Religious Freedom of Conscience
Catholic Church Supports Religious Freedom.
Contrary to popular myth the Catholic Church supports religious freedom. She proposes what she believes is true, but does not desire to force others to believe against their will. She proposes not imposes. Catholicism even teaches that we are all obliged to follow our conscience. See note 1.
Seventh Day Adventists [SDA] identify the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon in the Book of Revelation. The SDA’s insist the Catholic Church is going to persecute them in these End Times. note 2. This fear of persecution will hopefully be abated somewhat by quoting the Catholic Church's official teachings, which are listed below.
The Catholic Church considers the moral law, which these teachings below expound upon, to be unchanging. Here is a short list of what the Catholic Church teaches about religious freedom.
Catholic Teaching on the Freedom of Religion
Pope John Paul II
“ … The freedom of the individual in seeking the truth and in the corresponding profession of his or her religious convictions must be specifically guaranteed within the juridical structure of society; that is, it must be recognized and confirmed by civil law as a personal and inalienable right in order to be safeguarded from any kind of coercion by individuals, social groups or any human power. …”
[Message Of His Holiness For The Celebration Of The World Day Of Peace, 1 January 1988. See official Text.]
The Catechism of The Catholic Church
[Catechism – CCC- What the Pope calls the sure norm for our faith for all those wanting to call themselves Catholic. See official Text.]
Documents of Vatican II- Declaration On Religious Freedom
10. 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…
11. God calls men to serve Him in spirit and in truth,
hence they are bound in conscience but they stand under no compulsion. ...
Christ is at once our Master and our Lord and also meek and humble of heart. In
attracting and inviting His disciples He used patience. He wrought miracles to
illuminate His teaching and to establish its truth, but His intention was to
rouse faith in His hearers and to confirm them in faith, not to exert coercion
upon them. He did indeed denounce the unbelief of some who listened to Him,
but He left vengeance to God in expectation of the day of judgment.
1. Catholics believe that Truth can be known, and that it can be known with certainty. We all have the obligation to discover what is True.
2. The SDA’s claim that Catholics are going to force them to worship on Sunday, which they claim is the mark of the Beast. Protestant Churches who also worship on Sunday are identified as sisters of the Whore of Babylon. The SDA’s are preoccupied with the idea of being persecuted by the State, so much so, that they insist on a total separation of Church and State for fear that if the State starts to allow the promotion of Church ideals using State property or laws - e.g. nativity scenes on public property or even laws making abortion illegal - that this acquiescence of religious principles will just be the forerunner of the final corruption that they see prophesied in a demonic state-church.
The point at which human life begins has already been determined by science. Therefore, it is a matter of science, not faith. It begins at conception when a new individual is formed by the new DNA which is formed when the egg is fertilized by the sperm. The SDA’s position on abortion is that most are personally opposed to it, but they believe that it would be wrong to pass laws against it. Many SDA hospitals do in fact perform abortions. Now, if one were to be consistent with the principles of SDA community in their opposition to pass moral laws such as those against abortion, then all moral laws would be taken out of state regulation. And the murder of other people besides the unborn, as well as stealing, lying under oath, extortion, prostitution, etc. would all become legal and this would lead to the total collapse of society. The very nature of a legal system is that the ideas of some are imposed on the whole community. Without a legal system there is no such thing as a society or country, only a failed state and the chaos of terrorism. The Catholic Church promotes the idea of having laws that protect the rights of everyone especially the weak, such as the unborn.
Also it is important to note that the Catholic Church considers the moral law, which these teachings expound upon, to be unchanging. So, how would the Catholic Church be able to influence her followers to do an about face in their beliefs, and actions, when she has consistently taught through the ages that Catholics are required to love their neighbor whether Christian or not and that any mortal (very serious) sin against this great commandment would cause such a Catholic to lose saving grace and to be hell bound. Here, I am referring to the teachings that are considered by Catholics to be on the De Fide level of infallibility, not necessarily the words or actions of a particular Catholics or even a particular Popes. Note: We are all sinners. Jesus came to save the sinner, not the self righteous. By God's grace we are able to fully repent of our sins and to adhere to His way of life.
No doubt when the subject of history is brought up those opposed to Christ and His Church will bring up one line zingers. A serious examination of history is required for all those who seek the truth. Some historical data is listed on the pages below that will hopefully help those who seek true history and not one line characterizations.
History and Issues often Mis-represented
Click on the issues below to see well balanced reporting on historical issues that are often misrepresented by those who prefer one-sided prejudiced clichés about people and events that are anything but one dimensional stereotypes.