Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Joy of the Gospel - 255

Social dialogue in a context of religious freedom
255. The Synod Fathers spoke of the importance of respect for religious freedom, viewed as a fundamental human right.[202] This includes “the freedom to choose the religion which one judges to be true and to manifest one’s beliefs in public”.[203] A healthy pluralism, one which genuinely respects differences and values them as such, does not entail privatizing religions in an attempt to reduce them to the quiet obscurity of the individual’s conscience or to relegate them to the enclosed precincts of churches, synagogues or mosques. This would represent, in effect, a new form of discrimination and authoritarianism. The respect due to the agnostic or non-believing minority should not be arbitrarily imposed in a way that silences the convictions of the believing majority or ignores the wealth of religious traditions. In the long run, this would feed resentment rather than tolerance and peace.

[202] Cf. Propositio 16.

[203] Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente (14 September 2012), 26: AAS 104 (2012), 762.