The Idea of Toleration in the Doctrine of the Catholic Church: A Brief Sketch

Variant title

L’Idea della tolleranza nella dottrina della Chiesa Cattolica: un breve schizzo 


This article traces a brief history of the idea of toleration inside the doctrine and the practice of the Catholic Church. The author stresses that before the Second Vatican Council the idea of toleration was accepted by the Church only conditionally and served to avoid public perturbations. This metaphysical refusal was compatible with interpretations of Thomistic and Neothomistic philosophies, which were based on the doctrine of unique truth and consequently excluded the truthfulness of other religions. The Second Vatican Council accepts the concept of religious freedom, which the author interprets as an ecclesiastical equivalent of the idea of toleration developed inside the European philosophical tradition. Particular emphasis is given to the role played by John Paul II in promoting this change of perspective inside the Church.




Italian (it)


Konrad SzocikUniversity of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow


Orbis Idearum Volume 2, Issue 1 (2014), pp. 85–95
Toleration and Tolerance