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Catholic Dictionary




The disposition to permit, or bear with, views, actions, or teaching that differs from one's own in academic, political, and social affairs, but especially in religion. The opposite is intolerance. As stated by the Second Vatican council, "Provided the just requirements of public order are not violated, religious groups have a right to immunity so that they may organize themselves according to their own principles." Accordingly the Catholic Church respects the rights of religious bodies other than her own to exist and "to promote institutions in which members may work together to organize their own lives according to their religious principles" (Decree on Religious Liberty, I, 4). (Etym. Latin tolerare, to bear, tolerate.)