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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Militant secularism is like Soviet atheism, says Russian Orthodox bishop

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EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, 2nd right, Slovenia’s Prime Minster Janez Jansa, 2nd left, and European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, left, welcome Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev at the start of a religious leaders meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels in 2008 (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

There’s an interesting essay in the December 9 issue of the English edition of L’Osservatore Romano by the Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk.

He writes:

The processes taking place in Europe today are somewhat similar to those in the Soviet Union. In regards to religion, militant secularism is as dangerous as was militant atheism. Both of these obstacles strive to exclude religion from the public sphere and from politics, relegating it to a ghetto, confining it to the space of private devotion.

The unwritten laws of political correctness are often applied to religious institutions. In many cases, this means that believers cannot express their convictions openly, in that the public expression of their religious convictions might be considered a violation of the rights of those who do not share them.

Zenit has a good analysis of the archbishop’s article and wider Rome-Moscow relations here.

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Written by Luke Coppen

December 15, 2009 at 12:17 am

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