Pope Benedict XVI on Freedom of Religion

Benedict XVI is calling for fresh insights on the topic of religious freedom, noting how this fundamental human right was enshrined after the downfall of 20th-century totalitarianisms, but now again faces threats. The Pope made his appeal in an April 29 message to Mary Ann Glendon, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, on the occasion of the academy's 17th plenary session.

Quote: "Deeply inscribed in our human nature are a yearning for truth and meaning and an openness to the transcendent. [...] Many centuries ago, Tertullian [...] emphasized that God must be worshipped freely, and that it is in the nature of religion not to admit coercion. [...] Since man enjoys the capacity for a free personal choice in truth, and since God expects of man a free response to his call, the right to religious freedom should be viewed as innate to the fundamental dignity of every human person, in keeping with the innate openness of the human heart to God." Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32480?l=english