Vatican City, Oct 9, 2003 / 22:00 pm
Pope John Paul II commended the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe today for its commitment to ensure the basic human right to religious freedom but he also warned against legislation that promotes religious indifference and relativism, justified by a “mistaken understanding of tolerance.”
“From the start of the Helsinki process, the participating states have recognized the international dimension of the right to religious freedom and its importance for the security and stability of the community of nations,” he said.
The defence of this right, founded on the dignity of the human person, is “in a certain sense … the litmus test for the respect of all the other human rights,” the pope told OSCE members in a private audience at the Vatican today. The OSCE had recently held a conference on freedom of religion.
The pope expressed his appreciation for these efforts and encouraged the OSCE to continue in this undertaking.