33 – Everyone has the freedom to choose the religion they judge to be true

Recently, it has become common to hear affirmations regarding the right to religious liberty, that ends up confusing diverse concepts to such an extent, that it seems to indicate an almost obligatory religious pluralism that intends to put all religions,  Christian or non-Christian, on the same level. For some Catholics this tendency brings up real doubts, and for others, a just indignation. How could this be possible? If God has chosen only one Church, do all religions deserve the same consideration? Is the worship within other religions, clearly different than that which Christ founded, acceptable? Since Christ founded his Church with the characteristics of unity and sanctity, would he permit his Mystical Spouse to be disfigured, appearing in the eyes of the world as an adulteress, promiscuously mingling with different beliefs and forms of worship, far removed from those received from her Mystical Spouse? What are the evils and dangers that the so-called ‘healthy pluralism’ may expose the Holy Church to? Is it licit for a Catholic to frequent synagogues and non–Catholic places of worship without compromising his Christian dignity? From the resulting confusion, these and so many other disquieting questions are brought up by those who honestly search for the Truth.

Let us take a look at what the Fathers of the Church and former Popes had to say about this matter.

Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

Authors

Sacred Scriptures

One Lord, one faith, one baptism
You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons
Do not be yoked with unbelievers

Pius XI

There can be no true religion other than that which is founded on the revealed word of God

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

The only Church of Christ is the Catholic Church

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

Let no one corrupt the truth of the faith by perfidious prevarication
The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous - She knows one home

Pius XI

That all Christians should be as ‘one’: continually repeated by ‘pan-Christians’

John XXIII

Either men anchor themselves on Christ and His Church or they deliberately exclude themselves from the Church

Saint Thomas Aquinas

He who drinks the chalice of the demons becomes one with them

Saint Justin of Rome

There are men confessing themselves to be Christians yet do not teach Christ’s doctrines, but those of the spirits of error

Saint Augustine of Hippo

No one is to be compelled to embrace the faith against his will; but it is common for treachery to be chastised

Leo XIII

Liberty of worship: opposed to the virtue of religion and a degradation of liberty

Pius IX

No distinction between the true religion and false ones: liberty of perdition
Liberty of every cult leads to the spread of indifferentism

Leo XIII

To think that all religions are alike is to ruin the Catholic religion

Leo I, the Great

Flee from heretics as from a deadly poison

John XXIII

All men must love the truth sincerely if they are to attain peace
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