This Pastor's Corner demonstrates that the bishops' adherence to religious liberty as taught in the Second Vatican Council's document, Dignitatis Humanae, has led to the undoing of the Church's liberty via the State.
Pastor's Corner for Passion Sunday of Lent (March 25, 2012)
We are clearly pleased to see the United States’ bishops as a group raising their voices for what sounds like a crusade against the powers that be, making use of what little bit of freedom we are still afforded in this godless age.
The American leaders of the Church speak thus:
- The issue is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church (the faithful and most of its institutions) to act against the Church's teachings. The mandate of the HHS forces what it calls “services” upon Catholic agencies, which refers to sterilization, contraception, and abortive contraceptives, all of which are clearly against Catholic morality.
- But, in so doing, the mandate gives a narrow definition of the “religious employer” as one working in the Church alone vs. another ministering to the neighbor. The HHS thus creates a second-class citizenship within the communities. Thus, all the religious institutions will be forced to do things contrary to their faith, against the legally-recognized right not “to be forced to act in a manner contrary to (ones’) own beliefs.” (Dignitatis Humanae, n. 2)
- The HHS mandate creates even further a third class, those with no protection of conscience at all, since employers and employees of any non-religious institution will be taxed to aid in providing “services” contrary to their values.
In spite of this able defense, there are still serious reserves on our part:
The Catholic Church for 40 years has been largely silent on the issues of contraception and abortion. Have you heard any bishop recently quoting Humanae Vitae? These battles have been led mainly by fundamentalist Protestants. We are harvesting the fruits of the post-conciliar debacle and demoralization which did away with a healthy warlike spirit.
Protestantism broke the unity of Christendom with the principle of Religion by region—Cujus regio, ejus religio. But Vatican II has gone one step further in the break by dissociating the individual from society, Religion by conscience—Cujus conscientia, ejus religio.
Louie Verrecchio (March 15, 2012 in RenewAmerica), has strong words against Vatican II which turned Churchmen into statesmen, with their distinct language of political correctness which will never allow “absolute truth” to be given free rein: “we must avoid non-inclusive concepts.”
He quotes Bishop William Lori, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Religious Liberty: "When we speak about religious freedom as the first of the freedoms, it's not to aggrandize the Church, but to uphold the first line of defense for the dignity of the human person." By so doing, he goes directly against Christ’s mission which could uphold man’s dignity only by aggrandizing the Roman Catholic Church!
This is the gravitational pull of Dignitatis Humanae, which substituted religious liberty for all religions against the age-old liberty of the Catholic Church which gave error only a tolerance at times. This new trend virtually endorses the equality of all religions, a phony ecumenism a la Assisi, and in the end, indifferentism and the “I-got-my-own-religion” attitude for a great majority of lost souls.
I make Verrecchio’s conclusion my own:
Like a computer virus disguised as a necessary update to an important program, the “Americanized” version of religious liberty espoused at Vatican II is increasingly revealing itself as a particularly insidious strain of indifferentism; one that threatens to claim nearly as many victims as the post-conciliar liturgical crisis."
1 A Statement of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, March 14, 2012 2 Bishop William Lori, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Religious Liberty.