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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CONSCIENCE and Faith: Canadian bishops issue letter on religious freedom

Canadian bishops issue letter on religious freedom, speak of conscientious objection

CWN - May 15, 2012

The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a pastoral letter on religious liberty. The letter, dated April 2012, was released on May 14.

Lamenting threats to religious freedom abroad, the letter also noted that

in the past decade in Canada there have been several situations that raise the question whether our right to freedom of conscience and religion is everywhere respected. At times, believers are being legally compelled to exercise their profession without reference to their religious or moral convictions, and even in opposition to them. This occurs wherever laws, which most often deal with issues linked to the dignity of human life and the family, are promulgated and which limit the right to conscientious objection by health-care and legal professionals, educators and politicians.

The bishops reminded the faithful that "it is sometimes necessary to resist, even in a heroic manner, the directives of the state, a court, or an organization that tries to force them to go against their convictions in matters of faith and morals."