Even though the Enlightenment helped bring about a purification from the abuse of religion, secular society still requires religious foundations to sustain lasting moral values....
While on principle the state should not at all limit freedom of religion for individuals and communities nor of moral conscience, it has the responsibility to guarantee the wellbeing and security of society. Accordingly it is obliged to intervene wherever and whenever a threat is posed by the promotion, teaching or exercise of violence and specifically terrorism and psychological manipulation in the name of religion.
In addition to respecting the freedom of religious choices, the integrity of faith communities should also be guaranteed. Accordingly it is legitimate for a society with a predominant religious identity to preserve its character, as long as this does not limit the freedom of minority communities and individuals to profess their alternative religious commitments, nor to limit their full civil rights and status as citizens, individuals and communities....
[T]here is a special obligation upon religious leaders and communities to prevent the improper use of religion and to educate towards respect for diversity which is essential in order to ensure a healthy, stable and peaceful society.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Catholic-Jewish Commission Speaks On Religious Freedom
Last week, the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel's Delegation for Relations with the Catholic Church -- known as the Bilateral Commission-- met in Jerusalem. The topic for the meeting was "Freedom of Religion and Conscience and Its Limits." Zenit yesterday published the conclusions of the Commission's 3-day session. Here are some excerpts: