The Agony of Aggiornamento
August 1-7, 2004
vol 15, no. 164

A Conservative Priest Now Suspicious of the Novel 'Religious Liberty'

Truth is Stranger than Fiction!

Part Two of a Three-part Essay on what is really behind the "Religious Liberty" spin

By Kathy Willett Redle

Past Ordinary Infallible Church Teaching on Religious Liberty

    "It is my contention, Fr. Harrison, that the document on "Religious Liberty" is dangerous in its ambiguities and conflict with past teachings, so as to be perniciously used by the Church's enemies within and without, to justify the liberalizing of divorce laws, abortion, contraception and homosexual marriage. If all religions have a right to exist (including Satanism) then they can teach these liberal ideas as part of their religious interpretation of God's 'non judgmental' nature and total acceptance of the 'human person' in all his flawed aspects."

    In this issue I continue with my essay on Religious Liberty. Before I document past infallible Church teaching on this, I think the reader should know that what has happened today was not only well-planned, but predicted by the demonic prophet and Satanist ex-priest Canon Roca who lived from 1830 to 1893. This excommunicated cleric said in the 19th Century:

    "The former Papacy, the former priesthood, will gladly abdicate in favor of the Pontificate and priests of the future who will be those of the past converted and transfigured in view of the scientific organization of the Planet in the light of the Gospel. And this new Church, although she will retain nothing of scholastic discipline or the rudimentary shape of the former Church, will nevertheless receive her consecration and canon law from Rome. And again, The convert of the Vatican, like Christ, will not need to reveal a new doctrine to his brothers; he will not need to drive Christianity or the world outright into paths other than those followed by the people under the secret inspiration of the Spirit, but simply to confirm them in this modern civilization. The Pontiff will rest content with confirming and glorifying the work of the spirit of Christ or the Christ-Spirit in the public mind, and thanks to the privilege of his personal infallibility, he will declare canonically urbi et orbi that the present civilization is the legitimate daughter of the Gospel of social redemption." (Roca: Glorieux Centenarie p111.)

    "Faith will give way to science which must illuminate everthing... The movement will not be stopped: SCIENCE IS THE QUEEN OF THE WORLD, FOR IT IS GOD HIMSELF IN HUMANITY. (Roca: Glorieux Centenaire, p. 21, 79.)

    "The task of each on at this hour is to promote the evolution of the papacy in such a way that it will bring itself into harmony with the new spirit of the World and with the rational sciences." (Roca: Fin de l’Ancien Monde p. 130.)

For the Roca quotes see (Athanasius and the Church in Our Time, by Bishop Rudolf Graber, pgs 35-37 and Whom Shall Ascend by Fr. James Wathen pgs 463-468 (which is an excellent book).

John Paul II "NOT A PONTIFF OF FAITH OR OF HOPE, BUT A PONTIFF OF THE GNOSIS OR OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE." (Roca: Le Socialisme Chretein 5 July 1891). What of the ambiguous French statement by Pope John Paul II that evolution was more than just a theory? What of his study of Teilhard de Chardin? He seems to admire him, given his Sign of Contradiction statement p.21 and sending Cardinal Cassoroli to Teilhard’s postumous birthday party bash in 1981 who praised his influence on Vatican II. See "The Pope & Teilhard" from Dr. Marian Therese Horvat as quoted from Atila Sinke Guimarães' Animus Delendi I available from Tradition in Action.

   How does this science fiction tie in with our Novel Religious Liberty? Could the "evolution of the Catholic Church" be the answer? Let us see what Holy Mother Church has set in stone.

Previous Popes who have specifically condemned the notion that states should approve of false religions:

    Pope Pius IX    "They do not hesitate to put forward the view which is not only opposed to the Catholic Church, but very pernicious for the salvation of souls -- an opinion which Gregory XVI, Our Predecessor, called absurd. This is the view that liberty of conscience and worship is the strict right of every man, a right which should be proclaimed and affirmed by law in every properly constituted state... When they rashly make these statements, they do not realize or recall to mind that they are advocating what St. Augustine calls a liberty of perdition" (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Curia)

    Pope Leo XIII    "Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. Those remain ever one and the same and are no less changeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity to an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth, may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law" (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei).

