Pope to discuss religious freedom in 2011 World Day of Peace message
July 14, 2010
The Holy See Press Office announced on July 13 that the theme of the 2011 World Day of Peace will be “religious freedom, the path of peace.”
“As is well known, in many parts of the world there exist various forms of restrictions or denials of religious freedom, from discrimination and marginalization based on religion, to acts of violence against religious minorities,” the press office noted in a statement. “Religious freedom is rooted in the equal and inherent dignity of man, it is oriented toward the search for ‘unchangeable truth,’ and thus can rightly be presented as the ‘freedom of freedoms.’ As such, religious freedom is authentically realized when it is experienced as the coherent search for the Truth and the truth of man.”
In his message for the 1st World Day of Peace, Pope Paul VI wrote, “We address Ourself to all men of good will to exhort them to celebrate ‘The Day of Peace,’ throughout the world, on the first day of the year, January 1, 1968. It is Our desire that then, every year, this commemoration be repeated as a hope and as a promise, at the beginning of the calendar which measures and outlines the path of human life in time, that Peace with its just and beneficent equilibrium may dominate the development of events to come.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses Catholic teaching on peace and just war in its treatment of the Fifth Commandment. Between 1914 and 1968, five popes wrote 21 encyclicals on peace. Since 1968, papal teaching on peace has primarily been expressed in the messages for the World Day of Peace.
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