In the course of over 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has developed a significant body of teaching on human rights, conscience protection, the relationship between Church and state, and religious freedom.  Learn more about the depth and breadth of Church teaching here.

The Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Liberty

On December 7, 1965, the Second Vatican Council approved Dignitatis humanae, the Declaration on Religious Liberty.  The document roots religious freedom in the perennial teaching of the Church on human dignity.  It teaches that religious freedom is the cornerstone of a society that promotes human dignity; it is a fundamental human right, which follows on the duty of all people to seek the truth about God.  Learn more!

Papal Encyclicals

Pope Leo XIII

Pope St. John Paul II


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