Dignitatis Humanae Revisited
#41
(05-21-2009, 08:48 PM)columba Wrote:
(05-21-2009, 05:48 PM)anthony Wrote: Mirai Vos, while I have only read it once, seems to be irrelevant to a discussion of current affairs. While the ideal stays the same, we live in an imperfect world, and one that has drastically changed from that of Gregory, Clement and Pius.

I understand where you are coming from. You seek practical, real-world solutions that can actually work. However, you must ask yourself if you have not been misled by the media milieu. Turn off the TV!!

The only "world" that concerns the documents in question is human nature, which has not changed one iota. You can be sure that enemies of the Church operate accordingly while covering their tracks with media illusions of "change". They genuinely fear the teachings of the old Popes while pretending to despise them. Wake up my friend.

Has implementation of Vatican II actually helped or hurt the Church over the past 45 years?

The implimentation that took place has not been satisfactory. Its better than nothing. But members of the Church have indeed been mislead by secular propaganda, and have taken great liberties with the council mandates. Paul VI set the record I'm afraid. :(

I seek something of a practical approach. Right. I don't think there's harm in that, so long as we know who we are and why we're here. We're not here to twiddle our thumbs while the world sends itself to hell. Nor can we keep this from happening by shouting from atop some tower with no means of condescending below. This is what I think DH stood for, that condescension. It was not extremely well done. It was too modest an effort in my opinion...But I don't know if the council fathers weren't limited in what they could say, politically, and if they lacked a kind of hindsight that would give them confidence in making more risky (by the world's standards) comments.

I find this essay quite helpful.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=YT0Co8kyl7AC&pg=PA359&lpg=PA359&dq=F.+Russell+Hittinger,+Dignitatis+Humanae&source=bl&ots=9coi-LrAe6&sig=nvcTFTJ13c55Z-pgTPVTnSOUWqk&hl=en&ei=mp4WSu3QMJDflQeM7MHWCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1
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#42
"anthony" Wrote:I seek something of a practical approach.

Anthony,

The "practical approach" is always advised by the Church. The Church is very protective of individual liberty, that's why She has condemned both communism and socialism.

DH changed (by the drafter's own admission) the PRINCIPLES and obscured them to those who tried to put an orthodox spin on DH.

Here is Pope Pius XII once again, why won't you address this and show us your true colors:

"Ci Riesce" Wrote:Thus the two principles are clarified to which recourse must be had in concrete cases for the answer to the serious question concerning the attitude which the jurist, the statesman and the sovereign Catholic state is to adopt in consideration of the community of nations in regard to a formula of religious and moral toleration as described above. First: that which does not correspond to truth or to the norm of  morality objectively bas no right to exist, to be spread, or to be activated. Secondly: failure to impede this with civil laws and coercive measures can nevertheless be justified in the interests of a higher and more general good.

The Pope speaks of "concrete cases" here. Your "practical approach" must be guided by these principles; if you're a Catholic.

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#43
(05-18-2009, 04:45 AM)Scipio_a Wrote: No body suggested the Holy Ghost does not have the power promised by Our Lord, that is why I thought your question questionable.

I’m perceiving a decided lack of confidence by some in the Catholic Faith’s (which is the only faith to have the Holy Spirit) ability to hold its own in a competitive environment.  The Church has often flourished in times of persecution and opposition.  I am not suggesting that She not take recourse of a temporal, civic advantage if one is available.  However, she doesn’t need it to fulfill Her mission (look at the first few centuries), and I believe we should have more faith and confidence in what God can do.  That is my point.

(05-18-2009, 04:45 AM)Scipio_a Wrote: Also, I think you need to reread the article you gave a link to.  Very interesting 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)

I really have no cause – I just want to have the freedom to practice my Catholic faith without coercion from the civil authorities, and I would hope that Catholics in every part of the world would enjoy this same right; and also, that the Church would have the right to continue to take the Gospel to every corner of the earth – and that all peoples, exercising their free will, would have the right to embrace the true faith.  That’s all.

