24 November 2017

"They have uncrowned Him" (4)

I return now to what I mentioned in the first of my series: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's views about Christian and non-Christian Societies ... and, in particular, to the question raised in Dignitatis humanae about the 'rights of Error'. It is with regard to this Decree that a very distinguished Catholic theologian wrote, not very long ago, that it "occasions a genuine difficulty for orthodox Catholics". And I begin with an anecdote of the Archbishop's which, I believe, goes to the heart of the problem. "Pope John Paul II made [this point] to me on the occasion of the audience that he granted to me on November 18, 1978: 'You know', he said to me, 'religious liberty has been very useful for us in Poland, against communism'".

It is easy to put simply what the ambiguities are. If one is coming from a culture which has been oppressed for a quarter of a century by atheistic Stalinist Communism (and before that, by National Socialism), an obvious truth will prescribe: Religious Liberty must be upheld, therefore the state must cease to prevent Catholic Truth from being upheld. But, against the background of a Christendom State, as we saw it in my first piece, in which the constitution has upheld either explicitly or implicitly the just privileges of the One True Faith taught by the the One True Church, the same truth will receive the expression: Catholic Truth must be upheld, therefore the state must discourage the growth and even the existence of errors against the Truth upheld by the Catholic Church. It is not surprising that S John Paul II, the doughty and effective warrior against a dominant Marxism, and the battle-hardened French Missionary bishop from a background of cultural opposition to the inheritance of the the French Revolution, failed to see eye to eye. Yet those two outworkings of the same principle, for two different contexts, have the same message: Catholic Truth must be upheld. And I could understand that some people might go further and say that, since there are few, if any, Christendom states left, and an increasing number of states in which Catholic Truth is opposed or even persecuted by a new illiberal Secularism or by Islam, we must forget about the second outworking and, out of prudence, make a great deal of the first.

Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP, about whom Fr Aidan Nichols has written a fine book, made this point in a passage which Mgr Lefebvre quotes with approval: "We can ... make of liberty of worship an argument ad hominem against those who, while proclaiming the liberty of worship, persecute the Church (secular and socialising states) or impede its worship (communist states, Islamic ones, etc.). This argument ad hominem is fair, and the Church does not disdain it, using it to defend effectively the right of its own liberty". So far, fair enough. [Those who do not know the real meaning of the phrase Argumentum ad hominem can read my articles via the search engine attached to this Blog; it does not mean "personal attack".]

But Garrigou-Lagrange goes on "But it does not follow that the freedom of cults, considered in itself, is maintainable for Christians in principle, because it is in itself absurd and impious: indeed, truth and error cannot have the same rights". Bang on, surely. Error cannot have rights. But it is not pedantic to observe that the writer is not so much concerned to deny personal liberties to those who belong to such cults as to deny it 'in principle' to the errors asserted by the cults.

Here is the problem: Archbishop Lefebvre, and writers who agree with him, have no difficulty whatsoever in piling up quotations from Popes who wrote before the Council, to the effect that Error has no rights. And the Conciliar Declaration Dignitatis humanae begins with a section including the statement that "it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and of societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ"*. But ... as the Council goes on to "develop" its teaching, it does get quite difficult to see how the so-called 'development' is not in fact a change. This 'development' is said to be rooted in a natural right not to be coerced, which is inferred to exist because of the principle that "Man's response to God in Faith must be free."

To be concluded.
*The Conciliar Acta  make clear the enormous importance of this sentence for the process of achieving Conciliar consensus. On November 19 1965 as many as 249 Fathers had voted non placet on the draft before them. At the final vote, on December 6, the number sank to 70 as the result of pressure put on many of the Fathers. Those who reluctantly changed their vote felt enabled to do so in good conscience because of the addition of this sentence as the result of a personal intervention by Pope Paul VI. It will be remembered that Conciliar decrees are expected to have the authority of a 'moral unanimity'. Dignitatis humanae, considered without the sentence added by the Pope, would be a document that lacked ... by a fairly hefty margin ... that necessary consensus. There is therefore a sense in which it is the most important statement within this whole Declaration, its clavis aperiendi cetera. It is therefore reasonable to insist that whatever else the document may go on to say, must be understood fully in accordance with both the letter and the spirit of that earlier teaching of the Magisterium.


