Church - State Relations
On Dignitatis Humanae - Part II
Vatican II's Position on Human Dignity
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A little drop of venom is surrounded and camouflaged by the requisite presentation of true Catholic doctrine, just as Pope Leo XIII described it. Over and above the right of God to be worshipped according to His Will, is the "inviolable" right of man to worship God as man wills: i.e. religious freedom.
Basic human dignity and human rights have their place, of course, in the Divine Plan, but they are at the service of the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Of what use is a feeling of self-dignity if one is to spend the hereafter in Hell? The weekly Catholic paper of my Diocese recently had an item about standing vs. kneeling to receive the Holy Eucharist. One woman, who attends the Novus Ordo, said she would be very uncomfortable kneeling to receive Our Lord, because kneeling was not in keeping with her dignity!
The dignity of standing to receive Communion...
The dignity of kings, presidents, celebrities and other "dignitaries" will count for nothing before the judgment seat of God, Who is not a respecter of persons. Jesus came to teach salvation by way of humility (Learn of Me for I am meek and humble of heart, Mt. 11:29), not via self-exaltation or a sense of one’s worth.
The spirituality of the great saints teaches that we are nothing and nothingness before our Creator. Lord, I am not worthy – Domine, non sum dignus. The spirituality of DH is such that human beings must be given the freedom to publicly disobey and ignore the great commandments of the New and Old Testaments, since these are overridden by their inviolable rights of "human dignity" and conscience.
The doctrine of the primacy of the worship that must be paid to the true Faith is revised and superseded in DH in much the same way that Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of Errors was "revised" by Gaudium et spes, as explained by Card. Joseph Ratzinger in Principles of Catholic Theology (Téqui, 1982, p. 426):
“If we seek an over-all analysis of Gaudium et spes, we could say that it is (linked with the texts on religious liberty and on world religions), a revision of Pius IX’s Syllabus, a sort of Counter-Syllabus... Let us recognize here and now that Gaudium et spes plays the part of a Counter-Syllabus insofar as it represents an attempt to officially reconcile the Church with the modern world as emerging since the French Revolution of 1789.” (1)
From the above quote we see that Vatican II attempts to reconcile the Church with the principles that have emerged from the French Revolution, which are none other than the "rights of man," taking precedence over the rights of God and of the Catholic Church which He founded. Notice also that Card. Ratzinger says that Vatican II’s revision of the infallible Syllabus is "linked" to the text on religious liberty.
Let us see how DH’s human dignity and the rights of man override in practice the duty to worship the One God in the True Religion, by outlining a hypothetical example. According to DH people have a civil right, within due limits, and because of their "human dignity," to worship their concept of God according to their conscience.
In 2008 Benedict meets French President Sarkosy and affirms the separation of Church and State
Therefore, neo-Aztecs may be permitted to return to worshipping their demon gods, within due limits: which means no human sacrifice. No one has the right to tear down their idols, but they have a civic right to condemn themselves to Hell. Even religions that blaspheme Christ, and seek to replace and blot out Christian worship, are to be free to publicly propagate their errors.
This is what DH teaches, and the necessary implication is that Jesus Christ, who is head of the Church, also teaches this.
Dignitatis humanae is a modernist document
DH is based on the modernist heresy that the impulse to adore and worship God is not due to saving grace granted by a transcendent Being who truly exists, but rather arises from immanent, inner sentiments particular to each individual, experiences which are relative and ever evolving. Therefore all religions are equally valid, which is why they must have the "civil right" to be publicly expressed and spread. (2,3,4)
Thus, DH makes no explicit distinction whatsoever between worshiping the true God and worshipping false gods!
In all fairness to the document, the second half of DH contains an excellent overview of many aspects of traditional Catholic doctrine, and illustrates the great benefits that accrue to the Church when governments provide it with full civil rights.
But attempts to reconcile Tradition with Vatican II or DH are pointless.
The simple reason is that the underlying intention of the progressivist Council Bishops and periti was to undermine Tradition in favor of Aggiornamento and their new vision of what the Church should be. This is proven by their own admission, in the extensive interviews conducted with them by Atila S. Guimaraes for his monumental series of books on the Council. (5)
The Church, after Vatican II, now marches under the banner of the dignity of man, rather than under the banner of the humiliated, crucified Christ, a "worm and no man." (Ps. 22:6.) In summary, the religious freedom of Dignitatis humanae constitutes a great apostasy against the order established by the Triune God. Can you see the forest now?
1. Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinal, quote taken from this site: http://www.sspx.org/superior_generals_ltrs/supgen_62.htm.
2. St. Pius X, Pope, Encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907,www.vatican.va.
3. St. Pius X, Pope, Lamentabili Sane, Syllabus condemning the errors of the Modernists, July 3, 1907, http://www.papalencyclicals.net (not at www.vatican.va).
4. Dominic Bourmaud, Fr., One Hundred Years of Modernism (Kansas City, MO.: Angelus Press, 2006).
5. Atila S. Guimaraes, Collection Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani? at TIA bookstore
Posted April 5, 2010
This article was first published in the
March, 2010 issue of Christian Order magazine.
Contact Frank Rega at
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When Liberty Becomes an Evil
At Lourdes Pope Bows to Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
Vatican II Turnaround on Church-State Relations
Hillaire Belloc the Liberal - His Thinking on the French Revolution
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