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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Archbishop to Hindus: Our religious freedom is threatened

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In his speech at the Hindu temple on Saturday, Archbishop Nichols made a robust appeal for religious freedom. He said:

There are some today who seek to set aside the right to act on the basis of religious faith in a reasonable manner in the public forum. Yet we know that religious faith cannot be left alone at home and still retain its integrity. It requires public expression in word and deed. This is an essential part of the right to religious freedom. This is something to which we must all be alert today.

We as a Church feel very strongly that religious sentiment and beliefs of the majority of the citizens of this country are important factors which can contribute significantly to the building up of a true culture of peace and harmony. They are not a matter of private conviction to be excluded from the public forum, but crucial elements of a true and generous citizenship in this land. We are, for example, all convinced of the unique value of prayer in the search for peace. In fact it is impossible to have peace without prayer, the prayer of all, each one in his own identity and in search of the truth.

The experience of prayer is a manifestation of the unity which binds us together, beyond our differences and distinctiveness. Every authentic prayer, we believe, is under the influence of the Spirit ‘who intercedes insistently for us…because we do not know how to pray as we ought’. Yet every person, all of us present here, is capable of prayer, that is of submitting ourselves totally to God and of recognising ourselves to be poor in front of God. Prayer is one of the means to realise the plan of God among us. It shows us that the world cannot give peace, but that peace is a gift of God and that it is necessary to entreat it as a gift by means of the prayers of all.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 24, 2009 at 12:14 pm

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