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Paul VI Encouraged the Increase of Disciplinary
and Theological Abuses in the Church

On July 9, 1969, four months after founding the International Theological Commission(ITC), which was intended to be an organ parallel to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Paul VI explained the concept of liberty used in the documents of Vatican II. We reproduce here the core of his lecture.

With this allocution, Paul VI officially condoned the many abuses that had already occurred in the Church, and encouraged the others to come.

Today some "conservatives" try to save Vatican II by attributing such abuses only to some few radical elements that supposedly did not properly interpret the Council. The reality does not support this construal of the facts. The abuses were allowed and promoted by the new liberty the Council conferred to ecclesiastics, theologians and laypeople, as Paul VI clearly affirmed in this document.

At right is pictured the cover of volume VII of Insegnamenti di Paolo VI; at right below, a photocopy of the Italian original text. At left below, we present our translation of the lines highlighted in yellow.

In the life of the Church and consequently, in the life of each one of her children, we will have, therefore, a period of a greater liberty, that is to say, of fewer legal obligations and less internal inhibitions.

Formal discipline will be reduced; all arbitrary intolerance will be abolished together with all absolutism; the positive law will be simplified; the exercise of authority will be tempered; the sense of that Christan liberty, which so greatly interested the first Christian generation when it was free from observance of the Mosaic Law and its complex rituals, will be promoted (Gal. 5:1).

(Allocution "Educarsi all'uso schietto e magnanimo della liberta," July 9, 1969, in Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1969 p. 1004).
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Posted on January 28, 2006

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