    As His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII said, "It is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights." The Popes, the true Vicars of Christ on earth, have had the perennial duty to root up and destroy heresy while planting and nourishing what is true. Divine Justice and the integrity of the true religion demand that error be condemned and that the forces of evil be thwarted. Evil and error can be, at most, tolerated in this vale of tears. Never can it be said to have the right to exist.

    Pope Pius IX, in the Syllabus of Errors , condemned the proposition "that it is left to the freedom of each individual to embrace and profess that religion which by the guidance of the light of reason he deems to be the true one."

    Now this is what Fr. Brian Harrison had to say back in 1993. In his review of THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY by Michael Davies:

    Michael Davies "Davies' newest work seems to me to present once again the aforesaid strengths and weaknesses. It is an important book about an even more important (but much neglected) subject: the question as to whether (and, if so, how) the doctrine of Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty Dignitatis Humanae, can be reconciled with that of pre-conciliar Popes regarding Church-State relations and religious tolerance. If it cannot (as is claimed by many of its liberal supporters as well as its traditionalist opponents), then we are faced with a disaster unprecedented in two thousand years of Church history. If an Ecumenical Council can reverse the doctrine of weighty papal encyclicals, then none of the Catholic doctrines most hotly disputed today - regarding contraception, homosexuality, euthanasia, women's ordination, etc. - is secure. All of them will appear to be equally open to subsequent reversal by some future Pope or Council. And this alleged precedent for radical change is now being wielded as a very dangerous-looking weapon by liberal dissenters.

    The importance of this book consists not only in what it says, but in who says it. I know (and like) Michael Davies, and I think he is too modest a fellow to accept this fact; but the truth is there are thousands of traditionalist Catholics out there who quite literally set more store by the judgments of Davies than by those of the Supreme Pontiff. Traditionalists, it must be remembered, are by definition those who have to a large extent lost confidence in the post-conciliar papacy, because of what they see as its aberrations from Sacred Tradition. And Davies is widely seen in such circles as the most eloquent and reliable exponent of that Tradition at the present time. This means that whatever he says will have significant ramifications - for good or for ill - in regard to one of the most pressing pastoral problems in today's Church: the centrifugal and even schismatic tendencies which prompted the Pope to set up a new arm of the Vatican to help safeguard the unity of the Church - the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

    The bottom line of Davies' new book is that there remains an "apparent contradiction between the traditional papal teaching and the teaching of Dignitatis Humanae" (p. 227). Unlike schismatic traditionalists, Davies remains docile and respectful to the Holy See. He writes, "I shall not claim that a contradiction exists. All that I wish to do is to state that I do not see how the traditional teaching and that of Dignitatis humanae can be reconciled, which is a fact, and to ask the Magisterium to clarify the matter" (ibid).

    Here we must interject and remind Father Harrison that Count Neri Capponi, a lawyer in the Roman Rota who represented the case of the Hawaii 5 whom Cardinal Ratzinger exonerated for NOT being schismatic due to having Bishop Richard Williamson of the SSPX come and confirm their children had this to say about our crisis.

    "When asked why I believe the crisis we now face is worse than Arianism, I give these reasons: (a) The principle vehicle of the faith, the liturgy, was untouched by the Arian crisis; (b) whereas the Arian crisis was precipitated and sustained by the intervention of secular power, the post Vatican II crisis comes from within the Church and is therefore more difficult to fight; (c) in the fourth century, Pope Liberius finally signed the excommunication of St. Athanasius under duress--in the twentieth century Pope Paul VI was admittedly taken in and hoodwinked by his misguided optimism, but there was no duress; (d) the present crisis is not only one of faith but of morals as well. In addition, today not only one dogma, albeit a very important one, is denied as with Arianism, but all dogmas, be it even the existence of a personal God! Times of Crisis, Times for Faith

    So we can see that this Crisis is not just in the American Church- it is world wide! Moreover, the Wanderer and the Novus Ordinarians need to wake up and smell the bitter coffee! It is not just "AmChurch" with the problem - the crisis is world wide!

    Now here is an indication of the root of the crisis on the concept of tradition in Vatican II's Dei Verbum, again Cardinal Ratzinger writes:

    "Vatican II's refusal of the proposal to adopt the text of Lerins, familiar to, and, as it were, sanctified by two Church Councils, shows once more how Trent and Vatican I were left behind, how their texts were continually reinterpreted....Vatican II had a new idea of how historical identity and continuity are to be brought about. The static semper of Vincent of Lerins no longer seems to Vatican II adequate to express the problem." (Lexikon fur Theologie und Kirche abr. L.Th.K., Vol. 13, p. 521) Lexikon fur Theologie und Kirche abr. L.Th.K., Vol. 13, p. 521.

