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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Nothing more foolish can be uttered or conceived than the notion that, because man is free by nature, he is therefore exempt from law. This rule cannot affect the lower animals in any true sense, since they act of praestantisximum, following their natural instinct, and cannot of themselves act in any other way.
Liberty, the highest of natural endowments, being the portion only of intellectual or rational natures, confers on man this dignity – that he is “in the hand of his counsel” 1 and has power over his actions.
Such, then, being the condition of human liberty, it necessarily stands in need of light and strength to direct its actions to good and to restrain them from evil. Let, then, that continue to remain in a holy and inviolable union which neither can nor should be separated; and in all things-for this is the dictate of right reason itself-let God be dutifully and obediently served.
Nor has the Church been less lavish in the benefits she has conferred on civilized nations in every age, either by resisting the tyranny of the wicked, or by protecting the innocent and helpless from injury, or, finally, by using her influence in the support of any form of government which commended itself to the citizens at home, because of its justice, or was feared by their enemies without, because of its power.
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. The excesses of an unbridled intellect, which unfailingly end in the oppression of the untutored multitude, are no less rightly controlled by the authority of the law than are the injuries inflicted by violence upon the weak.
Indeed, if what they say were really true, there would be no tyranny, no matter how monstrous, which we should not be bound to endure and submit to. 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.
How mistaken these men also are, and how inconsistent, we have seen above. 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. To this society He entrusted all the truths which He had taught, in order that it might keep and guard them and with lawful authority explain them; and at the same time He commanded all nations to hear the voice of the Church, as if it were His own, threatening those who would nor hear it with everlasting perdition.
Now, this is simply a road leading straight to tyranny.
And as to toleranceit is surprising how far removed from the equity and prudence of the Church are those who profess what is called liberalism.
Laws come before men live together praestantisslmum society, and have their origin in the natural, and consequently in the eternal, law. And if it be 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 exterior notes, whereby Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because, in a matter of such moment, the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error.
Thus it is that the infinitely perfect God, although supremely free, because of the supremacy of His intellect and praestantissimmum His essential goodness, nevertheless cannot choose evil; neither can the angels and saints, who enjoy the beatific vision. Were this the case, it would follow that to become free we must be deprived of reason; whereas the truth is that we are bound to submit to law precisely because we are free by our very nature.
Season 4, Popes Against the Modern Errors, Episode 4: Libertas Praestantissimum
Again, it is not of itself wrong to prefer a democratic form of government, liberttas only the Catholic doctrine be maintained as to the origin and exercise of power. Now, since everything chosen as a means is viewed as good or useful, and since good, as such, is the proper praedtantissimum of our desire, it follows that freedom of choice is a property of the will, or, rather, is identical with the will in so far as it has in its action the faculty of choice.
But the absurdity of such a position is manifest. The fruit, instead of being sweet and wholesome, has proved cankered and bitter. And, what is still more important, and what We have more than once pointed out, although the civil authority has not the same proximate end as the spiritual, nor proceeds on the same lines, nevertheless in the exercise of their separate powers they must occasionally meet.
She is therefore the greatest and most reliable teacher of mankind, and in her swells an inviolable right to teach them. We must now consider briefly liberty of speechand liberty of the press. But man can judge of this contingency, as We say, only because he has a soul that is simple, spiritual, and intellectual – a soul, therefore, which is not produced by matter, and does not depend on matter for its existence; but which is created immediately by God, and, far surpassing the condition of things material, has a life and action of its own so that, knowing the unchangeable and praestantissimhm reasons of what is true and good, it sees that no particular kind of good is necessary to us.
As the Angelic Doctor points out, it is because divine grace comes from the Author of nature that it is so admirably adapted to be the safeguard of all natures, and to maintain the character, efficiency, and operations of each. To make this more evident, the growth of liberty ascribed to our age must be considered apart in its various details.
What naturalists or rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalismcarrying out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of morality and politics. The end of all this it is not difficult to foresee, especially when society is in question. 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 unequal in degree, ought nevertheless to live in concord, by harmony in their action and the faithful discharge of their respective duties.
The Church most earnestly desires that the Christian teaching, of which We have given an outline, should penetrate every rank of society in reality and in practice; for it would be of the greatest efficacy in healing the evils of our day, which are neither few nor slight, and are the off spring in great part of the false liberty which is so much extolled, and in which the germs of safety and glory were supposed to be contained.
On this, as on a firm basis, morality, justice, religion, and the very bonds of human society rest: For, once ascribe to human reason the only authority to decide what is true and what is good, and the real distinction between good and evil is destroyed; honor and dishonor differ not in their nature, but in the opinion and judgment of each one; pleasure is the measure of what is lawful; and, given a code of morality which can have little or no power to restrain or quiet the unruly propensities of man, a way is naturally opened to universal corruption.
Augustine and others urged most admirably against the Pelagians that, if the possibility of deflection from good belonged to the essence or perfection of liberty, then God, Jesus Christ, and the angels and saints, who have not this power, would have no liberty at all, or would have less liberty than man has in his state of pilgrimage and imperfection.
Libertas Praestantissimum Archives – Jon Haines
The form, however, of the sin is manifold; for in more ways and degrees than one can the will depart from the obedience which is due to God or to those who share the divine power. With reference also to public affairs: 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.
But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to libetras, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God.
But it is not so in regard to practices and doctrines which a perversion of morals and a warped judgment have llibertas introduced. Seeing, however, that many cling so obstinately to their own opinion in this matter as to imagine these modern liberties, cankered as they are, to be the greatest glory of our age, and the very basis of civil life, without which no perfect government can be conceived, We feel it a pressing duty, for the sake of the common good, to treat separately of this subject.
Hence follows the fatal theory of the need of separation between Church and State. In such case, an excessive and vicious liberty is not sought, but only some relief, for the common welfare, in order that, while license for evil is allowed by the State, the power of doing good may not be hindered. Of the laws enacted by men, some are concerned with what paestantissimum good or bad by its very nature; and they command men to follow after what is right and to shun what is wrong, adding at the same time a suitable sanction.
Libertas Praestantissimum Archives – Jon Haines
And although in the extraordinary condition of these times the Church usually acquiesces in certain modern liberties, not because she prefers them in themselves, but because she judges it expedient to permit them, she would in happier times exercise her own liberty; and, by persuasion, exhortation, and entreaty would endeavor, as she is bound, to fulfill the duty assigned to her by God of providing for the eternal salvation of mankind.
When, therefore, he acts according to reason, he acts of himself and according to his free will; and this is liberty.
Having a false and absurd notion as to what liberty is, either they pervert the very idea of freedom, or they extend it at their pleasure to many things in respect of which man cannot lubertas be regarded as free. Nevertheless, all prescriptions of human reason can have force of law praestantisssimum inasmuch as they are the voice and the interpreters of some higher power on which our praestantissiumm and liberty necessarily depend. Wherefore, civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority.
These things, venerable brothers, which, under the guidance of faith and reason, in the discharge of Our Apostolic office, We have now delivered to you, We hope, especially by your cooperation with Us, will be useful unto very many.