As to the Catholic Encyclopedia article http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm, I posted that because in a previous post you had said:

(05-18-2009, 01:25 AM)Scipio_a Wrote: I'm not sure this [bodily compulsion, as the Summa.. calls it] ever really happened, but to act as if some zelots made widespread use of beatings is absolutely absurd.

I was providing an authoritative citation that this did indeed happen.  I’m not sure how it damages my “cause.”  As you aptly noted, the first two paragraphs are very important.  Likewise, the first two paragraphs of DH are very important, and to read the document outside of that context can lead to false interpretations.

In the CE article I found particularly interesting the citation of St. Cyprian of Carthage:

Quote:…surrounded as he was by countless schismatics and undutiful Christians, also put aside the material sanction of the Old Testament, which punished with death rebellion against priesthood and the Judges. "Nunc autem, quia circumcisio spiritalis esse apud fideles servos Dei coepit, spiritali gladio superbi et contumaces necantur, dum de Ecclesia ejiciuntur" (Epistle 61, no. 4) religion being now spiritual, its sanctions take on the same character, and excommunication replaces the death of the body. Lactantius was yet smarting under the scourge of bloody persecutions, when he wrote this Divine Institutes in A.D. 308. Naturally, therefore, he stood for the most absolute freedom of religion. He writes:
Religion being a matter of the will, it cannot be forced on anyone; in this matter it is better to employ words than blows [verbis melius quam verberibus res agenda est]. Of what use is cruelty? What has the rack to do with piety? Surely there is no connection between truth and violence, between justice and cruelty . . . . It is true that nothing is so important as religion, and one must defend it at any cost [summâ vi] . . . It is true that it must be protected, but by dying for it, not by killing others; by long-suffering, not by violence; by faith, not by crime. If you attempt to defend religion with bloodshed and torture, what you do is not defense, but desecration and insult. For nothing is so intrinsically a matter of free will as religion. (Divine Institutes V:20)
The Christian teachers of the first three centuries insisted, as was natural for them, on complete religious liberty; furthermore, they not only urged the principle that religion could not be forced on others -- a principle always adhered to by the Church in her dealings with the unbaptised -- but, when comparing the Mosaic Law and the Christian religion, they taught that the latter was content with a spiritual punishment of heretics (i.e. with excommunication), while Judaism necessarily proceeded against its dissidents with torture and death.
(05-17-2009, 08:07 PM)columba Wrote:
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.

Your history is backwards. The famous "Penal Laws" along with whipping posts, torture racks, and stakes were implemented in Great Britain by the anti-Catholic monarch Elizabeth I to destroy the Catholic Church. The Penal Laws lasted 200 years until the early 1800's and were largely successful except among the Irish who only endured through immense suffering and fierce resistance.

My history is just fine.  I am well aware of what the Penal Laws were (the family name is O’Neil, with McGuigian, Jennings, Dunn, and Hogan in the line).  I was using that as an example of the danger of allowing a temporal civil authority to have constitutional ecclesial authority (a danger that DH addresses).  The instruments of bodily compulsion (as the Summa refers to them) existed well before Elizabeth I.  Before her father Henry VIII apostatized, heretics were routinely torched.  I recently read a biography of St. Thomas More, one of my most admired saints, and before the English apostasy he would sometimes attend these “firing ups”, as they were called, I presume as part of one of his official offices.  Later in his life, after the King had apostatized and St. Thomas had resigned or had been stripped of all of his offices, he wished nothing more than to live quietly, almost as a monk, and to care for his family and practice his faith in peace and solitude.  He then came to hold a view of religious freedom very similar to that expressed by St. Cyprian of Carthage, as cited above.  And, he was canonized!  And, let us not forget Elizabeth I's immediate predecessor, her half sister Mary I, who wasn’t called Bloody Mary for nothing.

