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    There is an inner basic relationship between what is meant or realized by democracy and the Catholic Church. This results from the fact that the Church is a community of those who freely believe and freely unite for the profession of faith and for worship. Taken as a society, the Church is based purely on the free faith of her members. Certainly, similar to secular society the Church, too, rests on certain presuppositions which are not produced by the free decision of her members and their free association as such, but are the very conditions of her existence, namely human nature, the saving will of God, redemption through Jesus Christ, the general call of all men to the Church and the resulting “duty” to belong to her. But all this does not alter the fact that the responsible adult (leaving out of account infant baptism and its consequences) belongs to the Church only by his free decision and that she can claim him only on this condition. Members of a secular society may belong to it through compulsion, and then the question arises how they may be guaranteed as large a sphere of freedom and as free and active a cooperation as possible.

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