Essay about Religious Freedom At The Second Vatican Council
At the Second Vatican Council, a person’s right to religious freedom was declared (Keys 138). No one would be forced or limited into believing in a faith. The Vatican II teaching is still relevant in today’s Catholic church. The council’s teaching of religious freedom was the product of tragedy and brought controversy once established.
The right to religious freedom dates back to the Roman Empire when Constantine was emperor (Keys 138). Initially, he persecuted Christians but converted after receiving the message “in this sign you will conquer” accompanied with a flaming cross. He established the Edict of Milan granting religious freedom in the Roman Empire.
Soon after Constantine’s reign, the peace amongst religions was disturbed when Christianity was adopted as the main religion (Keys 139). The one religion-state model was used until the 16th century when the Peace of Augsburg was created. Two religious could co-exist in the same state, the only catch was one of the religions was that of their prince. The division amongst Christians lead to violence, wars to break out, and the birth of the Peace of Westphalia (Keys 139). Catholics, Luthers, and Calvinists benefited from the treaty, the religions could be practice publically and must be tolerated.
Even the treaty couldn’t stop violence caused by religious freedom. The French Revolution is a perfect example of the danger surrounding the idea. Once it was granted, the separation of church…