Say what you like about the tenets of bashing people’s heads in . . .

at least it’s an ethos!  According to Philip Primeau of Catholic Lane.  He responds to my little romp through the pecadillos of our hero Putin with this manly thrashing (emphasis mine):

The fact is, Mrs. Fisher and Mr. Shea do not scorn Putin because of his disregard for Christian values—which he is struggling mightily to restore, however spotted his own soul may be—but because of his disregard for the dangerous ideals of the Enlightenment. These liberal ideals, such as “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion,” are sacred to many Catholics, despite the church’s longstanding contempt for such intellectual licentiousness. 

Yep, you heard it here first:  The Catholic Church has longstanding contempt for liberal ideals, such as “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion.”

If John Paul II were alive today, he’d be punching Philip Primeau in the back of the head when no one was looking.

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  • CS

    Well I knew this was inevitable given the startling unearthing of such yearning for Catholic monarchy.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    The church may not be against the Enlightenment, but I sure am. The Protestant Rebellion was a disaster for humanity second only to the sexual revolution. Liberty is no longer liberty when it promotes license.

    • Dan F.

      In order to have the Protestant Rebellion you first had to have the insane corruption of the Roman Church (I say this as one who swam the Tiber 6 years ago). It’s too easy to blame the Protestants for being essentially human and having a healthy distrust of the idea that you can buy your way into heaven (i know that is not what an indulgence is but that *is* how they were portrayed by many corrupt churchmen prior to Luther nailing his theses to that Wittenburg door).

      • TheodoreSeeber

        I’d also point out that the corrupt churchmen in Germany, were NOT exactly under the orders of the corrupt churchmen in Rome.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      No, properly understood the Church is absolutely against the Enlightenment, which was a bunch of European dudes imagining that because something made perfect sense to them then it was obviously the plain ol’ homespun TRVTH, perfectly available to everyone who was willing to pull his head out of his own prejudiced a**. Right, Herr Kant?

      That being said, there are truths that remain truths even when stated in the argot of the Enlightenment.

    • rodlarocque1931

      Well said!

  • JoAnna Wahlund

    Yes, holding special-needs orphans hostage for political gain is an excellent example of one who is “attempting to restore Christian virtue.” I guess caring for widows and orphans is one of those nasty Enlightenment ideals along with free speech and freedom of religion.

  • Philip Primeau

    Simcha,

    Hello, this is Philip, your cantankerous dialogist. I actually know your sister and brother-in-law (in RI). I pray I wasn’t overly abrasive, especially on this most blessed festival. It seems my writing naturally degenerates into polemic. Alas …

    Anyway, let me meet your John Paul II with Leo XIII:

    “Civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority. Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness; namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engravers upon it. This religion, therefore, the rulers of the State must preserve and protect, if they would provide – as they should do – with prudence and usefulness for the good of the community. For public authority exists for the welfare of those whom it governs; and, although its proximate end is to lead men to the prosperity found in this life, yet, in so doing, it ought not to diminish, but rather to increase, man’s capability of attaining to the supreme good in which his everlasting happiness consists: which never can be attained if religion be disregarded” (Libertas).

    • Jordan

      “Her” JP II? Should be “yours”, too, if you’re a Catholic, but what do I know.

      • Philip Primeau

        It’s a figure of speech. Blessed John Paul II was my pope, even if there were aspects of his papacy which I find disappointing and troubling.

        But his two hundred sixty-three predecessors are also my popes. If we are to avoid a hermeneutic of rupture, we must retain their teachings, creatively synthesizing that which came before and after the Second Vatican Council. Simply adopting the liberalism of the modern west is unacceptable and contrary to centuries of magisterial instruction.

        • chezami

          Translation: I dissent from the Decree on Religious Liberty.
          Still, I owe you for the laughs I got at the thought of Simcha “savaging” poor St. Vlad.

          • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

            Mark, squaring the Decree on Religious Liberty with the teachings of the pre-20th century popes is not an easy task, but it’s still a necessary one or else we’ve adopted Benedict’s “hermeneutic of rupture.” Philip Primeau is trying to figure out how to do that, and he’s just starting from the opposite end of the road from you and Simcha. You should go a little bit easier on the guy.

          • chezami

            Right. When he says we warn of lionizing Putin because of our commitment to “intellectual licentiousness” he is a trembling flower of spiritual sensitivity, reaching out to find some kind of common cause with his beloved brother and sister. Why do I keep hitting people like him in the toe with my groin? It must be my intolerant loathing of the Latin Mass.

          • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

            Fine. You make fun of what he says. Someone else will have to try help him articulate what he means. He does mean something that approaches truth, though.

