"Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty, 50 Years Later"
Chicago, IL 60637
Russell HittingerLumen Christi Institute
Cosponsored by The Department of History and The St. Thomas More Society
At the third plenary session of Vatican II, Fr. John Courtney Murray said that the issue of religious liberty [is] the American issue at the Council. Yet it took the longest to write, and, after undergoing thousands of comments and corrections over four years, it was signed by Pope Paul VI less than twenty-four hours before the Council was adjourned. This lecture will consider, (1) the reasons for this Declaration on Religious Liberty and the difficulties and debates at the Council, and (2) how the doctrine of religious liberty has fared a generation later.
Russell Hittinger is Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute, visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).