Affirming Religious Freedom

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How Vatican Council II Developed the Church's Teaching to Meet Today's Needs

Author: Whitehead, Kenneth D.
Publisher: Alba House New York Pages: 90
Binding: Paperback

Vatican II adopted an approach to religious liberty based on affirming the human dignity of the religious believer. This new emphasis was reflected in the title of its declaration on religious freedom Dignitatis Humanae which means "On Human Dignity." In it the Church, speaking through the Council, teaches that "the human person has a right to religious freedom." What is entailed by this right is "that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of every human power in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, within due limits." This book goes into detail regarding the implications of this new emphais on what the Church has traditionally held and taught, but which has not always been well understood.