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Life in Christ

511

patience those who are in error or ignorance with regard to the

faith.”

29

2105

The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man

both individually and socially. This is “the traditional Catholic

teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the

true religion and the one Church of Christ.”

30

By constantly evan­

gelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them “to infuse

the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and struc­

tures of the communities in which [they] live.”

31

The social duty of

Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true

and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the

one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic

Church.

32

Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus,

the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and

in particular over human societies.

33

2106

“Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor

is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his

conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in

association with others, within due limits.”

34

This right is based on

the very nature of the human person, whose dignity enables him

freely to assent to the divine truth which transcends the temporal

order. For this reason it “continues to exist even in those who do

not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to

it.”

35

2107

“If because of the circumstances of a particular people special

civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional

organization of a state, the right of all citizens and religious communities

to religious freedom must be recognized and respected as well.”

36

2108

The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to

adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error,

37

but rather a natural

right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within

29

DH

14 § 4.

30

DH

1 § 3.

31

AA

13 § 1.

32 Cf.

DH

1.

33 Cf.

AA

13; Leo XIII,

Immortale Dei

3, 17; Pius XI,

Quas primas

8, 20.

34

DH

2 § 1.

35

DH

2 § 2.

36

DH

6 § 3.

37 Cf. Leo XIII,

Libertas praestantissimum

18; Pius XII,

AAS

1953, 799.

854

898

160

1782

1738

1740