Charles E. Curran

This chapter discusses the understanding of human rights in the Roman Catholic tradition. It was only at the Second Vatican Council in 1965 that the Roman Catholic Church finally accepted the right to religious freedom for all human beings. The chapter focuses on the official teaching of the hierarchical magisterium. It develops three major points: the dramatic change that occurred with the Catholic acceptance of human rights in the latter part of the twentieth century. Other major points include the basis and grounding of human rights in contemporary Catholic thought and a somewhat troubling development in the teaching of Pope John Paul II. In his moral and political writing, John Paul II insisted on the primacy of truth in his understanding of democracy and human rights. Democracy for many is based on agnosticism and sceptical relativism with regard to truth.

in Religion and rights