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Sunday, May 6, 2018
Vatican II Engendered Today’s “Religious Liberty”
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Guest Post By David Martin

There has been much published this past year in refutation of Pope Francis’ repeated use of distorted or ambiguous wording to advance licentious behavior in the name of “conscience.”

These publications are warranted. For instance, Amoris Laetitia says that those living in adultery may at times continue thus in good conscience: "Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal." (Amoris Laetitia 303)

So according to Amoris Laetitia, conscience can recognize that "the most generous response" we can give to God is to break his commandments. How can this be when Christ said, "If you love me keep my commandments?" (John 14:15) Sin crucifies the Savior, so how can it be a "generous response” to him?

In an adulterous situation with a fornicator, the only thing that conscience recognizes is that he is offending God. The finger of conscience is pointing at him and telling him he must leave his shameful vice if he wishes to be saved, but pride comes along and closes his heart to the voice of conscience. Like a Pharisee, he resists the Holy Spirit and seeks continued escape in his sin, yet Amoris Laetitia says this "is what God himself is asking" of him.

This false understanding of conscience is becoming problematic in a way never before seen in Church history. More and more we see Catholics entertaining a false religious liberty that advocates the selfish rights of man, as if modern man is now a little god who can think for himself without the guidance of a divine chaperone.   

Sadly, the groundwork for this arrogance was laid at the Second Vatican Council fifty-three years ago. Consider the opening paragraph of Dignitatis Humanae, which is the Vatican II document on Religious Liberty:

“A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man, and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment.” [1] 

Again, we read:

“God has regard for the dignity of the human person whom He Himself created and man is to be guided by his own judgment and he is to enjoy freedom.” [11]

Here we see the Council honoring man’s prerogative to be his own guide, which is contrary to the Creator. “For God will not except any man’s person, neither will He stand in awe of any man’s greatness: for He made the little and the great, and he has equally care for all.”   (Wisdom 6:8)

Man’s true dignity consists in his being made to the image of God, but this dignity is preserved by keeping one’s innocence and yielding his judgment up to God, so that he makes God’s judgment his own in matters of faith and morals. What God requires of us is a childlike submission to doctrine and Tradition as taught by the Savior Himself: “Unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

According to Vatican II, the Church may not infringe upon one’s personal rights by laying down the law as to what they must do to be saved. It affirms the natural rights of man in matters of religion (Masonic freedoms), which is contrary to the previous papal teachings which deny any such rights. Pope Pius IX in his Encyclical “Quanta Cura”, Leo XIII in his Encyclicals “Libertas Praestantissimum” and “Immortale Dei” and Pius XII in his allocution “Ci Riesce” all affirm that there is no logical or scriptural basis for this humanist notion of human dignity, yet Vatican II seems to assert it as dogma.

However, we have to make a clear distinction between moral conscience and temptation. Conscience will always compel one to fear God and keep his Commandments which are already engraved “in the fleshy tablets of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3), whereas temptation will always lead one to depart the Commandments and follow his own will or sense of liberty where he doesn’t allow the Divine Monarch to hold the reins in his life. Such liberty offends God and chains us to the shackles of guilt, which is no liberty. (John 8:34) There is no such thing as “my moral conscience told me to sin and be a rebel,” for such is the manifestation of a guilty conscience, not a moral conscience.

It is true that man is given a free will to choose between good and evil, which God does not interfere with, since our eternal friendship with God must be a free will offering which is grounded in charity, and not coercion. However, the abuse of our free will to choose evil is not honored by God nor is it permitted in the Church, nor is it a form of religious liberty.

