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Pope cites 'unprecedented gravity' of threat to religious freedom in US

August 06, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has warned of the "unprecedented gravity" of threats to religious freedom of Catholics in the US.

In a message to the 130th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, which takes place this week in Anaheim, California, the Pope praises the American tradition of freedom--especially religious freedom--but notes "the responsibility of each new generation to preserve, defend and advance those great ideals in its own day."

"At a time when concerted efforts are being made to redefine and restrict the exercise of the right to religious freedom," the papal message exhorts the Knights of Columbus to "counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate."

The Pope's message to the Knights of Columbus--conveyed in a telegram to the Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, and signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State--lauds the organization as "a pioneer in the development of the modern lay apostolate." The message encourages the Knights to continue bearing witness to authentic Catholic principles in public life.


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  • Posted by: filioque - Aug. 07, 2012 12:50 AM ET USA

    The Pope should talk to Cardinal Dolan, who will tell him that things are so hunky-dory here that Pres. Obama is coming to a jolly dinner in New York, so don't worry about us.