(05-17-2009, 08:07 PM)columba Wrote: As a result of Vatican II, anti-Catholics are again establishing unchecked political control as in Elizabethan Great Britain and have started to re-implement the Penal Laws. Unless the spirit of Vatican II is overturned, Catholic officials will continue to emulate the English bishops bowing and scraping before anti-Catholic politicians who are now implementing the modern equivalent of whipping posts, torture racks, and stakes for non-compliant Catholics. We will need to endure like the English martyrs and the Irish nation before us.

Are there any examples of these supposed re-implemented Penal Laws?  Me thinks not, but if there were, that is exactly the kind of thing that DH condemns!

(05-18-2009, 11:26 AM)veritatem_dilexisti Wrote:
(05-18-2009, 02:37 AM)moneil Wrote: 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 openly practice their faith, and perhaps suffer severe persecution if they were found to be practicing their faith (Soviet Union, China, Burma, parts of India, Saudi Arabia, to mention just a few), our Holy Mother Church, under the guidance 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.

Here is the list of confessional Catholic states on 7 December 1965, date of the promulgation of Dignitatis Humanae:
- Argentina;
- Bolivia;
- Costa Rica;
- Haiti;
- Italy;
- Liechtenstein;
- Malta;
- Monaco;
- Spain;
- Swiss cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Uri and Zug;
- Vatican City.

Thank you for the list.  Ten countries, plus 5 Swiss cantons, out of 190 some (depending on the list) countries in the world I do believe would mean that there were few confessionals Catholic states outside of the Vatican City state, as I mentioned.  I don’t have time to go do the math, but I’m pretty sure these countries represent a fairly small minority of the Catholic population in the world.

(05-18-2009, 11:26 AM)veritatem_dilexisti Wrote: Additionally, basically all people in the Western bloc could freely preach and practise Catholicism.
As they can today.  The point?  Let’s talk about Catholics in China, Burma, India, Pakistan, the Islamic parts of Sudan and Nigeria, the Eastern Block countries, to mention a tiny fraction of examples that could be mentioned.
[/quote]

(05-18-2009, 11:26 AM)veritatem_dilexisti Wrote:
(05-18-2009, 01:58 AM)moneil Wrote: 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 hypocritical to say the Church should not work for that same right for others less fortunate in this regard, in what ever way She can get it done.

No, that is indifferentism.

You seem to have a warped view of what DH says; have you actually read it, or are you only following McMaster's lead?

First, you’ve misunderstood what I meant (and I take responsibility for not being a better writer).  I meant that the Church should work for that same right for other Catholics less fortunate in this regard.  That context was in my preceding paragraph, but I should be have been more explicit.  So, no, it’s not indifferentism.

A lot of posters across the threads here attribute indifferentism, or the danger of that, to DH, some of whom I have a great deal of respect for, such as Quis.  I certainly concur that indifferentism is a danger, and defiantly see that danger in many aspects of the ecumenical movement (though I support an authentic ecumenism and dialogue, properly done).  My simple cowboy mind, however, just doesn’t see “indifferentism” anywhere in DH.

I do believe I have a rather precise view of what DH says, and I have read it.  Given some of the extreme stretches and interpretations I’ve seen of it here, I wonder if several of the posters have read it.

As I have previously said, the first section of DH is critical to its context:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_counc...ae_en.html
Quote: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.
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.

I will leave it others to debate the merits of how DH is written, and how it fits into the tradition of the Church.  I believe the Catholic Encyclopedia article I cited, as well as their article on Religious Tolerance, demonstrate that the Church has approached this topic from different aspects across the ages, according to the circumstances of those times, while not deviating from the traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ, as DH says.

We live in a time when a significant number of the world’s Catholics, and when the vast majority of the world’s peoples who need to be evangelized by the Catholic faith, live in countries where they are not legally free to practice or embrace the Catholic faith.  In some countries they can be subject to the death penalty for conversion (ref. the recent case of the Afghanistan man who was granted asylum in Italy).  The Council Fathers, many of whom were from those very countries, addressed this issue.

