Cardinal speaks out

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, who has probably only a matter of weeks (or even days) before his successor is named, has thankfully spoken out against the effects on religious freedom of recent anti-discrimination initiatives, as reported below by Fr. Ray Blake. I think the Cardinal does so rather well.


Cardinal; Anti-discrimination legislation limits freedom

Anti-discrimination legislation is being used to limit freedom of religion “in unacceptable ways”, says the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

In a lecture at Westminster Cathedral on the Church's future, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said the state needed to acquire a better understanding of the contribution and place of faith in British society.

He said: “Legislation on discrimination, much of it good in itself, is now being used to limit freedom of religion in unacceptable ways. The sad and totally needless conflict over the Catholic adoption agencies is one example.

“But that is a symptom of a wider prejudice that sees religious faith as a problem to be contained rather than a social good to be cherished and respected, and which properly and necessarily has a public as well as a private dimension.”

The Cardinal called upon local authorities to give the voluntary sector a “greater and more autonomous” role in the delivery of public services and to see the Church as a “partner in the common good, not an adversary”.

He went on to warn that secularism was based on an “impoverished understanding of what it is to be human” and therefore could never fully satisfy human needs.

“Many of the arguments of secularism seek to offer a new and liberated self-sufficient humanism. Yet, I think, they can only end in the death of the human spirit because they are fundamentally reductionist,” he said.

The Church, meanwhile, “must always be an active agent in the creation and building up of a genuinely humane culture” and not given in to drawing pessimistic conclusions about its future.

[From Saint Mary Magdalen: Cardinal; Anti-discrimination legislation limits freedom]
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