Catechism of the Catholic Church

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