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Report: Benedict XVI: Ireland must not cease to be the land of saints and scholars despite its affluence

September 18, 2007

From Catholic News Agency:

On Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI received the new ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See, Noel Fahey. The Pope used the occasion to speak about the new found Irish affluence and the importance of not letting materialism choke Ireland’s soul.

The Holy Father began the audience by recalling how “for over 1600 years Christianity has shaped the cultural, moral and spiritual identity of the Irish people, … and it remains as a ‘leaven’ in the life of your nation. Indeed, the Christian faith has lost nothing of its significance for contemporary society since it touches ‘man’s deepest sphere.’

Benedict XVI had words of praise for a recent initiative to promote a “structured dialogue” between Church and government in Ireland. “Some might question,” he said, “whether the Church is entitled to make a contribution to the governance of a nation. In a pluralist democratic society should not faith and religion be restricted to the private sphere?”

“The Church, in articulating revealed truth,” he stated, “serves all members of society by shedding light on the foundation of morality and ethics, and by purifying reason, ensuring that it remains open to the consideration of ultimate truths and draws upon wisdom. Far from threatening the tolerance of differences or cultural plurality, or usurping the role of the State, such a contribution illuminates the very truth which makes consensus possible and keeps public debate rational, honest and accountable.

Full report here.

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