Religious Liberty & Church Teaching
#1
Hello all,

I was hoping some could direct me to sources which explicate the teachings of the Church on this question. I am interested both in what the Magisterium has to say, as well as commentaries/articles on this issue.

From my limited insight into the issue, the way I 'see' it is this: the State has the right to restrict/outlaw the public exercise of false religions unless doing so will more greatly harm the common good than refraining to do so.


Reply
#2
LIBERTAS, ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xi...as_en.html
Reply
#3
Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, n. 14  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Greg16/g16mirar.htm
Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, n. 3  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9quanta.htm
Syllabus of Errors, nn. 77-79  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9syll.htm
Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, n. 36  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13sta.htm
Libertas Praestantissimum, n. 30  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13liber.htm
Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, n. 31  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11BRENN.HTM  (Is he talking about Catholic believers or all believers, regardless of religion?)
Non Abbiamo Bisogno, n. 41  http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11FAC.HTM
Pope Pius XII, Ci Riesce, IV-V  http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/p12ciri.htm

Bishop de Smedt's Relatio on Religious Liberty: http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...903.0.html

My post in another thread: http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...sg33471239  ["What we know is that: 'that which is not true or moral has no objective right to existence, promotion, or practice' (Bl. Pius XII) and man cannot 'be forced to embrace the Catholic faith against his will' (Pope Leo XIII).

"Tanquerey stated that the freedom of non-Catholics to practice their false religions was a kind of 'toleration,' but the Roman Pontiffs 'do forbid that these liberties be considered as rights which must be granted to error or to false religion'" (A Manual of Dogmatic Theology, vol. I, sec. 281, p. 168).]

A thread from not so long ago: http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...sg33471239

Some articles on the issue:

http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives...ussion.htm
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/feature...iberty.pdf
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/feature...erty_2.pdf
Reply
#4
Thanks for the above resources.

Also, I did find some articles by Fr Harrison who contends Dignitatis Humanae is not per se inconsistent with the pre-conciliar Magisterium.
THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY - http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt44.html#II . Review of Michael Davies' book. 
Religious Liberty: "Rights" versus "Tolerance"    http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt16.html#II
PIUS IX, VATICAN II AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt9.html#II
Reply
#5
(07-22-2011, 09:02 PM)Lagrange Wrote: Also, I did find some articles by Fr Harrison who contends Dignitatis Humanae is not per se inconsistent with the pre-conciliar Magisterium.


Not sure how. The Magisterium speaks:

Syllabus errorum Wrote:(It is a condemned proposition that)15. 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.

The Council speaks:

Dignitatis Humanae Wrote: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.
Reply
#6
Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but I've been looking into this a lot lately and this seems to be the most recent relevant thread to share what I've come upon.

I think the "common good" power of the state should only be looked at after establishing more general principles:

From what I’ve found, the traditional principles are as follows (I’ll link to an extensive essay at the end by a certain professor which documents these principles more thoroughly):

1) There are two spheres governed by two powers: the temporal governed by the State and the spiritual governed by the Church.

2) The State may only coerce those within its jurisdiction in temporal matters (such as the natural law--this is what the criminal penal code is all about, for example).

3) The Church may coerce those subject to its jurisdiction in spiritual matters.(this is still the case: Can. 1311 — Nativum et proprium Ecclesiae ius est christifideles delinquentes poenalibus sanctionibus coercere. (1983 Code of Canon Law)). Those subject to its jurisdiction are the Baptized (cf. Canon 204). Some theologians argued that this did not apply to those born and baptized into old separated groups (Cardinal Manning argued this, for example), but as far as I can tell canon law past and present has not made this distinction.

4)The State may generally only coerce the Baptized when those in power are themselves members of the Church and are acting on behalf the Church and according to the will of the Church--since then it is the Church's power of coercion being exercised (this practice can be found primarily in the medieval age of Christendom, when the Church and State were essentially the same society).

Neither the Church nor the State may coerce the unbaptized in spiritual matters since the state has no coercive power over spiritual matters and the unbaptized are not within the Church's jurisdiction. There’s seems to be a split of opinions as to whether the state can coerce idolaters since the knowledge of one God can be known with natural reason. From what I've read, I would conclude it can.

Vatican II's Decree on Religious Liberty is only addressing the fact that the political authority has no right in and of itself to coerce in spiritual matters and then gives practical recommendations. That does not address the Church's coercive power. It speaks only of a right before the State, not a right before the Church or before God. It also defines religioun in terms of setting one’s life to God, so it does not address idolatry either.

Here is a great paper on all this:
http://kcl.academia.edu/ThomasPink/Paper...us_liberty

The state may also place limits on religious freedom when the common good requires (this is affirmed explicitly by the CCC and less clearly by Vatican II's Decree). This idea is what was at issue primarily in the famous 19th century Magisterial interventions on these matters along with the matter of the supernatural obligation of faith as opposed to the absolute freedom of reason alone. They condemn certain absolutist claims to an unlimited freedom, but do not mean to assert the opposite absolute. Cardinal Newman explains this well here in his defense of the encyclical Quanta Cura:

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion6.html

I hope that is helpful!
Reply
#7
(07-22-2011, 09:11 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(07-22-2011, 09:02 PM)Lagrange Wrote: Also, I did find some articles by Fr Harrison who contends Dignitatis Humanae is not per se inconsistent with the pre-conciliar Magisterium.


Not sure how. The Magisterium speaks:

Syllabus errorum Wrote:(It is a condemned proposition that)15. 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.

The Council speaks:

Dignitatis Humanae Wrote: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.

From the quotes you contrast at least, no contradiction is present. What DH affirms (a right to immunity from coercion in false religious practice, within due limits) is not what the Syllabus condemns (a moral right to practice a false religion).

And even if we interpret that Syllabus condemnation as negating the right to be left alone (immunity from coercion), DH does not affirm this right absolutely, but conditionally, "within due limits".
Reply
#8
SaintSebastian, regarding your second point, traditional teaching has always affirmed the right of the State to consider revealed moral law, not just the natural law. It is on this basis that the State justly can favor the Catholic Religion insofar as it is the true revealed religion.

And DH speaks of understanding ''due limits'' of religious freedom as being measured against the "objective moral order" which by definition includes both natural and revealed truths.
Reply
#9
(11-04-2011, 06:45 PM)Lagrange Wrote: SaintSebastian, regarding your second point, traditional teaching has always affirmed the right of the State to consider revealed moral law, not just the natural law. It is on this basis that the State justly can favor the Catholic Religion insofar as it is the true revealed religion.

Of course, all men, including rulers must consider the supernatural, but that doesn't give all men a coercive power over others in supernatural matters.  The state, on its own, does not have this power (just like you and I do not have this power), but this power can be delegated by the Church if the ecclesiastical authority so chooses.

"Punishment of crimes only belongs to civil magistrates in so far as those crimes are contrary to political ends, public peace and human justice; but coercion with respect to those deeds which are opposed to religion and to the salvation of the soul, is essentially a function of spiritual power, so that the authority to make use of temporal penalties for the purposes of such correction must have been allotted in particular to this spiritual power, whether the penalties are to be inflicted directly by the said power, or whether it avails itself of the ministry of its temporal arm that all things may be done decently, in order and efficaciously." Francisco Suarez, Defensio fidei catholicae Book 3, chapter 23, para 19

Quote:And DH speaks of understanding ''due limits'' of religious freedom as being measured against the "objective moral order" which by definition includes both natural and revealed truths.

Do you know where I can find that definition (and I may be confusing terms used differently in different contexts)? I've been looking and only find the "moral order" related to reason, not faith (faith is how we receive and come to know revealed truths). For example, St. Thomas says: "For good and evil in the moral order depend on agreement or disagreement with reason, as stated above (Question 18, Article 5): just as in the order of nature, a thing is said to be natural, if it agrees with nature, and unnatural, if it disagrees." I've come across various commentaries that define the moral order as "Order that reason in deliberating establishes in the operations of the will."
Reply
#10
(07-22-2011, 09:11 PM)jovan66102 Wrote:
(07-22-2011, 09:02 PM)Lagrange Wrote: Also, I did find some articles by Fr Harrison who contends Dignitatis Humanae is not per se inconsistent with the pre-conciliar Magisterium.


Not sure how. The Magisterium speaks:

Syllabus errorum Wrote:(It is a condemned proposition that)15. 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.

The Council speaks:

Dignitatis Humanae Wrote: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.

I posted the exact same thing a little while back, and received a negative reaction.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)