Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Religious Liberty: What the Texts Demand

by Fr. William G. Most


In this article, Fr. William Most seeks to amplify the position he took on the religious liberty issue in Faith & Reason VI, 2 (Fall, 1980). Fr. Most's method is straightforward, as he marshals the pertinent texts and insists that they mean precisely what they say — and no more. Thereby he seeks to show that there exists no incompatibility among the texts, whether drawn from Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius XU, or Vatican II.

Larger Work

Faith & Reason


196 – 209

Publisher & Date

Christendom Press, Front Royal, VA, Fall 1983

The use of correct method is vital in all study. A prime example appears in the natural sciences, which for centuries worked by an armchair method, and produced very poor results: but when, in recent times, the change was made to proper method, a brilliant explosion of progress began, which is not yet at an end.

Similarly, the centuries old impasse in the debates on grace and predestination came from false method in two ways: 1) The debaters seemed to assume they could find the answers by philosophy, more particularly, by metaphysics. But metaphysics can find only what simply must be, in the nature of things. But the answer to these problems depends much on free decisions by God; 2) Both sides quoted Scripture without regard for context, e.g., John 15:16, which really, in context, refers to the choice of the particular twelve as Apostles, was made to refer to a blind predestination to heaven; and Romans 8:29 ff, which really speaks of predestination to full membership in the People of God, was made to refer to heaven.

We are going to study the reconciliation of teachings of Vatican II with those of earlier Popes: Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII. We must be extremely careful of correct method. We need to observe especially two methodological points.

First, a lesson in method from the Fathers of the Church. They knew full well that in theology, because divinely revealed truths are involved, we may readily enough find ourselves with two truths that we cannot harmonize easily, if at all. Then we distinguish the fact from the how. The fact that they can be harmonized, and that both doctrines are true is assured by the fact that both truths come from revelation. Therefore, we must at no point doubt either truth. Nor may we allow ourselves to strain either truth, in an effort to find the how.

Everyone admits these things as long as we speak only in general: but when we get to particular cases, many are tempted to strain or even to deny one of the two sides. The Fathers, at least often, did much better. For example, in pondering the truths about the human knowledge of Jesus, they encountered two difficult Gospel texts. Luke 2:52 said that Jesus advanced in wisdom; Mark 13:32 quoted Jesus Himself as saying He did not know the day of the end.

A simplistic reading, such as not a few exegetes use today, would just say: See, He Himself says He was ignorant; the Gospel says He had to grow in wisdom so He must have been somewhat lacking at earlier times. But many of the Fathers each make two sets of statements on each of the texts. One set seems to affirm ignorance in Jesus; the other denies it. In due time, the means of reconciliation was found: St. Athanasius discovered the needed distinction for Lk 2:52, between actual growth and growth in manifestation; Eulogius and St. Gregory the Great found the means for Lk 13:32: He knew the day in His humanity, but not from His humanity.1

A similar situation can be found in the Patristic treatment of the teaching, "No salvation outside the Church."2 And one may well wonder if the key to the words of many Fathers on alleged subordinationism before Arius may not lie in a similar approach.

We gather, then, for our first hermeneutical point, that once we are assured by the Church that two things are true, we must never trim in the least on either point, even if there seems to be a clash. The fact that they agree we know, even if we may not, for a time, find the how.

For our second principle of interpretation we need to be aware of the fact of divine brinkmanship. We mean this: God has made two commitments, which at times lead in opposite directions. On the one hand, He has promised to protect the teaching of the Church; on the other hand He has made human beings free. So at times He must draw a very tight line, conceding to each commitment what it requires, but no more.

The application to our present task is this: we must take the words of an official document in the sense in which the words were current at the time of writing, and try to determine the sense the writer intended in them. But in determining what he intended, we must confine ourselves to what the writer succeeded in setting down on paper explicitly: what he may have had in his thoughts (which as a matter of history we often know) will count only if he not only had such ideas, but also put the thoughts down explicitly on paper. Such are the demands of brinkmanship.

