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Archive for the ‘Religious Liberty’ Category

An old 2012 First Things article by Thomas Pink is making a second round among some recognize and resist folks, like my younger anything but sedevacantism brother. [1] Apparently, they’re waking up to their error of resisting (rejecting) magisterial documents. Therefore, they’re taking another look to see if the documents of Vatican 2 can really be interpreted with the “hermeneutic of continuity.” After all, if an ecumenical council ratified by a pope can be heretical, what’s the foundation to believe anything outside of dogmatic definitions? Perhaps, some recognize and resist folks realize they can’t really be recognizing and resisting as they are.

Their first obstacle to overcome is the religious liberty issue from Vatican 2’s Dignitatis Humanae. They turn to Professor of Philosophy at King’s College London, Thomas Pink who spins the Vatican 2 document to make it mean exactly opposite to what it says.

He begins by giving examples from Popes Gregory XVI and Leo XIII and said they, “taught that the state should not only recognize Catholic Christianity as the true religion, but should use its coercive power to restrict the public practice of, and proselytization by, false religions—including Protestantism. Yet in its declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, the Second Vatican Council declared that the state should not use coercion to restrict religion—not even on behalf of the true faith. Such coercion would be a violation of people’s right to religious liberty.”

Professor Pink explains: The declaration is not a statement about religious liberty in general but about a specifically civil liberty: religious liberty in relation to the state and other civil institutions. It does not oppose religious coercion in general, but coercion by the state. The state is forbidden to coerce in matters of religion, not because such coercion is illicit for any authority whatsoever, but because such coercion lies beyond the state’s particular competence.”

Pink encapsulates his point: We can now see how Dignitatis Humanae does not change doctrine after all. Religious coercion by the state is now morally wrong, and a violation of people’s rights, not because religious coercion by any authority is wrong, but because the Church no longer authorizes it. The Church is now refusing to license the state to act as her coercive agent, and it is from that policy change, and not from any change in underlying doctrine, that the wrongfulness of religious coercion by the state follows.”

First of all, Popes Gregory and Leo condemned freedom to error in religion publicly declaring that it is not a right given by nature of man. [2] This is the key issue, a person’s God-given right by his nature as a human person. Not even the Church can violate a God-given right by nature of man. Professor Pink is saying something entirely different than Vatican 2. Pink makes Vatican 2 out to be merely changing policy on civil matters when, in fact, Vatican 2 is changing the doctrine based on the rights of man.

Vatican 2 defines what is meant by coercion:

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.

It’s true that neither the Church nor the state can force someone to be Catholic, but that’s different from granting freedom to be publicly anti-Catholic. That’s precisely what Vatican 2 continues to teach by granting false religions to publicly profess and spread heresy and error as a God-given civil right. [3] According to Vatican 2, the foundation for this right is the dignity of the human person:

The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. (2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right. [4]

Gaudium et spes of Vatican 2 reinforces the above teaching in Dignitatis Humanae. [5] Ratizinger wrote in his Principles of Catholic Theology, 1982, p. 381: “If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text [of Gaudium et Spes] as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter syllabus… As a result, the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution, was, to a large extent, corrected…”

Professor Pink is proven entirely wrong. It is a doctrinal change and it’s about the intrinsic rights of man, which necessarily condemns the Catholic doctrine taught by Popes Gregory and Leo.

Regardless, the state does not need the Church to grant authorization to prohibit public error against God. The Church does not govern non-Catholics, the state does. Pope Leo XIII declared that it was quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, or writing, or of worship. For, if nature had really granted them, it would be lawful to refuse obedience to God, and there would be no restraint on human liberty. It likewise follows that freedom in these things may be tolerated wherever there is just cause, but only with such moderation as will prevent its degenerating into license and excess. And, where such liberties are in use, men should employ them in doing good, and should estimate them as the Church does; for liberty is to be regarded as legitimate in so far only as it affords greater facility for doing good, but no farther.[6] That means the state must NOT demand, defend, or grant such freedoms, regardless whether it’s a Catholic state or not, because it contrary to divine law. Pink’s explanation that the state is forbidden to coerce in matters of religion, not because such coercion is illicit for any authority whatsoever, but because such coercion lies beyond the state’s particular competence IS CONDEMNED by the very pope he cites. 

Vatican 2 is clear that religious liberty is a human right that not even the Church can prohibit. It declared that this “right” be made into constitutional law. The results were dissolving the Catholic Nations and Catholic Constitutions around the world. The Catholic State is being declared by the Second Vatican Council as a violation of the rights of man. Countries, such as Spain and Colombia, were forced to give up their Catholic constitutions and follow this document.

Vatican 2 implies religious liberty for non-Catholics is a right by nature of man because of the dignity of the human person. The teachings of Popes Gregory XVI and Leo XIII say it’s not a right given by nature of man, just the opposite.

The dignity of the human person concept is the basis for Vatican 2 popes to condemn capital punishment, too.

Francis declared: Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide. [7]

The Vatican 2 religion is attempting to raise the dignity of the human person to the level of God Himself. According to the council, man has an intrinsic right to publicly blaspheme God’s Name, His Nature, His Church, His Mother (which all heresy does) and he can never be put to death for any cause.  

 IT TRULY TOUCHES UPON THE DOCTRINE OF ANTICHRIST.

 

Footnotes

[1] https://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/08/conscience-and-coercion

[2] Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 15), Aug. 15, 1832: “Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor.  We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice.”

      Pope Leo XIII, Libertas (# 42), June 20, 1888: “From what has been said it follows that it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, or writing, or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature of man.”

[3] Dignitatis Humanae # 4: “In addition, religious communities are entitled to teach and give witness to their faith publicly in speech and writing without hindrance.”

[4] Dignitatis humanae (vatican.va)

[5] 28. Respect and love ought to be extended also to those who think or act differently than we do in social, political and even religious matters. In fact, the more deeply we come to understand their ways of thinking through such courtesy and love, the more easily will we be able to enter into dialogue with them.

This love and good will, to be sure, must in no way render us indifferent to truth and goodness. Indeed love itself impels the disciples of Christ to speak the saving truth to all men. But it is necessary to distinguish between error, which always merits repudiation, and the person in error, who never loses the dignity of being a person even when he is flawed by false or inadequate religious notions.(10) God alone is the judge and searcher of hearts, for that reason He forbids us to make judgments about the internal guilt of anyone.(11) Cf. Matt. 22:37-40; Gal. 5:14.

60. It is now possible to free most of humanity from the misery of ignorance. Therefore the duty most consonant with our times, especially for Christians, is that of working diligently for fundamental decisions to be taken in economic and political affairs, both on the national and international level which will everywhere recognize and satisfy the right of all to a human and social culture in conformity with the dignity of the human person without any discrimination of race, sex, nation, religion or social condition. Therefore it is necessary to provide all with a sufficient quantity of cultural benefits, especially of those which constitute the so-called fundamental culture lest very many be prevented from cooperating in the promotion of the common good in a truly human manner because of illiteracy and a lack of responsible activity.

THE LIFE OF THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY

73. In our day, profound changes are apparent also in the structure and institutions of peoples. These result from their cultural, economic and social evolution. Such changes have a great influence on the life of the political community, especially regarding the rights and duties of all in the exercise of civil freedom and in the attainment of the common good, and in organizing the relations of citizens among themselves and with respect to public authority.

The present keener sense of human dignity has given rise in many parts of the world to attempts to bring about a politico-juridical order which will give better protection to the rights of the person in public life. These include the right freely to meet and form associations, the right to express one’s own opinion and to profess one’s religion both publicly and privately. The protection of the rights of a person is indeed a necessary condition so that citizens, individually or collectively, can take an active part in the life and government of the state.

However, those political systems, prevailing in some parts of the world are to be reproved which hamper civic or religious freedom, victimize large numbers through avarice and political crimes, and divert the exercise of authority from the service of the common good to the interests of one or another faction or of the rulers themselves.

Gaudium et spes (vatican.va)

[6] Pope Leo XIII, Libertas (# 42), June 20, 1888.

[7] New revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty – Rescriptum “ex Audentia SS.mi” (vatican.va)

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Paul VI presiding over the introductory ingress of the Council, flanked by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani (left), Cardinal Camerlengo Benedetto Aloisi Masella and Monsignor Enrico Dante (future Cardinal), Papal Master of Ceremonies (right), and two Papal gentlemen.

 

The Second Vatican Council declared in Lumen Gentium ch2, “15. For several reasons the Church recognizes that it is joined to those who, though baptized and so honored with the Christian name, do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve communion under the successor of St. Peter.”

The council continued in Unitatis Redintegratio: 3. Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, (19) which the Apostle strongly condemned. (20) But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church – whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church – do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, (21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. (22)”

This last sentence is false on several levels and sounds much like the fundamental heresy of the Protestant Revolt of the 16th century, once saved, always saved.

Being justified in baptism does not mean one automatically remains justified, nor does it mean one will always remain a member of Christ’s body. Even Scripture tells us so.

“If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth  (John 15: 6).”

To be cast off as a branch, one must first be a member of the tree. This verse implies that a member of Christ can be cut off from Christ. 

“See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again (Rom 11: 22).”

The context is in believing. Has every baptized individual remained believing in our day?  None has fallen away and been cut off? That’s the implication of Vatican 2.

The next problem with Vatican 2’s declaration that “all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian” is the fact that if it were true, then no one, not even the Church, would have a right to call such persons heretics, schismatics, or apostates. They could only be called Christians in error or separated brethren.

The Vatican 2 religion is quite aware of this, because you might find the word heresy, schism, or apostasy in their language, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find them officially calling someone a heretic, schismatic, or apostate. If you did, it would only show their hypocrisy and/or ignorance of their own teaching.

Even the Vatican 2 saint Faustina claimed that Jesus identified Protestants as heretics and Eastern Orthodox as Schismatics. In St. Faustina’s Diary, she records Our Lord’s words in 1937, long before Vatican II, for the fifth day of the Divine Mercy Novena: “Today, bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.”

However, the Vatican 2 religion’s Official Novena for Congregational use declared:

It was decided to adopt the designation “separated brethren” in place of heretics and schismatics because of Vatican II’s unambiguous designation concerning the relationship of Christians not in communion with the Apostolic See of Rome in the Body of Christ. The continuous and consistent use of that designation by every Pope since the Council reaffirms that decision.

However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation, those who at present are born into these communities, and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers.For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.,span>

Apparently, the Vatican 2 religion didn’t think Our Lord knew how improper it was to call baptized non-Catholics heretics and schismatics, since they have a right to be called Christian.

True popes have been abundantly clear that only Catholics are Christians.

Pope Pius XII declared: “To be Christian one must be Roman. One must recognize the oneness of Christ’s Church that is governed by one successor of the Prince of the Apostles who is the Bishop of Rome, Christ’s Vicar on earth” (Allocution to the Irish pilgrims of October 8, 1957).

Pope Leo XIII declared in Satis Cognitum, “5 So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a hereticthe life of the spirit follows not the amputated member.”

The implication of the Vatican 2 teaching is that the Church was guilty of prohibiting a God-given right of certain individuals to be called Christian, which necessarily means the Church was evil. It also means the Church has been wrong for years.

Vatican 2 is good at accusing the Catholic Church of being evil for prohibiting God-given rights to individuals. It also taught in Dignitatis Humanae that men have a God-given civil right to give witness to their faith publicly in speech and writing without hindrance. [1]

Again, the implication is that the Church was guilty of prohibiting this right to Muslims at the Council of Vienne in 1312. [2] It also means that Martin Luther was right “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit” which was condemned by in Bull Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520 by Pope Leo X. Not only would it be against the will of the Spirit to burn them, but to call them heretics to begin with. All have a right to be called Christian.

