"Responsible citizenship is a virtue,
and participation in political life is a moral obligation."
- Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
By our baptism, Catholics are committed to following Jesus Christ and to be "salt for the earth, light for the nations." As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, "It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person ... As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life" (nos. 1913-1915).
Pope Benedict XVI's 2011 World Day of Peace message called religious freedom the “path to peace.” Since “religious freedom is at the origin of moral freedom,” the Pope taught it should be understood “not merely as immunity from coercion, but even more fundamentally as an ability to order one’s own choices in accordance with truth... When religious freedom is acknowledged, the dignity of the human person is respected at its root, and the ethos and institutions of peoples are strengthened. On the other hand, whenever religious freedom is denied, and attempts are made to hinder people from professing their religion or faith and living accordingly, human dignity is offended, with a resulting threat to justice and peace...."
Religious freedom has profound implications for the common good of our nation and world. Visit the menu on the left for resources related to Religious Liberty at Home, International Religious Freedom, and Conscience Protection. The menu on the right offers opportunities for you to take action and make your voice heard in support of religious freedom within our nation and throughout the world.
Download the October Religious Freedom Bulletin from the USCCB:
English: B&W COLOR | Spanish: B&W COLOR
What do we mean by religious liberty?
Religious liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in the First Amendment to our Constitution. It includes more than our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It also encompasses our ability to contribute freely to the common good of all Americans.
What is the First Amendment?
The First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights states the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Have more questions?
Visit the menu on the left for resources related to Religious Liberty at Home, International Religious Freedom, and Conscience Protection. The menu on the right offers opportunities for you to take action and make your voice heard in support of religious freedom within our nation and throughout the world.