Les Femmes

Freedom is widely misunderstood. Most people see it as doing whatever one pleases. Not so! See what the Church and her saints say! The Catechism

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches that “Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act…and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility.” That responsibility requires one to develop right use of reason and free will. To be authentic, freedom, to be authentic, must be oriented toward the true and the good. To justify evil as freedom shows either ignorance, poor use of reason, or malice, a deformed will. Additionally, evil acts almost always infringe on the freedom of others. Abortion is a perfect example, a grave evil committed under the false slogan of “freedom to choose” that violates the inherent right of another to live. When man sins he doesn’t demonstrate his “freedom,” but his slavery. “By refusing God’s plan of love… [man] deceived himself and became a slave to sin…. From its outset, human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence of the abuse of freedom.” (CCC 1739)

Pope Leo XIII: “[T]here are many who imagine that the Church is hostile to human liberty. Having a false and absurd notion as to what liberty is, either they pervert the very idea of freedom, or they extend it at their pleasure to many things in respect of which man cannot rightly be regarded as free…. man is by nature rational. When, therefore, he acts according to reason, he acts of himself and according to his free will; and this is liberty. Whereas, when he sins, he acts in opposition to reason, is moved by another, and is the victim of foreign misapprehensions. Therefore, 'Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin'."[4] Even the heathen philosophers clearly recognized this truth, especially they who held that the wise man alone is free; and by the term "wise man" was meant…the man trained to live in accordance with his nature, that is, in justice and virtue.

Pope John Paul II: “Finally, true freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace.” Freedom, in other words, cannot be separated from reason which evaluates whether a particular choice is good or evil. All evil acts involve violating one’s own freedom (e.g., choosing to use addictive drugs which eliminates the freedom not to use them) or the freedom of another (e.g., robbing a neighbor’s home eliminating his freedom to use his property as he desires).. So discussing a “freedom to choose” without reference to the act being chosen is irrational. And one is never “free” to do evil.

Table of Contents