The Catholic Church has the Divine right, and by that justly demands the civil right, to preach the Gospel and the true faith in every part of the world.  Those who embrace the true faith through their free will (I’m speaking of both those who convert as well as those baptized in the faith and choose to practice it after the age of reason) have the Divine right, and justly demand the civil right, to practice their faith without impediment from the temporal civil authorities.

DH says this in language that I’m sure was designed to afford it a hearing by non-Catholic civil authorities.  To read more into it is misguided, IMHO.  But, like Scipio, “I'm not sayn' I ain't onea the lost”.

Anyways, most who post here live in countries where they enjoy religious freedom, granted by secular constitutions.  So, debate away.  :duel:

[Edited for spelling]
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#44
"moneil" Wrote:I really have no cause – I just want to have the freedom to practice my Catholic faith without coercion from the civil authorities, and I would hope that Catholics in every part of the world would enjoy this same right; and also, that the Church would have the right to continue to take the Gospel to every corner of the earth – and that all peoples, exercising their free will, would have the right to embrace the true faith.  That’s all.

That's nice moneil, except this isn't the teaching of the Church. The fact that error may be and must be tolerated at times does not correspond to a right to choose error nor a right not to be coerced in any way.

"moneil" Wrote:Thank you for the list.  Ten countries, plus 5 Swiss cantons, out of 190 some (depending on the list) countries in the world I do believe would mean that there were few confessionals Catholic states outside of the Vatican City state, as I mentioned.  I don’t have time to go do the math, but I’m pretty sure these countries represent a fairly small minority of the Catholic population in the world.

I believe these countries were then required to abandon their status as a confessional state because of DH. Are you okay with that, moneil?
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#45
(05-22-2009, 02:16 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote:
"moneil" Wrote:I really have no cause – I just want to have the freedom to practice my Catholic faith without coercion from the civil authorities, and I would hope that Catholics in every part of the world would enjoy this same right; and also, that the Church would have the right to continue to take the Gospel to every corner of the earth – and that all peoples, exercising their free will, would have the right to embrace the true faith.  That’s all.

That's nice moneil, except this isn't the teaching of the Church. The fact that error may be and must be tolerated at times does not correspond to a right to choose error nor a right not to be coerced in any way.

With all due respect, I have no clue what you mean.  As I said: I want the freedom to practice my Catholic faith ... I hope that Catholics in every part of the world enjoy this same right ... that the Church (I hope you understand that I mean the Catholic Church here) have the right to take the Gospel to every corner of the earth ... that all peoples have the right to embrace the true faith.

So, you are saying that Catholics shouldn't have freedom to practice the faith, that the Church shouldn't have the freedom to evangelize the world, that people shouldn't have the freedom to embrace the true faith?  ??? 

As for  your second sentence, did you read the citation from St. Cyprian of Carthage?  The same Catholic Encyclopedia article says  St. Hilary of Poitiers (Liber contra Auxentium, c. iv), protested vigorously against any use of force in the province of religion, whether for the spread of Christianity or for preservation of the Faith.  There is actually a lot of material in this vein.  Are you saying canonized saints taught heresy?  Can you provide documentation that these saints' writings have been supressed?  Otherwise, I must conclude that their positions are also part of the authentic tradition of the Church, and I'm sticking with it.

(05-22-2009, 02:16 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote:
"moneil" Wrote:Thank you for the list.  Ten countries, plus 5 Swiss cantons, out of 190 some (depending on the list) countries in the world I do believe would mean that there were few confessionals Catholic states outside of the Vatican City state, as I mentioned.  I don't have time to go do the math, but I'm pretty sure these countries represent a fairly small minority of the Catholic population in the world.

I believe these countries were then required to abandon their status as a confessional state because of DH. Are you okay with that, moneil?

