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Day 14 reflection for Fortnight

The fact is that men of the present day want to be able freely to profess their religion in private and in public. Religious freedom has already been declared to be a civil right in most constitutions, and it is solemnly recognized in international documents. The further fact is that forms of government still exist under which, even though freedom of religious worship receives constitutional recognition, the
powers of government are engaged in the effort to deter citizens from the profession of religion and to make life difficult and dangerous for religious Communities. This sacred Synod greets
with joy the first of these two facts, as among the signs of the times. With sorrow, however,

Prayer of Discipleship

Loving God,
I thank you for choosing me to be your disciple and for the gift of your Son, Jesus.  Help me to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel by word and by deed today and every day.  Open my heart to the outcast, the forgotten, the lonely, the sick, and the poor.  Grant me the courage to think, to choose, and to live as a Christian, joyfully obedient to God.

(Adapted from the Homily of Pope Francis, Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, Third Sunday of Easter, April 14, 2013.)

July 7 Bulletin

Day 13 reflection for Fortnight

In turn, where the principle of religious freedom is not only proclaimed in words or simply incorporated in law but also given sincere and practical application, there the Church succeeds in achieving a stable situation of right as well as of fact and the independence which is necessary for the fulfillment of her divine mission. This independence is precisely what the authorities of the Church claim in society. At the same time, the Christian faithful, in common with all other men, possess the civil right not to be hindered in leading their lives in accordance with their conscience.

Day 12 reflection for Fortnight

Among the things which concern the good of the Church and indeed the welfare of society here on earth—things therefore which are always and everywhere to be kept secure and defended against all injury—this certainly is preeminent, namely, that the Church should enjoy that full measure of freedom which her care for salvation of men requires. This freedom is sacred, because the only-begotten Son endowed with it the Church which He purchased with His blood. It is so much the property of the Church that to act against it is to act against the will of God. The freedom of the Church is the fundamental principle in what concerns the relations between the Church and

June 30 Bulletin

Day 11 reflection for Fortnight

Furthermore, society has the right to defend itself against possible abuses committed on pretext of freedom of religion. It is the special duty of government to provide this protection. However,
government is not to act in arbitrary fashion or in an unfair spirit of partisanship. Its action is to be controlled by juridical norms which are in conformity with the objective moral order. These norms arise out of the need for effective safeguard of the rights of all citizens and for peaceful settlement of conflicts of rights. They flow from the need for an adequate care of genuine public peace, which comes about when men live together in good order and in true justice. They come, finally, out of the need for a proper guardianship of public morality. These matters constitute the basic component of