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28 - Lauren Berry ARTL 100 Heft Declaration on Religious...

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Lauren Berry ARTL 100 – Heft October 28, 2009 Declaration on Religious Freedom: Dignitatis Humanae In this letter the Pope outlines the Church’s doctrine as it relates to the rights of a person and community’s religious freedom. He searches through historical sacred teachings and doctrines to that are consistent with new ideas. He outline’s the Church’s stance in a few major points and he concludes that all nations are coming into even closer unity culturally and religiously and that there is a growing awareness among nations of personal responsibility that every man has. Consequently, in order to establish peaceful relationships throughout the entire world, it is necessary that religious freedom be guaranteed by constitutional law everywhere and that respect be shown for the “high duty and right of man freely to lead his religious life in society.” 1 At the beginning of the document, the Vatican Council professes that truth enters the mind with binding powers and there is an obligation to worship God. Religious freedom is therefore necessary so that man can fulfill his duty to worship God. Man can’t be under restriction or coercion from society because that strips man’s dignity and natural right. This right has a foundation in the dignity of person and this understanding of dignity is revealed through studying the word of God. All men are born free from oppression and can’t be made to act contrary to his own personal beliefs. “Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature” 2 The right to religious 1 1 Document 2 2 Article? 1
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freedom is for all men, not just those who choose to seek religious truth, so that a civil society can be maintained. As long as religious communities obey society’s laws, they have a right to govern themselves, instruct followers, hold meetings, and assist members of their communities. Parents also deserve this right to determine, in accordance with their own religious beliefs, the kind of religious education that their children are to receive. Religious truth is a profound experience that cannot take place in a restrictive and coercive society. These points on finding
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