19 January 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 03/30/2012, 00.00

    ITALY - ASIA

    Observatory on religious freedom in Rome against fundamentalism and relativism

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The new institution is expected to collect, check and release information on violations of religious freedom in the world. It will be helped in its task by Italian and Vatican diplomats. Dangers to religious freedom are not only found in countries like Nigeria or Pakistan but also in Western nations where a dominant laicism has expelled God from society.

    Rome (AsiaNews) - In a world of violent fundamentalisms and intolerant relativism, where atheistic and ultra-religious states marginalise and persecute minorities, it is important to have an institution that can assess religious freedom around the world. For this purpose, Italy and the Vatican have jointly set up an Observatory on Religious Freedom based in Rome.

    The proposal was made public at a meeting held at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See in a room of the beautiful Borromeo Palace. Aid to the Church in Need Foundation President Card Mauro Piacenza, Secretary for Relations with States Mgr Dominique Mamberti, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno spoke at the event. Italy's Ambassador to the Holy See Francesco Maria Greco acted as moderator.

    Mayor Alemanno said that the idea of an observatory was first thought as an "ideal gift" to Benedict XVI back in 2009. For the mayor, Rome, in terms of religious freedom, is most qualified place because it is the "headquarter" of one the largest religious communities in the world, the Catholic Church. It is also one of the freest cities in the world, with Europe's largest mosque and the world's oldest diasporic Jewish community.

    In his address, Foreign Minister Terzi spoke about what Italy's diplomatic efforts on behalf of religious freedom in a number of countries, together with the European Union and in cooperation with the Vatican.

    Card Piacenza explained the notion of religious freedom, indicating what risk factors may jeopardise it. Citing John Paul II and Benedict XVI, he described religious freedom as the "mother" of all freedoms, the litmus test to measure the state of human rights in a country.

    To respect religious freedom, we need "reason and truth," the cardinal noted. Without them, arbitrariness, which rules religious fundamentalisms, prevails as so does relativism, which leads us towards nothingness, with the danger of destroying the bases of democracy. "The prevailing relativism is the least favourable ground for religious freedom," he said.

    What concerns the prelate is the dominant culture of the West, which "has expelled God", and tries to undermine further its social importance.

    "Rediscovering the 'public role of God', i.e. the presence and role of God in history and society, is consequently the essential premise to exercise religious freedom. Society will more fully guarantee the religious freedom of its citizens when it will stop excluding God from the public sphere."

    Mgr Mamberti, who is just back from the papal trip to Mexico and Cuba, cited Benedict XVI, who emphasised to Cubans (and the government of Raul Castro) the importance of religious freedom as a source of creativity and social harmony.

    The secretary for Relations with States expressed his concern not only for what is happening in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan, but also in the West.

    In his view, intolerance can be seen at three levels, namely that of cultural hostility, legal discrimination (for instance, the presence of crucifixes in Italy) and violent crimes of persecution.

    These levels stand on a slippery slope and people can easily go from one to the other.

    For the full text (in Italian) of Card Mauro Piacenza's presentation, click here.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    09/06/2014 ITALY-ASIA
    Expo 2015 in Milan, "What feeds life?"
    The major event with the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" will be held from May to October of 2015. It is an opportunity to rethink global development. Card. Angelo Scola poses the question, "What feeds life?. Technocracy, hunger, food aid," food sovereignty ", the "genetically modified organisms", the markets and finance need to refocus know-how and actions on a new concept of man, a creature of God, brother, guardian of creation.

    24/01/2014 ITALY - ASIA
    Fr. Gheddo: Ten years of AsiaNews
    The news agency of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions was established to "provoke" the Churches in Europe and Asia to mission, to report the facts and testimonies from the most populous continent in the world and nourish in many the desire to dedicate their lives to Christ and Asia. A book on the history of AsiaNews and its many success stories.

    20/03/2014 ITALY - ASIA
    Interreligious dialogue, a "risk worth taking"
    Meeting between 220 members of various religions, drawn from 31 countries, organized by the Focolare movement to mark the sixth anniversary of the death of Chiara Lubich, ends today at Castelgandolfo. After 40 years of "bilateral" meetings, a forum brings together the various religions to build bridges of cooperation and peaceful coexistence.

    14/11/2011 ASIA – ITALY
    Asian shares up, betting on Italy and Mario Monti
    Hong Kong is up by 2.4 per cent, Tokyo by 1.21 and Seoul by 2.11. The appointment of a new Italian prime minister is the cause, analysts say. Many believe he will bring Italy’s and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis under control. However, some wonder if the “seizure” of national sovereignty will lead to a world government under international finance.

    08/06/2009 ASIA – ITALY
    US government securities seized from Japanese nationals, not clear whether real or fake
    Bonds worth US$ 134.5 billion are seized. This is the largest financial smuggling case in history. But are they real? Concern over ‘funny money’ or counterfeit securities is spreading in Asia. The international press is silent.



    Editor's choices

    KOREA
    North Korea will send a high-level Olympic delegation to Pyeongchang



    After two years of tensions, the first meeting between delegations from North and South Korea. Seoul proposes that North and South athletes march side by side in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games (February 9-25, 2018).


    VATICAN
    Pope: respect for the rights of persons and nations essential for peace



    In his address to diplomats, Francis asks for the solution to conflicts - starting with Syria - and tensions - from Korea to Ukraine, Yemen, South Sudan and Venezuela - and augurs that migrants and the "discarded" be welcomed, like unborn children and the elderly and respect for freedom of religion and opinion, the right to work.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®