Dignitatis Humanae

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

Vatican II Followed Ottaviani on Church and State

For many people, Alfredo Ottaviani—head of the Holy Office (later the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) from 1952 to 1968—is the epitome of intransigent, pre-Vatican II Catholicism. He is what the Council had repudiated and moved beyond, or so it is supposed. Indeed, the sentiment expressed by the motto of Cardinal Ottaviani’s coat [...]

Religious Liberty 50 Years After Dignitatis Humanae

Vatican II ended in December 1965 with an outpouring of enthusiasm and hope. The Council's hope was grounded in two things: a renewed Catholic faith; and confidence in the skill and goodness of human reason. Half a century has passed since then. A lot has happened. The world today is a very different place from [...]

Did Vatican II Endorse Separation of Church and State?

This year, 2015, marks fifty years since the close of the Second Vatican Council. Yet the “battle” for the Council, the battle for its authentic meaning, which began even before the bishops concluded their deliberations in 1965, continues still today. A particular area of controversy is the Council’s teaching on the Church’s relationship to the [...]

Those Intolerable Catholics – In Locke’s Time and Ours

Often touted as a landmark text in the history of religious freedom, John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) is remarkable in wisely limiting the power of “the magistrate … to do or meddle with nothing but barely in order to securing the civil peace and properties of his subjects,” and thus of granting “an absolute [...]

The Philosophical Basis for Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty has been on our minds a lot lately. The HHS mandate, same-sex marriage initiatives, and recently, the Duck Dynasty controversy with television network A&E, have put the issue squarely before us. In late December, CNA published an article about Camille Paglia, a 1960’s generation “feminist lesbian professor” who is reported to have “harshly [...]

Do All Religions Deserve Respect?

The Obama administration’s war on Catholics will continue into 2014 as many courageous Catholic institutions in the U.S. maintain their resistance to its encroachment on their religious freedom through the H.H.S. mandate. In light of this, we can expect that the public debate about religious freedom will also continue into the new year both inside [...]

Benedict XVI and the Pathologies of Religion

It passed almost unnoticed, but last month Benedict XVI significantly upped the ante in an argument he’s made one of his pontificate’s centerpieces. To the horror, one suspects, of some professional interfaith dialoguers and wishful-thinkers more generally, the pope indicated the Church should recognize that some types of religion are in fact “sick and distorted.” [...]

A Declaration of Catholic Independence

G. K. Chesterton once described America as a “nation with the soul of a church.”  Many have wrongly interpreted this statement as Chesterton’s way of saying that America was a Christian nation, or that Americans were especially pious and devout people. Chesterton meant something rather different, and not especially complementary.  America is like a church [...]

The Myth of Religious Tolerance

The vehement, sometimes acrimonious debates that accompanied the drafting of the Vatican II declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, yielded an exceptionally precise and carefully worded document. Noteworthy in the 5,700-word declaration is the absence of even a single reference to religious "tolerance" or "toleration." The choice of religious "freedom" or "liberty" as the proper [...]

Baptism Is Not an Economics Degree

I've often heard people talk about their most beloved aspect of our Faith. When asked, "What's your favorite thing about being a Catholic?" some well-instructed souls will cite the Eucharist, while others will speak of their devotion to Our Lady. The pointier heads in the room might cite the Church's rich storehouse of worldly and [...]

How to ‘Render’ without Surrender

I know that I promised last week to continue my analysis of "Seven Key Aspects of Life Where Jesus Spoils Our Fun." And I will get back to it -- in fact, I'll do so relentlessly, seven times, until I've essentially written the core of my upcoming book on InsideCatholic's dime. I look forward to [...]

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