            (I cannot believe I got suckered into complaining about Mark Shea’s tone. ;-) I spend nearly half my time on his blog rolling my eyes at all the people who do. Sheesh.)

          • chezami

            I did help articulate what he means. What he is positing is an absolute opposition between the pre and post conciliar teaching of the Church (in his article). And I don’t care in the slightest about his tone. I care about his content, which is to accuse both Simcha and I of being motivated by a desire for intellectual licentiousness and not by the desire to not see Catholics embarrass themselves yet again with a total lack of discernment as they bow in veneration before a murderous thug. There are sound and sensible ways to approach the development of the Church’s teach WRT religious liberty. He avoided them all and went straight for stupid and accusatory. I no longer think handling stupid and accusatory Traditionalists with kid gloves is worthy my time. What the man *means* is that there are two Churches since the council and those who listen to the developed teaching of the Decree on Religious Liberty are the enemies of the pre-conciliar Church that people like Philip Primeau are anointed by God to defend from Vatican II. I’m just spelling that out clearly. If he wants to dial back that stupid and accusatory insinuation, he’s welcome to do it.

          • Philip Primeau

            “What he is positing is an absolute opposition between the pre and post conciliar teaching of the Church (in his article).”

            That’s not what I believe and it’s not what I said.

            “What the man *means* is that there are two Churches since the council and those who listen to the developed teaching of the Decree on Religious Liberty are the enemies of the pre-conciliar Church”

            That’s not what I believe and it’s not what I said.

            In future articles, I will make this more clear. There is definitely a very profound tension to be resolved, however. The last word on this matter is still a long ways away.

            I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. God bless you.

          • chezami

            It may not be what you meant, but what you *said* was that the Church holds “freedom of religion,” in “longstanding contempt” as “intellectual licentiousness”. Given that the Church actually has a whole document called the Decree on Religious Liberty, it would appear that the “contempt” is in your mind and “the Church” you refer to is something other than the actual Catholic Church. Your appeal to the pre-conciliar Church in opposition to the teaching of the Council suggest you believe that the Council teaches “intellectual licentiousness” to be a virtue and is a departure and an opposition to the preconciliar Church. In short, you look for all the world as though you believe the Council to teach “licentiousness”. If that’s not what you meant, then what, pray, do you mean?

          • Philip Primeau

            Benedict XVI’s famous words to the Chilean bishops expresses my own conviction pretty well:

            “It is a necessary task to defend the Second Vatican Council against Msgr. Lefebvre, as valid, and as binding upon the Church. Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II and which has provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.

            The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.”

            Of course, Benedict was at once a child and parent of the Council, and so he remained perhaps inordinately partial to its declarations. It will take another man — or men — to tame Vatican II’s more progressive leanings and subsume those teachings which are novel into the grand Catholic vision of human life.

            Until then, we must attend Mass and tell our beads. It has been a pleasure talking with you. God bless.

          • Richard W Comerford

            Richard W Comerford

          • Richard W Comerford

            Mr. Primeau:

            Thank you for not attacking other Catholic apologists
            by name, for not taking offense and for being in general charitable.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • rodlarocque1931

            One wonders if modern Catholics ever read Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Quas Primas (1925)

            “It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power.”

            and again:

            “When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord’s regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen’s duty of obedience”

            Clearly the Godless state is an unCatholic modern concept. This is becoming increasingly obvious with abortion, same-sex marriage, divorce etc. being not only tolerated but encouraged and advanced as societal goods.

            Vatican II has been interpreted to claim that the State cannot know which religion is true. This is in direct contradiction to pre V2 teachings. Just as a man can discern between true and false religions, so a group of men, or society can do the same.

          • The Jerk

            Oh, please stop writing. Or at least stop publishing. It is not funny anymore.

          • rodlarocque1931

            what is all this talk about a developed teaching on religious liberty? If there is anything new in the V2 teaching it must either be the same as the PreV2 teaching or it must be reinterpreted to be the same.
            The principle that Our Lord deserves public recognition and worship from nations needs to be recognized even if it isn’t practical at this point in history.
            If He is Christ the King of Nations, a real King, He needs to be recognized as such.
            In fact Leo XIII said that the whole purpose of civil law is to make it easier to attain towards the eternal law, meaning to save our souls.

        • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

          Yeah. Mr. Primeau, you’ve got to find a better way of articulating your point. What you sound like you’re saying is that we should impose Christianity on those who do not hold it now. This the church has always opposed. The position of Awesome Leo XIII, Pius IX, et al, is more nuanced and applies in different situations than you are allowing for.

          Bottom line: If you insist on using the rhetoric and arguments you’re currently using, you are infallibly going to be misunderstood and mocked for the absurd positions people think you’re taking, and you need to recognize that.

