Friday, March 30, 2012
Here is more from the Pope's Cuba homily, on religious freedom:
The right to freedom of religion, both in its private and in its public dimension, manifests the unity of the human person, who is at once a citizen and a believer. It also legitimizes the fact that believers have a contribution to make to the building up of society. Strengthening religious freedom consolidates social bonds, nourishes the hope of a better world, creates favourable conditions for peace and harmonious development, while at the same time establishing solid foundations for securing the rights of future generations.
When the Church upholds this human right, she is not claiming any special privileges for herself. She wishes only to be faithful to the command of her divine founder, conscious that, where Christ is present, we become more human and our humanity becomes authentic. This is why the Church seeks to give witness by her preaching and teaching, both in catechesis and in the schools and universities. It is greatly to be hoped that the moment will soon arrive when, here too, the Church can bring to the fields of knowledge the benefits of the mission which the Lord entrusted to her and which she can never neglect. . . .
The penultimate sentence in this quote (above) is relevant, I think, to the debate about the religious-freedom implications of the preventive-services mandate. As I noted the other day, it is a mistake to think about the mandate only in terms of the question whether it purports to require culpable cooperation-with-evil. Instead, the mandate burdens religious freedom, it seems to me, by compromising the integrity of Catholic institutions' witness.