Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the error of the Liberty of Worship

The approach of the Feast of Christ the King brings to my mind the forgotten lesson about the obligation to search for the True Worship. We always take it for granted that the Freedom of Religion is a very important human right in the post modern world. This teaching of Pope Leo XIII might surprise many of us:

"Let us examine that liberty in individuals which is so opposed to the virtue of religion, namely, the liberty of worship, as it is called. This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess, as he may choose, any religion or none.

"But, assuredly, of all the duties which man has to fulfill, that is the chiefest and holiest which commands him to worship God with devotion and piety. This follows of necessity from the truth that we are ever in the power of God, are ever guided by His will and providence, and, having come forth from Him, must return to Him. Add to which, no true virtue can exist without religion, for moral virtue is concerned with those things which lead to God as man's supreme and ultimate good; and therefore, religion which (as St. Thomas says) "performs those actions which are directly and immediately ordained for the divine honor", rules and tempers all virtues. And if it is asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practice that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognize by certain external notes whereby Divine Providence has willed that is should be distinguished, because, in a manner of such moment, the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error. Wherefore, when a liberty such as We have described is offered to man, the power is given to him to pervert or abandon with impunity the most sacred of duties, and to exchange the unchageable good for evil; which, as We have said, is no liberty, but its degeneration, and the abject submission of the soul to sin.

Pope Leo XIII, Libertas Praestantissimum (20 June 1888), 19-20.

1 comment:

  1. Father,

    peace!, FATHER I'm really confused about the topic "religious freedom".in the past it was condemned by the Church and by the previous popes yet the II-Vatican council in the document Dignitatis Humane, promoted religious freedom.
    It's a little bit confusing father,i want to see a shed of light on this topic father.
    thanK you and GOD BLESS :)