Saturday, April 16, 2011


Vatican City (EFE) - Respect for religious freedom in general and for the Catholic Church in particular, defense of the family, and formation for young people so as not to marginalize the values of faith.  These are the main contents of an address given this morning by Pope Benedict XVI to the new Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, Mrs. María Jesús Figa López-Palop. The purpose of diplomatic relations, said the Pope is to always move forward “in mutual respect and cooperation”, within the legitimate autonomy of respective fields, including the expression of their faith and their conscience, “whether in public or in private”.  However, there are now “more sophisticated forms of hostility to religion which, in Western countries, occasionally find expression in a denial of history and the rejection of religious symbols which reflect the identity and the culture of the majority of citizens”.  The Pope spoke of certain circles which tend to treat religion as socially irrelevant, and even annoying factor, and do not excuse the fact that they want to sideline faith.

He said the values of faith are sometimes maginalized by those circles “through denigration, ridicule, discrimination, including a clear indifference to incidents of desecration, that violate the fundamental right to religious freedom inherent in the dignity of the human person”, which “is a real weapon of peace, because it can change and improve the world”.  Pope Benedict claimed education should integrate moral and religious values according to the convictions of parents.

Yesterday, Benedict XVI complained about the “sophisticated forms of hostility against faith” expressed “denying history and religious symbols, often by denigration and making fun of them”; the Pope also regretted that in certain environments religion tend to be viewed as a “socially insignificant and even annoying” factor.  On the contrary, religion is “a real weapon of peace, because it can change and improve the world.”, said the Pope.  Many people say that they don't believe in any religion. However, on taking a closer look, we can see that there is no one in this world who does not believe in the eternal religion.

To those who say that they don’t believe in any religion, I would like to ask, don’t they believe in the body’s religion of eating, drinking, sleeping and evacuating?  Don’t they believe in the religion of the mind?  They may say that they don’t believe in the religion of the soul. How can they believe in it?  They don’t even know what it is. However, don’t they want to live forever?  Do they want to remain fools?  Don’t they want knowledge? Don’t they want happiness?  This is called sat, cit and ananda in the language of the scriptures.  To desire sat-cit-ananda and to serve Him is the religion of the soul. Living beings, parts of the marginal potency of the all-powerful Supreme Lord, are also atomic sat-cit-ananda while the Supreme Lord is infinite sat-cit-ananda.  So, whether directly or indirectly, everyone desires the sat-cit-ananda Supreme Lord.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
Article posted on Jan 10, 2003  -

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