Monday, February 09, 2009

On religious liberty

If one actually wants to understand the "plain meaning" behind the Church's teaching on religious liberty, one might want to look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2104-9) and follow up on its footnotes. One would then be pointed towards Leo XIII's Immortale Dei and Libertas praestantissimum; various writings of Pius XII in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis; Pius XI's Quas primas; Pius IX's Quanta cura; and Pius VI's Quod aliquantum. One might find one's self surprised at how many restrictions on false religion can fall under "due limits" when prudence properly takes into account the objective moral order.

Catholicism is true and other religions are false. The truth is owed duties that falsehoods are not. I know such an idea is radically contrary to modern pieties, but it is true none the less.

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