Are you saying that the Vatican City state is no longer a Catholic confessional state?  ???  I doubt you are correct.  As for the other states, can you provide documentation that none of these are currently Catholic Confessional states?  I realize that some are now not, but DH certainly didn't force the issue, and by no means did it require it (though, in whatever constitutional election or parlimentary debate that would have occured in the process it may have well be cited, probable out of context).  In any event, whatever decission was made in a country regarding it's confessional status was made by the people there, not the Church, and I'd be pretty sure that residents of those countries are no less free to practice their faith today then they were before, unless somebody can document the contrary.

But, the main point I've been committed to making, and which nobody else in this thread has addressed, is what about all the other Catholics in the world, who don't have religious freedom (which is the issue DH is addressing)?  Should the Church say or do nothing to secure their right to embrace and practice the Catholic faith?  Are you okay with that?
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#46
I do not have the time for a point-by-point reply, but you do understand that the Church has always claimed for Herself that freedom which other religions have no right to, yes? Your appeal to presecuted Catholics in reference to DH is irrelevant, since the revolution wrought by DH is precisely that it demanded that right for adherents to all religions and none.
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#47
(05-22-2009, 02:05 PM)moneil Wrote: I’m perceiving a decided lack of confidence by some in the Catholic Faith’s (which is the only faith to have the Holy Spirit) ability to hold its own in a competitive environment.  The Church has often flourished in times of persecution and opposition.  I am not suggesting that She not take recourse of a temporal, civic advantage if one is available.  However, she doesn’t need it to fulfill Her mission (look at the first few centuries), and I believe we should have more faith and confidence in what God can do.  That is my point.

Unnecessarily exposing oneself or one's children to the devil for the sake of  "competitive environment" is false confidence. The Church stands against persecution and opposition for the sake of truth, not to show off a sporting presumption in the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Church must seize and never discard any advantage for salvation of souls. Vatican II tragically discarded institutional authority to the cost of millions of souls.
moneil Wrote:
(05-17-2009, 08:07 PM)columba Wrote: Your history is backwards. The famous "Penal Laws" along with whipping posts, torture racks, and stakes were implemented in Great Britain by the anti-Catholic monarch Elizabeth I to destroy the Catholic Church. The Penal Laws lasted 200 years until the early 1800's and were largely successful except among the Irish who only endured through immense suffering and fierce resistance.

My history is just fine.  I am well aware of what the Penal Laws were (the family name is O’Neil, with McGuigian, Jennings, Dunn, and Hogan in the line).  I was using that as an example of the danger of allowing a temporal civil authority to have constitutional ecclesial authority (a danger that DH addresses).  The instruments of bodily compulsion (as the Summa refers to them) existed well before Elizabeth I.  Before her father Henry VIII apostatized, heretics were routinely torched.  I recently read a biography of St. Thomas More, one of my most admired saints, and before the English apostasy he would sometimes attend these “firing ups”, as they were called, I presume as part of one of his official offices.  Later in his life, after the King had apostatized and St. Thomas had resigned or had been stripped of all of his offices, he wished nothing more than to live quietly, almost as a monk, and to care for his family and practice his faith in peace and solitude.  He then came to hold a view of religious freedom very similar to that expressed by St. Cyprian of Carthage, as cited above.  And, he was canonized!  And, let us not forget Elizabeth I's immediate predecessor, her half sister Mary I, who wasn’t called Bloody Mary for nothing.

Good Queen Mary faced a bloody Protestant insurrection upon taking power but killed far fewer and showed much greater mercy than did her successor against the Catholics. After Queen Mary, English and Scots Catholics suffered eventual genocide at the hands of their Judeo-Protestant successors. With respect, the fact that you would repeat the propaganda of "Bloody Mary" indicates you learned history at a government or Vatican II-inspired institution. I suggest reading Phillip II by William Thomas Walsh. If the Irish had surrendered to DH-style liberalism, your and my ancestors would have been killed off like the more refined English and Scots Catholics. Anti-Catholics are not bound by the niceties of liberal Catholics. Edmund Campion infiltrated England on a mission from the Jesuits and he was canonized.
moneil Wrote:
(05-17-2009, 08:07 PM)columba Wrote: As a result of Vatican II, anti-Catholics are again establishing unchecked political control as in Elizabethan Great Britain and have started to re-implement the Penal Laws. Unless the spirit of Vatican II is overturned, Catholic officials will continue to emulate the English bishops bowing and scraping before anti-Catholic politicians who are now implementing the modern equivalent of whipping posts, torture racks, and stakes for non-compliant Catholics. We will need to endure like the English martyrs and the Irish nation before us.

