In a report of an address given by George Weigel to college graduates at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, New Hampshire, USA, recently, Zenit News Agency says that Mr. Weigel urged the students to ‘base themselves firmly in natural law in order to make a good defense of religious freedom in society today.’
Mr. Weigel, who wrote Witness to Hope, a biography of the late Pope John Paul II, is quoted as saying to the young people that:
‘One of the great challenges of the younger generation of Catholics will be to rise to the defense of religious freedom in full.’He referred to the situation when the US Supreme Court established
‘a spurious “right to abortion” as the right that trumps all other rights’, and when US legislators ‘decided that it was within the state’s competence to redefine marriage and to compel others to accept that redefinition through the use of coercive state power.’ He continued:
‘The conscience rights of Catholic physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals are not second-class rights that can be trumped by other rights claims; and any state that fails to acknowledge those rights of conscience has done grave damage to religious freedom rightly understood. The same can and must be said about any state that drives the Catholic Church out of certain forms of social service because the Church refuses to concede that the State has the competence to declare as “marriage” relationships that are manifestly not marriages.’
What a pity that the people – politicians and others – who should be taking note of these words will probably not hear or read them, unless they are told. I would encourage all readers of this blog – to take Mr. Weigel’s wisdom and truth out into the market-place (as the late Pope John Paul would have urged) and, respectfully, tell your politicians and policy-makers what they ought to know.