Cardinal Ratzinger: Secular Forces 'Pushing God to Margins'
Cardinal Ratzinger in 2004: God had been pushed "very much into the margins .... In politics, it seems to be almost indecent to speak about God, almost as it were an attack on the freedom of someone who doesn't believe. ... A secularism which is just, is one of freedom of religion. The state does not impose a religion, but rather provides free space to those religions with a responsibility to civil society."We thank Bruce Johnston in Milan and Jonathan Petre of the Daily Telegraph for this article of Nov 20, 2004. Since it seems no to be online any more, we provide lengthy quotations here:
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said that the liberal consensus had now evolved into a "worrying and aggressive" ideology in a long interview in La Repubblica, Italy's Left-leaning newspaper.
As a result, "Catholic and Christian religion" had been pushed out of the public debate and was being "driven into the margins".
Describing the development of a "secular ideological aggression" across the continent as "cause for concern," the cardinal said: "In Sweden, a Protestant minister who preached about homosexuality on the basis of an excerpt from the scriptures was put in jail for a month.
"Secularism is no longer that element of neutrality, which opens up space for freedom for all. It is beginning to change into an ideology which, through politics, is being imposed.
"It concedes no public space to the Catholic and Christian vision, which as a result runs the risk of turning into a purely private matter, so that deep down it is no longer the same.
"In this sense a struggle exists and so we must defend religious freedom against an ideology which is held up as if it were the only voice of rationality, when instead it is only an expression of a 'certain' rationialism."
In contemporary society, said the cardinal, who was then the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, God had been pushed "very much into the margins".
"In politics, it seems to be almost indecent to speak about God, almost as it were an attack on the freedom of someone who doesn't believe." "A secularism which is just, is a freedom of religion. The state does not impose a religion, but rather provides free space to those religions with a responsibility to civil society."