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60Conscience and Coercionhttps://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/08/conscience-and-coercion
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 00:00:00 -0400 In the nineteenth century, in encyclicals from Gregory XVI’s
in 1832 to Leo XIII’s
in 1888, the Catholic Church taught that the state should not only recognize Catholic Christianity as the true religion, but should use its coercive power to restrict the public practice of, and proselytization by, false religions—including Protestantism. Yet in its declaration on religious freedom,
the Second Vatican Council declared that the state should not use coercion to restrict religion—not even on behalf of the true faith. Such coercion would be a violation of people’s right to religious liberty.