So, for example, not a few statements near the time of St. Augustine, and even later, were written by men who believed at least some part of his regrettable massa damnata theory. The fact that we know they had such thoughts in mind does not commit the Church or Divine Providence to that theory. No, the words must be taken only for what they manage to express, taking into account, as we said, the sense normally possessed by such words at that period. Similarly, we know that the framers of some of our Eucharistic definitions had in mind the Aristotelian notions of substance and accidents. That did not commit the Church to Aristotelianism, though it did commit the Church to the teaching that the substances, in the popular rather than technical sense, of bread and wine are no longer present after the consecration, but only the appearances thereof. Again, we know most clearly the mind of Pope Paul VI on the ordination of women from his remarkably explicit letter of Nov. 30, 1975 to the Anglican Archbishop Coggan. Had he spoken that clearly to the universal Church, the matter would be definitely closed. But we must take his statements to the universal Church for only what he explicitly set down in them — not from what we are sure was in his mind as a result of the letter to Archbishop Coggan.

So now that we have in mind these two points — to distinguish the fact from the how: and to keep in mind divine brinkmanship so that we are confined to what the writer managed to explicitly set down, not adding what may have been in his unexpressed thoughts — now we can go on to study the teachings on religious liberty. We will not let ourselves simplistically claim to settle interpretation by what John Courtney Murray had in mind, or by what ideas we know were current in the days of Pius IX. We will hold to what Vatican II and the earlier Popes really set down explicitly. If we took in the thoughts of Murray, they would probably clash with the thoughts of Pius IX. In fact, Murray, in his introduction to the Abbott edition of Vatican II's document on religious freedom says: "The notion of development, not the notion of religious freedom, was the real starting-point for many of those who opposed the Declaration even to the end." So we wonder: Was Murray willing really to contradict the older teachings? So on the next page (674) he adds: "The Conciliar affirmation of the principle of freedom was narrowly limited — in the text. But the text itself was flung into a pool whose shores are as wide as the universal Church. The ripples will run far."

Could it be that he was willing to contradict the past, while some of the Fathers of the Council were unwilling, and feared the Declaration really did contradict? Yet Murray, as we just saw, seemed a bit disappointed, and hoped that while the text was narrow, it would be interpreted more freely. Divine Providence, however, had other plans, as we shall see when we read all the texts with the careful hermeneutic procedure we have just explained.

Now to the texts themselves. We will work in two states: first, we will carefully study the meaning of each individual text according to the norms just presented; then we will be in a position to compare the two groups of statements.

Gregory XVI

On August 15, 1883, Pope Gregory XVI, in his Mirari Vos told us that there is "a most fruitful cause of the evils with which, we lament, the Church is now afflicted, that is, indifferentism."5 He explains what he means by indifferentism, namely, "that evil opinion that souls can attain eternal salvation by just any profession of faith, if their morals follow the right norm" and "from this most foul font of indifferentism flows that absurd view, or rather madness, that one should defend and vindicate for just anyone freedom of conscience."

In the first quotation, the Pope says that not just any profession of faith has the power to save a man, that is, one cannot be saved by just any sort of faith. But: Can a person be saved in spite of errors in faith, if he is in good faith? Pius IX, who also spoke most forcefully against indifferentism says yes: "God . . . because of His supreme goodness and clemency, by no means allows anyone to be punished with eternal punishment who does not have the guilt of voluntary fault."6 Pius IX of course knew that there are two groups of requirements for salvation: a certain minimum faith that God exists, and rewards justly, plus keeping the moral law as one knows it. He tells us, then, that if this second requirement is met, somehow the first will be provided for also. He tells us the fact, without explaining the how.

In the second quotation, Gregory XVI just says that a man does not have a right to be wrong. For a right is a claim given by God to have or do something. God gives no claim to be wrong. To say a man has a right not to be impeded is something else.

Gregory XVI then adds, as Pius IX cites it, that it is likewise an error to say, "that freedom of conscience and of worship is a proper right of every man, which should be proclaimed by law and asserted in every rightly constituted society, and that citizens have a right to every kind of liberty, to be restrained by no authority, ecclesiastical or civil, to openly and publicly manifest and declare any ideas whatsoever orally or in print or by any other means."7

It is important to notice that this teaching is given by way of a condemned statement. Now any theologian knows the policy of the Holy See in condemning propositions: if there is even one thing wrong, the statement will be marked as wrong. So we have underscored several expressions in the above statement, all indicating serious errors.