Michael Leahy said...

Doesn't granting rights to error leave one helpless to oppose such incidents as the recent, thankfully failed, attempt to introduce a 'prayer to satan' in Boston City Council?

Unknown said...

A very similar story to the Nota Explicativa Praevia in Lumen Gentium regarding Collegiality, affirming that the college of bishops exercises its authority only with the assent of the pope. That also was inserted at the personal insistence of Paul VI and the non placet vote dropped from 322 to 46.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

The defenestration of the principle of non-contradiction has not been useful....




ON NOVEMBER 21, 1964

22. Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, St. Peter and the other apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined together. Indeed, the very ancient practice whereby bishops duly established in all parts of the world were in communion with one another and with the Bishop of Rome in a bond of unity, charity and peace,(23*) and also the councils assembled together,(24*) in which more profound issues were settled in common, (25*) the opinion of the many having been prudently considered,(26*) both of these factors are already an indication of the collegiate character and aspect of the Episcopal order; and the ecumenical councils held in the course of centuries are also manifest proof of that same character. And it is intimated also in the practice, introduced in ancient times, of summoning several bishops to take part in the elevation of the newly elected to the ministry of the high priesthood. Hence, one is constituted a member of the Episcopal body in virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the body.

But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church,

Back in the day, in the Peimonte area of Vermont where Ol' Mick was born, the old timers would have said about the claim that two different subjects both have supreme power- We need this like a frog needs sideburns.

Fr M. Kirby said...


Actually, that would only be a contradiction if the two subjects were what mathematicians call "disjoint sets", that is, alternatives with no overlap in membership. They are not. The order of bishops includes the bishop of Rome.

It helps if one recognises that "over the Church" above must be implicitly glossed as "over the rest of the church" as otherwise, given that all bishops are church-members, the Pope, for example, would be "over" himself, which is absurd. And what "the rest of the Church" means changes naturally with the context. If A = Pope, B = other bishops, and C = all others in the Church, then there is no logical problem with saying A has supreme authority over B + C, and A + B has supreme authority over C, if supreme authority means authority with no earthly superior.

And the role of the bishop of Rome is traditionally seen as expressing definitively the pre-existent magisterium of the apostolic collegium (which is not limited to those alive), rather than suppressing or surpassing it. So, it is perfectly reasonable to treat "Peter acting in concert with the rest of the Apostolate" as the subject of highest earthly leadership (here explicitly a corporate subject) while also treating "Peter acting on behalf of the Apostolate as its mouthpiece" as having that same leadership (here an individual subject implicitly acting corporately).

Fr M. Kirby said...

However, as for the "Error has no rights" teaching, speaking as one supportive of the Vatican II development in this area, the problem with this particular older teaching is not that it is in any way wrong, but that it is virtually a merely formal truth irrelevant to the real question. That is because its denial, "Error has rights" would be, strictly speaking, a category error. Errors are concepts that happen to be incorrect. Concepts can be right or wrong, but they cannot have "rights", that is moral entitlements to receiving certain benefits or to being protected from certain harms. Persons can have such rights, ideas cannot.

The question that matters is not about the "rights" of mistaken ideas, but the rights of persons who hold some mistaken ideas not to be punished by physical force for being mistaken. Traditionalists might counter-claim that the common sense answer to the question "Do those who sincerely hold erroneous religious opinions have the right not to be subject to oppression or coercion?" is "Yes, but only if no-one else's soul is endangered in the community, otherwise coercion is justified for public welfare, which means it will be plausibly justifiable against any public expression of religious error". The problem with this defence of the mediaeval approach is that, as I understand it, the Church continually and repeatedly denounced the forcible adoption and baptism of Jewish children as contrary to the natural rights of the Jewish parents and intrinsically wrong, despite the fact that this form of coercion manifestly satisfied the condition above given for legitimising coercion. Allowing Jewish parents to raise their children as Jewish allowed the non-Christian portion of the community to grow and made occasional conversions to Judaism more likely, both of which potentially affected the Christian/Catholic part of the community. Thus the Church recognised at least one group accepting, practising and preaching erroneous religious beliefs as having natural human rights protecting a core element of their religious freedom. Taking this with the perpetual acceptance that faith must be free and cannot be forced, we can say there were always elements of later Church teaching that respected the rights of those in religious error to practise their religion.

