Encyclical of Pope John XXIII, On Establishing Universal Peace In Truth, Justice, Charity, And Liberty, April 11, 1963
Mans personal dignity requires besides that he enjoy freedom and be able to make up his own mind when he acts.
In his association with his fellows, therefore, there is every reason why his recognition of rights, observance of duties, and many-sided collaboration with other men, should be primarily a matter of his own personal decision.
Each man should act on his own initiative, conviction, and sense of responsibility, not under the constant pressure of external coercion or enticement.
There is nothing human about a society that is welded together by force.
Far from encouraging, as it should, the attainment of mans progress and perfection, it is merely an obstacle to his freedom.
Hence, a regime which governs solely or mainly by means of threats and intimidation or promises of reward, provides men with no effective incentive to work for the common good.
And even if it did, it would certainly be offensive to the dignity of free and rational human beings.
Consequently, laws and decrees passed in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience, since it is right to obey God rather than men.
Pope Leo XIII on True Liberty by MICHAEL DAVIES
http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/true-liberty.htm ^ | unknown | MICHAEL DAVIES
Posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 2:16:39 PM by stfassisi