First, Gregory XVI denies that there is a right to hold every kind of wrong belief and worship. Now it is one thing to say a man has no right to be wrong — he does not — and quite another thing to say he has a right not to be penalized for having the wrong belief. We note too the sweeping expression: "every kind of liberty [omnimodam]." This would include the right to teach the grossest immorality, to propose overthrowing the government by force, to practice headhunting. Clearly this is too much. Further, the errors, according to the condemned statement, must be "restrained by no authority, ecclesiastical or civil." That would deprive even the Church of the right to correct errors — again, much too far.

We gather, then, from Gregory XVI, these conclusions: 1) No one has a right to just any wrong belief or worship 2) It is wrong to say that one can be saved-precisely by false beliefs; 3) It is wrong to say that no authority at all, church or state, has any right to restrain manifestation and publication of errors no matter how gross or immoral they are (conceptus quoscumque).

Pius IX

Again we notice that the strongest statements of Pius IX are in the form of condemned statements. Still further, the three strongest statements in his Quanta cura are all given in quotation marks, but yet, though the Acta normally give the source of quotes, no source is given. It seems clear that these statements were not taken from any existing text of any author, but were framed by the Holy See to provide a specially strong and clear case.

The first condemned statement is: "The best condition of human society and civil progress altogether requires that human society be structured and governed with no consideration of religion, as if it did not exist, or, at least, with no distinction between true and false religion."8 So it is wrong to say that it is the best thing for the state to totally ignore religion, or to treat all religions as equal.

We will take the third statement second, since the third is the most critical. In this text, Pius IX adds that it is wrong to say that "freedom of conscience and of worship is a right of each and every sort of man, which should be proclaimed by law and asserted in every rightly constituted society, and that citizens have a right to liberty of every kind, to be limited by no church or civil authority, in virtue of which they are able to manifest publicly, orally or in print, their concepts of any short whatsoever."9

We note that sweeping statements: everyone has a right to be wrong, with no restriction, not even by the church, and to promote concepts "of any sort whatsoever." This is really the same as the line of Gregory XVI, on which we commented above.

The second text, the strongest, says it is wrong to hold that "the best condition of society is one in which there is no recognition of the duty of the government to repress violatores of the Catholic religion, except to the extent that public order demands."10

We left the word violatores in Latin, since the English words violator and violation are so much weaker, e.g., a parking meter, for one minute overtime, will display a sign: "violation." In Latin, as the authoritative Harpers' Latin Dictionary says, violare means, "to treat with violence, injure, invade, profane, outrage." Violatores, of course, are those who commit violatre. Precisely how far this extends we will examine later, when we make a detailed comparison of this text with the texts of Vatican II. For now we notice two things. To satisfy the words of Pius IX we must ask: Is there anything (1) strong enough to be violatio, yet (2) such that civil law would not repress it in the interests of public order, but yet Vatican II would still approve of repressing. In other words, Pius IX insists that there are some violatores whom the state ideally should repress even though the interests of public order do not demand that repression. We said ideally, because Pius IX refuses to say things are the best, the ideal, if they do not match his requirement given here.

Pius IX also has a few condemned propositions in his Syllabus that bear on our topic. Since they mean basically the same as the teachings we have already seen, we can treat them more briefly. Error 15 (DS 2915) says men have a right to be wrong. Error 77 (DS 2977) says that today we should no longer want the Catholic religion to be professed by the state while excluding all other cults. But we can urge the state to profess Catholicism (as Vatican II also does, which we shall see) without excluding other cults. Error 78 (DS 2979) says it is a praiseworthy situation to have freedom for all cults. It is not praiseworthy — it would be far better if there were no false religions at all. But that does not deny that people might have a right not to be coerced. We would like a better situation, but recognize this one is necessary. Error 79 (DS 2979) says people have the full power to profess just any errors (quaslibet opiniones). Of course that goes too far, as we saw above in a statement of Gregory XVI. Error 80 (DS 2980) says the Pope should reconcile himself to the idea that a man has a right to be wrong. But no one has that right.

