that the Church needs to bring back "penal laws", whipping posts, torture racks, or stakes to do her job?  Or that the Holy Spirit is insufficiently powerful?
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#5
(05-18-2009, 12:57 AM)moneil Wrote: As to the second paragraph, with all due respect to the Angelic Doctor, are you suggesting that the Church needs to bring back "penal laws", whipping posts, torture racks, or stakes to do her job?  Or that the Holy Spirit is insufficiently powerful?

I'm not sure this ever really happened, but to act as if some zelots made widespread use of beatings is absolutely absurd.

The last question is absurd also.

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#6
You said that free will and coercion are mutually exclusive, and my point is that they are not (at least not according to the NT and the ST).  That's all.

However, I believe you may be wrong about DH as well.  It seems to grant the right of religious freedom to all religions (not just exclusively to the Church) whether true or false.  Does it not?  
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#7
(05-18-2009, 01:25 AM)Scipio_a Wrote:
(05-18-2009, 12:57 AM)moneil Wrote: As to the second paragraph, with all due respect to the Angelic Doctor, are you suggesting that the Church needs to bring back "penal laws", whipping posts, torture racks, or stakes to do her job?  Or that the Holy Spirit is insufficiently powerful?

I'm not sure this ever really happened, but to act as if some zelots made widespread use of beatings is absolutely absurd.

The last question is absurd also.

Whoe's acting?  The previous poster gave a long citation from the Summa, which included: On the other hand, there are unbelievers who at some time have accepted the faith, and professed it, such as heretics and all apostates: such should be submitted even to bodily compulsion, that they may fulfil what they have promised, and hold what they, at one time, received.

I shoud have phrased my query better though.  It seems there are some here who are against religious liberty.  I woud take that to mean that they believe non-Catholics should not have liberty to practice some other belief system.  Also, that they believe that authorities, civil or religious, should enjoin them from practicing these other belief systems.  For, if they were allowed to practice these other belief systems that woud mean that they have religious liberty, which some here seem to be against.  So, if these non-Catholics are to be enjoined from practicing these other belief systems, by what manner would you in fact prevent them from practicing these other belief systems?  Because, in fact, if you do not enjoin them from practicing these other belief systems in some manner, you are in fact granting them religious liberty, which some here seem to be against.

The forms I mentioned, by no means an exhaustive list, I'm sure, are well documented as having been used.  I in no way suggested that their use was extensive.  There is a good article on the topic in the Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm

As to my second question, I hardly think that for a Roman or Eastern Catholic to believe that the Holy Spirit is sufficienty powerful to protect, guide and prosper the Church to be an absurd concept.  In fact, to believe otherwise doesn't seem Catholic.
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#8
(05-18-2009, 01:27 AM)Underdog Wrote: You said that free will and coercion are mutually exclusive, and my point is that they are not (at least not according to the NT and the ST).  That's all.

According to your interpretation of tiny snipits from scripture and the Summa.  I'll leave the matter to trained theologians.  In general, if you are coerced you are not free.  That's all.

(05-18-2009, 01:27 AM)Underdog Wrote: However, I believe you may be wrong about DH as well.  It seems to grant the right of religious freedom to all religions (not just exclusively to the Church) whether true or false.  Does it not?  

In the situation of a world (the 1960's) in which there were few confessional Catholic states, outside of the Vatican City state, and in which probable the vast majority of the world's peoples lived in states that did not allow the true Catholic faith to be propagated, nor for believers in those countries to openely practice their faith, and perhaps suffer severe persecution if they were found to be practicing their faith (Soviet Union, China, Burma, parts of India, Sadiua Arabia, to mention just a few), our Holy Mother Church, under the guidence of the Holy Spirit, asked that Her children throughout the world be allowed to practice their faith.  She further said that those who have found their way, through the gift of faith, to desire to embrace the one true faith, must have the right to do so.

Hello!  Consider the context.  Woud it have been more efficacious for Holy Mother Church to have said, especially to some of these countries (1) We are the one true Church, which she did say in DH, as I have already cited; (2) we insist on our right to propagate and practice our true faith everywhere, which she did say; and (3), oh, and by the way, if one of your people happens to wander over to our neighborhood and wants to practice their strange religion, they will be persecuted, cuz it would just be wrong to allow them to do that.  IDK, I'm not sure that would have sounded so good.

The bottom like is the One True Church has and insists upon the right to propagate and practice the one true faith in every part of the world - in fact, that is her mission.  If we can get secular and non-Catholic religious governments to not interfere with religion, that will facilitate the Church's mission.

I'm assuming the majority of posters here live in countries where they enjoy unfettered freedom to both practice and promote their Catholic Faith.  It seems hypocrytical to say the Church should not work for that same right for others less fortunate in this regard, it what ever way She can get it done.

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#9
(05-18-2009, 01:58 AM)moneil Wrote: As to my second question, I hardly think that for a Roman or Eastern Catholic to believe that the Holy Spirit is sufficienty powerful to protect, guide and prosper the Church to be an absurd concept.  In fact, to believe otherwise doesn't seem Catholic.

No body suggested the Holy Ghost does not have the power promised by Our Lord, that is why I thought  your question questionable.


Also, I think you need to reread the article you gave a link to.  Very intersting history but nothing new and some of it very damning to your cause.  It's really hard to miss the first two paragraphs, since they set the tone and smack Catholics that don't have the proper world view...or are we somehow better today with an evolved understanding (whata loada).

Without reading and comprehending the first two paragraphs a person with a modern world view will be lost.  (I'm not sayn' I ain't onea the lost)
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#10
(05-18-2009, 01:27 AM)Underdog Wrote: However, I believe you may be wrong about DH as well.  It seems to grant the right of religious freedom to all religions (not just exclusively to the Church) whether true or false.  Does it not? 

These types would say that you need to read it in "the light of tradition",  I have sort of addressed that above, about the vagueness..
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