As for earlier Church teaching, the belief that Christ's Faith was not to be defended or advanced by violence had an obvious Scriptural-Dominical basis (e.g., "My kingdom is not of this world, if it were my servants would fight") and plenty of patristic support. The religious freedom extolled in the "Edict of Milan" is not condemned by the Fathers of the time, the very contrary in some cases, and its imperial co-author, Constantine, is canonised in the East.

Thus Vatical II can be seen as the reclaiming of one element in the Tradition that had never disappeared but been obscured by a different and slowly evolving mediaeval Western tradition that had certain flaws. This flawed tradition was correct to deny error had rights and correct to assert that it was perfectly legitimate for the State to favour the Catholic Church and promote its mission. In other ways, it was just wrong and not fully consistent with prior Tradition and certain contemporary teaching.

Randolph Crane said...

It is indeed very difficult to see the continuity between Leo XIII (e. g. Libertas præstantissimum) and Vatican II. Both say that Catholic faith must be upheld, but Leo XIII concludes that the state has a moral obligation to defend the faith on which society is built, and not to support other religions etc. (i. e. error). The Council on the other hand denies that duty and encourages religious freedom in a very modern sense.
However, I would say that even the Council does not encourage freedom to error. The moral obligation to join the One True Church of Christ is still existent, but the Church also knows that you cannot command Faith, since it's a divine gift. So she IMO says: As long as those pagans do not have the faith, they have the right to express their religious beliefs and cannot be prosecuted because of them. Although these religions are false, the believers must not be submitted to any harm. The Church uses other religions: She does not angrily destroy them, but she uses them to build upon them, and bring the pagans to the true Faith. When St. Paul was in Athens, he did not destroy the Altar to the unknown god, but he explained its real meaning. Of course, there were always different practices within the Church, such as the missionaries and Conquistadores in South America.
Then, we today have a separation between state and Church. Pope Benedict XVI expressively endorsed this concept. The state cannot regulate the Church's affairs, and the Church cannot regulate the states affairs. Contrary to secularism, though, the Church does not isolate herself, but she counsels the state, and she gives the moral foundation of society. The Church has always proclaimed freedom from worldly states (at least since libertas Ecclesiæ, which was a concept of opposition to the Ottonian-Salian Reichskirchensystem).
I would conclude, while there obviously has been a shift in the understanding of religious obligations and freedom, the newer stance of the Church is more in regard to the individual people (so that they are not subjugated to force), but her stance in regard to other religions is still the traditional one.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Mr. Kirby. As to your our claims made on Nov 7.

ABS would like to cite the observation of the Thomist, Msgr. Brunero Gherardini who in, “The Ecumenical Council Vatican II A much needed discussion,” observes this of two different subjects putatively having supreme power:

….the mere thought of it would be a scandal to St. Thomas and his disciples! If, on the other hand, this text, and in particular some of its terminology, is subjected to an analysis of words (like that which from the beginning I had deliberately proposed to my students so that they might be untouched by the suspicion that a Constitution, officially proclaimed “dogmatic” might contain, I will not say errors, but even uncertainties and ambiguities alone) then even a text on the verge of contradiction can become possible…

But precisely because it lacks this dogmatic form and thus the corresponding, binding force, this author is unable to explain how such a doctrine, namely, that which we read in the conciliar formulation of two subjects of full and supreme ecclesiastical power and two distinct exercises of it, could have found an advocate in Paul VI for its dogmatic and binding validity which, to the contrary, does not have, nor can it have. such validity, as articulated in the analysis shown here. Unexplainable too is the teaching of those post-conciliar theologians who transgressing logic, theology, and history have continues to harp on these two powers and two distinct exercise of it.

