Day Two of the Fortnight For Freedom
Fortnight For Freedom is a national campaign beginning June 21 and ending July 4 sponsored by the U.S. Catholic Bishops for teaching and witness in support of religious liberty. Each day during this fortnight we will feature a quote from the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Liberty. Please reflect upon these important teachings and share them with others.
It is in accordance with their dignity as persons—that is, being endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility—that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth. However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore, the right to religious freedom has its foundation, not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it. Nor is the exercise of this right to be impeded, provided that the just requirements of public order are observed.
Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 2
December 7, 1965
Excerpts from The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, SJ, General Editor, copyright © 1966 by America Press, Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
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