To sum up our results thus far: In studying Gregory XVI we found three teachings, which we spelled out in compact form. The same three are found in Pius IX. He adds the special text on violatores. So we can add to our list of conclusions given above: 4) It is wrong to say that violators (in the sense determined above) of the Catholic religion should not be restrained unless public order demands it.


Here even more than in the previous texts, we need to be careful of translation The version found in The Church Speaks to the Modern World: The Social Teachings of Leo XIII (Doubleday, 1954) is not entirely accurate, so that if one had to depend on translation alone, he might really seem to find contradictions between Vatican II and Leo XIII. Therefore we will insert in parentheses the critical expressions, and, in a note, give the complete Latin text.

In Immortale Dei, Nov 1, 1885, Leo XIII said:

So too that liberty of thinking and of publishing anything whatsoever [quidlibet], with no restraint at all [omni moderatione posthabita] is not a good by its own nature [propria vi sua bonum] over which human society could rightly rejoice, but is [on the contrary] the font and origin of many evils . . . for this reason, a state errs from the rule and prescript of nature if it allows a license of opinion and actions to such an extent that without penalty [impune] it is permitted to lead minds away from the truth and souls from virtue.11

The key to the interpretation is to note the extreme breadth of the position the Pope is condemning: he objects to letting people think and publish just anything (quidlibet) with no restraint at all (omni moderatione posthabita). If they could do that, they could publish grossly immoral things, such as pornography, with no restriction, and could advocate overthrowing all civil power by force. The Pope rejects this "license" which leads minds from truth and souls from virtue. He is, then, not speaking of just lesser errors, but of complete libertinism (the same ideals found in our conclusions 3 and 4 above). Did he really have more in mind than this? One may debate if he so wishes. However, according to the methodological principles explained in the introduction, if he had more in mind but did not set it down explicitly on paper, that part that is only in his mind does not count, and is not protected by Divine Providence.

Indeed, we find the same Pope himself adds large restrictions to the above later on in the same document:

Really, if the Church judges that it is not permitted that various kinds of divine worship have equal rights with the true religion, yet it does not for this reason condemn the rulers of states who, to attain some great good or prevent evil, patiently allow each [kind of cult] to have a place in the state. And the Church too is wont to take great care that no one be forced to join the Catholic faith unwillingly, for, as Augustine wisely admonishes: "No one can believe, except willingly."12

A bit earlier Leo XIII had said that a state may not disregard religion completely, or hold in equal favor all kinds of religion. The reason is that if each man as an individual must worship God for his individual needs, so too the state as state should worship God. Further, if God has made known the way in which He wishes to be worshipped, the state must follow that — without, of course, suppressing other cults. But this is precisely what Vatican II taught, as we shall see later: "It leaves untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ."13 Leo XIII could not have asked for more!

Again Leo XIII carefully qualifies his statements in Libertas praestantissimum (June 20, 1888). Referring to "freedom of speaking and publishing whatsoever one pleases" (quodcumque libeat) he comments:

It is scarcely necessary to say that there can be no right for a freedom that is not moderately tempered, but which goes beyond measure and bounds [non modice temperatae, sed modum et finem transeuntis libertatis ius esse non posse vix attinet dicere] . . . lying opinions . . . and likewise vices that corrupt the soul and morals: it is right that they be diligently restrained by public authority so that they may not creep forth for danger to the state. . . . For if a boundless license [infinita licentia] of speaking and writing be conceded to just anyone [cuilibet] nothing is going to remain holy and inviolate: not even those greatest, most true judgments of nature, which are to be considered as the common and most noble patrimony of the human race, will be spared.14

Again, we see it is great extremes that the Pope explicitly condemns. And he repeats the same thought we saw in his Immortale Dei:

For these reasons, while not conceding any right to things that are not true and honorable, it [the Church] does not refuse to let public authority endure these, that is, to avoid some greater evil, or to attain or keep some greater good. The most provident God, though He is infinite in power, and can do all things, yet permits evils in the world, in part, so as not to impede greater good, in part, lest greater evils follow. In ruling states, it is right to imitate the Ruler of the World.15

We see, then, two poles as it were in the thought of Leo XIII: on the one hand, just any evils may not be permitted; on the other hand, certain lesser evils must be permitted, following the example of Almighty God Himself. In between these two extremes or poles there is a large area on which the Pope does not pronounce. We should avoid turning him into an advocate of the suppression of all that is not Catholic truth.

