Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bishops release religious freedom video for 50th anniversary of 'Dignitatis Humanae' | National Catholic Reporter

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement on religious freedom on the 50th Aanniversary of the Vatican II statement Human Dignity an inspring call for freedom of consciousness at the height of the ecumenical movement.  Led by John Courtney Murray, S.J. the Church moved beyond centuries of intolerance.  The other epochal event of the time was the Church's renunciation of the anti-Semitism that had long scarred Christendom.  The story of the struggle is brilliantly recounted in John Connelly's From Enemy to Brother.

Unfortunately the culture warriors who dominate the U.S. Catholic Church have used this anniversary to pen a hyperbolic doom and gloom video.  By linking the grim situation of Christians in the Arab world to the "heroic" efforts of the Little Sisters of the Poor to avoid even the slightest complicity with contraception the Bishops' video shows how little they understand about conscience: that people have the right to control their procreation and they do all their other creative efforts. Sad! - gwc
Bishops release religious freedom video for 50th anniversary of 'Dignitatis Humanae' | National Catholic Reporter
by Tom Roberts

"Look at what's happening to Christians in the Middle East," says Lori, as shots of heavily armed forces appear in another unidentified foreign city. "Look at the non-violent but increasing exclusion of religion from the public square," he continued, as the video cuts to a shot of the Ten Commandments monument that was removed last year from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds because that state's supreme court decided it violated provisions of the state constitution.
Noticeably lacking from the video and its discussion of the erosion of religious liberty and religious presence in the public square were the visits to the United States by four of the most recent popes, dating back to Paul VI and including the 2015 visit by Pope Francis.
It perhaps would have been too contradictory of the video's thesis of cultural hostility toward religion and religious institutions to show Francis speaking to a special joint session of Congress, or being greeted at the airport upon arrival by President Obama. There followed several days of public adulation of the pontiff with throngs of people lining streets in Washington, D.C. and New York City and concluding with a huge outdoor Mass and other celebrations on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway, all of it amply protected by law enforcement paid for by the public."

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