Does traditional Catholicism basically convince or compel?
#11
(04-07-2015, 01:17 AM)richgr Wrote: There is certainly an interesting intellectual difficulty in reconciling the free embracing of faith and external compulsion to convert, but I doubt that this was as much of an issue as most try to make it out to be.

It is not really an issue because we are speaking of two different concepts of freedom in each case.

To make an act of Faith is a purely internal act of the will. Nothing can coerce such an act, because the will is free. I can be compelled to say certain things, or perform certain external actions, even to the point of convincingly faking a conversion, but there is no real conversion without the internal act of Faith.

To externally compel certain behavior for the sake of the legitimate common good in no way undermines this free will. Thus a Catholic State could oblige all subjects to attend Sunday sermons in the Catholic Churches, even the non-Catholic subjects. They could deny certain civil rights to non-Catholics. They could also determine that the common good is best served by tolerating for a time certain the public profession of errors and public acts of sects, because action against them at present would instead harm the common good. The State or Church has no power to demand of a non-Catholic some act of Faith, however.

Not only is there this impossibility on the psychological level, but concrete attempts to compel such conversions have always been massive failures. People play along, then when the authority isn't breathing down their neck, they go back to their old ways.

There can be external coercion, however. The very nature of the role of the State to protect to common good demands this.

In short, only when we muddle the idea of "freedom" or "liberty" do we have to start talking about "religious liberty".

Given the present situation of the world, however, in most cases authentic Catholicism is so marginalized that the role of the Catholic is to sanctify himself, and hopefully by his behavior lead other souls to see another Christ. This means developing and growing in the spiritual life; educating oneself in the Faith and related matters, especially in philosophy and theology; and trying to be both Catholic and reasonably "normal" so that those around us see we're different, but in a good way, not just freaks.
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#12
(04-08-2015, 11:07 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: To make an act of Faith is a purely internal act of the will. Nothing can coerce such an act, because the will is free. I can be compelled to say certain things, or perform certain external actions, even to the point of convincingly faking a conversion, but there is no real conversion without the internal act of Faith.

In your understanding, how does this work in the opposite direction, in matters of forced apostasy under torture?
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#13
(04-08-2015, 11:33 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(04-08-2015, 11:07 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: To make an act of Faith is a purely internal act of the will. Nothing can coerce such an act, because the will is free. I can be compelled to say certain things, or perform certain external actions, even to the point of convincingly faking a conversion, but there is no real conversion without the internal act of Faith.

In your understanding, how does this work in the opposite direction, in matters of forced apostasy under torture?

A Catholic who has the Faith is obliged to profess the Faith in certain circumstances. The attempt to get one to apostatize is just such an occasion.

While torture could reduce the culpability of one who does apostatize, objectively one who denies the Faith after having accepted it commits a grave sin against Faith.

Note that the dissimulation in either case would itself be sinful -- one cannot lie, but that's an obvious side matter.

One may never fake apostasy because the external actions express outwardly to others a denial of the Faith. That expression alone is gravely sinful and gravely scandalous.

[i]Edited by Vox to fix formatting problem[/i]
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#14
(04-08-2015, 09:09 AM)Dirigible Wrote: As I understand it, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church came about in the Union of Brest of 1595 because many of those Orthodox in Ukraine subject to Constantinople chose to escape Polish persecution by accepting the union, rather than maintain what was to them and their fathers the true faith.

That's nonsense. The only thing the Orthodox in Ukraine were escaping was the taxation from Constantinople and the ambitions of the Patriarch of Moscow who wanted to dominate them.  You have to remember that it was their Metropolitan, Michal Rahoza, along with exarch Cyril Terlecki and Bishop Hipation Potij that sent a letter to Rome requesting union, and not the other way around.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/TREATBR.HTM
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