The Roman Catholic Catechism
THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
1730 God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. "God willed that man should be 'left in the hand of his own counsel,' so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."26
Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27
I. FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.
II. HUMAN FREEDOM IN THE ECONOMY OF SALVATION
1743 "God willed that man should be left in the hand of his own counsel (cf. Sir 15:14), so that he might of his own accord seek his creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him" (GS 17 § 1).
1747 The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of man.
Our Catholic Faith
Free Will -
A major difference between Catholic and Protestant theology is belief in free will, in which both Luther and Calvin deny. Because of the Protestant creation of the doctrine of "sola fide", or that faith alone is sufficient for salvation, these reformist taught that each person does not cooperate in their own salvation. In essence, Protestant doctrine is that all of our moral choices are predetermined. Salvation is ours to accomplish, it is not something that we have no control over. The doctrine of "sola fide" directly contradicts many scripture passages and leads many astray.
Catholic Answers Magazine
Far from denying free will, Jeremiah glaringly affirms it. The same can be said of Paul. Throughout Romans and elsewhere, Paul clearly teaches all men must freely cooperate with God’s grace to be saved. For example, look at Romans 2:6-8: "[God] will render to every man according to his works: To those who by patience in well-doing [good works] seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life, but for those who . . . do not obey the truth . . . there will be wrath and fury."
God’s will is immutable; therefore, God’s will is always accomplished. The mistake is to reject free will because of this truth. We have already seen that it is God’s will for all to be saved (2 Pt 3:9, cf. 1 Tm 2:4, 1 Jn 2:1-2). But it is also true that some men will not be saved (cf. Mt 7:13, 25:46; Rv 21:8). This implies the freedom to choose to serve God or not (cf. Dt 28:15, Mt 19:17-22). All of this must be understood within God’s predestined plan. How do we reconcile all of this? We conclude that God’s will has an antecedent and a consequent nature. It is God’s antecedent will that all be saved. However, as a consequence of God’s gift of free will, some reject God’s antecedent will. It then becomes God’s consequent will for that soul to go to hell. God’s will is accomplished and our free will, which is revealed in Scripture, is preserved. It is God’s predestined plan for us to have free will (CCC 600).
Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of Christian televangelists… He converted to Catholicism in 1988 and spent the following six years in formation for the priesthood, earning a degree in philosophy from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania. He then studied theology on a graduate level at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, for two years. Realizing that his calling was not to the priesthood, Tim left the seminary in 1994 and has been working in Catholic apologetics and evangelization ever since.
For more on this subject, See "Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, etc. are the New Vatican Versions" Parts 1 and 2
And The Lord's Prayer - Is your bible a Vatican Version?
Matthew 6:13 & Luke 11:2-4 - Is your bible a "Catholic" bible?
The Lord's Prayer - Is your Bible a Vatican Version?
A Summary Chart of the differences between Biblical Truth and Catholicism
by Richard Bennett
"Thy Word Is Truth"