    We contrast this with Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi domenici gregis. After describing apostolic and and ecclesiastical traditions of the Catholic Church, he stated,

    #42 "The Modernists pass the same judgment on the most holy Fathers of the Church as they pass on tradition; decreeing, with amazing effrontery that, while personally most worthy of all veneration, they were entirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived."

    Tradition and past decisions seem to be held in little respect by Conciliar authorities as they "conciliate themselves to the world" in order to make the Catholic faith more palatable to "modern man" of whom they hold in high esteem and are so enamored of while they think so little of our fathers who died for the faith and encouraged others to do it rather than give in to the Pagan mentality of their day.

St. Vincent of Lerins    Now this is how St. Vincent of Lerins dealt with the Nestorian problem of his day in stating,

    "The Children of the Catholic Church ought to adhere to the Faith of their Fathers and die for it WHOEVER then gainsays these Apostolic and Catholic determinations, first of all necessarily insults the memory of holy Celestine, who decreed that novelty should cease to assail antiquity; and in the next place sets at naught the decision of holy Sixtus, whose sentence was, 'Let no license be allowed to novelty, since it is not fit that any addition be made to antiquity;' moreover, he condemns the determination of blessed Cyril, who extolled with high praise the zeal of the venerable Capreolus, in that he would fain have the ancient doctrines of the faith confirmed, and novel inventions condemned; yet more, he tramples upon the Council of Ephesus, that is, on the decisions of the holy bishops of almost the whole East, who decreed, under divine guidance, that nothing ought to be believed by posterity save what the sacred antiquity of the holy Fathers, consentient in Christ, had held, who with one voice, and with loud acclaim, testified that these were the words of all, this was the wish of all, this was the sentence of all, that as almost all heretics before Nestorius, despising antiquity and upholding novelty, had been condemned, so Nestorius, the author of novelty and the assailant of antiquity, should be condemned also." See St. Vincent of Lerins

    Lest someone not think Vatican II did not have new things we turn to Vatican II father Cardinal Ratzinger who explains Theological Highlights of Vatican II p. 68. that the Constitution on the Church and the Decree on Ecumenism form a new teaching and a new ecumenical orientation:

    "The text on the Church was kept open primarily because it was to be supplemented by a text on ecumenism which would develop a viewpoint only hinted at in the Church text. Taking both texts into account, we can view in a positive light the undeniably admitted ecumenical outlook of the schema on the Church....The ecumenical movement grew out of a situation unknown to the New Testament and for which the New Testament can therefore offer no guidelines."

    So right now they are treading on dangerous ground because there is no basis for this "ecumenical movement" in divine revelation or in sacred tradition as St. Vincent of Lerins demonstrates novelty is to be condemned and traditional doctrines which Christians died for should be upheld.

    But getting back to Fr. Harrison's past assumptions he continues,

    "In my own book Religious Liberty and Contraception (Melbourne, John XXIII Fellowship Cooperative, 1988), I have argued that in fact there is no such contradiction. After studying Davies' book I am still of that opinion. Davies is familiar with my work and refers copiously to it in his own. Indeed, he kindly gives me a generous mention in his acknowledgments, recommending Religious Liberty and Contraception to his readers and calling it "the most important defense of Dignitatis Humanae against the accusation of contradiction" (p. 164). He himself took the initiative in inviting me to review his own work, and I welcome the opportunity of doing so. Hopefully, I may be able to clarify some of the issues in regard to which Michael still finds my position unconvincing."

    Now this is what Fr. Harrison''s article Skeletons in the Conciliar Closet states today in 2004.

