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Must we allow a person to use his free will, even when he decides in favor of evil?

For a person to be able to use his freedom is a fundamental right based on his human dignity. An individual’s freedom can be curtailed only if the exercise of his freedom is detrimental to human dignity and the freedom of others.

Freedom would be no freedom at all if it were not the freedom to choose even what is wrong. It would violate the dignity of a man if we did not respect his freedom. One of the central duties of the State is to protect the liberties of all its citizens (freedom of religion, of assembly, and association, freedom of opinion, freedom to choose one’s occupation, and so on). The freedom of one citizen is the limit to the freedom of another.


How does God help us to be free men?

Christ wants us to be “set free for freedom” (see Gal 5:1) and to become capable of brotherly love. That is why he sends us the Holy Spirit, who makes us free and independent of worldly powers and strengthens us for a life of love and responsibility.

The more we sin, the more we think only about ourselves and the less well we can develop freely. In sinning we also become more inept at doing good
and practicing charity. The Holy Spirit, who has come down into our hearts, gives us a heart that is filled with love for God and mankind. We avail ourselves of the Holy Spirit as the power that leads us to inner freedom, opens our hearts for love, and makes us better instruments for what is good and loving.

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