Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the international president of the Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN International) has defended the importance of religious freedom as an inherent aspect of human dignity, insisting that “it cannot be trampled upon for any reason, neither by any government, nor by any political policy or any particular agenda.”
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza made these comments in the context of the forthcoming publication of the Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021 on April 20th.
Religious freedom, the Cardinal added, contains within itself “the nucleus of all freedoms, since it relates to the human conscience and is thus linked to the dignity of every individual human being”. Consequently, it may not be violated in any way.
The ACN report “Religious Freedom in the World, Report 2021” is “fundamental to the mission of the charity”, Cardinal Piacenza said, since it reinforced and complemented the mission of ACN to alleviate the pastoral needs of the Church in those places where this was required. He described the report as a “very extensive” study, which had required “intellectual and investigative work”, and which is also “the only one in the ecclesial context”. It is necessary to support this work, since it is “very important”.
ACN publishes its report on Religious Freedom in the World every other year, a report in which it analyses the degree to which this right is respected in every country of the world (196) and in regard to all religions, not merely Christianity.
The formal launch of the latest report will take place on April 20th in 23 different countries around the world.