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Combat 'rising tide of secularism,' Pope urges Scottish bishops

February 05, 2010

Speaking to a group of visiting Scottish bishops on February 5, Pope Benedict XVI urged them to combat the "rising tide of secularism in your country."

The Holy Father observed that the corrosive influence of secularism in Scotland is evident in the public support for euthanasia, which "strikes at the very heart of the Chrisitian understanding of the dignity of life." He went on to say that new developments in embryo research add another reminder of the importance of defending the culture of life. "If the Church's teaching is compromised, even slightly, in one such area," he said, "then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner."

Pope Benedict spoke of the "tragedy of division" among the Christian faithful, pointing to "the great rupture with Scotland's Catholic past that occurred 450 years ago." He commended the leaders of the local Catholic Church for their efforts at "healing the wounds" of separation and sectarianism.

The Pope confirmed that he will visit Scotland during his trip to Great Britain later this year. Although the Vatican has not formally announced the schedule for that trip, it is generally acknowledged that the Pope will travel in September.


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