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« Forgive Us Our Trespasses: A Brief Lenten Meditation on the 'Debt Deflation of the Soul' | Main | Do computers calculate? follow rules? »

02/27/2012

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Jimbino

Get serious. Kennedy could not emphasize Freedom of Conscience over Separation of Church and State without sounding like Wyckliffe, Hus, Bruno, Luther, Calvin and a whole list of protestants!

Calvin notably did not believe in or practice Separation of Church and State. Neither did King Henry VIII or the Church of England.

Steve Shiffrin


Actually Jimbino, he would have sounded like Thomas Aquinas who was
not a Protestant. The tradition of freedom of conscience within the
Catholic Church is of long standing. It is carried on by American
Catholic magazines like Commonweal and National Catholic Reporter.
So I am really quite serious. As to your get serious epithet, I
would reply that ridicule is not argument.

Jimbino


That's funny: Aquinas must have got it all wrong about Freedom of Conscience when he wrote in the Summa Theologica:

With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death … On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. (Summa, II–II, Q.11, art.3.)

Nowadays, anyway, threatening the President with death is a capital offense.

Jimbino

It's another funny thing that, in the extensive article in Wikipedia on Aquinas, the word "conscience" isn't mentioned once!

If you wan't to read about conscience, you need to go on over to the article on Luther, who, upon facing death at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church of Aquinas famously said,

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."

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