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quod pro nobis traditum est

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Newman on liberalism in religion

"For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth . . . Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another . . . It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy . . . Since then, religion is so personal a peculiarity and so private a possession, we must of necessity ignore it in the intercourse of man with man . . . Religion is in no sense the bond of society . . . Instead of the Church's authority and teaching, they would substitute first of all a universal and a thoroughly secular education . . . As to Religion, it is a private luxury, which a man may have if he will; but which of course he must pay for, and which he must not obtrude upon others, or indulge in to their annoyance."
(John Henry Cardinal Newman, Biglietto speech, 1879.)

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