Skip to comments.Vatican Statement on Offending Religious Sentiments
Posted on 03/11/2006 2:34:03 AM PST by HarleyD
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 7, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is a translation of the issued Saturday by the Vatican press office on reactions to the publication in several Western newspapers of caricatures of the prophet Mohammed.
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In response to several requests on the Holy See's position vis-à-vis recent offensive representations of the religious sentiments of individuals and entire communities, the Vatican press office can state:
1. The right to freedom of thought and expression, sanctioned by the Declaration of the Rights of Man, cannot imply the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers. This principle applies obviously for any religion.
2. In addition, coexistence calls for a climate of mutual respect to favor peace among men and nations. Moreover, these forms of exasperated criticism or derision of others manifest a lack of human sensitivity and may constitute in some cases an inadmissible provocation. A reading of history shows that wounds that exist in the life of peoples are not cured this way.
3. However, it must be said immediately that the offenses caused by an individual or an organ of the press cannot be imputed to the public institutions of the corresponding country, whose authorities might and should intervene eventually according to the principles of national legislation. Therefore, violent actions of protest are equally deplorable. Reaction in the face of offense cannot fail the true spirit of all religion. Real or verbal intolerance, no matter where it comes from, as action or reaction, is always a serious threat to peace.
It does, and it should.
This principle applies obviously for any religion.
How about cults who claim religious status? Lot of 'em to go around, and one of them is extraordinarily popular, comprising 1/5 of the world's population.
Not to address your point number 2 to which I disagree with. But I am thinking that the Vatican viewpoint on the Rights of Man come from a natural law viewpoint. From that perspective they have a case.
The problem with denying others their freedom to their own religion is that they will deny us ours.
Ever hear about the Know Nothing movement?
In theory, I should love a situation where the official religion of the US would be Christianity, but then one needs to ask, which brand of Christianity?
In Maryland's past history, there was a time that Catholicism couldn't be openly practiced. Priests had to dress in street clothes, rather than clerical garb. Mass could only be celebrated in private homes, rather than churches, leading to an interesting architectural phenomenon, the 'home church' (the entrance to the church was always through a private home, thereby making it a private home, rather than a church). I'm certain that in Europe, after the reformation, it would have been likewise difficult for a Protestant group to worship publically as they'd like in a 'Catholic region,' as well.
IMHO (and YMMV), it's far better to allow a open marketplace (which really doesn't exist today anywhere) and allow people to make their own choices on how they choose to worship. [Note: that's different than the ACLU vision of supressing all religions other than that of secular humanism]
In the meantime, if you want somebody to respect your freedom, you need to allow them theirs. It doesn't work one way without the other.
Before I go t obed I think the Vatican is hitting these areas as to the Vatican II Document I believe they are referencing
Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed."
"Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word. However, in spreading religious faith and in introducing religious practices everyone ought at all times to refrain from any manner of action which might seem to carry a hint of coercion or of a kind of persuasion that would be dishonorable or unworthy, especially when dealing with poor or uneducated people. Such a manner of action would have to be considered an abuse of one's right and a violation of the right of others"
and esp this
7. The right to religious freedom is exercised in human society: hence its exercise is subject to certain regulatory norms. In the use of all freedoms the moral principle of personal and social responsibility is to be observed. In the exercise of their rights, individual men and social groups are bound by the moral law to have respect both for the rights of others and for their own duties toward others and for the common welfare of all. Men are to deal with their fellows in justice and civility"
"Furthermore, society has the right to defend itself against possible abuses committed on the pretext of freedom of religion. It is the special duty of government to provide this protection. However, government is not to act in an arbitrary fashion or in an unfair spirit of partisanship. Its action is to be controlled by juridical norms which are in conformity with the objective moral order. These norms arise out of the need for the effective safeguard of the rights of all citizens and for the peaceful settlement of conflicts of rights, also out of the need for an adequate care of genuine public peace, which comes about when men live together in good order and in true justice, and finally out of the need for a proper guardianship of public morality."
At least that where I am thinking they are focusing on as of 5 30 am
With all due respect, they are flat wrong here. Religious sentiments are no more protected than opinions about sports teams. My view is something I can express. If you are offended, state your case in rebuttal or shrug it off and be quiet.
Freedom is a tough game but that's how adults play it. If you can't play, find the bench.
ahh thats true in this society but do you have a nautral law right to offend a person religion. Now offense is I believe is a very defined term -Not broad. FOr instance instance today you can point out something you think is wrong and people yell "I am offended". I think what the church is talking about is do you have a right ot cause grivious hurt while offending with intent. Under natural law and Christian divine revelation they have a case there
Actually, the cartoon response was not in reaction to the content of the cartoons, but simply that they depicted Mohammed in the first place. The reason that the cartoons were drawn was because the publisher could not find an artist who dared to illustrate a book on Mohammed because of the threats of Muslims against people who depict Mohammed. So we are technically not even talking about insults, but about the doing of something that is harmless and was not intended to offend in one culture, met by a violent offended reaction from another culture.
I don't think even the Vatican's non-offense policy would apply in that case.
While as simple courtesy it might be a good idea not to gratuitously insult people's religions - after all, the missionaries the Church used to send out treated the native religions with respect but still convinced people that they were not true or complete - I don't see how this could be used by the Muslims to justify their imposition of a religious taboo on the rest of us.
There can be no special case for religious opinions as they are no more grounded in fact that are allegiences to sports teams. It might offent someone if I said the Dolphins suck but that's tough. No one is guaranteed the right to get through life without being offended.
Let me know when the Catholic bishops USA start feeling bound by having Gregorian chant and latin in the Mass per Sacrosanctum Concilium.
It does, and it should.
The ACLU and the NEA could use a good man like you.
"People are worshiping a very pathetic and helpless Deity when they feel they must violently attack those who they feel has disrespected their God."
BTW, how do we deal with a religion that is offended when everyone won't convert to it?
You're an ignoramus.
You're an ignoramus.
I'm the Ignoramus?! Which idea do you think is inconsistent with the ACLU who would like nothing better than to see religion disappear? Oh yeah, you're a regular rocket scientist.
You don't get to define what makes a religion to others, anymore than others get to decide what makes a religion to you.
To anyone who does not share your religious beliefs, yours is a cult and not a religion.
In a way you have a point and I don't believe the history of the early church every sought to deny others their freedom of their own religion. Paul, in fact, was very polite in Athens when looking at all the Greek idols and used it as a springboard for his message. But that is not how I read this statement. I would point to #1:
Sorry, this "religious tolerance" is nonsense and the Vatican has made another error from the Chair of Peter. I'm sorry if this offends.
I see, so if Wiccans or Scientologists declare themselves a religion then they're a religion, no questions asked. ....and the Vatican's words would have to apply to them too.
No, the ACLU would like nothing better than to see Christianity disapper. They couldn't care less about other religions.
The right to publicly criticize religion is protected by the U.S. Constitution.