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The End Result of "Religious Liberty"

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On July 7, 2004 CWNews.com/LifeSiteNews.com reported on the remarks of Vatican Cardinal Paul Poupard that "Europe is not safe from religious persecution" and that "modern-day attacks on believers may take more subtle forms." Poupard, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, lamented that: "Christians are mocked for their faith; many young couples are ostracized socially if they want a lot of children; those who oppose same-sex 'marriage' are considered intolerant." The forms of persecution, "hidden or overt, will bear their fruits," he added.

According to CWNews, "The French prelate explained that an aggressive secularizing trend in Europe would eventually lead to more direct attacks on religion." The refusal to make even a reference to Christianity in the new European Union’s constitution is an effort "to eradicate the evidence of Christian faith."

But how can this be? Is not the modern notion of "religious liberty," championed by the Second Vatican Council, a sure guarantee that the Catholic Church will flourish in a climate of freedom and "respect for diversity"?

Well, no it isn’t. In fact, the surest way to destroy the true religion, and truth itself, is to place truth and error on equal footing before the law, making the State powerless to defend the truth and turning the State into an instrument for the promotion of evil.

Here, yet again, we see the consequences of abandoning the wise counsel of the pre-conciliar popes, based on revelation itself, concerning the proper constitution of society and the right understanding of human liberty.

As Pope Leo warned in his encylical Libertas, on human liberty: "If unbridled license of speech and of writing be granted to all, nothing will remain sacred and inviolate; even the highest and truest mandates of natures, justly held to be the common and noblest heritage of the human race, will not be spared. Thus, truth being gradually obscured by darkness, pernicious and manifold error, as too often happens, will easily prevail."

And, as Pope Gregory XVI observed concerning so-called "free speech" in his enyclical Mirari vos: "Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty."

In short, to allow error free reign in society is to insure that truth will be suppressed, sooner or later. And where religion in particular is concerned, "freedom of religion" for false religions means that, sooner or later, the true religion will be suppressed. As Pope Leo warned in Immortale Dei, his encyclical on the Christian constitution of States: "To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name."

This is why modern Europe is atheistic and reviles its own Christian past. Those in the Vatican apparatus who have promoted the lie of "religious liberty" in the name of Vatican II should recognize, before it is too late, that in all their prattling on about "religious liberty" they are actually delivering the one true Church into bondage  —  a bondage that is far more oppressive than overt persecution, since it actually enlists Churchmen themselves in the Church’s enslavement to the modern State.