Thursday, September 25, 2008

Secularism Has Healthy Form

The word, secularism, has the connotation in common usage, which suggests having no religious or spiritual basis. During his visit to France, though, Pope Benedict encouraged the French President that more than that connotation exists, saying, “I am firmly convinced that a new reflection on the true meaning and importance of laïcité is now necessary." [One can detect the root for the word laity in the French word which we render as secularism.]
“In fact, it is fundamental, on the one hand, to insist upon the distinction between the political realm and that of religion in order to preserve both the religious freedom of citizens and the responsibility of the state toward them,” the pope said during the encounter with Sarkozy and other officials of the French government.

“On the other hand, [it is important] to become more aware of the irreplaceable role of religion for the formation of consciences and the contribution which it can bring to – among other things – the creation of a basic ethical consensus within society,” the pope said.
Mr. John L. Allen Jr., in his weekly online essay examined the implications of these remarks.

In addition, his essay concludes with links to several moments of the trip in reverse chronology.
Wiki-image of French President Nicolas Sarkozy by Aleph is used according to the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 license.

No comments: