Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Last edited 12th June 2013

Great Grace Conference - Receiving Vatican II Today

Workshop - Proposing, not imposing: the place of the Church in the public arena - Rocco Mimmo


Often, in public life it is said that Church Leaders should not impose their views on society. It is, of course, a shorthanded way of saying “keep religion out of public debate”. To abide by this saying means that religious liberty can be exercised only in private: that is, in places of worship/churches or in the home. Therefore, the richness of religious tradition, and values are absent in the making of public policy.

The whole point of religious freedom is to seek the truth and the meaning of life. To ask the questions: “Does God exist; what does He ask of me; is there life after death”. These questions are the common bond for all humanity. Each person asks these questions in search for an answer to what is the meaning of life. They become the basis for our reasoning on the meaning of life and faith in the belief that God exists.

The teachings of the Catholic Church provide a pathway to God and assist us in discovering the truth.

When we discover the truth, that is, the reality of God’s existence – it assumes an obligation that we are to serve God and live in accordance with the tenets of our faith.

Jesus said to the Apostles: “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations ....teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have enjoined upon you” (Matt.28: 19-20). We can only be true to this duty if we are free to exercise our religious liberty in the public arena. We are opposed to coercion, to forcing people to act against their will. God us a free will, not an imposed will. Therefore, we must propose the truth not impose it by force or unreasonable behaviour or conduct. It is by example that we lead.

- Mr Rocco Mimmo is the Founder & Chairman of the Ambrose Centre For Religious Liberty