To sum up, Leo XIII gives the same four teachings we saw above, and makes implicit what was only implicit before: 5) the state has the obligation as a state to worship God, and to do it in the way God wills. 6) It is necessary, for the common good, to permit errors, as God Himself does.

Pius XII

In his Ci riesce of Dec. 6, 1953, Pius XII repeated this teaching of Leo XIII, with a bit of added force: "Can it be that in determined circumstances, He [God] does not give to man any mandate, or impose a duty, finally that He gives no right to impede and to repress that which is erroneous or false?" He answers thus: "Christ in the parable of the cockle gives the following admonition: Let the cockle grow along with the good seed, for the sake of the harvest."16

So, in some circumstances — in the middle area indicated above — the state does not even have a right to repress error. Leo XIII said that this is in imitation of the ways of God, who is infinite in power. Pius XIII says the same, by way of the parable of the cockle.

A bit farther on in the same document, Pius XII speaks very explicitly on this same point:

Ever since, under Constantine the Great and other Christian emperors, the Church became the Church of the state, she, always for higher and more prevailing motives, has done thus [let error be] and also in the future she will be faced with the same necessity. In each case, the attitude of the Church is determined by care for and consideration of the common good — of the common good of the Church, and of the state, in individual states on the one hand, and, on the other hand, of the common good of the universal Church.17

Thus Pius XII teaches in harmony with the previous Popes. In the passages cited, he presents our Conclusion #6. He adds to it: in certain circumstances, God does not even give a right to repress.

Vatican II

In #1 of Dignitatis humanae, Vatican II says that this document of the Council, "leaves untouched the traditional Catholic doctrine about the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ."18 Therefore, objectively, all, both individuals and societies, have the obligation to recognize the true Church. But since in practice, human weakness does not always attain the truth, a second statement follows, which gives rise to the discussion and charges of conflict with conclusion #4 above (for there is really no problem with the other teachings):

The human person has a right to religious freedom. The freedom consists in this, that all men should be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or societies or any human power, and in such a way that in religious matters, no one is to be forced to act against his conscience, nor impeded from acting according to his conscience, in private and in public, either alone, or associated with others, within due limits.19

First, we note the last expression, "with due limits." Does this have the same meaning as the words of Pius IX who spoke of the demands of public order? That would have to be proved, not assumed. Therefore we have no warrant for saying that Vatican II teaches that false doctrine is to be repressed only when public order demands it. For Pius IX, in Conclusion #4, insists there is a duty to repress some things even where public order would not demand the action. If we had to make the equation between "public order" and "within due limits" there would be a contradiction. But even in civil courts, the defendant is not presumed guilty until proved to be guilty. Surely we cannot grant less to the Church. And the promise of Christ, if one believes them, guarantee that two teaching of the Church will not clash, for if they did, at least one of them would have to be wrong, and then His promises would have failed.


To defend the Church, we must find an area that will satisfy the teaching of Vatican II and also teaching #4 from Pius IX. Let us explore carefully.

As a preliminary, let us note that the focus is on not forcing a man to sin by violating his conscience. We must not do that. St. Paul in speaking of foods sacrificed to idols (1 Cor 8:10) insists we must respect consciences, and not even induce — still less force — anyone to violate his conscience. So we must clearly not force anyone to sin by violating his conscience — either by forcing him to do what his conscience positively forbids, or to omit what his conscience positively commands. It is not clear that Vatican II would want us to let him do what his conscience merely permits, so that his inaction would not be sinful.

Here, then, are our requirements to avoid contradiction:

1) Pius IX says it is not the best state of things if there is no recognition of the duty of the state to repress violatores (in the sense explained above) except when public order demands.

2) Vatican II says we must not force anyone to sin by violation of his conscience.

