Religion: Drawing The Line on Dissent

No more attacks on official teaching, the Pope tells scholars

Since the beginning of his papacy in 1978, John Paul II has worried about the disintegration of his church's unified front on doctrines and moral teachings. Catholic scholars were not only squabbling about birth control, they were publicly challenging everything from divorce to the Virgin Birth to papal powers. The campaign to clamp down on dissent has since become a hallmark of John Paul's reign. Last week the Vatican hardened that effort, issuing a decree notifying Catholic scholars that and most sweeping pronouncement Rome has made in modern times on the limits of intellectual freedom in the Roman Catholic Church.

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