By: Stephen Fields
According to Schindler, Murray interprets Dignitatis Humanae to mean that the state should exercise no coercion in religious matters. Bound by the natural law, the state must insist on the fundamental dignity of all persons to accept responsibility for acting on their own initiative in faith and worship. For Murray, therefore, the state, as implicitly open to God, guarantees the neutrality necessary for granting all religions equal status before the law, even while “permitting them...to add their own positive content of what [religious] freedom is for.”
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/dignitatis-humanae-david-schindler-versus-john-courtney-murray
By: Richard Garnett
The Declaration on Religious Freedom famously affirmed, “the right to religious freedom…has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.” This aspect of Dignitatis Humanae is familiar. Another theme, though, is more often overlooked but crucially important today.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/dignitatis-humanae-and-the-conditions-for-religious-freedom
By: Thomas Pink
The nineteenth-century popes called for the state to coerce—to issue legal directives backed up by threats of punishment—in support of religious truth and against religious error and to enforce the laws of the Church.
But in 1965, in Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II taught something that appears quite opposite—that we have a right not to be coerced in our religious activities by the state, except where the state needs to protect just public order, because the state lacks the authority to coerce religiously.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/xii6em5xd7y1v70gfkc1me7fu1z7wa
By: Gerard Bradley
Dignitatis Humanae plainly calls for a vigorous social conversation about divine realities. It plainly envisages what might be called a critical theological culture. The declaration affirms too everyone’s moral obligation to engage this vivid and searching cultural happening. A critical, morally serious theological conversation requires structure and something that functions as direction and guidance. It needs an invisible hand to keep it on course. It needs a particular cultural context to keep it on course.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/the-culture-of-religious-freedom