          • Philip Primeau

            Appreciate the advice, Jon. I added a note making clear that I do not support forced conversion. I do, however, believe that the state has a role to play in the creation and maintenance of a Catholic commonwealth.

          • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

            Fine. Then you’re going to have to figure out how to square that with the true(!) teaching of Vatican II. You can’t just ignore it and hope for the Second Coming of Blessed Charles of Austria (who I don’t deny was a total stud.)

            Besides, if the bishops are right about the New Evangelization, not only is pining for Christendom a waste of time, it’s also not what the Spirit is doing anyway.

          • Philip Primeau

            I don’t want to ignore Vatican II. But it must be put in perspective, situated within the grand matrix of Catholic civilization. There were twenty ecumenical councils and two hundred sixty popes prior to Vatican II. We should read the latter in light of the former.

          • chezami

            Then why on earth suggest that a commitment to religious liberty (as in “Decree on Religious Liberty”) is really a commitment to “intellectual licentiousness” and that warning people not to venerate St. Vladmir Putin is really hostility to the Church’s “real” teaching. What it *looks* like is that you do want to ignore V2, but you got caught doing it and are now backtracking. The whole “Vatican 2 is trumped by my preconciliar Church that God has anointed me to speak for” line of argument is a dead giveaway. The only person positing a hermaneutic of discontinuity is you.

          • simplynotred

            If Vatican II does not match with 2000 of papal encyclicals then its bogus. However, if Vatican II supports 2000 years of encyclicals what is the problem. The problem is that it rejects most of 2000 years of Catholic Papal bulls and writings that have supported the Catholic faith.

            On the other hand demanding that something opposed to 2000 years of Doctrine be accepted, just because a new era of Catholicism appear, is quit similar to what occurred with the onset of Arianism: This belief held that Jesus Christ was not of one substance with the Father, but a creature raised by the Father to the dignity of Son of God.

            This Arian belief because it was NEW was to be forced on all Catholics, similar to these so-called Doctrines of Vatican II (The New Opening of the Church) because it was NEW Doctrine. In the long run Arianism turned out to be a broad based heresy that took almost as long to have it purged, as it did in being forced upon the Church in the first place. So why does Vatican II doctrines have variance with 2000 years of Catholic Doctrine? Not one of you can answer this question. And stop playing with the trifle that only the elite Theologians can answer. They have been tried and found wanting since 1965. As have you.

            It must be remembered that Vatican II was originally Pastoral, and is now transformed into Dogma. That it may not be the official policy of the church, but many believe that everything before Vatican II is now made void by Vatican II’s decrees. “All that is old must be removed” is the fanatical battle-cry of post Vatican II bishops to their dioceses. This is the practice of many bishops throughout the world to include pope Francis.

            Those who hold on to Pre-Vatican II Catholicism are so-called rigid Pelagians (a description that has no significant identification with current Traditionalist).
            they also, resist circular arguments like those mentioned above did Benidict this or Leo that. For these arguments only describe what Vatican II supporters believe to be the errors of Pre Vatican II Catholic Dogma. The never clarify, but, rigorously persue circular arguments. Why?

            Because the Post Vatican II apologist refuse to look at the negative affects of Vatican II documents. Thoughts are not directed towards the churches principle air “salvation of the souls of men”, but rather ascribe the success of Vatican II on how many new buildings, called churches have been erected.

          • Allan Daniel

            Jon, I think the adjustment needs to be how can Vatican II square itself with the vast and more authoritative body of documents produced before Vatican II, a mere pastoral council.

          • Joseph D’Hippolito

            I do, however, believe that the state has a role to play in the creation and maintenance of a Catholic commonwealth.

            Really? Why? So the State can exploit and intimidate the Church, and vice versa? Why do you think Christianity in Europe is collapsing at Mach speed? For far too long, European Christianity across the board either has tried to co-opt the State (the Vatican, Cromwell in England, Calvin in Geneva) or has allowed the State to co-opt it (Russian Orthodox Church) to further agendas that have nothing to do with the Gospel and everything to do with power, secular prestige and political influence.

            “Established” churches develop a symbiotic (if not sycophantic) relationship with the State. Consequently, they identify more closely with the political, financial and academic elite as oppose to the citizenry as a whole. As they become more dependent on the State’s financial and cultural subsidies (such as social acceptance), they lose their spiritual vitality. The Anglican Communion is an excellent example.

            Catholicism is dying as a spiritual and moral force because it long ago (way before the Reformation) sacrificed its spiritual patrimony on the altar of power, wealth, monarchist trappings and institutional arrogance. Just do an Internet search on the term “papal pornocracy” to see how old and how pervasive the leadership’s spiritual decay is. Mainline Protestantism did the same thing on the altar of intellectual fashion. Russian Orthodoxy did the same thing on the altar of Moscow as the “Third Rome” that shall never fall.