Are there any examples of these supposed re-implemented Penal Laws?  Me thinks not, but if there were, that is exactly the kind of thing that DH condemns!

Canadian/European anti-Gospel hate speech laws are on the way.

http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/index....-criticism

Anti-Catholics don't care if DH (or the Constitution) gives you freedom of religion. If this is allowed they will continue to tighten the vice since they must destroy the Faith to prevents its restoration. Should the Church respond like English Catholics or Irish?
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#48
(05-22-2009, 03:37 PM)veritatem_dilexisti Wrote: I do not have the time for a point-by-point reply, but you do understand that the Church has always claimed for Herself that freedom which other religions have no right to, yes? Your appeal to presecuted Catholics in reference to DH is irrelevant, since the revolution wrought by DH is precisely that it demanded that right for adherents to all religions and none.

I likewise have not the time, nor the patience, nor the proper theological training to debate this topic - I would refer people to the epic McMaster - Caminus dialogue.

I understand that the Church has always claimed for Herself:

13. ... a sacred freedom, because the only-begotten Son endowed with it the Church which He purchased with His blood. Indeed it is so much the property of the Church that to act against it is to act against the will of God. The freedom of the Church is the fundamental principle in what concerns the relations between the Church and governments and the whole civil order.[/b]

In human society and in the face of government the Church claims freedom for herself in her character as a spiritual authority, established by Christ the Lord, upon which there rests, by divine mandate, the duty of going out into the whole world and preaching the Gospel to every creature.(32) The Church also claims freedom for herself in her character as a society of men who have the right to live in society in accordance with the precepts of the Christian faith.


This gets to the heart of the matter.  We are not dealing with Catholic confessional states, which hardly existed at the time of the Council, and exist even less so now.  They certainly weren't increasing in the years before the Council either.  Some claim that DH was responsible for the continued decline in the number of Catholic confessional states, but I've seen no documentation of that (other than citations of some people quoting DH out of context), so that theory is on my "urban legend" list, until proven otherwise.  Other causes of this decline are better documented.  The various citations of the Popes regarding the Church's preeminent right (which must also be taken in the context of the entire documents that contain them) were written generally in a time when a) the Holy Father was geographically born into, raised and educated in, and functioned from a region of the world where the population and culture were homogeneous, Catholic, and governments in those countries were deferential to the Church; and b) imperial colonialism gave the Church access to large areas of the non-Catholic world to evangelize.

We don't live in that world today.  We live in a world where modern transportation, communication, and immigration have caused a very different mission field to exist than in those past eras of which the Popes wrote.  Like most things, this causes both challenges and opportunities.

In the face of this situation, our Holy Mother the Church may well benefit from the following:
(33) In turn, where the principle of religious freedom is not only proclaimed in words or simply incorporated in law but also given sincere and practical application, there the Church succeeds in achieving a stable situation of right as well as of fact and the independence which is necessary for the fulfillment of her divine mission.  This independence is precisely what the authorities of the Church claim in society.(34) At the same time, the Christian faithful, in common with all other men, possess the civil right not to be hindered in leading their lives in accordance with their consciences. Therefore, a harmony exists between the freedom of the Church and the religious freedom which is to be recognized as the right of all men and communities and sanctioned by constitutional law.

People can (and do here) rant and rave all they want about how DH contradicts what this or that former Pope said.  Do I think those Popes were wrong? NO.  Likewise, I don't think St. Cyprian of Carthage, whom I cited earlier, was wrong (and try and reconcile his statements with some of those papal quotes!, or some of the things St. Thomas More wrote regarding religious liberty, after the English apostasy).  The Church across the ages has responded differently to the real world situation she encounters, while always leaving "...  untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ."  It is true that Pope Leo XIII expressed concern about "Americanism" (I don't know if he really condemned it, as some say, but I don't have time to read up on that at the moment).  Yet, in almost the same breath, as it were, he expressed admiration and joy over the growth and fruitfullness of the Catholic Church in America, made possible by ... what? .... oh, religious freedom, guaranteed by a secular (feel free to insert masonic here, for those who enjoy that sort of thing) constitution.  So as not to unduly promote and give credence to a concept of religious freedom, instead of expressing admiration and joy over the Church's growth (under the "masonic" constitution, mind you), perhaps His Holiness should have ordered all those naughty immigrants to immediately pack their bags, abandon those shores of satanic religious indulgence, and get themselves back to a true Catholic country?  Actually, it was the faithfullness of the sons and daughters of the Church, the fact that they possessed the true faith, and the working of the Holy Spirit, that produced that growth and fruitfullness, but the First Amendment certainly helped make it possible.  While it is always a tricky proposition to run a reverse prophesy on history, there are good indicators that without the First Amendment in the US Constitution, the Catholic immigrants wouldn't have been let in to begin with.

14. In order to be faithful to the divine command, "teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19-20), the Catholic Church must work with all urgency and concern "that the word of God be spread abroad and glorified" (2 Thess. 3:1). Hence the Church earnestly begs of its children that, "first of all, supplications, prayers, petitions, acts of thanksgiving be made for all men.... For this is good and agreeable in the sight of God our Savior, who wills that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1-4). In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church.(35) For the Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, and authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ Himself, and also to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origins in human nature itself. Furthermore, let Christians walk in wisdom in the face of those outside, "in the Holy Spirit, in unaffected love, in the word of truth" (2 Cor. 6:6-7), and let them be about their task of spreading the light of life with all confidence(36) and apostolic courage, even to the shedding of their blood.

As I said above, before my ramble  ;D, I've not the knowledge, nor any mandate from the magisteriem, to in engage in profound theological debate.  It seems self evident to me, though, that the Church has a Divine mission to evangelize the world, and to accomplish that mission, in the circumstances of today's world, She needs to succeed "... in achieving a stable situation of right as well as of fact and the independence which is necessary for the fulfillment of her divine mission", and that right and independence needs to come from governments that are either secular or non-Catholic confessional states.

For those who feel that DH did not approach this in an appropriate way, I think they have an intellectual obligation to present an alternate approach, and I would be fascinated to hear it.  If there are those who will argue that the plight of persecuted Catholics is irrelevant  :o, ; I can't reconcile that with anything the Church teaches, I'll just have to pray harder on their behalf.
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#49
But DH is not talking about adaptation to a transient situation regarding the freedom of the Church; it proclaims religious liberty as an intrinsic human right. Do you really not see how wrong that is?

Oh, and if you think that DH was not used to justify liberalisation of a confessional Catholic state, why is it that less than a year after having called it a "concession to atheism", Spain's Roman Catholic hierarchy referred to it in 1966 in issuing a "38-page letter, redefining the relations between church and state in the light of the Second Vatican Council, [speaking out] for political and economic freedom within Spain"? How low they had fallen since the time of Cardinal Segura!
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#50
(05-22-2009, 03:20 PM)moneil Wrote: But, the main point I've been committed to making, and which nobody else in this thread has addressed, is what about all the other Catholics in the world, who don't have religious freedom (which is the issue DH is addressing)?  Should the Church say or do nothing to secure their right to embrace and practice the Catholic faith?

I have addressed this point repeatedly since the beginning of this thread but you have not responded. Non-Catholics are not bound by Church teaching.
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