Faith & the Public Order: May 2011 Archives

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delivered a circular letter to the world's bishops asking for help in working for the common good of the faithful --protecting children from abusive priests. The CDF wants each of the bishops' conferences around the globe to develop the appropriate processes assist the diocesan bishops in helping victim, educating the ecclesial community, forming priests, and being clear agents of charity and justice.

Cardinal Levada's letter to bishops.

The Circular Letter can be read here.

The explanatory letter from the Press Office

The regular cycle of the Pope's work is addressing those groups that advise him on a variety of subjects like theology, law, science, politics, life issues, etc. Benedict's address to Professor Mary Ann Glendon, President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, talks about the theme of "Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: the Case of Religious Freedom." He reminds not only the head of this academy about the deep roots of Western culture being Christian, but it was Christianity that gave humanity the awareness of the various freedoms we know and love, that contribute to human flourishing and many time even take for granted. It was the Christian gospel that upheld and promoted the dignity of the human person, protected women and children, that organized labor freedom of worship, and other social systems. Most notably, the Pope reminds us, that the freedoms spoken of in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights have their roots in our belief and life in Christ. However, we can't become smug --too satisfied-- with what we've been given, even freedom. The Pope's talk is not long but here are some germaine points for us to consider:

Deeply inscribed in our human nature are a yearning for truth and meaning and an openness to the transcendent; we are prompted by our nature to pursue questions of the greatest importance to our existence. Many centuries ago, Tertullian coined the term libertas religionis (cf. Apologeticum, 24:6). He emphasized that God must be worshipped freely, and that it is in the nature of religion not to admit coercion, "nec religionis est cogere religionem" (Ad Scapulam, 2:2). Since man enjoys the capacity for a free personal choice in truth, and since God expects of man a free response to his call, the right to religious freedom should be viewed as innate to the fundamental dignity of every human person, in keeping with the innate openness of the human heart to God. In fact, authentic freedom of religion will permit the human person to attain fulfilment and will thus contribute to the common good of society.

The Vatican Press Office Director Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi's responded to journalists' questions on yesterday's killing of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Father Lombardi stated:

Osama bin Laden - as we all know - was gravely responsible for promoting division and hatred between peoples, causing the death of countless innocent lives, and of exploiting religions to this end.

Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of each and every one of us before God and before man, and hopes and commits himself so that no event be an opportunity for further growth of hatred, but for peace.

Let us remember before the Throne of Grace all those who have died on 9/11 and those who continue to suffer from the effects of this attack.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



Humanities Blog Directory

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Faith & the Public Order category from May 2011.

Faith & the Public Order: March 2011 is the previous archive.

Faith & the Public Order: June 2011 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.