News archive 2015

Irish bishops pray for a renewed global commitment to respect freedom of conscience and religion

· Bishops join with Pope Francis in his prayers for an end to violent conflict and the “brutal persecution” of minorities in the name of religion

Today Irish bishops prayed for a renewed global commitment to respect freedom of conscience and religion. Bishops hold that such action is necessary in order to protect young people from being attracted to organisations that seek to impose cultural supremacy by violence.

Bishops stated: “Across the world the denial of the freedom of conscience and religion is closely connected to other human rights abuses. The consequences include violent conflict, loss of life, forced displacement of populations, and the abduction and exploitation of women and children. This is a truly global crisis, but it is the poorest communities that remain most at risk. We have witnessed courageous examples of people willing to pay the ultimate price for their faith. The international community has a moral obligation to defend them, underpinned by the commitments made in the UN Declaration and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

In the aftermath of the Second World War, freedom of conscience and religion was recognised as a fundamental human right, enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights (Article 18). Catholic Social Teaching underlines the importance of this right as “an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 1738).

Bishops continued: “In Europe we can contribute to global peace-building efforts by ensuring that our domestic policy and international relations are models of best practice in their respect for freedom of conscience and religion. This requires an approach that goes beyond tolerance, actively embracing the many ways in which religious diversity and multiculturalism enrich our societies.”

Bishops join with Pope Francis in his prayers for an end to violent conflict and the “brutal persecution” of minorities in the name of religion. Bishops said: “We remember especially those who have been taken hostage, those who have been forced to flee their homes, and all families who have lost loved ones. We pray for an end to this suffering and a renewed global commitment to freedom of conscience and religion.”

ENDS

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