A soul for the laws - The principle of secularism must not mean hostility to the reality of religion

2013-06-16 L’Osservatore Romano

The propose, amend or even repeal laws in order to instil in them that spiritual element necessary to ensure that they don't just reflect ideas of the moment. These were the thoughts expressed by Pope Francis as he addressed a delegation from the French parliament of the group of Amicizia Francia Santa Sede, whom he received in audience Saturday morning, 15 June, in the Clementine Hall. After acknowledging relations of trust that generally exist in France between those responsible in public life and those in the Catholic Church, whether at the national level or at the regional and local level, Pope Francis wanted to reiterate that “the principle of secularism that governs relations between the French State and different religious confessions must not signify in itself hostility to the reality of religion, or exclusion of religions from the social field or the debates that animate them”.

For her own part, “the Church,” assured the Pontiff, “desires in this way to offer her own specific contribution to the deeper questions that engage in a more complete picture of the person and his or her destiny, of society and its destiny. This contribution does not solely lie in the anthropological or social sphere, but also in the political, economic and cultural spheres”.