Encyclical: Libertas Praestantissimum-On Human Liberty [Pope Leo XIII] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Liberty—one of the world’s most. Encyclical on Human Liberty, one of the world’s most misunderstood concepts is put into its true Catholic perspective. Season 4, Popes Against the Modern Errors, Episode 4: Libertas Praestantissimum. by Member Supported Restoration Radio · May 20,
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If by this is meant that everyone may, as he chooses, worship God or not, it is sufficiently refuted by the arguments already adduced. From this teaching, as from its source and principle, flows that fatal principle of the separation of Church and State; whereas it is, on the contrary, clear that the two powers, though dissimilar in functions and praesantissimum in degree, ought nevertheless to live in concord, by harmony in their action and the faithful discharge of their respective duties.
Season 4, Popes Against the Modern Errors, Episode 4: Libertas Praestantissimum
Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he pleases, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the State; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law.
The Church, truly, to our great benefit, has carefully preserved the monuments of ancient wisdom; has opened everywhere homes of science, and has urged on intellectual progress by fostering most diligently the arts by which the culture of our age is so much advanced. What has been said of the liberty of individuals is no less applicable to them when considered as bound together in civil society.
First of all, there must be law ; that is, a fixed rule of teaching what is to be done and what is to be left undone. Religion, truth, and justice must ever be maintained; and, as God has intrusted these great and sacred matters to her office as to dissemble in regard to what is false or unjust, or to connive at what is hurtful to religion. Peter’s in Rome, the twentieth day of June,the tenth year of Our Pontificate.
These laws it is that embody the government of God, who graciously guides and directs the intellect and the will of man lest these fall into error. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engravers upon it. Nor does she blame those who wish to assign to the State the power of self-government, and to its citizens the greatest possible measure of prosperity.
It is hardly necessary to say that there can be no such right as this, if it be not used in moderation, and if it pass beyond the bounds pfaestantissimum end of all true liberty. These truths she has always taught, and has sustained them as a dogma of faith, and whensoever heretics or innovators have attacked the liberty of man, the Church has defended it and protected this noble possession libeftas destruction.
Furthermore, with ambitious designs on sovereignty, tumult and sedition will be common amongst the people; and when duty and conscience cease to appeal to them, there will be nothing to hold them back but force, which of itself alone is powerless to keep their covetousness in check. But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, libwrtas to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God.
God Himself in His providence, though infinitely good and powerful, permits evil to exist in the world, partly that greater good may not be impeded, and partly that greater evil may not ensue. But many there are who follow in the footsteps of Lucifer, and adopt as their own his rebellious cry, “I will not serve”; and consequently substitute for true liberty what is sheer and most foolish license.
This is based on the principle that every man is free to profess as he may choose any religion or none. Summa theologiaeIIa-IIae, q. Lawful power is from God, “and whosoever resisteth authority resisteth the ordinance of God’ ; 6 wherefore, obedience is greatly ennobled when subjected to an authority which is the most just and supreme of all.
Libertas (June 20, ) | LEO XIII
Thus, too, license will gain what liberty loses; for liberty will ever be more free and secure in proportion as license is kept in fuller restraint. Foremost in this office comes the natural lawwhich is written and engraved in the mind of every man; and this is nothing but our reason, commanding us to do right and forbidding sin. And this all the more surely, because by far the greater part of the community is either absolutely unable, or able only with great difficulty, to escape from illusions and deceitful subtleties, especially such as flatter the passions.
This kind of liberty, if considered in relation to the State, clearly implies that there is no reason why the State should offer any homage to God, or should desire any public recognition of Him; that no one form of worship is to be preferred to another, but that all stand on an equal footing, no account being taken of the religion of the people, even if they profess the Catholic faith.
Whereas, when he sins, he acts in opposition to reason, is moved by another, and is the victim of foreign misapprehensions. But it is not so in regard to practices and doctrines which a perversion of morals and a warped judgment have unlawfully introduced. Religion, of its essence, is wonderfully helpful to the State. In like manner, this great gift of nature has ever been, and always will be, deservingly cherished by the Catholic Church, for to her alone has been committed the charge of handing down to all ages the benefits purchased for us by Jesus Christ.
The Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, having restored and exalted the original dignity of nature, vouchsafed special assistance to the will of man; and by the gifts of His grace here, and the promise of heavenly bliss hereafter, He raised it to a nobler state.
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.
In the government of States it is not forbidden to imitate the Ruler of the world; and, as the authority of man is powerless to prevent every evil, it has as St.