To follow Vatican 2 is to reject the Catholic Faith as it was believed before the council. In other words, Vatican 2 is taking its queues from the Protestant Revolt with its own revolution. The Church was wrong and we’re going to set it right.

So the next time a pseudo-Catholic calls you a heretic, tell them their magisterium tells you we have a right to be called Christian. Get with your program or get out of your religion.

Footnotes

[1] Dignitatis Humanae # 4: “In addition, religious communities are entitled to teach and give witness to their faith publicly in speech and writing without hindrance.”

[2] Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “It is an insult to the holy nameand a disgrace to the Christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to Christian princes where Saracens (i.e., The followers of Islam, also called Muslims) live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests, commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place… This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful.      These practices cannot be tolerated without displeasing the divine maje sty.  We therefore, with the sacred council’s approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in Christian lands.  We enjoin on Catholic princes, one and all. They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet… Those who presume to act otherwise are to be so chastised by the princes for their irreverence, that others may be deterred from such boldness.”

 

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Are you permitted to believe as “Pope” Francis that God positively wills the diversity of all religions? [1]

The Vatican 2 apologist says, “It is heresy and contrary to Catholicism that God positively wills the diversity of all religions. However, Pope Francis didn’t say ‘positively’. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t mean positively wills it.

The average Catholic responds, “You need to give him the benefit of the doubt because the text logically implies a positive will and you hope he doesn’t mean what he plainly says. How about all those ‘Catholics’ out there who read the document as it stands and understand Francis to mean ‘positively’ wills and agree with it? Are they not permitted to believe as the pope by the words he uses to make declarations? Can the pope be the source of error where the entire flock of Christ is poisoned with heresy because of his faulty words (but he didn’t mean what he says)? ”

Every Vatican 2 “Catholic” should be asked the following questions:

Are you permitted to believe as “Pope” Francis that the Blessed Virgin Mary wasn’t born a saint and that she has defects as the Church? [2]

Are you permitted to believe as “Pope” Francis that Jesus had to beg forgiveness from Joseph and Mary? [3]

Are you permitted to believe as “Pope” Francis that sins of the flesh are the least serious sins? [4]

Are you permitted to believe as “Pope” Francis that religious liberty to blaspheme Christ in public is a God-given civil right? [5]

Are you permitted to believe as “Pope” Francis that the visible Church is divided in faith and that Protestant religions are part of the one Church of Christ? [6]

Are you permitted to believe as “Pope” Francis that there’s no Catholic God? [7]

Or is the Pope the only one permitted to believe in these abominable heresies?

 

Footnotes:

[1] https://novusordowatch.org/2019/02/apostasy-francis-diversity-of-religions/

[2] https://novusordowatch.org/2018/12/francis-denies-immaculate-conception/

https://novusordowatch.org/2013/09/francis-church-has-flaws-like-mary/

[3] https://novusordowatch.org/2015/12/francis-says-jesus-sinned/

[4] https://novusordowatch.org/2019/02/francis-least-serious-sins-flesh/

[5] https://stevensperay.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/rev-brian-harrison-responds-to-my-article-on-patrick-madrid-and-religious-liberty/

[6] https://novusordowatch.org/2015/11/francis-all-baptized-members-of-church/

https://novusordowatch.org/2018/06/francis-world-council-churches/

https://novusordowatch.org/2018/03/catholic-church-world-council-of-churches/

[7] https://novusordowatch.org/2013/10/no-catholic-god-francis/

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Matt Haltom sent out another open letter to Patrick Madrid. 

Included on the email list: Karl Keating, Mark Brumley of Ignatius Press, Steve Ray, Rev. Vincent Serpa, Scott Hahn, Fr. Cekada, Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin, Robert Sungenis, Christopher Ferrara, E. Michael Jones of Culture Wars, John Vennari of Catholic Family News, and Teresa Tomeo of Relevant Radio.

