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Congregation for the Clergy
General catechetical directory

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    • Chapter II The More Outstanding Elements of The Christian Message
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61 The divine call of man requires him to give a free response in Jesus Christ.


lt. is net possible for man to be unfree. it is also very much part of his dignity and duty, since he has dominion over his actions, 10 keep the moral law in the order of nature and in the order of grade, and thus 10 adhere closely 10 God who revealed himself in Christ. The freedom of fallen man has been so weakened that he would be unable for long 10 observe even the duties of the natural law without the help of God’s grade; but, when he has received grade, his freedom is so elevated and strengthened that the life he lives in the flesh, he is able to live holly in the faith of Jesus Christ (cf. GaI. 2, 20).


The Church has a duty defend and promote a true sense of freedom and its right use against every kind of unjust force. She also protects freedom against those who deny it, who think man’s activity is wholly dependent on psychological determinism and on economic, social, cultural, and such other conditions.


The Church is by no means unaware that freedom, even when assisted by divine grade, is liable to grave psychological difficulties and to the influence of external conditions in which each one lives, with the result that human responsibility is not rarely diminished, and indeed in some cases is barely preserved, and in some cases it is not preserved at ail. The Church likewise takes note of the researches and modem progress in the anthropological sciences concerning the use and limits of human freedom. For this reason she is solicitous both to educate for and to foster genuine freedom, and also to bring about suitable conditions in the psychological, social, economic, political, and religious fields, se that freedom will be able to be truly and justly exercised. Christians, therefore, must work sedulously and sincerely in the temporal sphere, 50 that as far as possible the best conditions may be established for the right exercise of freedom. They have this duty, of course, in common with ail men of good will; yet Christians know they are bound to the same duty because of a more important and more urgent reason. For here it s question net only of promoting a good that belongs b this life en earth, but also of a duty which ultimately serves the acquisition of the inestimable good of grace and of eternal salvation.


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