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The reformation of Rome?

  • February 4th, 2010

Is the Pope's defence of religious freedom, against the cultural imperialism and intolerance of the British Labour Party a very significant event.? Has Rome finally decided to accept what Martin Luther kicked off, the separation of church and state, with the state leaving matters of controversial morality to the citizen and his god or his conscience?

Er no, though I still applaud the Pope's intervention and where his arguments are taking the church.

Catholicism has been glad to use state power, and in many places a role as the established church, to oppress competitor faiths, and to use the State's coercive powers to enforce their own morality.

Essentially the Church has been with the left in supporting the State right to direct its citizens' private lives according to the preferences and prejudices of the anointed with their hands on the levers of power. They only differ on what official morality should prescribe. Official Catholic statements were in line with other mainstream churches, for example, in supporting our recent anti-smacking law change.

Of course the intimate experience of the two recent non-Italian popes with communism and nazism has led to serious thinking about freedom of conscience and religion. They've defended the Church vigorously against tyrannies.

But a careful look at what the Pope said in Britain says he is not there yet on freedom of conscience and belief. He urged his clergy and flock to

"maintain long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion".

Note that he did not say that he believed in the transcendence of those values himself. Nor does his church necessarily.

Still it was good to see the backdown of Harridan Harman.

Will Chai Feldblum, Obama's version of Harridan be led to a similar recantation? Matt of mandm blogs on the tensions in Feldblum's ideology.


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