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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Second Sunday of the Year A 16th January 2011
This weekend we have the annual white flower collection for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. This group is involved in political battles. In the Pope’s new year message to the diplomatic corps he touched on some relevant aspects of these battles to our country.

Man is a religious animal
The religious dimension is an undeniable and irrepressible feature of man’s being and acting, ... It is indeed the first of human rights, not only because it was historically the first to be recognized but also because it touches the constitutive dimension of man, his relation with his Creator.

Marginalisation of religion in the West [The Pope referred to numerous specific instances where Christians are being violently persecuted, then he turned to the West]
... I think ... of countries which accord great importance to pluralism and tolerance, but where religion is increasingly being marginalized. There is a tendency to consider religion, all religion, as something insignificant, alien or even destabilizing to modern society, and to attempt by different means to prevent it from having any influence on the life of society. Christians are even required at times to act in the exercise of their profession with no reference to their religious and moral convictions, and even in opposition to them, as for example where laws are enforced limiting the right to conscientious objection on the part of health care or legal professionals.
... one can only be gratified by the adoption by the Council of Europe last October of a resolution protecting the right to conscientious objection on the part of medical personnel vis-à-vis certain acts which gravely violate the right to life, such as abortion.

Sex Education
... I exhort all governments to promote educational systems respectful of the primordial right of fam-ilies to make decisions about the education of their children ... I cannot remain silent about another attack on the religious freedom of families in certain European countries which mandate obligatory participation in courses of sexual or civic education which allegedly convey a neutral conception of the person and of life, yet in fact reflect an anthropology opposed to faith and to right reason. …

Religion is at the basis of true civilisation
…. there is a need to reject the dangerous notion of a conflict between the right to religious freedom and other human rights, thus disregarding or denying the central role of respect for religious freedom in the defence and protection of fundamental human dignity.... I would like once more to state forcefully that religion does not represent a problem for society, that it is not a source of discord or conflict. I would repeat that the Church seeks no privileges, nor does she seek to intervene in areas unrelated to her mission, but simply to exercise the latter with freedom. …
The sincere search for God has led to greater respect for human dignity.

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:42 am