Catholic cardinal says freedom and tolerance laws pose a threat to religion. Seriously.

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Laws on freedom and tolerance pose a threat to religion, warns Catholic cardinal

BY 

BARRY DUKE

 – OCTOBER 28, 2013 

 
GOVERNMENTS must be wary of the impact that laws enshrining “freedom and tolerance” might have on the religious bodies.

The warning that some people were trying to “privatise” religion and drive it out of public life was sounded by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster and leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

But he just stopped short of playing the “persecution” card, saying:

I don’t think Christians are persecuted in Britain. But I think there are some sections who would like to privatise religion and put it on the periphery.

The Church has a part to play within public life and increasingly should play it, speaking about church affairs and affairs of the nation – making a contribution not from a position of power, but an interest and concern in light of what they believe.

He added to this meaningless guff that while the majority of Britons were happy for churches to have a role in public debate – really?

 There are some who would say they don’t need the church’s voice at all. I don’t agree. I think that governments have to be very careful how they legislate, so that freedom and tolerance does not become intolerance for some sections.

He spoke in the wake of a row over legislation that forced Catholic adoption agencies to close because they would have had to offer their services to same-sex couples, in breach of the Church’s teachings.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor added there were 139 countries where Christians were persecuted to a greater or lesser extent.

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