Nostra Aetate 5

NA 5 concludes the decree:

We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man’s relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: “He who does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:8).

No foundation therefore remains for any theory or practice that leads to discrimination between man and man or people and people, so far as their human dignity and the rights flowing from it are concerned.

The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary, following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this sacred synod ardently implores the Christian faithful to “maintain good fellowship among the nations” (1 Peter 2:12), and, if possible, to live for their part in peace with all men, so that they may truly be sons of the Father who is in heaven.

This notion of religious freedom would be astounding to previous generations, I suppose. It has been so much a part of the social understanding of my life, I cannot imagine living in a society or a Church without it.

Part of the search for wisdom of the age is maintaining an authentic understanding of one’s own faith, being able to live that faith in a friendly and attractive way so as to evangelize, yet be able to have the conversation without the sense of superiority.

Best of luck to us all on this.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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