            A God Who demands holiness and righteousness from those who claim authority in His name is not amused. You will see how “non-amused” He is in rather short order.

            If you think that’s extreme, remember that many of the authors of the Epistles prophesied mass apostasy in the “last days.” Given its history, do you seriously think Catholicism is immune?

          • Joseph D’Hippolito

            Philip, here’s a contemporary example to prove my point. You remember that Catholic Charities used to have an adoption program. The organization disbanded the program when Federal courts ruled that Catholic Charities could not discriminate against same-sex couples who wanted to adopt. If it did, it would lose Federal funding. Here’s my point: Why does any Catholic ministry in any country need government financial support to perform its duties? That’s true especially in the United States, the wealthiest country in history, You mean to tell me that wealthy Catholics can’t fill the financial gap?

            The American bishops could have provided leadership on this issue. Instead, they caved like the moral weaklings they are and failed to respond. As a result, a legitimate alternative to abortion has been taken out of play. That’s not just the government’s fault. That’s primarily the Church’s fault exactly because of the “commonwealth” thinking you advocate.

          • simplynotred

            Philip is quite clear actually. But then Kantian Subjectivism has disturbed many a thoughtful heads. Accusations made are in many cases a Freudian slip by the accuser of methods they use themselves. It is an irony, but liberals have a tendency to be intolerant of other and demand excessive controls on same, while they call for “Freedom of Speech?” Which is meaningless!

        • anna lisa

          Phillip, I believe it is more logical to remember that Jesus promised that the Holy spirit would teach us many more things in the future–things that His generation could not “bear”. You want to believe that there was a golden age of Catholicism that we need to get back to. That isn’t rational. nor is it even scriptural. God is leading His people. If you don’t believe this it’s because you’re too proud. Saying “I know your sister” sounds like back peddling to me.

    • The Jerk

      ” It seems my writing naturally degenerates into polemic. Alas …”

      That’s because you’re not very good at thinking, Phil.

      • Joseph D’Hippolito

        Well, Jerk, at least he tries to think…unlike you.

        • The Jerk

          That’s The Jerk to you, horse boy.

      • Allan Daniel

        Jerk, I can’t help but think that had this been the Victorian era your mum and dad would have hidden you in the attic.

    • wineinthewater

      You’re ignoring a whole lot of context and some very important words in here. Leo was speaking in opposition to the secular state within the context of Catholic nations. He was describing how a just state relates to God and therefore to the Church who teaches truth about God. But the ship has sailed. The secular state that Leo opposed in favor of a Catholic state is the norm. Our nation states are *not* just. And this new context, the normalcy of the unjust state, the state that does not recognize its duty to God, is the reality to which Vatican II is speaking. If the state is to be unjust in its obligation to God, then religious liberty becomes essential.

      The teachings of Leo and Vatican II are really only in tension if you don’t like the direction Vatican II has taken. If you take the whole of Leo’s encyclical, with its focus on liberalism (the heresy, not just the political ideology), you can see that he is speaking very clearly to a time and place. Just look what he says elsewhere in that very section: “Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State.” We know that this is no longer true. The secular state, an unimaginable in Leo’s time, has prevailed. But if you read the whole of Vatican II’s decree on religious liberty, you see that it is speaking more universally and less specifically to one time and place as Leo was.

      So, considering an Ecumenical Council has infallibly taught about the role of religious liberty, any interpretation of Tradition as a “longstanding contempt for such intellectual licentiousness” can only be built on a hermeneutic of rupture. Continuity must see that what the Church has taught before has not been contempt for religious liberty but a rejection of a system of religious indifferentism. Unfortunately, when religious indifferentism becomes the norm, religious liberty becomes necessary.

      • Philip Primeau

        “‘Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State.’ We know that this is no longer true.”

        According to the Spanish priest, Reverend Dr. Felix Sarda Y Salvany, in his 1886 masterpiece “Liberalism is a Sin,” which was praised and defended by the Holy See, the Syllabus of Errors contains the following: “Condemnation of liberty of worship (propositions 15, 77 and 78); of the place of governments (propositions 20 and 28); of the absolute supremacy of the State (proposition 38); of the secularization of public education (proposition 45, 40 and 48); of the absolute separation of Church and State (proposition 15); of the absolute right to legislate without regard to God (proposition 56); of the principle of non-intervention (proposition 62); of the right of insurrection (proposition 63); of civil marriage (proposition 73 and others); of the liberty (license) of the press (proposition 79); of universal suffrage as the source of authority (proposition 60); of even the name of Liberalism (proposition 88).”

