Catholic Position on Religious Liberty Has Changed

To see the Bishops in the Catholic Church of the United States wringing their hands over the term “religious liberty” today, one might conclude it had always been against government involvement in religious matters.

The concept of the founding fathers that government would endorse no religion seemed a bad idea to an earlier Catholic Church.  Better that the government endorse and enforce a religion.

On the site, Religious Dispatches, today was an account of the Church’s change in thinking.   Leo XIII was Pope for 25 years in the late 1800′s.  He is known for being a big thinker with an eye on the future.

One thing that upset him was the Catholic Church in the U. S.  In addition to not liking the Constitution, he was upset with some of the U. S. Bishops who seemed to have the outlandish view the U. S. Church was going to be different than that of Europe.  He chastised a U.  S. Bishop for saying the Church needed to adjust to the local culture.

About church and state, Pope Leo XIII noted it would be a mistake for other countries to separate church and state like the U. S.  The church would be better off if it “…enjoyed the laws and the patronage of the public authority.”

Before the current requirement the church offer birth control to its employees doing government work, the Catholic Church liked the European way of church and state in bed with each other.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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3 Responses to Catholic Position on Religious Liberty Has Changed

  1. Simple says:

    They obviously want to have it both ways. They get to tell others what they can and can’t do through Gov’t. However, they believe that they have the absolute freedom to do or not do what they want in the name of religious freedom.

    • grandma says:

      And we should remember that in the early days of the church some popes had mistresses and children… And that even recently numerous popes closed their eyes to the abuse of children by priests and nuns and Jews….

  2. Bob says:

    I don’t think faithheads get it, that they are sheep to the power of their religions and supernaturalism.
    Baa, baa, baa, bend over and take in the rear ya faithheads. Cause that’s what you’re doing when you let your religions and clergy and books control you. Baa.

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