Chapter 9 The Church of the Dogmatic Constitution LG.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

As to the entirety of LG, Prof Gherardini both praises it and issues cautions about its novelties (reading between the lines of this pacific and careful cleric, ABS sees errors and even possible heresies) and he notes how LG is opposed to Mystici Corporis and he concedes we have a new Catholicity.

As to the College of Bishops, he avers:

What we have here, therefore, is an abnormal college which would be better called a corpus or ordo...without him or contrary to him there is no longer a college, but merely a gathering or sum total of Bishops.

His book is fantastic and fascinating and in it he shines the light on what has occurred owing to the Council's firm rejection of the use of scholastic terminology.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Msgr. John Ryan, "Catholic Principles of Politics, New York, 1940," pp. 317-8 : The fact that an individual may in good faith think that his false religion is true gives no more right to propagate it than the sincerity of the alien anarchist entitles him to advocate his abominable political theories in the United States, or the perverted ethical notions of the dealer in obscene literature confers upon him the right to corrupt the morals of a community.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...


TC said...

I have found that considering Dignitatis Humanae without referring to Thomas Pink's work on this question is doomed to an, at best, inconclusive end. It is like being in Plato's cave: one doesn't realize how much one doesn't know. And yes, the cave counts most traditionalists and liberals as its denizens.

wolfruno said...

There is an outstanding article by John Daly on the subject of 'Dignitatis Humanae' over on romeward.com entitled:-
'Religious Liberty – The Failed Attempts To Defend Vatican II',
(under 'Errors of the Conciliar Church and its Leaders'.)

If anyone harboured a lingering suspicion that this doctrine of Vatican 2 might ever be reconciled with traditional doctrine, this article annihilates it.

wolfruno said...

There is an outstanding article by John Daly on the subject of 'Dignitatis Humanae' over on romeward.com entitled:-
'Religious Liberty – The Failed Attempts To Defend Vatican II',
(under 'Errors of the Conciliar Church and its Leaders'.)

If anyone harboured a lingering suspicion that this doctrine of Vatican 2 might ever be reconciled with traditional doctrine, this article annihilates it.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Matthew Kirby,

1) With reference to infidels in a catholic society, What you fail to appreciate is that the other applicable principle, that baptism must be freely chosen either by the candidate himself, or if an infant, by his parents on his behalf, does not undermine the former principle. Forced baptisms are contrary to the common good, for they subvert the purpose of the sacrament. In the case of children who are baptised in an infidel family unwilling to facilitate the practise of the faith, should the baptised die in mortal sin, their punishment will be worse than if they had never been baptised.

2) It is irrational to claim that because there must not be forced conversions, if follows that infidels have a natural right to practise a false religion, as if the two propositions were contradictory. They are not, they are contrarieties, which means both are wrong, even though they cannot both be right. No-one has a natural right to be wrong. Human nature was designed by God, to say that He designed it in such a way as to confer upon us a natural right to adhere to error is to say that He designed it so as to direct it to some end other than Himself. Such a thing is impossible.

3) It seems to be implied in your post that forced conversions were not only common, but that they were the normal practice. But that is like saying that the church's constant legislation against heresy during that period is proof that most mediaeval catholics were heretics.

4) The Vatican II teaching on religious liberty is not a development. It contradicts prior infallible teaching. Doctrine does not develop by means of contradiction. Besides, no-one, not even Benedict XVI, has been able to demonstrate how it constitutes a development rather than a contradiction - they've had decades in which to do so. They haven't, because they can't. They can't because it isn't a development. Only papal positivists say that it is.

5) It is impossible to derive the proposition that Christ's faith is not to be defended from the proposition "My kingdom is not of this world, etc." to attempt to do so is special pleading. The fact that St Peter sentenced Ananias and Sapphira to death is sufficient answer to that. There is no greater coercive power, and he used it. It is just taking the behaviour of St Peter a further step to justify violent Catholic action against Muslim aggression. Hence, for example, the defence of Constantinople against the Turks and the Battle of Lepanto were entirely justified.

6) Championing of the Vatican II error on religious liberty is self-destructive. If people have the right to err, than you cannot criticise mediaeval catholics.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...