        Proposition 77 speaks directly to your objection: “In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be
        held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.”

        Even Dignitatis Humanae affirms the legitimacy of “special civil
        recognition … given to one religious community in the constitutional order of society.” Furthermore, it acknowledges that the “exercise [of religious liberty] is subject to certain regulatory norms.”

        Where the teachings of the present stand in direct contradiction to teachings of the past, we must assume that a synthesis is yet to be achieved, or that our hermeneutic requires adjustment.

        And we must always bear in mind that Vatican II defined “no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council,” as Benedict XVI explained. We must not make it into “a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest [of tradition].” After all, it is “a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, [not] an end of tradition, a new start from zero.”

        • wineinthewater

          I was unable to find the Syllabus of Errors online, so I couldn’t read the context for Proposition 77. But it doesn’t seem to address my objection at all. It is not a matter of whether it is expedient whether Catholicism should be the religion of the state. We are long since past the church-state questions being addressed in the late 19th c. in Spain. Catholicism is not the religion of the state and further, our current system makes it impossible for Catholicism to be the religion of the state. I am not saying that it is not expedient, I am saying that it is impossible. And as long as it remains impossible, religious liberty remains essential.

          And yes, Vatican II defined no dogma at all. That means that everything contained within Vatican II was already taught by the Church. Ecumenical Councils only define things about which there is uncertainty. If Vatican II does not define dogma, that means that what it had to say was already clearly taught. To say that Vatican II did not define dogma is not to make it possible to discount what it says. To say that Vatican II defined no dogma is to make it impossible to say that the Church taught something different before. Rather than bolstering your position, Pope Benedict made you position and your interpretation of Tradition even more untenable as it is at odds with the plain meaning of the documents of Vatican II. You are effectively appealing to a “Spirit of Vatican II” independent of its documents. That sounds very familiar to me, even if you are doing it from a different direction than the usual suspects.

          • rodlarocque1931

            It might be impossible to say that the Church taught something different before V2, but it is certainly not impossible to say it taught something different after V2.
            One must use the preV2 church, its teachings, doctrine and documents to judge the post V2 Church, not the other way around.

          • wineinthewater

            And we must use Vatican II *itself* to judge interpretations of the pre-Vatican II Church. The interpretation that my interlocutor offers of the Church before the Council is utterly at odds with the Council itself, with its very documents. It doesn’t require swallowing any modern liberalism heresy to see that.

            I have never been defending the post Vatican II Church. Plenty of screw-headed things have been done since the council, many of them while (falsely) claiming the Council for legitimacy. I have never equated the behavior of clergy and religious and the opinions of theologians with the teaching of the Church.

          • rodlarocque1931

            quote:
            “And we must use Vatican II *itself* to judge interpretations of the pre-Vatican II Church.”
            ___________
            The above sentence makes no sense at all. You can’t use an effect to change a cause.
            Vatican II has to be interpreted in light of tradition, Vatican II can’t reinterpret the tradition. This was made clear by Pope Benedict XVI and also makes complete logical sense.
            Those who think that Vatican II was a new Pentecost are just wrong.

          • wineinthewater

            It makes complete sense. I did not say that we must use Vatican II to judge Tradition itself, but *interpretations* of Tradition. We must use Tradition to understand Vatican II, but our interpretations of Tradition can always be wrong. This is why we have a magisterium. Just as we see that Protestants don’t actually believe in sola scriptura but rather in the primacy of private interpretation of scripture, we Catholics must avoid the same error of confusing our interpretations of Holy Tradition with Holy Tradition itself.

            If Vatican II says something that seems to us to be in contradiction with Holy Tradition, the Catholic response is to conclude that our interpretation of Holy Tradition (or Vatican II) is wrong, not that Vatican II is wrong. It is the Protestant response to conclude that Vatican II, that is the Church, is wrong.

          • rodlarocque1931

            Interesting point… but hard for me to accept, because this will simply lead to the triumph of the will of the powerful. The beauty of tradition is that even the most powerful have to accept it and they can’t just do whatever they want. But under the idea of a ‘living magisterium’ the tradition ends up arbitrary.
            Under your view a council can be called, and declare whatever it wants and then Church theologians will just rationalize the inconsistencies away using the hermeneutic of “the living magisterium.”
            This reeks of modernism. The past popes and tradition have a say in the modern world through sacred tradition. Modern man just can’t do whatever it wants.
            This is certainly a modern error, as we see governments acting contrary to their constitutions, so we also see clergy disregarding the democracy of the dead, as Chesterton defined tradition, giving our ancestors a vote on today’s affairs.

