Friday, September 17, 2010

Pope takes on ‘aggressive atheism’ in first speech

From The Church Times-

POPE BENEDICT XVI began his four-day visit to Scotland and England on Thursday with a plea to the British to remember their Christian heritage. The speech also included a robust attack on “aggressive secularism”.

Responding to the Queen’s welcome at Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh, the Pope said: “May all Britons continue to live by the values of honesty, respect and fair-mindedness that have won them the esteem and admiration of many.

“Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate.

“Let it not obscure the Christian foundation that underpins its freedoms; and may that patrimony, which has always served the nation well, constantly inform the example your Government and people set before the two billion members of the Commonwealth and the great family of English-speaking nations throughout the world.”

The Pope celebrated great British Christians, naming William Wilberforce, David Livingstone, Florence Nightingale, and John Henry Newman. “These, and many people like them, were inspired by a deep faith born and nurtured in these islands.”

And he tackled head-on the awkwardness of his own German origins: “Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

More here-

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