Dear Patrick Madrid,

I’m sending you this open letter to Karl Keating, sent last week, in hopes you might assist him and Catholic Answers.

Also, here’s a link to Steven Speray’s article about your book, Pope Fiction, showing you unwittingly going against V2 and its popes.  Is Steven wrong, and if so, please explain?  Patrick Madrid Proves Sedevacantism True in His Book ‘Pope Fiction’

Matt Haltom

Rev. Brian Harrison replies:

Dear Mr. Haltom,

According to Mr. Speray, “Vatican II taught that men do have a right to believe in and follow a false religion in religious communities, to erect buildings, acquire property for their false religion, and to spread their false religion publicly in speech and writing without hindrance.”

Vatican II did not teach this. Mr. Speray fails to distinguish between (a) the idea of a right to do X and (b) the idea of a right not to be hindered by coercive government action from doing X. Only the latter kind of right is recognized by Dignitatis Humanae for non-Catholics in carrying out the sorts of activities mentioned above. (Asserting the former kind of right implies that X itself is objectively morally good – which, of course, spreading religious error is not. Asserting the latter kind of right merely recognizes the limited jurisdiction of civil governments in religious matters, especially under the modern international, religiously pluralistic conditions which the Council is addressing.)

I guess one of these days I’ll get round to answering Mr. Speray’s flawed attempt to rebut my This Rock article, “Is Ecumenism a Heresy?” I had never seen it until today. (In that article I argue for the doctrinal non-contradiction between Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos and Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism.)

Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

I replied openly to Rev. Harrison

Dear Rev. Harrison,

I made no distinctions about the type of right spoken of by Vatican 2. Therefore, your assertion I failed in this respect is erroneous. Had I inserted “civil” in the sentence you wouldn’t have had a problem. That being said, we had this discussion on religious liberty Christmas 2008 making the same points back then.

Again, Vatican 2 declared, “It regards, in the first place, the free exercise of religion in society…There is a further consideration. The religious acts whereby men, in private and in public and out of a sense of personal conviction, direct their lives to God transcend by their very nature the order of terrestrial and temporal affairs. Government therefore ought indeed to take account of the religious life of the citizenry and show it favor, since the function of government is to make provision for the common welfare. However, it would clearly transgress the limits set to its power, were it to presume to command or inhibit acts that are religious.” (Dignitatis Humanae)

DH made no distinction between what type of civil government, whether a Catholic state, democratic republic, or monarchy because it would make no difference since religious acts whereby men, in private and in public and out of a sense of personal conviction, direct their lives to God transcend by their very nature the order of terrestrial and temporal affairs.

Benedict XVI’s Address to ambassador of Spain, May 20, 2006: “The Church also insists on the inalienable right of individuals to profess their own religious faith without hindrance, both publicly and privately, as well as the right of parents to have their children receive an education that complies with their values and beliefs without explicit or implicit discrimination.”

An inalienable right is a natural right by God. In other words, this civil right on religious liberty is a God-given natural right. Quotes like this could be multiplied, but this example by Benedict XVI gives the interpretation of DH.

Distinct from scenario A (the idea of a right to do X), I submit that scenario B (the idea of a right not to be hindered by coercive government action from doing X) is also heretical because it necessarily implies that:

1. Men have a civil right to propagate false religion in public, which is a moral evil.
2. Civil governments don’t have the God-given right to enforce the moral good of hindering the evil of false religion, because…
3. It’s not a moral good to hinder the evil of false religion.
4. It would be immoral and evil to hinder the civil right of men propagating false religion, since the civil right is an inalienable right.
5. Popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII were utterly wrong and promoted immorality for condemning an inalienable right. See below.
6. God endorses moral evil as an inalienable right since this civil right is also an inalienable right in society.
7. The Catholic Church is condemned because She by law hindered by coercion religious liberty for Muslims at the Council of Vienne, which means that an inalienable right was made illegal by the Church.
8. The Gates of hell prevailed.