          • wineinthewater

            It is hard for you to accept that the Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church from teaching error in her Ecumenical Councils? It’s kind of a corner stone of Jesus’ promise to the Church.

            In my view, or rather in the Catholic view, a Council can be called and *can’t* actually declare anything it wants, because the Holy Spirit will prevent the Council from erring. The contemporary Church is not just restrained by anything as mundane as the precedent of Tradition, but by the supernatural aid of God.

            Either we trust Jesus in His promise of the Paraclete or we don’t. Considering that Paul tells us that the Church is the bulwark of Truth, I am far more likely to assume my own fallibility than hers. Protestantism is what results from the opposite. At the heart of Protestantism is the elevation of private opinion above the authority of the Church. No amount of vestments or incense can hide that. No appeals to Tradition rather than scripture can change that.

        • Allan Daniel

          Here is the link. It is a very good source because they list every encyclical (I think).

          http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9syll.htm

      • Romulus

        Excuse me, but (in the West, anyway) there are no more nation states. Just saying.

      • rodlarocque1931

        There still were Catholic countries in the world before Vatican II. Afterwards, at the insistence of the liberal Vatican clergy, these countries were told to remove preferences for the Church in their constitutions, which they readily did.
        Now you are correct, there are no real Catholic countries, with a union of Church and State. So the issue has become religious liberty.
        BUT for the Church the ideal should always be a Catholic country that includes some provisions for religious tolerance.

        • wineinthewater

          That is neither here nor there. That some Catholic clergy advocated a position that they thought was in line with Vatican II – but wasn’t because it did not integrate other Catholic teaching on the matter – does not change the validity of Vatican II’s teachings.

          The ideal is the Catholic country that allows personal liberty to freely embrace the Catholic Church – for as Augustine tells us, justness that comes from fear of the state is no justness at all – but I’m not sure that can be obtained. We also have to remember that many “Catholic States” were just tyranny’s using the faith as another means of control. We have to guard against the evil on the other side as well.

          • rodlarocque1931

            No matter how hard it is to realize in practise, the ideal has to remain, state recognition and preferences given to the True Church, with free exercise of conscience in PRIVATE for all citizens. However, the public exercise of false religions will be proscribed.
            This has been the Catholic ideal prior to Vatican II, yet strangely the document on religious liberty begins by claiming to keep the traditional doctrine in tact, yet in true modernist form, ends with the traditional doctrine contradicted in practise.
            This is the technique of modernism, since the Church doesn’t allow formal contradiction, give lip-service to tradition and then just do whatever one wants to the contrary.

          • wineinthewater

            The Church has always taught that the ideal was the State that recognizes the true faith. But I don’t see anywhere where the Church has taught that the public exercise of other faiths should be proscribed and that the expression of other faiths can only be private. Consider what Leo himself had to say:

            “The Church, indeed, deems it unlawful to place the various forms of divine worship on the same footing as the true religion, but does not, on that account, condemn those rulers who, for the sake of securing some great good or of hindering some great evil, allow patiently custom or usage to be a kind of sanction for each kind of religion having its place in the State.” (Immortale Dei, 36)

            He specifically says that Catholic teaching on the duty of the state to profess the true faith does not condemn rules who would do things like allow the public expression of other faiths.

            But I wonder at the utility of this conversation. When you say, “yet strangely the document on religious liberty begins by claiming to keep the traditional doctrine in tact, yet in true modernist form, ends with the traditional doctrine contradicted in practise,” you accuse an *Ecumenical Council* of heresy. Once Ecumenical Councils can be heretical, we are no longer speaking as Catholics.

      • Joseph D’Hippolito

        Unfortunately, when religious indifferentism becomes the norm, religious liberty becomes necessary.

        Apparently, you are unacquainted with the philosophy that guided the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, which has resulted in perhaps the one place on Earth where previously persecuted Catholics can immigrate and worship freely w/o being legally categorized as second-class citizens.

        • wineinthewater

          I am not. Despite their faith in God, a certain religious indifferentism was a mainstay of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. They had to tolerate Catholicism in order to also tolerate and turn a blind eye to the differences between the competing Protestant sects. The indifferentism of the US’s founding is not an indifferentism of all faiths, but just within the Christian faith. Yet it is indifferentism all the same.

          And so we see, that in the face of our country’s particular form of religious indifferentism, the only way for Catholics to worship freely is because religious liberty was guaranteed. Though it was not all smooth sailing. I am also familiar with our country’s many attempts to deny Catholics their rights to worship and to exclude them for civil society and power.

  • The Jerk
    • Jordan

      “There is no reason to be embarrassed of theocracy.”
      Unless it’s a Muslim one. THOSE people are BAD.

    • chezami

      “Conversion grows from the barrel of a gun.” – The Sayings of Chairman Peter
      I can hardly wait till the firing squads for Liturgical Purity get to work cleaning out the riff raff from America’s polity. Theocracy Now!

      • Joseph D’Hippolito

        Well, Mark, you certainly fire your own rhetorical stock of Gatling guns, AK-47s, Uzis and other such weaponry at anyone who dares disagree with The Illustrious Mr. Shea, The One True Interpreter Of All Things Catholic.

        Then again, you’re too busy reloading to notice.

  • Drake Steed

    Thanks for the Lebowski reference! Made my day!

  • richard

    Yes. Most of us would agree about us possessing freedom of will and freedom of conscience. I did a lot of reading about free will long before John Paul II.

  • LisaTwaronite

    Gosh, I though “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion” were universal ideals, but if he insists on giving them to us liberals, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? I’ll take ‘em.

  • Evan

    “If John Paul II were alive today, he’d be punching Philip Primeau in the back of the head when no one was looking.”
    Yes, but I think Thomas Aquinas is also rolling in his grave.

    • Evan

      I forgot to add: Our Lady of Fatima weeps. As do Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco.

      • The Jerk

        Did they all tell you they were weeping, or is that just a guess?

        • CS

          *Everybody* knows that whenever Simcha writes a blog post Our Lady weeps.

        • Evan

          Educated guess. Mary told the children to pray for Russia so her errors would not spread throughout the world. Now we have a Catholic promoting those errors.

  • Josh

    Phil, as much as I disagree with your conclusions, you did use the phrase “he harrumphed” and I love the word “harrumph” (and, though I don’t know him, I’d guess Mark Shea would probably be the first to tell you he occasionally harrumphs), so you have my vote. Well, at least you would if you believed in voting.

  • Christi H

    Its not freedom of speech or freedom of religion that the church holds in contempt, but so-called “Free Thought”, and relitavism that claims, rather than that you arr free to decide which religion is true, that nothing can be truer than anything else. Relitavism is not reality, and “Free Thought” isnt thought at all.

  • Lydia

    Simcha, I love you. You make Catholicism fun again.

  • Claire

    I was really disappointed in Catholic Lane for publishing his article. Ridiculous.

    • CS

      Someone posted a link to this article and said it is the editorial position of Catholic Lane.

      http://www.evangelizationstation.com/htm_html/Catholic%20Perspectives/did_vatican_ii_reverse_the_churc.htm

    • Allan Daniel

      How so ridiculous? Because I thought it was right on.

      • Claire

        Originally, Primeau asserted that Simcha Fisher and Mark Shea are liberals who compromise Church teaching (I can’t find that in his article currently, so I think he might have since edited it). That was the part that I found ridiculous. They are both faithful Catholics.

  • Romulus

    Simcha and Mark: have you had a look at Blessed John Henry Newman’s Apologia, in which he unpacks liberalism via examination of 18 propositions? Nowadays accepted uncritically as axiomatic by almost everyone (including most Catholics), Newman’s Propositions 9 through 12 are relevant to this thread.

    9. There is a right of Private Judgment: that is, there is no
    existing authority on earth competent to interfere with the liberty of
    individuals in reasoning and judging for themselves about the Bible and
    its contents, as they severally please.

    Therefore (interpolates Newman), e.g. religious establishments requiring subscription are Anti-christian.

    10. There are rights of conscience such, that every one may lawfully
    advance a claim to profess and teach what is false and wrong in matters,
    religious, social, and moral, provided that to his private conscience it
    seems absolutely true and right.

    Therefore, e.g. individuals have a right to preach and practise
    fornication and polygamy.

    11. There is no such thing as a national or state conscience.

    Therefore, e.g. no judgments can fall upon a sinful or infidel
    nation.

    12. The civil power has no positive duty, in a normal state of
    things, to maintain religious truth.

    Therefore, e.g. blasphemy and sabbath-breaking are not rightly
    punishable by law.

    In these propositions, Newman articulates and then rejects classic liberal notions that “everyone” unthinkingly embraces today. Would Simcha and Mark be shouting down Newman also, and holding him up for general scorn? Or is Newman on to something? I ask only for information.

  • Maggie Sullivan
  • rodlarocque1931

    What he is articulating is the difference between conservative and traditional Catholics.
    Coservatives have made peace with modern liberalism through Vatican II
    Traditionalists hold to the condemnations of Pius’ IX and X that condemned modern liberalism.

  • simplynotred

    Oh yes freedom of homosexual speech in Catholic Setting is GOOD right SMICHA!, Freedom of religion is also Good, that’s why Jesus whipped the Jewish money changers out of the Temple because money worship was GOOD right SMICHA!. SO Liberalism is the problem. And Liberal Progressive Speech regarding the acceptance of new Doctrine is also PROBLEM. John Paul II is Dead, and so are your silly ideas.

