Mexican bishop defends religious freedom of Catholic Church

.- Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, president of the bishops' conference of Mexico, spoke of the necessity for the Church to be guaranteed religious freedom. His remarks came at the opening of the 100th plenary assembly of the bishops' conference, and in the presence of President of Mexico Felipe Calderon.

The bishop added that the Church is not asking for a special privilege, but rather for a legal framework allowing her to carry on her mission.

“The greatest threat to culture is the reduction of reality to material goods –  to social, economic and political problems – cutting off the foundational … reality which is God,” the bishop said.  “In order to prevent and overcome this threat, it is essential that the fundamental human right of religious freedom be guaranteed,” he stated.

“Authentic democracy, which we desire and aspire to here in Mexico, is that which guarantees fundamental human rights for all its citizens,” he continued. “The Church does not seek out nor ask for privileges.  She does ask for a democratic legal framework in order to carry out sincere and positive collaboration in overcoming our social problems,” the bishop said.

Directly addressing President Calderon, Bishop Aguiar said, “The Church which you belong to” is an institution allied with the government “in the responsibility of forging a society that practices and respects fundamental human rights.”

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