    "One of the many difficulties in interpreting the Council's Declaration on Religious Liberty, and reconciling it with traditional doctrine, lies in the fact that while the key article 2 of this document, Dignitatis Humanae (DH), begins by affirming that the right to religious liberty has to do with conscientiously held religious beliefs, it ends by affirming that the same right is enjoyed even by those who are not in good conscience (that is, those who ""do not fulfill their obligation of seeking and adhering to the truth""). Curious as to whether this confusing, and at first sight contradictory, treatment of conscience in DH #2 was officially explained to the Council Fathers before they voted on it, I started fishing around in the Acta Synodalia (AS) in our university library. And what I dredged up struck me as a choice example of how that famous ''''Rhine'''' flowed into the ''''Tiber'''' during Vatican II: manipulation of the more conservative, but rather complacent and unsuspecting, majority by the powerful and ''''progressive'''' Northern European bishops and their periti.... The above passage recognizing immunity from coercion for those whose religious propaganda is not in good conscience was absent from the first three drafts of DH. It finally appeared in the fourth (second-last) draft, presented on October 25, Bishop Emil De Smedt, [Dutch relator]...he did not mention this important addition to the text."
I think that Fr. Harrison- hopefully is having a change of heart and his blinders are being removed from his eyes.

    So it's pretty obvious from the sneaky tactics employed by the left-leaning Rhine group that the Council fathers were hoodwinked.

    Now even Fr. John Courtney Murray, S. J. stated in his commentary on this Religious Liberty document (pp 672-4 The Documents of Vatican II. Gen Editor W.M. Abbott S.J.) two typically Hegelian dialectic statements with the conserving force statement first, the decree's "content is properly doctrinal" then we have his progressive anti-thesis statement "In all honesty it must be admitted that the Church " is late in acknowledging the validity of the principle (of Religious freedom)." Then further on pg.673, Ibid. Murray says,

    "The notion of development, not the notion of religious freedom, was the real sticking-point for many of those who opposed the Declaration even to the end. The course of the development between the Syllabus of Errors (1865) still remains to be explained by theologians which then becomes the synthesis. But the Council formally sanctioned the validity of the development itself; and this was a doctrinal event of high importance for theological thought in many other areas."

Could he mean the novel understanding developing doctrines such as implied by cardinal Arinze who said, "the meaning of dialogue is not to convert or cross over to my religion... to grow in understanding and open in another sense- conversion to God, In the sense of openness to God..." See Cardinal Arinze says force has no place in faith Matters by Brooks Egerton/The Dallas Morning News). I thought the Church's mission was to convert the World to the Catholic faith which Christ founded? Wasn't that what Christ told the apostles to do before He ascended to His Father?

John Henry Cardinal Newman    Now John Henry Cardinal Newman spoke of the proper understanding of development of doctrine: "[It] is likely to be a true development, not a corruption, in proportion as it seems to be the logical issue of its original teaching" (emphasis in original). Likewise, as "developments which are preceded by definite indications have a fair presumption in their favor, so those which do but contradict and reverse the course of doctrine which has been developed before them, and out of which they spring, is certainly corrupt."[John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1878; repr., Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), pp. 195, 199).

    Next we have Murray's lame attempt to synthesize two forces which can not co-exist,

    "Some Fathers affirm that the Declaration does not sufficiently show how our doctrine is not opposed to ecclesiastical documents up till the time of the Supreme Pontiff Leo XII. As we said in the last relatio, this is a matter for future theological and historical studies to bring to light more fully".

    John Courtney Murray (Murray is quoted as saying this in Fr. Brian W. Harrison's Religious Liberty and Contraception p. 75. AS, vol. IV, Par VI, p 719.) Then Murray further states in 1964,

      "From the foregoing exposition it is clear that the First and Second Views, in dealing with this question, make affirmation that are either contradictory or contrary." (See Theological Studies, vol. X, June 1949; vol. XXV, Dec. 1964). Fr. Murray was not clever enough to show how his radical idea squared with past Church teaching or perhaps he was too honest so he would leave it up to some other more clever modernist to proclaim the Orwellian "Newspeak."

    It is my contention, Fr. Harrison, that the document on "Religious Liberty" is dangerous in its ambiguities and conflict with past teachings, so as to be perniciously used by the Church's enemies within and without, to justify the liberalizing of divorce laws, abortion, contraception and homosexual marriage. If all religions have a right to exist (including Satanism) then they can teach these liberal ideas as part of their religious interpretation of God's "non judgmental" nature and total acceptance of the "human person" in all his flawed aspects.

