Thursday, January 9, 2014
Volker Beck Concerned About Pope Francis Being Pre-Vatican II
Volker Beck, the Religio-Political spokesman for the Greens, accusing the Pope in terms of gay marriage is suffering from a "theological relapse' to before Vatican II. His criticism is irrelevant and poorly formulated.
A commentary by John Graf
Berlin (kath.net / jg) Volker Beck, the religio-political spokesperson for the Greens in the German Bundestag, claims that Pope Francis is assuming a "theological backslide" to before the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis had previously referred to a proposed draft law on equality of homosexual couples with married couples in Malta as an "anthropological throwback."
Beck employed the declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" to highlight his opinion, which he characterized as the "central font of the Council on religious freedom". In this the Church is said to provide freedom of conscience emphasized for those who would not follow its teachings. The Church should "stop urging that the secular legislator who is committed to the constitutional precepts of human dignity, freedom and equality, directly or indirectly against homosexuals to adopt the discriminatory sexual teaching of the Church," were Beck's exact words.
His argument can be summarized as follows. The Catholic Church is for religious reasons against the extension of marriage to homosexual couples. Secular legislators are under constitutional obligations that is not compatible with the doctrine of the Church according to Beck's view in the case of gay marriage. The Church has since the Second Vatican Council, the view that in matters of religion, freedom of conscience, the will of the individual is respected. Now, when Pope Francis asserts that the equality of gay marriage with the marriage of heterosexual couples is an "anthropological throwback," he thus makes two errors.
Firstly, he demanded of the society, which - as shown above - is apparently required to accept different principles than is required by the Catholic Church, to accept its teaching.
Pope Francis demands as a representative of a religious community that lay bodies accept a doctrine contrary to its principles. That doesn't serve him.
Secondly, contrary to the Pope of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. This emphasizes the freedom of conscience in religious matters. No one should be forced into religious matters, to act against his conscience. Exactly, however, this is what would be required if the Church would impose its doctrine of society. Since Beck claims Pope Francis has gone back before the Second Vatican Council with this statement, he is probably assuming that the Council would have changed the doctrine of the Church in this issue.
There are a number of glaring errors present in this argument. It's amazing how little a top German politician apparently understands a matter in which he is supposed to represent the position of his party.
The most significant flaw is an assertion that Beck does not explicitly respond. He accuses the Church of disregarding the freedom of conscience in religious matters if they "further prompt governments or parliaments to discriminate against homosexuals." This means, however, that the advocacy of the Church against gay marriage by Beck's view has a purely religious basis. That's not true, as one can read in the "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Same Sex Unions" which had been published by the CDF in 2003. There were a matter that relates to the natural moral law. This is "recognized by right reason," it says in paragraph 6. The Church argued in this matter not only on the basis of divine revelation, but with arguments that are in principle available to all who "seek to promote and protect the common good of society" itself, regardless of their religious beliefs.
If Beck demands that the Church should cease prompting secular legislators to take over their sexual morality, the accusation contained in it is ineffective. Pope Francis has not requested, the sexual teachings of the Church on homosexuality should be the basis for civil law. He has spoken out against the equality of gay marriage with traditional marriage. That would really stand out to anyone who really deals with the statement of the Pope.
The Declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" offers precious little support to Beck's argument. It deals with the human right of free exercise of his religion. This right must be respected by the state legislature (DH 2). In this sense, the sentence is to be understood that in religious matters no one may be forced to act against his conscience. At the same time it insists, "that the highest norm of human life is the divine law itself" and every person has the duty and the right to "seek the truth in matters of religion" (DH 3). The explanation does not want to change, such as Beck seemingly takes the doctrine of the Church, when he speaks of a "back sliding" to before Vatican II. The Council questioned "the sacred tradition and the teaching of the Church, from which it continually brings forth new things that are in line with the old," it says literally in DH 1 Volker Beck's criticism of Pope Francis proves to be unfounded and irrelevant.
He is always noticed as a harsh critic of the Catholic Church. Is he just misinformed, or has he simply no arguments? Direct link to The Considerations Relating to the Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.
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