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Swedish envoy: indifference to faith more common than hostility

September 17, 2012

In Sweden, many people have drifted away from faith but “feel perfectly comfortable with it and are not necessarily hostile toward religion,” the country’s ambassador to the Holy See told Vatican Radio.

Ambassador Ulla Gudmundsson was commenting on the latest “Courtyard of the Gentiles” project, held in Sweden this past weekend. The envoy pointed to the remarks by one Swedish journalist, who “came down very strongly on the side of the world being worse without religion in spite of not being a believer." That attitude, Gunmundsson said, is “more common in Sweden that militant atheism.”

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is the chief organizer of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” initiative, and encouraged the Swedish participants to conduct a broad-ranging discussion, respectful of each other’s opinions, without feeling any pressure to reach a formal conclusion.


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