With every liberal proposal in the Vatican II document(s) there is an apparent conservatism (ambiguous double meaning) to cover its tracks so that, under the pretext of honoring the rights of every human to freely adore his Creator, the document advocates that man has the liberty to follow his own licentious will:

“In all his activity a man is bound to follow his Conscience… It follows that he is not to be forced to act in manner contrary to his conscience. Nor, on the other hand, is he to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience, especially in matters religious. The reason is that the exercise of religion, of its very nature, consists before all else in those internal, voluntary and free acts whereby man sets the course of his life directly to God.” [3]

Here conscience is used interchangeably with self-will so that on the surface it looks very honorable and says the truth that no man or religious authority may infringe on the God-given rights of men to direct themselves to God. But what the document is really saying is that the Church must honor the judgment of man to choose and decide for himself what course he is going to take, even if it means denying Christ. We might almost see the document as a pro-choice document, since what is honored is not the right choice but the “right” or “freedom” to choose, so that whatever choice is made is automatically honored by the Council.

What is absurd is how Vatican II cites our “human dignity” as the justification for this religious liberty. “The declaration of this Vatican Council on the right of man to religious freedom has its foundation in the dignity of the person, whose exigencies have come to be fully known to human reason through centuries of experience.” [9] Since when is man’s ‘dignity’ flaunted before the throne of God?

True religious liberty is that special endowment we all have to freely serve God without the interference of tyrannies or world councils that coerce us into adopting anything contrary to Church tradition. Such was the way of the saints who freely abandoned themselves to God with complete immunity to all things so that they were answerable only to God without respect to persons. (Ephesians 6:6)

The same liberty applies to Christian governments. It is not only the right but duty of government to enforce Christian morality as the law of the land, and to openly advocate it for the good of all, but according to Vatican II our U.S. government does not have that right.

“It follows that a wrong is done when government imposes upon its people, by force or fear or other means, the profession or repudiation of any religion.” [6]

Government indeed cannot force its people to profess a certain denomination, but it most certainly can profess Christianity to be the law of the land where the people at least are required to profess it in action through their compliance. But according to the Council, the U.S. Supreme Court did wrong in 1892 by declaring the United States to be “A Christian nation” in which “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind.” The U.S. traditionally imposes the rule of Christianity as the law of the land to be obeyed by its citizens, namely, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not rape, fornicate or abuse little children, etc., yet the Council seems to regard this mandatory compliance as ‘coercion.’ Does government not have a right and duty to enforce law and order?

According to the document, religious zealots and terrorists should be free from such government coercion. “The freedom or immunity from coercion in matters religious which is the endowment of persons as individuals is also to be recognized as their right.” [4] Since when do people have a right to offend? If a person’s religion dictates that he can murder Christians for Allah and crash his jet into the local skyscraper, shall he now be immune from government censure or coercion? God forbid!

The fact that someone has a religious conviction doesn’t make it right. With great liberty and conviction, the Jews condemned Jesus to death, even in the name of “God their father,” but Jesus told them who their father was, the devil, just as the devil is the father of those who suggest we may break the laws of God in view of religious liberty.

Perhaps the most passionate opponent of the Religious Liberty document was Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who warned of its detrimental consequences for the future, citing that it advocated “the right to cause scandal.” He warned that with this document “a civil society endowed with Catholic legislation shall no longer exist” and said it would bring about “the disappearance in the Church of the missionary spirit for the conversion of souls.” (Bernard Tissiers, The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre)

On June 29, 1976, the Archbishop also had this to say: “This right to religious freedom is blasphemous, for it attributes to God purposes that destroy His Majesty, His Glory, His Kingship. This right implies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, and all the Masonic freedoms.”

According to Lefebvre, the most incriminating evidence against the Religious Liberty of Vatican II was the enthusiastic support it received from the synagogue of satan. Consider the following from the Archbishop:

“This very year [1965], Yves Marsaudon, the Freemason, has published the book L’ oecumenisme vu par un franc-macon de tradition (Ecumenism as Seen by a Traditional Freemason). In it the author expresses the hope of Freemasons that our Council will solemnly proclaim religious liberty… What further evidence do we need?”

If Pope Francis is so impassioned about honoring the rights of man, he should honor our right to resist him, otherwise he discriminates. If adulterers have a right to continue in adultery, then we certainly have a right to censure their adultery, because “men should act on their own judgment” [1] and “man is to be guided by his own judgment.” [11]

With God as our guide we will do just that!

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