Cardinal says Peru must defend its Catholic identity

Cardinal says Peru must defend its Catholic identity

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima
Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima

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During a Mass celebrating Peru’s Independence Day, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima said the country’s leaders must promote laws that protect its national identity based on the Catholic faith.

Speaking before a packed cathedral that included the country's President Alan Garcia and other officials, the cardinal said, “Peru exists for great things. We Peruvians have always had a call to greatness. For this reason, we must reinforce our passion for being Peruvian.”

He underscored the need to protect the national identity and to be proud of the fact that Peru is on the cultural, social and economic forefront of Latin America.

There is no reason for Peru to “set aside its clear moral, spiritual and Catholic identity,” despite international pressure, he added.  “Let us have the audacity and courage to affirm our multi-racial cultural,” he said.

Cardinal Cipriani also stressed the urgent need for “spiritual development, which is essential in order for there to be stability ... and growth in the people.  Let us leave meanness aside and look with joy at the road that lies before us as a country.  Hatred, vengeance, political calculations, violence and selfishness are manifestations of a petty spirit.”

For this reason, he stressed, “it is important that the national self-esteem be strengthened, that the past be viewed with sincerity and that respect be given to those who forged our national identity,” without resurrecting past hatreds and conflicts.

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