The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pope Benedict and Religious Freedom

During his visit to the UK, Pope Benedict XVI met with representatives of other major religions, including Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. In his address one of his key points was his affirmation of religious freedom. Although he didn't directly mention the persecution of Christians by Muslim and Hindu extremists in many parts of the world, he did ask that people of all faiths be allowed to worship freely and to convert to another faith. He pleads for reciprocity and mutual respect:

"Ever since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has placed special emphasis on the importance of dialogue and cooperation with the followers of other religions. In order to be fruitful, this requires reciprocity on the part of all partners in dialogue and the followers of other religions. I am thinking in particular of situations in some parts of the world, where cooperation and dialogue between religions calls for mutual respect, the freedom to practice one’s religion and to engage in acts of public worship, and the freedom to follow one’s conscience without suffering ostracism or persecution, even after conversion from one religion to another. Once such a respect and openness has been established, peoples of all religions will work together effectively for peace and mutual understanding, and so give a convincing witness before the world."

The below video provides a brief overview of the Holy Father's comments.

You can read Pope Benedict's entire address here.

Pray for persecuted Christians.

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