Pope Benedict Warns of "Secularism", Words Clearly Relevant to American Politics
Pope Benedict XVI raises his voice against the "dominant culture of secularism in America" and, between the lines, he attacks Obama's policy in favor of contraception, gay marriage and abortion, preventing a true freedom of conscience to American Catholics. Pope Ratzinger received some American bishops, in the periodical "ad limina" pilgrimage, led by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, head of the church in Washington, and other bishops of the area that was the cradle of American Catholicism, to ask with force "committed lay Catholics", "well formed" and "having a strong sense critical of the dominant culture" because “secularism” threatens the core values of American culture.
In this important meeting Pope called on the church in America, including politicians and other laypeople, to render "public moral witness" on crucial social issues and to "counter the reductive secularism that would delegitimize the Church's participation in public debate on issues critical to the future of American society", as the Church "has a crucial role to play in countering the cultural currents that, based on extreme individualism, seek to promote concepts of freedom separated from moral truth". Benedict XVI does not hide his concern in a crucial year for the fate of the United States and consequently in the Western world.
Ratzinger pays strong attention on the campaign of Republican primaries and follows up the term of President Obama. He likes to stress that "the legitimate separation of church and state can not be understood in the sense that the Church must be silent on certain issues, or that the State may choose to disregard the voices of committed believers in determining the values that will shape the future of the nation". The Pope wants the Church to have space and weight in the cultural and political debates of American society, especially in this period of transition. While aware of the distinction of the different roles and purposes of the Catholic Church, on the ashes of the economic crisis is not over yet, in the light of a growing gap between rich and poor, within a "radical secularism that is increasingly expressed in political circles and cultural”, the head of the Catholic Church launched an alarm on the "serious threats" to "public moral witness of the Church". And he defined as "particularly worrying" some "attempts to limit freedom more appreciated in America, freedom of religion".Continued on the next page