01 April 2007

PM and Cardinal at odds

“But when it comes to our essential values-belief in democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, equal treatment for all, respect for this country and its shared heritage-then that is where we come together, it is what we hold in common; it is what gives us the right to call ourselves British. At that point no distinctive culture or religion supersedes our duty to be part of an integrated United Kingdom.” (Tony Blair, December 2006)

"We Catholics, and here I am sure I speak, too, for other Christians and all people of faith – do not demand special privileges, but we do claim our rights. We come not to impose, but to serve, according to our beliefs; and to be given the freedom and support to do so, as long as these do not undermine the rights and freedoms of others. I appeal to the good sense and fairness of the British people, and to the traditions which have shaped this great nation. I appeal to the need to keep faith with those traditions, lest we pass into a new intolerance which will over time shake the tree of our democracy free of its spiritual fruit. Those who proclaim Britain as a nation under God must be allowed to continue to work freely for His Kingdom here in Britain. That is our tradition. And I believe it is the tradition which British people wish to maintain. We should now engage in tolerant, reasoned and democratic debate on what is clearly the beginning not the end of this question." (Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, March 2007)

Two worlds collide: the Enlightenment and Vatican II. The Cardinal proclaims the true spirit of Vatican II; the Prime Minister proclaims the true spirit of the Enlightenment.

No comments: