Religious Liberty
#1
I am trying to understand the Catholic idea of Religious Liberty. Can somone explain? Offer reading suggestions?

Thanks!
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#2
Here's a thread I created a little bit back on what the Church teaches. It contains an excerpt from Archbishop Lefebvre's Open Letter to Confused Catholics.

http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...=3451102.0
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#3
(07-22-2012, 10:19 PM)Crusader_Philly Wrote: Here's a thread I created a little bit back on what the Church teaches. It contains an excerpt from Archbishop Lefebvre's Open Letter to Confused Catholics.

http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...=3451102.0

Thank you.  I will check this out today.
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#4
To me, this is the best survey of Catholic doctrine on this topic in light of the Church's understanding in the medieval period through today. 

http://kcl.academia.edu/ThomasPink/Paper...us_liberty


Here's another decent essay by a prominant 19th century bishop:
http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2008/07/on-...art-i.html

Here are some other 19th century works that help put the papal interventions from that era in context:
http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2009/08/int...art-i.html

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion6.html
http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion7.html
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#5
(07-23-2012, 09:19 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: To me, this is the best survey of Catholic doctrine on this topic in light of the Church's understanding in the medieval period through today. 

http://kcl.academia.edu/ThomasPink/Paper...us_liberty


Here's another decent essay by a prominant 19th century bishop:
http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2008/07/on-...art-i.html

Here are some other 19th century works that help put the papal interventions from that era in context:
http://opuscula.blogspot.com/2009/08/int...art-i.html

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion6.html
http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion7.html

Wow. Thanks!  This will take a while to read through, but thank you!
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#6
The only thing that has a right to exist is truth.  When the USCCB speaks of "religious liberty" they speak of a condemned, Enlightenment ideal.  They should be specifically calling for "Catholic freedom". 

I understand that they're trying to work within the framework that they have, but the ends don't justify a condemned means.
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#7
(07-23-2012, 12:25 PM)Walty Wrote: The only thing that has a right to exist is truth.  When the USCCB speaks of "religious liberty" they speak of a condemned, Enlightenment ideal.  They should be specifically calling for "Catholic freedom". 

I understand that they're trying to work within the framework that they have, but the ends don't justify a condemned means.
Spot on.
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#8
(07-23-2012, 12:25 PM)Walty Wrote: The only thing that has a right to exist is truth. 

But not every means is permitted to repress it or to spread the truth (we're not followers of Muhammed), and not all licit means are licit for all people . The ordinary means to be used is preaching and the example of good and holy living, not by forcibly depriving others of their liberty(cf. Paul III, Sublimus Dei). 

This is how I understand the Church's perenniel doctrine on religious liberty (the links I attached above flesh a lot of this out with citations, etc.):
God has created man so that his faith should be a free act,  aided by grace.
--The Church's sphere is the spiritual, and she may coerce those subject to her jurisdiction (ie the baptized) in matters of faith and morals with both spiritual and temporal means (cf. 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canons 1311 and 1312). The Church may coerce, because by being baptized, one consents to it.
--The state's sphere is the temporal, and it may therefore coerce people in matters related to the natural law and matters of reason, but ordinarily not matters of faith.  Therefore, a man can correctly be said to have a right before the state to religious liberty, if said "right" refers only to the direct relationship between man and the state (the state in and of itself), and not in the metaphysical sense relating to God or man's moral obligations. 
--If those who wield the temporal power are subjects of the Church, the Church may choose to delegate her power to use temporal coercion in matters of faith against the baptized to the temporal power to act as her arm.
--The state has a general authority to defend the common good, and may therefore coerce even religious matters as the common good requires (as such, the limits imposed in this way are provisional and will vary depending on the circumstances.

Tying this into what the US bishops are saying, contraception is technically a natural law issue, not a religious issue per se, so as such the gov't doesn't have the right to force anyone to participate in it. That being said, it has become a peculiar Catholic issue in our time and country and I don't think it is wrong to frame it as a religious issue when making a strictly legal argument.  That being said, I also don't think it's wong to claim a right to religious liberty (as described above) before the US federal gov't, since it has not been delegated any coercive power by the Church (and it is not a Catholic state), and with a diverse population, broad limits are not contrary to the common good.

As an aside, the bishops did not condemn the Supreme Court saying the states could outlaw religious peyote smoking or fundamentalist Mormon polygamy, or other such things so they don't seem to be promoting the absolutist propositions condemned in the 19th century.
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#9
The following quote is from another thread on this topic.  (Here is the thread:  http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...862.0.html)

SouthpawLink often provides excellent references on such matters.
(07-22-2011, 02:09 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote: 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
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#10
SaintSebastian recommened http://opuscula.blogspot.com/

It was very well written and helped clarify a lot.

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