Skip to main content

Fortnight for Freedom Reflection Day 6

To view PDF click here.

The freedom or immunity from coercion in
matters religious which is the endowment of persons
as individuals is also to be recognized as their right
when they act in community. Religious bodies are a
requirement of the social nature both of man and of
religion itself.

Provided the just requirements of public order are
observed, religious bodies rightfully claim freedom in
order that they may govern themselves according to
their own norms, honor the Supreme Being in public
worship, assist their members in the practice of the
religious life, strengthen them by instruction, and promote
institutions in which they may join together for the
purpose of ordering their lives in accordance with their
religious principles.

Religious bodies also have the right not to be
hindered, either by legal measures or by administrative
action on the part of government, in the selection,
training, appointment, and transferral of their own ministers,
in communicating with religious authorities and
communities abroad, in erecting buildings for religious
purposes, and in the acquisition and use of suitable
funds or properties.

Declaration on Religious Liberty
(Dignitatis Humanae), no. 4
December 7, 1965

Reflection for Day Six

The Council once more addresses the public nature of
religious belief. Religious communities have a right to
act as a community of faith, for this is inherent within
the social nature of human beings and religious belief
itself. Provided that the just civil and religious rights
of others are not transgressed, religious bodies must
possess the freedom to live out publicly what they
believe. They must be free to gather for worship, to
instruct their members, and to develop institutions
that further the religious life of their members. From
within the Catholic tradition this would include religious
institutes and orders, schools, fraternities and
sodalities, prayer groups, and Bible study groups.

Likewise, religious bodies must be free to appoint
and train their own ministers. For Catholics, that
means the Church’s freedom at least to appoint
bishops and ordain priests. It also means that Catholics
are free to be loyal to their church and its leaders
while also being loyal to their country and its leaders.
Religious bodies should also be free to govern themselves

Consider examples in contemporary life where
governments—federal, state, or local—fail to respect
the above rights? What is the relationship between
the religious freedom of individuals and institutions?


Popular posts from this blog

10 Great Quotes from The Book of Sirach

The book of Sirach is a book that is often overlooked in the bible. This is unfortunate since this book contains many wise, practical saying on how to live a virtous life. The book was believed to have been written between 200-175 B.C.E.

Here are ten quotes that I feel best reflect this timeless work.

1."Do not become a beggar by feasting with\borrowed money, when you have nothing in your purse." Sirach 18:33

2."In all you do remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." 7:36

3.."Glory and dishonor come from speaking; a man's tongue is his downfall." 5:13"

4."A wise man is cautious in everything." 18:27

5."One who trusts others is light minded." 19:4

6."If you pursue justice, you will obtain it and wear it as a glorious robe." 27:8

7."Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but no many as have fallen because of the tongue." 28:18

8." In all of your work be industrious and no sickness will…

George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and The Afterlife

I was stunned, as was most of the world was when I heard about the passing of George Michael on Christmas day.  Michael possessed enormous talent was and one of the most successful acts in the 1980's and early 90's

Shortly after Carrie Fisher died.  Fisher was famous for her legendary role as princess Leia from the Star Wars movies.  Strangely her mother also died the day after.

2016 was a notable year for celebrity deaths.

Some names include Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie,  Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali.

As a Catholic these deaths got me thinking about the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death.

Marcus Aurelius, the stoic, emperor, philosopher king wrote about the passing nature of life as he reflected, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."

Even though I agree mostly with Aurelius&…

Me vs. The Almighty

There is a famous scene in the Bible where Jacob wrestles with God.  Jacob fights with God until God takes out a bone from Jacob's thigh. Interestingly, God eventually relents and stops fighting with Jacob. After this dramatic incident, Jacob is renamed Israel which literally means, "he who struggles with God."

I can relate to this story.  Many times in my life I have argued with God. I still do. (my wife can attest to that.) Many times I have criticized his tactics, his ways, and his wisdom. In my worst moments, I have even used choice language. I have a complicated relationship with God. Like Jacob, I have wrestled with God. (thigh bone still intact)

Recently I approached a priest friend of mine and told him of my struggles with God.  I expected that he would chide me for my lack of respect and informality. What this priest said was illuminating and encouraging. He told me that it was OK at times to be angry with God, God understood. He, in fact, encouraged this honest…