Our seperated Brethren,From the words of St.Augustine of Hippo
(07-29-2010, 11:51 PM)James02 Wrote: The heresies were suppressed by temporal authority.  But the heretics were not forced to be Catholics.  So much for the religious liberty doctrine of Vat. II.

Do you know in what way they were suppressed? For example, Francisco Suarez interprets St. Thomas in this manner:

Quote: St. Thomas, however, rightly distinguishes two kinds of religious practices: there are those which go against reason and against God insofar as he can be recognized through nature and through the natural powers of the soul, e.g., the worship of idols, etc. Others are contrary to the Christian religion and to its commands not because they are evil in themselves or contrary to reason as, for example, the practices of Jews and even many of the customs of Mohammedans and such unbelievers who believe in one true God.
As regards the other religious practices of unbelievers which go contrary to Christian beliefs but not counter to natural reason, there is no doubt but that the unbelievers, even though they are subjects, may not be forced to abandon them. Rather the Church has to tolerate them.

St. Gregory addressed himself clearly to this problem regarding Jews, and he forbade anyone to deprive them of their synagogues or to prevent them from observing their religious practices therein. (Lib. I Epistol. 34) Elsewhere he reaffirmed that no one should prevent Jews from participating in their religious observances. (Lib. II. Ep. 15) The reason is that such observances do not in themselves violate the natural law, and therefore, the temporal power of even a Christian ruler does not confer a right to forbid them. Such action would be based on the fact that what is being done goes contrary to the Christian Faith, but that is not enough to compel those who are not subject to the spiritual authority of the Church. This opinion is also supported by the fact that such a ban would involve, to some extent, forcing people to accept the Faith; and that is never permitted.
Tract. de Fide Disp. 18 Sect. III

In regards to the Vatican II declaration on religious liberty, it maintains--especially in light of subsequent texts--that religious error can be suppressed if the common good requires, which has always been the justification for temporal punishments for pertinacious heretics.  Also, it seems taught more commonly by the Magisterium that persuasion, etc. rather than limits on freedom by forceful suppression is the preferable means, especially for those born into false religious communities (as opposed to a Catholic born into a Catholic society who becomes a heretic and goes around destroying the peace, unity, and well-being of that society). For example, Pope Paul III declared the following in regards to peoples in the Americas and elsewhere:

Quote:We, who, though unworthy, exercise on earth the power of our Lord and seek with all our might to bring those sheep of His flock who are outside into the fold committed to our charge, consider, however, that the Indians are truly men and that they are not only capable of understanding the Catholic Faith but, according to our information, they desire exceedingly to receive it. Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.

By virtue of Our apostolic authority We define and declare by these present letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, which shall thus command the same obedience as the originals, that the said Indians and other peoples should be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ by preaching the word of God and by the example of good and holy living.
Sublimus Dei

Granted, punishments for non-Catholics which deprive them of property (fines), liberty (imprisonment or exile), and even life have been meted out and supported by even Doctors of the Church (Sts Thomas and Robert Bellarmine have good explanations of this), but they were meted out as increasingly last resorts when the specific heretic's actions became completely intolerable to the common good of the particular society (after fraternal correction, rebukes, and argument, came fines and so forth with death being used for some particularly malicious and incorrigible individuals).

This chapter of Bishop Von Ketteler's work on Religious Freedom explains this well (this prominent 19th century work was re-published many times and never received any censure AFAIK):


Basically, I'm wondering if the situation with the Donatists fell into the category where such suppression--depending on what it specifically was--would be justified (especially in regards to the the second generation Donatists mentioned by St. Augustine). St. Augustine seems to think so, although he also seems to employ strictly a results-based analysis.

Quote: In regards to the Vatican II declaration on religious liberty

If you follow along with the debate on this forum about Vat. II, then you should know by now the main issue many Trads have with it is the ambiguity and Hegelism.

Which is why it needs to be suppressed.
(07-28-2010, 10:38 PM)St.Ambrose Wrote: Those then who tell us: You are not our brothers, are saying that we are pagans. That is why they want to baptise us again, claiming that we do not have what they can give. Hence their error of denying that we are their brothers. Why then did the prophet tell us: Say to them: You are our brothers? It is because we acknowledge in them that which we do not repeat. By not recognising our baptism, they deny that we are their brothers; on the other hand, when we do not repeat their baptism but acknowledge it to be our own, we are saying to them: You are our brothers.

If they say, “Why do you seek us? What do you want of us?” we should reply: You are our brothers. They may say, “Leave us alone. We have nothing to do with you.” But we have everything to do with you, for we are one in our belief in Christ; and so we should be in one body, under one head.

And so, dear brothers, we entreat you on their behalf, in the name of the very source of our love, by whose milk we are nourished, and whose bread is our strength, in the name of Christ our Lord and his gentle love. For it is time now for us to show them great love and abundant compassion by praying to God for them. May he one day give them a clear mind to repent and to realise that they have nothing now but the sickness of their hatred, and the stronger they think they are, the weaker they become. We entreat you then to pray for them, for they are weak, given to the wisdom of the flesh, to fleshly and carnal things, but yet they are our brothers. They celebrate the same sacraments as we, not indeed with us, but still the same. They respond with the same Amen, not with us, but still the same. And so pour out your hearts for them in prayer to God.

Saint Augustine, Ex Enarratiónibus sancti Augustíni epíscopi in psalmos (Ps 32, 29: CCL 38, 272-273).

I find this to be a good defense for the church's teachings on "Seperated Brethren".This is just something I found that was pretty profound for being from a Pre-Vatican II source and from a saint of great respect.I would love to hear what you think of this and what our relationship should be with these seperated brethren.Who are exactly our seperated brethren? The Schismatics?The Heretics?Or both?

Very helpful.  I think it helps to put things in perspective with respect to Vatican II and the proper (traditional) Catholic attitudes toward our "separated brethren".

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