We check the chief possibilities against these guidelines:

First, to bomb a church or to publish slander against the Church creates no problem, for any state represses these. But it does so for public order, so we have not yet found what we are seeking. Second, what if a Protestant, orally or in print, defends his own doctrine? This is not violare, not strong enough for that. So Pius IX would not ask for repression. Vatican II would insist on letting the man do this if his conscience commands him to do it. Third, what if a Protestant, orally or in print, not merely defends his own doctrine, but positively attacks the doctrine of the Catholic Church? Here we must distinguish between various degrees of the action.

At one end of the scale, we find virulent attacks, so vicious that Pius IX would call them violare, and so would want them repressed. Would Vatican II object? It is clear only that it wanted us not to force a man to sin by doing what his conscience forbids, or omitting what it commands. It is unlikely that a Protestant's conscience would command him to make a vicious attack, though it could permit that. Even if a person would say his conscience commands a vicious attack, we could still quite reasonably say that a vicious attack is not "within due limits." At least, no one could prove us wrong in that interpretation.

At the opposite end of the scale: What if an attack would be very mild? That would hardly be able to be called violare — or outside due limits. So there is no clash of teaching there either.

What about the middle territory? There we would meet very doubtful cases: violare? or with due limits? At very least, we could say in this area that we have a lex dubia, which does not bind. And so no one could prove either teaching wrong.

All this leads us back to the nicely balanced teaching of Pius XII in Ci riesce: In some cases, God does not even give a right to repression, and the good of the universal Church would want to exclude repression.