It has nothing in common with a seditious and rebellious mind; and in no title derogates from obedience to public authority; for the right to command and to require obedience exists only so far as it is in accordance with the authority of God, and is within the measure that He has laid down. Lastly, there remain those who, while they do not approve the separation of Church and State, think nevertheless that the Church ought to adapt herself to the times and conform to what is required by the modern system of government.
The enumeration of its merits in this respect does not belong to our present purpose. Yet, with the discernment of a true mother, the Church weighs the great burden of human weakness, and well knows the course down which the minds and actions of men are in this our age being borne.
In this, human law must endeavor to imitate God, who, as St. And because the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, and the unerring teacher of morals, is forced utterly to reprobate and condemn tolerance of such an abandoned and criminal character, they calumniate her as being wanting in patience and gentleness, and thus fail to see that, in so doing, they impute to her as a fault what is in reality a matter for commendation.
History bears witness to the energy with which she met libertzs fury of the Manichaeans and others like them; and the earnestness with which in later years she defended human liberty at the Council of Trent, and against the followers of Jansenius, is known to all. For right is a moral power which – as We have before said and must again and again repeat – it is absurd to suppose liberhas nature has accorded indifferently to truth and falsehood, to justice and injustice.
Sustained by the truth received from her divine Founder, the Church has ever sought to fulfill holily the mission entrusted to her by God; unconquered by the praestantiissimum on all sides surrounding her, she has never ceased to assert her liberty of teaching, and in this way the wretched superstition of paganism being dispelled, the wide world was renewed unto Christian wisdom. How mistaken these men also are, and how inconsistent, we have seen above.
There can be no doubt that truth alone should imbue the minds of men, for in it are found the well-being, the end, and the perfection of every intelligent nature; and therefore nothing but truth should be taught both to the ignorant and to the educated, so praestantissmium to bring knowledge to those who have it not, and to preserve praestanitssimum in those who possess it. When, therefore, he acts according to reason, he acts of himself and according to his free will; and this is liberty.
So powerful, so conspicuous, in this respect is the influence of the Church that experience abundantly testifies how savage customs are no longer possible in any land where she has once set her foot; but that gentleness speedily takes the place of cruelty, and the light of truth quickly dispels the darkness of barbarism. Neither does the Church condemn those who, if it can be done without violation of justice, wish to make their country independent of any foreign or despotic power.
Others oppose not the existence of the Church, nor indeed could they; yet they despoil her of the nature libertass rights of a praestanfissimum society, and maintain that it does not belong to her to legislate, to judge, or to punish, but only to exhort, to advise, and to rule her subjects libeetas accordance with their own consent and will. And the more so because the authority of teachers has great weight with their hearers, who can rarely decide for themselves as to the truth or falsehood of the instruction given to them.
Libertas Praestantissimum Archives – Jon Haines
Man must, therefore, take his standard of a loyal and religious life from the eternal law; and from all and every one of those laws which God, in His infinite wisdom and power, has been pleased to enact, and to make known to us by such clear and unmistakable signs as to leave no room for doubt. As the Catholic Church declares in the strongest terms the simplicity, spirituality, and immortality of the soul, so with unequalled constancy and publicity she ever also asserts its freedom.
For, since it derives the prime origin of all power directly from God Himself, with grave authority it charges rulers to be mindful of their duty, to govern without injustice or severity, to rule their people kindly and with almost paternal charity; it admonishes subjects to be obedient to lawful authority, as to the ministers of God; and it binds them to their rulers, not merely by obedience, but by reverence and affection, forbidding all seditious and venturesome enterprises calculated to disturb public order and tranquillity, and cause greater restrictions to be put upon the liberty of the people.
The precepts, therefore, of the natural law, contained bodily in the laws of men, have not merely the force of human law, but they possess that higher and more august sanction which belongs to the law of nature and the eternal law. Yet there are many who imagine that the Church is hostile to human liberty. For, since the force of law consists in the imposing of obligations and the granting of rights, authority is the one and only foundation of all law – the power, that is, of fixing duties and defining rights, as also of assigning the necessary sanctions of reward and chastisement to each and all of its commands.
For this reason it is plainly the duty of all who teach to banish error from the mind, and by sure safeguards to close the entry to all false convictions. These precepts of the truest and highest teaching, made known to us by the light of reason itself, the Church, instructed by the example and doctrine of her divine Author, has ever propagated and asserted; for she has ever made them the measure of her office and of her teaching to the Christian nations.
We need not mention how greatly religion conduces to pure morals, and pure morals to liberty. For, while other animate creatures follow their senses, seeking good and avoiding evil only by instinct, man has reason to guide him in each and every act of his life.