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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On this, as on a firm basis, morality, justice, religion, and the very bonds of human society rest: So powerful, so conspicuous, in this respect is the influence of the Libettas that experience abundantly testifies how ljbertas 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 end, or object, both of the rational will and of its liberty is that good only which is in conformity with reason. 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. Thomas Aquinas, On the Gospel of St.
And for the same reason it is of no small advantage for the perfecting of human liberty, since our Saviour Jesus Christ has said that by truth is man made free: For this reason, while not conceding any right to anything save what is true and honest, she does not forbid public authority to tolerate what is at variance with truth and justice, for the sake of avoiding some greater evil, or of obtaining or preserving some greater good.
Libertas Praestantissimum Archives – Jon Haines
If, then, a remedy is desired, let it be sought for in a restoration of sound doctrine, from which alone the preservation of order and, as a consequence, the defense of true liberty can be confidently expected. 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.
For, since God is the source of all goodness and justice, it is absolutely ridiculous that the State should pay no attention to these laws or render them abortive by contrary enact menu. But here they think they may stop, holding that man as a free being is bound by no law of God except such as He makes known to us through our natural reason. It follows, therefore, that the law of nature is the same thing as the eternal lawimplanted in rational creatures, and inclining them to their right action and end ; and can be nothing else but the eternal reason of God, the Creator and Ruler of all the world.
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. But the will cannot proceed to act until it is enlightened by the knowledge possessed by the intellect.
For, law is the guide of man’s actions; it turns him toward good by its rewards, and deters him from evil by its punishments. Summa theologiaela, q. 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.
To deny the existence of this authority in God, or to refuse to submit to it, means to act, not as a free man, but as one who treasonably abuses his liberty; and in such a disposition of mind the chief and deadly vice of liberalism essentially consists.
We have on other occasions, and especially in Our encyclical letter Immortale Dei2 in treating of the so-called modern libertiesdistinguished between their good and evil elements; and We have shown that whatsoever is good in those liberties is as ancient as truth itself, and that the Church has always most willingly approved and practiced that good: 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.
Wherefore, this liberty, also, in order that it may deserve the name, must be kept within certain limits, lest the office of teaching be turned with impunity into an instrument of corruption.
The fruit, instead of being sweet and wholesome, has proved cankered and bitter. Now, reason itself clearly teaches that the truths of divine revelation and those of nature cannot really be opposed to one another, and that whatever is at variance with them must necessarily be false. 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. Hence follows the fatal theory of the need of separation between Church and State.
God it is who has made man for society, and has placed him in the company of others like himself, so that what was wanting to his nature, and beyond his attainment if left to his own resources, he might obtain by association with others.
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.
But, from what has been said, it is clear that all this is in contradiction to reason. Hence the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all right and all duty reside in the majority. 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. In this they are plainly inconsistent.
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.
Therefore, the nature of human liberty, however it be considered, whether in individuals or in society, whether in those who command or in those who obey, supposes the necessity of obedience to some supreme and eternal law, which is no other than the authority of God, commanding good and forbidding evil.
We now only wish to add the remark that liberty of so false a nature is greatly hurtful to the true liberty of both rulers and their subjects. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the supreme principle and source and judge of truth.
By many and convincing arguments, often used by defenders of Christianity, certain leading truths have been laid down: 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.
Augustine says to overlook and leave unpunished many things which are punished, and rightly, by Divine Providence.
Likewise, the liberty of those who are in authority does not consist in the power to lay unreasonable and capricious commands upon their subjects, which would equally be criminal and would lead to the ruin of the commonwealth; but the binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law.
Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is praestahtissimum, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engravers upon it.
Lawful power is from Ptaestantissimum, “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. Wherefore, civil society must acknowledge God as its Founder and Parent, and must obey and reverence His power and authority.
Libertas Praestantissimum Archives – Jon Haines
The hope has been disappointed by praestantiissimum result. This ordination of reason is called law. But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God.
Men have a right freely and prudently to propagate throughout the State what things soever are true and honorable, so that as many as possible may possess them; but lying opinions, than which no mental plague is greater, and vices which corrupt the heart and moral life should be diligently repressed by public authority, lest praestantissinum insidiously work the ruin of the State. But the manner in which such dignity is exercised is of the greatest moment, inasmuch as on the use that is made of liberty the highest good and the oibertas evil alike depend.
What has been said of the liberty of individuals is no less applicable to them when considered as bound together in civil society.
Season 4, Popes Against the Modern Errors, Episode 4: Libertas Praestantissimum
Not that the divine assistance hinders in any way the free movement of our will; just the contrary, for grace works inwardly in man and in harmony with his natural inclinations, since it flows from the very Creator of his mind and will, by whom all things are moved in conformity with their nature. Religion, of its essence, is wonderfully helpful to the 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 libettas good; and therefore religion, which as St.
For learning is in itself good, and praiseworthy, and desirable; and further, all erudition which is the outgrowth of sound reason, and in conformity with the truth of things, serves not a little to confirm what we believe on the authority of God.