    Moreover, after the Vatican made it a policy of telling many Catholic countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy and the various Latin American ones to separate Church from State and to rid themselves of their Catholic constitutions in order to update with the Vatican II program on religious liberty that we experienced a fire storm of acceptance of false religions and liberalizing laws were enacted in every western country which has led to the demise of Christendom and the family. (See Peter Lovest thou Me, Abbe Le Roux, pgs 23-25 to see how Catholic Constitutions were suppressed at the Vatican's request.) Once the Catholic Church caves in and even gives the "appearance" that all religions are "more or less good and praiseworthy" which is what Pope John Paul II did at his first Assisi event in 1986 and the hierarchy uses the religious liberty document of Vatican II and Nostre Aetate as an excuse for not converting non Catholic's, then the earth has lost its ''salt'' and decays rapidly.

    I might add that Ecclesia Dei commission itself seems very restrictive whereas Quo Primum is not. Where do you reconcile that with the past, Fr. Harrison? Why believe that docility is what is needed during the worst crisis in Church history when others have pointed out such as Cardinal John Henry Newman, "It is in no sense doctrinally false that a Pope, as a private doctor, and much more bishops, when not teaching formally, may err, as we find they did err in the forth century." Obviously, he was referring to the excommunication of St. Athanasius by Pope Liberius who by his negligence allowed the Arians to get the upper hand. History seems to repeat itself today wouldn't you agree? Why did Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre get excommunicated for ordaining Bishops but the Communist so called Catholic Bishops don't for their unlawful ordination of Bishops and priests? Why are priests, who choose - as is their right per Pope St. Pius V's infallible decree - to say the traditional Latin Mass, hounded and exiled by their bishops while such apostasy as happened in Germany is flaunted and Rome does nothing? For an example of this see Indifferentism repackaged ECUMENISM

    Now lest our Novus Ordinarian friends accuse us of ignoring what they deem infallible doctrines in this Vatican II Document on religious liberty we quote Pope Paul VI said, "Differing from other Councils, this one was not directly dogmatic, but disciplinary and pastoral." (my emphasis) --Pope Paul VI, August 6, 1975, General Audience.

    It is fairly clear from what I have shown that this Vatican II teaching does not square with past wise papal teachings. Even Cardinal Ratzinger admitted that

    "If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text 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… 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 via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789. In fact, an attitude that was largely pre-revolutionary continued to exist in countries with strong Catholic majorities. Hardly anyone will deny today that the Spanish and Italian Concordat strove to preserve too much of a view of the world that no longer corresponded to the facts. Hardly anyone will deny today that, in the field of education and with respect to the historico-critical method in modern science, anachronisms existed that corresponded closely to this adherence to an obsolete Church-state relationship… [The text [of Gaudium et Spes] serves as a counter syllabus and, as such, represents, on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789."(Principles of Catholic Theology, 1987, pp. 381-2, Ignatius Press 1987)

    One might ask Cardinal Ratzinger if he is being one-sided in his view of the facts and of the wish to reconcile with a Masonic Age of enlightenment "new" era of a French revolution which killed hundreds of priests and nuns and placed the goddess of reason modeled on a prostitute in Notre Dame Cathedral. If the current hierarchy can change time-honored past positions than who is to say a future hierarchy can not overturn everything they do and return to tradition to right the wrongs that have been done the past 40 years. The Church has been placed in a very dangerous and precarious position to create a so called development of doctrine which in contrary to past teaching. As Victorio Messori said, about the many papal apologies in his Corriere della Sera article about the future of the Church. " 'If we can say that past popes have erred,' he wrote, 'how can we be certain that this pope (and I add prefect for the doctrine of the Faith) isn't erring, too? Who can assure me that his successor will not beg pardon for John Paul's begging pardon? And what will the Church be like tomorrow if today we honor as prophets those who are opposed to the teachings of even saintly popes? Are human rights and pluralism and dialogue the unique overriding criteria for the faith?'" Messori said these were sad questions, but he wouldn't ask them if he didn't have a painful duty to seek clear answers. I am told Messori was speaking for a number of timid souls inside the Curia who were too afraid to speak openly themselves against what the pope had done. They were worried, according to one of my inside sources, because 'Paradoxically, this pope has just destroyed the kind of super-papacy that he had labored for 21 years to build up.'Why had he done it? God knows." See Rome Diary, Robert Blair Kaiser, 20/20 March 2000.

Kathy Willett Redle

Next: Part Three Contradictions that prove Religious Liberty is anathema

    August 1-7, 2004
    vol 15, no. 164
    The Agony of Aggiornamento