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What is the Problem with Religious Liberty? - Episode 09 - SSPX FAQ Videos. - Liberty of thought, liberty of conscience, liberty of religions, Religious Liberty, these were questions that …More
What is the Problem with Religious Liberty? - Episode 09 - SSPX FAQ Videos. - Liberty of thought, liberty of conscience, liberty of religions, Religious Liberty, these were questions that were refuted by the Popes in the nineteen-century, but Vatican II took another stand on these questions. In this video, we will explain what is the problem with the new definition of Religious Liberty.

Both modernists and Catholics acknowledge that all men possess a natural dignity, constituted primarily by the free exercise of his reason and will. They also both agree that no one should violate this basic human liberty, not even in order to impose what is true or good.

Catholics and modernists disagree, however, on the proper use of this liberty. Modernism claims that the human conscience is the supreme arbiter of good and evil for each individual; thus everyone can act as he pleases except in cases where this action would endanger the rights of someone else. Catholicism insists that this liberty is a great gift from God and can be exercised well or poorly. To choose what is objectively good and in accordance with God’s will is a proper and fitting exercise of this liberty; it makes a man truly free. On the other hand, to choose what is objectively evil and contrary to God’s will is an abuse. No one has the right to abuse this liberty, even if it does not seem to directly harm someone else because such an abuse always opposes and offends God, the supreme good.

This is why modernism teaches that men, according to their subjective beliefs and in accordance with their natural liberty, can choose whichever religion best pleases them, whereas Catholicism affirms that man has a duty to choose the religion revealed by God. One, by neglecting this duty and choosing a religion that is untrue, commits an abuse of liberty.

These divergent understandings of freedom have created two different ideas of religious liberty. Man, according to Catholicism, is only free to choose what is good and believe what is objectively true. Many men, nevertheless, do make poor choices and embrace false religions. Society can never praise, encourage, or support such faulty judgment. It can, however, tolerate these individual abuses of liberty in order to maintain temporal peace while encouraging the adherents of false religions to see the errors of their ways and convert to the one, true faith.

Modernism, on the other hand, defends and praises every man’s right to choose whichever religion should please him best, regardless of whether this choice is right or wrong or whether his religion is true or false. So long as this exercise of liberty does not directly and physically harm anyone else, it must be permitted and respected for the sake of temporal peace and prosperity.

Unlimited freedom, then, is the focus of the modernist, whereas respect for God and the moral good of all men is the virtue of the Catholic. Modernism above all else values each man’s individual autonomy. Catholicism first and foremost loves, honors, and obeys God and seeks to preserve men from sinful error, even if this means condemning and opposing false religions.

This false notion of unlimited freedom is today praised and promoted by the Church leaders since Vatican II against the clear and infallible declaration of the previous Popes. The Syllabus of Pius IX, for example, states clearly that: “Every man is not free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.”

For further understanding and insight on this question, we recommend reading Archbishop Lefebvre’s book, or listening to the Audiobook, “Open Letter to Confused Catholics”. We also recommend reading “Religious Liberty Questioned”, both of which can be found at

Another great source we recommend is to read the Papal encyclicals on modern errors as well as, “Against the Heresies” by Archbishop Lefebvre available at

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