Your attempt to use set theory to justify Vatican II-style collegiality violates the principle of non-contradiction. A cannot have supreme authority over both B and C, and A and B share that same supreme authority over C. The fact that B's authority is superior to C, does not cause it to be the same as A's. And to say this does not make me an ultramontanist, either.

Fr M. Kirby said...

AvB's statement, "The fact that B's authority is superior to C, does not cause it to be the same as A's" is true but irrelevant, since the claim Vatican II makes is that A+B, not B alone (it specifically excludes that possibility), have that same authority with respect to C. I note that nobody has dealt with the point that, according to traditional Catholic ecclesiology, the papacy never acts genuinely alone anyway in the moral, theological and spiritual sense, but only in the canonical and juridical sense. In other words, the supreme doctrinal authority is the Magisterium acting infallibly, which Magisterium is always in essence "Peter united to the rest of the Apostolate", so to speak (A+B), but which can speak and act either corporately or in its head (A or A+B).

As for the counter-arguments to my points regarding religious freedom, some appear to be assertion or quotation of conclusions (as appeal to authority) rather than an engagement with the points I made. As for the rest, I note the following:

* The case of Ananias and Sapphira involved no use of carnal human force, but a prophetic decree in conjunction with divine action. Nor did it have anything to do with suppressing a false belief. So it proves nothing about the supposed right of the Church to command the State to oppress or kill heretics by the civil sword. The justifiability of the Crusades is quite able to be shown without the least appeal to this principle, and indeed Catholics have traditionally defended the Crusades on the basis of Just War principles and the legitimacy of self-defence, especially since force was here used against those entirely outside the Church's normal jurisdiction.

* The supposed self-destruction of religious liberty is nonsense, since religious liberty has always been put forward in the context of the following condition: that the liberty is never a liberty to enact violence against others unless in self-defence against violence from those others. As the Council said, "its exercise is subject to certain regulatory norms". Thus it is quite logically possible to uphold religious liberty and criticise the Inquisition, for example.

(T be cont'd)

Fr M. Kirby said...

* The resort to the statement "No-one has a natural right to be wrong" misconstrues the moral theology behind religious liberty because it does not distinguish between what constitutes the moral act per se and what does so per accidens. There is no claim that a person has a right to be wrong per se, as if the right attached to the assertion of the untruth in itself. The right is instead attached per se to being allowed to follow and act upon one's conscience regarding what is true, within limits, without being subject to coercion or violence. So the natural right is a natural right to seek truth and act accordingly, even if one makes mistakes, not a right to make mistakes as such. Thus the "right to be wrong without force being used against oneself" is a "right to be wrong" only per accidens. And not only does this right have limits as to its exercise, as the Council explicitly said, it is only a right to be free from coercion, not from verbal correction, so it is not a right to absolute autonomy and does not infringe upon the Church's right to forthrightly rebuke vice and error or preach the Gospel.

* My point about the Church's teaching on forced conversion and the Jews had nothing to do with showing forced conversions were common then, but was about showing that the Church did not, even in mediaeval times, consistently say that the Church had a right to enact violence against those holding religious errors (with the aim of either coercing heretics to profess orthodoxy or seriously harming them if they did not) as long as there was any potential or real harm to the orthodoxy of others. And they did not merely reject forced baptisms, but defend the rights of the Jews to practise Judaism. That is to say, the claim that the outright rejection of religious liberty (if such liberty is understood in the limited sense explained above and outlined at Vatican II) was the definitive and consistent teaching of the Church in any part of its history is false. If we go back to the ancient Church we can find Fathers who defend the use of force against heretics and Fathers who condemn it. In other words, the opposition to religious liberty fails to satisfy the Vincentian Canon, involved complex and disputed issues, and was thus reformable.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Mr. Kirby seems to consider himself bound to the D.H. document which is in contradiction to Tradition and Infallible Papal Encyclicals but even where they quote a former Pope, the fathers of Vatican Two do so wrongly:

++++++++++++++++Begin quotes +++++++++++

In footnote 2 to the Latin authorised edition of the Declaration, the Fathers cite Leo XIII in Libertas praestantissimum (20th June 1888) as authority for the proposition—

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.

