P0pe Benedict surprised visiting American bishops with his speech deploring the spread of secularist influence in the US. The bishops were those from our capital city, the military archdiocese, and the Mid-Atlantic region. He is obviously disturbed by more than the harshness of Secretary Sibelius.
Is the growth of secularism doing this now? When a culture attempts to suppress the dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey, as the late Pope John Paul II so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person and the nature of society.
And to those Catholics and secularists who want the Church restricted to the altar and sermons that do not touch on the issues of the day:
The legitimate separation of Church and State cannot be taken to mean that the Church must be silent on certain issues, nor that the State may choose not to engage, or be engaged by, the voices of committed believers in determining the values which will shape the future of the nation.
Perhaps having grown up in the Third Reich which set out to destroy Christianity, and watching the Communist campaigns in the other half of Europe push religion into “the altar and sacristy” he might have some real insights into the topic? Darn right he does!
We can never give up our vigilance. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently spoke of guaranteeing freedom of worship instead of freedom of religion, and it took President Obama years to appoint an ambassador for religious rights. They are – perhaps unwittingly – paving the way for this, at a time when it is obvious that religious beliefs are paramount for most of the world’s population!
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, our patroness, pray for us to fulfill our duties to your Son!
All you martyrs under communism and fascism, pray for us to be strong!
O Jesus, Who came to us so humbly and loved us to the end, and show us the way to eternal life, help us to proclaim Your Name and our Faith always!
Read his speech here in a news story :http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-warns-of-grave-threat-to-religious-freedom-in-us OR the complete text here: