Skip to content

Grand Re-Opening
* FREE Shipping all orders to lower 48 US states

Catholic Online SHopping

Address of Holy See on Religious Liberty

"There Are Needs That Find Fulfillment in God Alone"


WARSAW, Poland, OCT. 22, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is the text of an address delivered by the Holy See's representative, Monsignor Anthony Frontiero, to the annual meeting of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The meeting was on the topic "Human Dimension Implementation," and it took place Sept. 24-Oct. 5.

Monsignor Frontiero, an official of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave the address Sept. 26 on the theme of religious liberty.

* * *

Mr. Chairman,

The Holy See reiterates its firm conviction that the dignity of the person and the very nature of the quest for God require that all people should be free from every constraint in the area of religion. Society and the state must not force a person to act against his conscience or prevent him from acting in conformity with it.[1]

This said, the Holy See stresses that the right to religious freedom ought to be part of the juridical order and recognized as a civil right. The Holy See also wishes to stress that such norms are required by the need for the effective safeguarding of the rights of all citizens and for the peaceful settlement of conflicts of rights, also by the need for an adequate care of genuine public peace, which comes about when people live together in good order and in true justice.[2]

Although a religious community may, because of historical and cultural ties to a nation, be given special recognition on the part of the state, such recognition should never create discrimination within civil or social order for other religious groups. Unfortunately, however, such a vision of relations between states and religious organizations seems not always to be shared by all and the right to religious freedom is, as we have seen, being violated, "even to the point that imparting catechesis, having it imparted, and receiving it become punishable offences.[3]

In his recent address to the Executive Committee of the Centrist Democratic International (CDI), Pope Benedict XVI recalled that the right to religious liberty is fundamental, irrepressible, inalienable and inviolable. Moreover, the exercise of this freedom includes the right to change religion, which should be guaranteed not only legally, but also in daily practice.

"In fact, religious liberty corresponds to the human person's innate openness to God, who is the fullness of truth and the supreme good. An appreciation for religious freedom is a fundamental expression of respect for human reason and its capacity to know the truth. Openness to transcendence is an indispensable guarantee of human dignity since within every human heart there are needs and desires that find their fulfillment in God alone. For this reason, God can never be excluded from the horizon of man and world history! That is why all authentically religious traditions must be allowed to manifest their own identity publicly, free from any pressure to hide or disguise it."[4]

As we witness the varied religious reactions to the social problems of our day, there is evidence that the significant world religions, including Christianity, are promoting peace and justice as essential dimensions of their religious commitment. Men and women involved in these movements recognize an intrinsic connection between their religious faith and the active concern for the wellbeing of society. There is evidence of a universal solidarity on the horizon.

Christian discipleship and the quest for personal holiness include responsibility for the world. Faith traditions and religious experience based on reason and truth offer the promise and hope that the spiritual life is to be realized in a sustained, practical involvement for the well-being of God's world.

In 1971, in his apostolic letter "Octogesima Adveniens," Pope Paul VI argued that utopia can be an unrealistic dream that prevents people from effective action. But utopia, rightly understood, is a positive vision that criticizes the existing order, generates a forward-looking imagination, recognizes the as yet unrealized possibilities of the present, and supplies energy for the creation of a new future.[5]

Religion will continue to serve as a meaningful, substantial and positive part in the quest for such a new future, especially if religions are delivered from their possible shortcomings and failures, and if they respect authentic aspirations. Religion, in the service of peace, human rights and social justice will be effective to the extent that it embraces the Holy Spirit's inspiration to be faithful to its deepest values.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

* * *

[1] Cf. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 421.
[2] Cf. Ibid.

[3] Ibid., No. 423.
[4] Benedict XVI, Address to the Executive Committee of the Centrist Democratic International, Sept. 21, 2007.

[5] See Paul VI, "Octogesima Adveniens," No. 37.

[Original text: English]

[Text adapted]

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Religion, Liberty, Freedom, Frontiero

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.