Let’s not stop there…

because Benedict XVI as Ratzinger wrote in Principles of Catholic Theology that Vatican 2’s text on religious liberty was “a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter syllabus…the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution, was, to a large extent, corrected…”

He also wrote “the declarations of Popes in the last century [19th century] about religious liberty, as well as the anti-Modernist decisions at the beginning of this century, above all, the decisions of the Biblical Commission of the time [on evolutionism]… in the details of the determinations they contain, they became obsolete after having fulfilled their pastoral mission at their proper time.” (Joseph Ratzinger, “Instruction on the Theologian’s Ecclesial Vocation,” published with the title “Rinnovato dialogo fra Magistero e Teologia,” in L’Osservatore Romano, June 27, 1990, p. 6)

If religious liberty is an inalienable right according to Benedict XVI, then this right would have been unchangeable from the beginning and contrary to the Divine law to ever prohibit this right. Yet, Benedict XVI is acknowledging that the Church in the past was correct in its position against religious liberty. He’s implying that an immutable truth yesterday is not the truth today, or vice versa. This is proof that Benedict is a modernist.

What say you now?

Sincerely,
Steven Speray

Papal Teachings on Religious Liberty whether Civil or Moral.

Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos (# 15), Aug. 15, 1832: “Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice.”

Pope Leo XIII, Libertas (# 42), June 20, 1888: “From what has been said it follows that it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, or writing, or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature of man.”

Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei (# 34), Nov. 1, 1885: “Thus, Gregory XVI in his encyclical letter Mirari Vos, dated August 15, 1832, inveighed with weighty words against the sophisms which even at his time were being publicly inculcated – namely, that no preference should be shown for any particular form of worship; that it is right for individuals to form their own personal judgments about religion; that each man’s conscience is his sole and all-sufficing guide; and that it is lawful for every man to publish his own views, whatever they may be, and even to conspire against the state.”

Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (#’s 3-6), Dec. 8, 1864, “From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, namely, that ‘liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way. but while they rashly affirm this, they do not understand and note that they are preaching liberty of perdition… therefore, by our apostolic authority, we reprobate, proscribe, and condemn all the singular and evil opinions and doctrines specially mentioned in this letter, and will and command that they be thoroughly held by all the children of the catholic church as reprobated, proscribed and condemned.”

Rev. Brian Harrison replies for the final time

Dear Mr. Speray,

   You say, “I made no distinctions about the type of right spoken of by Vatican 2”. I know you didn’t. That’s exactly why I faulted you.  By failing to make that distinction you thereby attributed to the Council what it did not say, and hence were also mistaken in your criticism of Patrick Madrid. That’s the main point I was concerned to make in my brief email.
   I agree that Benedict XVI’s statement that you quote of May 2006 – in a minor allocution that was probably hastily written by one of his many speech writers – was inexact. (He affirmed a ‘positive’ right  – my type (a) right where he should have affirmed a ‘negative’ right – my type (b).)  But I have no doubt that if one were to converse with him about it, reminding him of the distinction in question and of how both the wording of the text of DH and the official explanation given by the relator to the Council Fathers made sure that a negative right only was being recognized for non-Catholic religions, he would agree that, of course, his own true position on the matter is in line with that which was so carefully worked out at the Council.
    I think the same is very probably true of his loosely worded comments about Eastern Orthodox prelates being  pastors of/in “the Church”. It would be more in line with then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s own much more formal and carefully worded (and papally-approved) statement in the CDF Declaration Dominus Iesus to say that Eastern Orthodox dioceses are, by virtue of the Apostolic Succession of their bishops and their valid Eucharist, true – even though seriously ‘wounded’ and defective – “particular churches”; wherefore their prelates are indeed “pastors” of those particular churches. To say they are pastors of “the Church” does, I agree, sound like granting to the Eastern Orthodox communion as a whole the same status as an Eastern-rite Catholic Church, i.e., the status of an integrally and fully united component of the one true universal Church under Peter’s Successor. And of course, the recent popes themselves would be the first agree that such full unity does not exist.
   That’s one of the main problems with you sedevacantists. You go through everything recent popes say with a fine toothcomb and seize upon everything that looks like and (perhaps is) a materially unorthodox statement. Then, in a spirit of “Aha! Gotcha!” you triumphantly assert that this shows them to be heretics and not real popes. You seem to forget that the Holy Office and CDF have always given a chance to wayward theologians to explain, clarify, and if need be, correct, their false statements before concluding that their error or heresy is formal and pertinacious, and so meriting censure and/or removal from office. So you forget that Popes also manifestly deserve the same – or even greater – benefit of the doubt, before and after their election, and so cannot be judged to have been invalidly elected, or have lapsed from office, simply by virtue of having publicly made one or more heterodox statements.
This is my last contribution to this discussion, as I have other very pressing pastoral and academic commitments. As regards your other objections to Dignitatis Humanae, I recommend that you and other interested recipients of this email consider purchasing my full-length book debate with Arnold T. Guminski published last year: Religious Freedom: Did Vatican II Contradict Traditional Catholic Doctrine? It is available online for $35.00 from the publishers, St. Augustine’s Press, at:
Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