But the great reforming Pope said no such thing, whether in that encyclical or anywhere else in his writings.[20] And this brings us to the most significant problem with the Declaration.

In that encyclical, Libertas praestantissimum, Leo XIII fulfilled the duty which the Council Fathers omitted. Preparatory to explaining how the faculty of human liberty relates to the worship of God, he exposed and elaborated its nature. He then said this (at nn. 19 and 20)—

“Let us [now] examine that liberty in individuals which is so opposed to the virtue of religion, namely, the liberty of worship, as it is called. This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion, or none.

“But assuredly, of all the duties which man has to fulfil, that without doubt is the chief and the holiest which commands him to worship God with devotion and piety. This follows of necessity from the truth that we are ever in the power of God, are ever guided by His will and providence, and having come forth from Him, must return to Him. Added to which, no true virtue can exist without religion for moral virtue is concerned with those things which lead to God as man’s supreme and ultimate good; and therefore religion, which (as St Thomas says) “performs those actions which are directly and immediately ordered to the divine honour,” (Summa Theologiae II-II, q. 81, a. 6; resp.) rules and tempers all virtues.

“And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practise that one which God enjoins upon us and which men can easily recognize by certain exterior notes through which Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because in a matter of such moment the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error. Wherefore, when a liberty such as We have described is offered to man the power is given him to pervert or abandon with impunity the most sacred of duties, and to exchange the unchangeable good for evil. Which, as We have said, is no liberty at all but its degradation and the abject submission of the soul to sin.”[21]

+++++++++++++ end quotes++++++++=

This is from the first paper at the Superflumina Babylonis website ABS earlier referred to....

Fr M. Kirby said...

One such quotation cannot establish a universal tradition or a binding teaching eo ipso.

And, just as importantly, it does not address the actual claims made for religious liberty by its relevant proponents, but posits an over-statement of them. To wit, "the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion". Since Catholic proponents of religious liberty defend a conditional right and would, for example, deny the right of a person to adopt a religion that demanded human sacrifice, the above quotation can only be a straw man fallacy if applied as a condemnation of Vatican II's version of religious liberty.

While the positive statements regarding our objective religious duties made in the 2nd paragraph of the quoted passage are correct, they do not deal with the difference between the objective+ontological and the subjective+epistemological. So, while men are undeniably objectively obliged to worship the true God in the way He commands, subjectively their moral responsibility will be conditioned by their understanding of what that means.

The last paragraph given gets close to this issue, but reasons theologically from a factual premise that is more than dubious if taken literally as a universal or absolute statement, the premise that the signs of religious truth are such that "men can easily recognize" them. In fact, for example, experiences of miracles can be found among the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches, and non-Christian religions have had claims of the miraculous plausible to their followers. And the fact that moral theology has traditionally recognised the genuine possibility of invincible ignorance and recognised that the sin of scandal is dangerous partly because it can detach believers from their trust in the Church proves that, in practise, the Tradition can affirm all 3 of these principles: the objective obligation of people to accept Catholic truth; the intrinsic rational sufficiency of the evidence for that truth; and the fact that persons can in good conscience be mistaken in apprehending that truth and therefore it is not the role of Church or State to subject them to violence or other punishment on this grounds, as this (given the generally acknowledged impossibility of humans safely judging human hearts) would both risk manifest injustice in itself by punishing the innocent and, as collateral damage, risk damage to how the Faith is perceived rather than defending it.

Finally, as I think it best if I move on from defending propositions that I first wrote over a year ago (look at the dates), I would note that I adhere to this position because I believe in my heart and mind that it is truest to Tradition at its best, in an area where Fathers and theologians have not spoken in one voice. I do not adhere to them because I believe Vatican II created new dogmas that oblige assent solely on the authority of that Council.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Matthew. Agreed.

It is best to just "move on" as folks are wont to say for what is demonstrably not true is what you aver in your last paragraph.

O, and it is not just one quotation as you would know if you took to the time to read the many objections to Religious Freedom at Super Flumina Babylonis Blog.

However, if it were only one infallible teaching, isn't that enough?

Adios and have a blessed Advent.