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Evangelization must counter 'dictatorship of relativism,' Pope tells Scots

Catholic World News - September 16, 2010

Preaching at an outdoor Mass in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park on the first day of his visit to the United Kingdom, Pope Benedict XVI spoke forcefully against a “dictatorship of relativism” that threatens modern secular society.

“I have come as a herald of that peace to you, the spiritual children of Saint Andrew and to confirm you in the faith of Peter,” the Pontiff said as he began his homily. He spoke about the deep Christian roots of Scottish culture.

Recognizing the Protestant majority that now dominates Scotland, the Pope expressed satisfaction at the progress of ecumenical efforts in recent years. He noted that his year is the 450th anniversary of the Reformation Parliament, “but also the 100th anniversary of the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, which is widely acknowledged to mark the birth of the modern ecumenical movement.”

Before the Reformation, the Pope continued, the Catholic Church took a leading role in setting up universities in Scotland, such as the venerable St. Andrew’s, to promote cooperation between faith and reason in forming society’s culture. He continued: “The evangelization of culture is all the more important in our times, when a “dictatorship of relativism” threatens to obscure the unchanging truth about man’s nature, his destiny and his ultimate good.”

The Pope called upon lay people especially to continue the work of evangelization in today’s culture. He said: “Society today needs clear voices which propose our right to live, not in a jungle of self-destructive and arbitrary freedoms, but in a society which works for the true welfare of its citizens and offers them guidance and protection in the face of their weakness and fragility.”

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