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Title: The law of the Church - the law of freedom
Authors: Pastwa, Andrzej
Keywords: religious freedom; law of Church; Dignitatis Humanae; freedom; law
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: "Ecumeny and Law" Vol. 4 (2016), s. 105-125
Abstract: What is the point in posing a question about religious freedom in the bosom of the very Church? (Péter Erdö) — this rhetorical question, which constitutes the structure of this study, directs the thought toward one of the most important documents of Vatican II. In the famous declaration Dignitatis Humanae the Council Fathers clearly implied that the key principle libertas religiosa is, in its essence, an affirmation of God’s gift of human freedom and dignity. “Church law is, first and foremost, lex libertatis” — Benedict XVI proclaims nowadays, giving this speech a par excellence personalistic context. The Church’s legal order cannot be, by the means of any measure, brought down to a set of isolated, autonomous regulations, which promulgated: officially valid and effective, should be perceived — invariably — as binding. Such reasoning, contaminated with a legal positivism, would introduce, in an obvious way, a disparity between law and life, and as a consequence it would radically deny the possibility of an anthropological foundation of the law. Whereas ius is the internal structural dimension of Church’s communion, the religious freedom and the integral live message depositum fidei, closely related with it, constitute fundamental principles of the Church’s legal order. What proves clear here is the fact that both categories, Ecclesia iuris and libertas religiosa, remain in a synergic relationship. The remarks offered in this study, although embedded in ecclesiological doctrine of the Catholic Church, have their ecumenical dimension. Indeed it is true that every genuinely Christian activity is at the same time ecumenical: aims at unity given and pre-defined by Christ. Completely authorized, after the Second Vatican Council, affirming of the ecclesiastic character of Churches and Christian communities means that the law of this communities constitutes legitimum ius ecclesiale, and what follows from it — every baptized individual is a rightful subject of Christian activity, which he should develop in his own religious homeland, as a part of own autonomous legal order, which remains the unchangeable Church’s order of freedom.
ISSN: 2353-4877
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (W.Teol)

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