Speech of Pope Benedictine XVI on accepting the credentials of the NZ Ambassador...
“The disquieting process of secularization is occurring in many parts of the world. Where the Christian foundations of society risk being forgotten, the task of preserving the transcendent dimension present in every culture and of strengthening the authentic exercise of individual freedom against relativism becomes increasingly difficult. Such a predicament calls for both Church and civil leaders to ensure that the question of morality is given ample discussion in the public forum. In this regard, there is a great need today to recover a vision of the mutual relationship between civil law and moral law which, as well as being proposed by the Christian tradition, is also part of the patrimony of the great juridical traditions of humanity (cf. Encyclical Letter "Evangelium Vitae," 71). Only in this way can the multiple claims to "rights" be linked to truth and the nature of authentic freedom be correctly understood in relation to that truth which sets its limits and reveals its goals. “
Well, Mr Benedictine XVI, I accept that in Vatican City you have the full right to direct both political and moral direcion as you see fit.
As well, Mr Benedictine XVI, I accept that you have many people who will follow your dictates whereever they may live.
But I regret, Mr Benedictine XVI, that in this instance you have somewhat overstepped the mark.
You see, it is like this.
There is a majority of people who want a secular government in this country. That is why we have the government in power at present. That is why we will have (if my vote counts for anything) a secular government after the elections in September. I (and I think I can extend that to a NZ-wide WE) believe that is the BESTEST government that we could have in this country.
By this process of democracy we have a government which (in matters of conscience at least) weighs “multiple claims to rights” and by process of deliberation (some more cogent than others I admit) and consultation arrives at law which does generally reflect the desires, morals and society in which we live.
I make no apology for the fact that you might find some of those morals “objectionable”. There are some in this country who also feel the same way. We have had similar disagreements in the past. Examples such as the formation of the “Film Censors Office”, and the reaction of a retired nun and her predictions that we would all go to hell in a handbasket as a consequence of allowing people to watch films containing nude scenes and stage shows such as “Hair”. Examples such as NZ’s abortion law, again vociferously opposed by the same retired nun, also would be anathema in your moral code.
What you have to remember is that they are OUR laws. They relate to NEW ZEALAND. They are mostly laws of which the majority approve.
I suggest that you do not besmirch the honour of your Church and your religion by interfering in politics, especially in this country. This is NOT the United States. Our nation is NOT founded upon religion. That does not in any way reduce our "morality". In fact, I would suggest that in many ways our country is somewhat more moral than some nations - present and past - those whose Constitutions are based directly upon the expectation of religious direction, those whose governments have kept a strong eye upon religious tenets and belief in their governance, or whose leaders have professed strong religious beliefs.
It is secular.
It is staying that way.