Marriage, Family and Respect Life: Religious Liberty
"Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, inasmuch as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family.
For this reason, I implore all men and women of good will to renew their commitment to building a world where all are free to profess their religion or faith, and to express their love of God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind (cf. Mt 22:37)."
- Pope Benedict XVI
Religious liberty is an inherent right of the human person, a fundament aspect of our human dignity. Individuals and social institutions (including government entities) have a duty to respect the religious freedom of other individuals and institutions.
Sadly, this fundamental right, guaranteed by the US Constitution, is under attack. (See Current Threats to Religious Liberty on the US Bishops website.) In response to these attacks on religious freedom, the Bishops of the United States have called on all Catholics and citizens to join efforts to defend this fundamental right.
Religious Freedom Week
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is sponsoring a Religious Freedom Week (which will take the place of the Fortnight for Freedom). “Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018” will run from June 22 to 29. The Week begins with the Feast of Sts. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, ends with the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, and includes the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. (Read more here.)