I replied a final time

Rev. Brian Harrison,

My statements concerning Vatican 2 and Patrick Madrid were correct based on either one of your distinctions. Apparently, you didn’t catch it. You obviously didn’t read my last email carefully. I made it abundantly clear in eight points why your distinction is heretical. You didn’t touch it.

You argue that DH doesn’t contradict past papal teachings, but Benedict XVI clearly admitted by implication twice that it did. Who are we to believe, you or Benedict XVI?

Since you’re not convinced “Pastors in the Church of Christ…guiding the Church” really meant it the way it’s stated, even though three different “popes” five different times worded it this way, how about you answering the 1993 Balamand statement which runs directly contrary to your explanation:

“that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity.”

John Paul II affirmed the Balamand statement in Ut Unum Sint, another official document that explains how the nature of the Church is to be understood. Can you whitewash this official and heretical statement away?

What’s funny is that even your explanations are heretical.

Pope Pius IX wrote in an official 1868 Apostolic letter to all Protestants and other non-Catholics that, none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity… we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ…”

According to Vatican 2, Ut Unum Sint, and Dominus Iesus, baptized non-Catholics are already part of the one fold of Christ; just not in full communion with the Catholic Church. That’s because those documents deny that the Church of Christ and the Catholic Church are one and the same thing. “Subsists” is the heretical word that implies it. The CDF point blank lied and provided not a single piece of evidence that any of its teachings be seen throughout Catholic history.

If you’re “not in full communion with the Catholic Church,” then you’re not part of the Visible Church of Christ at all. THAT’S THE REAL CATHOLIC TEACHING. Partial communion is heretical.

The conciliar popes endorse the error of believing in and promoting false religion by having it showcased in front of an altar in an Assisi Basilica, not once, not twice, but three times. And you’re arguing that the conciliar popes don’t hold that it’s an inalienable right to believe in and promote a false religion? Get real! They believe it’s a moral good; the very thing you’ve admitted is error.

Since Voodooism was practiced and promoted by praising a goddess and being possessed by her in front of an altar in an Assisi basilica through the invitation of Rome, would that mean that Rome holds Voodooism in high esteem being a good religion to practice like this or do they believe Voodooism is bad and evil religion but invited them to practice it in front of the altar anyway?

The practice of Voodooism encouraged, promoted, and praised by Benedict XVI, his bowing towards Mecca in a Mosque as Muslims with Muslims, bowing towards a Lutheran altar and praying with a woman bishop, etc. etc., and John Paul II did the same things over and over again. Your popes believe evil is good! Your popes reject the First Commandment! That’s why they aren’t true popes. THEY AREN’T CATHOLIC!

Yet, you continue to defend them by lying about the situation while attacking real Catholics and the Catholic Faith.

Steven Speray

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