Well, please allow me to use my religious freedom to resurrect an old thread, now that it can be discussed without the thread starter getting in the way of it’s discussion
In defense of Vatican 2, Paul VI, and Dignitatis Humanae, let me simply paste the following:
This Vatican Council likewise professes its belief that it is upon the human conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force. The truth cannot impose itself except by virtue of its own truth, as it makes its entrance into the mind at once quietly and with power.
Religious freedom, in turn, which men demand as necessary to fulfill their duty to worship God, has to do with immunity from coercion in civil society. Therefore it leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.
Over and above all this, the council intends to develop the doctrine of recent popes on the inviolable rights of the human person and the constitutional order of society.
Now sure, maybe Shawn McKelhenney made some heretical statements, and maybe there is an apparent shift in attitudes, but Paul VI was very clear here, and in Missale Romanum, which is also prone to attack, that it is not teaching that is being changed, much less integral points of the faith.
While I was reading (or rereading, ??) Dignitatis Humanae just now, it hit me how this basic understanding is clear from the Church’s Augustinian (or if you will, anti-Calvinistic) understanding of grace and free will. Reading on, I observed that, in paragraph 10, Pope Paul VI wrote
It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man’s response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will.(8) This doctrine is contained in the word of God and it was constantly proclaimed by the Fathers of the Church.(7) The act of faith is of its very nature a free act. Man, redeemed by Christ the Savior and through Christ Jesus called to be God’s adopted son,(9) cannot give his adherence to God revealing Himself unless, under the drawing of the Father,(10) he offers to God the reasonable and free submission of faith.
Now, one may have disagreements on the conclusion that’s drawn, but if that’s a true premise, then you’re left attacking his reasoning, not his premise. So, yes, it is false to say that the Catholic Church can’t declare that it’s the only true religion. Paul VI doesn’t deny that, so he’s off the hook there.