Day Eight 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.
Since the family is a society in its own original right, it has the right freely to live its own domestic religious life under the guidance of parents. Parents, moreover, have the right to determine, in accordance with their own religious beliefs, the kind of religious education that their children are to receive.
Government, in consequence, must acknowledge the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of schools and of other means of education. The use of this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly or indirectly. Besides, the rights of parents are violated if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs. The same is true if a single system of education, from which all religious formation is excluded, is imposed upon all.
Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 5
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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