Religion: Which Law?

Should a Roman Catholic judge uphold a law of his land which his church considers unjust? This delicate question was posed by the Pope himself last week before the central committee of the Union of Catholic Italian Lawyers in Rome. The Pope's answer: when a state law conflicts with the church's teaching, a Catholic jurist need not enforce it.

The Pope was obviously speaking past his listeners to the Catholic judges of the Iron Curtain countries, hoping to strengthen their resistance to anti-church laws. But the Pope was heard by the rest of the world, and his words landed full force in...

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