Living as Catholics in the Public Square: Freedom of Religion and Conscience in Canada. A Pastoral Letter by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

The Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has released a Pastoral Letter by the Commission for Justice and Peace titled Living as Catholics in the Public Square: Freedom of Religion and Conscience in Canada. This timely document emphasizes the significance of freedom of religion and conscience in Canadian democratic society and explores the role of Catholics in courageously living out their faith in the public square.

The Pastoral Letter observes that freedom of religion and conscience, as enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, forms the bedrock of our society. It also highlights the crucial role of the State in upholding fundamental freedoms and fostering a common life ordered towards the common good. It calls for a genuine pluralism that recognizes and respects the right to hold specific religious and moral convictions, even when they challenge prevailing norms.

The Pastoral Letter urges Catholics to participate actively in the public square, championing the common good and contributing to public debate. The Pastoral Letter also underscores the importance of religious freedom for all people, as its restriction marginalizes individuals, impedes meaningful public discourse, and diminishes the diverse contributions that different religious believers can offer. The letter encourages Catholics to exercise their religious freedom to evangelize, support Catholic institutions, and engage in various professions and vocations that serve the common good.


Updated 19 July 2023

LINK to the Pastoral Letter