Church should not be separated from social and cultural life, says Pope Benedict


In his message to the participants of the Plenary Assembly for the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe which met in Paris last week, Pope Benedict XVI said, “There needs to be a correct distinction between Church and State, without separating the Church from social and cultural life.”
In the message signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy Father recalled that “the Church is faithful to her mission of truth in support of a society that is worthy of man, his dignity and his vocation.  This fidelity toward man, created in God’s image, demands fidelity to the truth.”
This fidelity to the truth, the Pope continued, is what makes integral human development possible as a “remedy to the various inequities that the world today is experiencing.”
The Church, he stated, “proclaims this truth through her teaching and her social doctrine. Thus, she contributes to the building of that universal city of God towards which the human family is advancing.”

After the Pope’s message was read, Cardinal Peter Erdö, president of the Council, expressed the full communion of the bishops of Europe with the Holy Father and said the Church would continue boldly proclaiming “the truth of the Gospel in settings that are less open to this proclamation.”
Referring later to the constant attacks against the Church, Cardinal Erdö said, “The Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe will continue working to defend and promote freedom and truth, which are conditions for sincere dialogue with the social communications media as well.”

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