    • Richard W Comerford

      simplynotred:

      Unkind. We can all do better.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

      • simplynotred

        Truth is not always kind, its made that way. Try being kind all the time, just stop telling the truth.

        • Richard W Comerford

          simplynotred:

          Thank you for your reply. Perhaps I am being unclear – as usual. Christ commanded us to love our neighbor. And our neighbor is anyone we come in contact with. Telling the truth is an act of love. But the Apostle tells us to “tell the truth with charity”. Perhaps you would have a bigger impact on Ms. Fisher if you spoke the truth to her in a more charitable manner?

          God bless

          Richard W Comerford

          • simplynotred

            Your kindness suggest that when we point a gun at a thief, we should say, don’t worry, its not loaded! Presents all kinds of problems. Obviously to receive a kind conversation implies, that you did not start with a sensationally aggressive unkind statement.

            Yep, you heard it here first: The Catholic Church has longstanding contempt for liberal ideals, such as “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion.”

            If John Paul II were alive today, he’d be punching Philip Primeau in the back of the head when no one was looking.

            was this the kind statement your were referring too…?

          • Richard W Comerford

            simplynotred:

            If Ms. Fisher or another Catholic apologist writes with neither justice nor charity does it advance the Kingdom of heaven to respond likewise?

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • simplynotred

            Was the Jewish Temple – that Jesus entered whereupon He saw, Then shouted, Then wiped the money changers out of His fathers Holy Temple – made Holy any less – Or more so, by His hatred of sin?

            Does hatred of sin advance the Kingdom of Heaven? Or should you love sin and would that advance the Kingdom of Heaven. Is telling a lie a sin, or does no one lie who calls themselves human? At what point do you not understand the Wrath of God, and the wrath toward sin that a Catholic must have regarding our fallen state?

          • Richard W Comerford

            simplynotred:

            I believe that the rule of thumb for Christians is to “hate the sin; but love the sinner”. And there is that great secular rule of thumb: “You catch more flies with honey then with vinegar”.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

    • gregcamacho8

      smiplynotred,

      Harpo Marx was silly, and so are you, smiplynotred (but not in the same way.)

  • SMC_BC

    I don’t read Simcha Fisher as a rule but everytime her name comes up on news sites I do read it’s always in the negative. You’re building a bad reputation for yourself Simcha.

    • The Jerk

      Or you are reading crappy news sites. Lemme guess, fisheaters?

      • SMC_BC

        No. BTW, I wrote news sites – plural.

  • Allan Daniel

    You need to do your research. The Catholic Church has always been (before the wreck that was Vat II) opposed to the advancement of false religions, reading books containing heresy, ecumenism that promoted false religions as equal to the true religion, and was suspicious of the American form of democracy. With good reason.

    You will remember that those olden days were days when the Catholic Church was noticeably different than the Universal Church of today. For one, Catholics actually went to mass. Really. And they believed what the True Church of Jesus Christ taught.

    • kenofken

      The Church indeed was like that. Fortunately, the rise of literacy, printing, commerce and the modern secular nation state freed the Western world from that prison after a thousand years or so.

      • Allan Daniel

        Ken, look around you and tell me if the fruit of the modern secular state is worth eating.

        • kenofken

          It ain’t perfect, but it’s a lot tastier than what’s on offer in the theocracies and confessional states of the world – the Middle East, North Africa, Russia etc.

          • Allan Daniel

            It depends on how you define the phrase “lot tastier”. I suppose you are aware that free American has more people in prison than any other country on earth, including
            Russia and Red China, a country with many times our population? What is that called in the popular parlance? Police state, no?

  • simchafisher

    Gee whiz, you forget your moderator password for a couple of days and everybody takes advantage.

    Here’s the deal, folks. This is my blog. This is my comment box. If you’re going to wander in and be obnoxious, then there is no particular reason I should keep you around. And yes, I get to say who’s obnoxious and who’s not, because it’s my blog and my comment box.

    • Richard W Comerford

      Ms. Fisher:

      Mr. Primeau appears willing and ready to engage in polite dialogue with you and Mr. Shea in good faith. As our Church is already riven by factionalism I pray you and Mr. Shea will take Mr. Primeau up on his offer.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

      • simchafisher

        Nah, save your prayers for something more important. I’m not trying to encourage factionalism by bowing out of this discussion, I just have better ways to spend my time. I wrote my two paragraphs, or whatever it was, and I’m moving along, and so should all of you!

        • Richard W Comerford

          Ms. Fisher:

          Thank you for your reply and consideration. God bless you.

          Richard W Comerford


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