  1. For a complete treatment of the question, see W. Most, The Consciousness of Christ, Front Royal, VA: Christendom Publications, 1978.
  2. Cf. a series of columns by W. Most in National Catholic Register, March 28, 1982, April 11, May 30 (out of sequence), April 25, May 9, June 13, June 27.
  3. Similarly, we have a clearer text from Cardinal Pacelli (later Pius XII) in L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 8, 1937, as compared with later utterances of Pius XII, e.g., in Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943.
  4. In Walter M. Abbott, ed., The Documents of Vatican II (America Press, 1966), p. 673.
  5. DS 2730: "Alteram nunc persequimur causam malorum uberrimam, quibus afflicatari in praesens comploramus Ecclesiam, indifferentismum scilicet, seu pravam illam opinionem . . . qualibet fidei professione aeternam posse animae salutem comparari, si mores ad recti honestique normam exigantur. . . . Atque ex hoc putidissimo indifferentismi fonte absurda illafluit ac erronea sententia seu potius deliramentum, asserendam esse ac vindicandam cuilibet libertatem conscientiae."
  6. DS 2866: "Notum nobis vobisque est, eos, qui invincibili circa sanctissimam nostram religionem ignorantia laborant, quiqui naturalem legem eiusque praecepta in omnium cordibus a Deo insculpta sedulo servants . . . posse, divinae lucis et gratiae operante virtute, aeternam consequi vitam, cum Deus . . . pro summa sua bonitate et dementia minime patiatur, quempiam aeternis puniri suppliciis, qui voluntariae culpae reatum non habeat." Cf. Vatican II, Lumen gentium 16.
  7. Latin text of Pius IX as found in Jose Luis Gutierrez Garcia ed. Doctrina Pontificia II, Documentos politicos, (Biblioteca de Autores Cristianos, Madrid, 1958), p. 8: "libertatem conscientiae, et cultuum esse proprium cuius cum que hominis ius, quod lege proclamari, et asseri debet in omni recte constituta societate, et ius civibus inesse ad omnimodam libertatem nulla vel ecclesiastica, vel civili auctoritate coarctandam, quo suos conceptus quoscumque sive voce sive typis sive ratione alia palam publiceque manifestare, ac declarare valeant."
  8. Latin text in Doctrina Pontificia II, p. 8: "optimam societatis publicae rationem, civilemque rogressum omnino requirere, ut humana societas constituatur et gubernetur, nullo habito and religionem respectu, ac si ea non existeret, vel saltem nullo facto veram inter falsasque religones descrimine."
  9. Cited by Pius XI from Gregory XVI. This is part of the quote given above in note 7.
  10. Missing
  11. Latin text in Doctrina Pontificia II, pp. 207-08: "Sic illa quidlibet sentiendi litterarumque formis quidlibet exprimendi facultas, omni moderatione posthabita, non quoddam est propria vi sua bonum, quo societas humana iure laetetur: sed multorum maloum fops et origo. . . . ob eamque rem aberrat civitas a regula et praescriptione naturae, si licentiam opinionum praveque factorum in tantum lascivire sinat, ut impune liceat mentes a veritate, animos a virtute deducere."
  12. Ibid., p. 211: "Revera si divini cultuls varia genera eodem iure esse quo veram religionem, Ecclesia iudicat non dicere, no ideo tamen cos damnat rerum publicarum moderatores, qui magni alicuius aut adipiscendi boni aut prohibendi causa mali moribus atque usu patienter ferunt, ut ea habeant singula in civitate locum. Atque illud quoque mangnopere cavere Ecclesia solet ut ad amplexandam fidem catholica nemo invitus cagatur, quia, quod sapienter Augustinus mont,' credere non potest homo nisi volens."' — Citation within is from St. Augustine, Tractatus in Evangelium loannis 26.2.
  13. Vatican II, Dignitatis humanae 1: "integram relinquit traditinalem doctrinam catholicam de°niorali hominum ac societatum officio erga veram religionem et unicam Christi Ecclesiam."
  14. Doctrina Pontificia II, pp. 246-47: "Huius profecto non modice tempertae sed modum et finem transeuntis libertatis ius ese non posse, vix attinet dicere . . . opiionum mendacia . . . item vitia quae animum moresque corrumpunt, aequum est auctoritate public diligenter coerceri, ne serpere ad perniciem reipublicae queant . . . Permissa cuilibet loquendi scribendique infinita licentia, nihil est sanctum inviolatumque permansurum: ne illis quidem parcetur maximis verissimisque natraue iudiciis, quae habenda sunt velut commune idemque nobilissimumhumani generis patrimonium.
  15. Ibid., p. 253: "His de causis, nihil quidem impertiens iuris nisi its quae vera quaeque honesta sint, non recusat quominus quidpiam a veritate iustitiaque alienum ferat tamen publica potestas, scilicet maius aliquod vel vitando causa malum, vel adipiscendi aut conservani bonum. Ipse providentissimus Deus cum infinitae sit bonitatis, idemque omnia possit, sinit tamen esse in mundo mala, partim ne ampliora impediantur bona, partim ne maiore mala consequantur. In regendis civitatibus recotrem mundi par est imitari: quin etiam cum singula mala prohibere auctoritas hominum non possit, debet" multa concedere atque impunita relinquere, quae per divinam tamen providentiam vindicantur, et recte."' — Internal quote is from St. Augustine, De libero arbitrio 1.6.14.
  16. Ci riesce from AAS 45. 798-99: "Puo darsi che in determinate circostanze Egli non dia agli uomini nessun mandato, non imponga nessun dovere,, non dia perfina nessun diritto d'impedire a di reprimere cib the a erroneo et falso? Uno sguardo alla realty dy una riposta affermativa. (Italics in original) . . . Cristo nella parabola della zizzania diede it seguente ammonimento: Lasciate the nel campo del mondo la zizzania cresca insieme al buon seme a causa del frumento.
  17. AAS 45.801: ". . . dopo the sotto Costantino it Grande e gli altri Imperatori cristiani divenne Chiesa di State, sempre per piit alti e prevalenti motivi; cosi fa oggi e anche nel futuro si trovery di fronte alla stessa necessity. In tali singoli casi l'atteggiamento della Chiesa a determinato dalla tutela e dalla consdierazione del bonum commune, del bene comune della Chiesa et dello Stato nei singoli Stati, da una parte, e, dall'altra, del bonum commune della Chiesa universale . . .
  18. See note 13 above.
  19. Dignitatis humanae 2: "Haec Vaticana Synodus declarat personam humanam ius habere ad libertatem reigiosam. Huiusmodi libertas in eo consistit, quod omnes homines debent immunes esse a coercitione ex pane sive singulorum sive coetuum socialium et cuiusvis potestatis humae, et ita quidem ut in re religiosa neque aliquis cogatur ad agendum contra suam conscientiam neque impediatur, quominus iuxta suam conscientiam agat privatim et publice vel Bolus vel aliis consociatus, intra debitos limites."

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