April 29, 2011

Positivity: Connecticut bishop hails John Paul II as champion of religious freedom

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:36 am

From Washington:

Apr 27, 2011 / 06:15 pm

At a time when Christians face heightened persecution particularly in the Middle East, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut pointed to John Paul II as a heroic example in the fight to protect religious freedom.

“In these days when the peoples of the Middle East are risking their lives for freedom, and in these days when we must be vigilant for our own hard-won freedoms, may the words of this great pontiff resonate in our minds and hearts,” Bishop Lori said at the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on April 27.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Live Action’s founder and president, Lila Rose, also spoke at the event.

Bishop Lori said it was particularly apt to pay tribute to John Paul II as the day of his May 1 beatification in Rome approaches.

He noted in his remarks that the late pontiff had a “profound” understanding of the dignity of the human person and the fundamental importance of religious freedom.

“In his extraordinary life, Pope John Paul II experienced the full range of threats to human dignity and religious freedom: the totalitarianisms of the right and the left which oppressed his native Poland.”

“Even as Communism tightened its grip,” he added, “a young Karol Wojtyla heard and responded to the call of a priestly vocation. Risking both life and freedom to answer a vocation to the priesthood,
he entered the underground seminary.”

Bishop Lori recalled that throughout John Paul II’s life, “he taught that no one brings human dignity and freedom into clearer light than the Eternal Son of God who assumed our humanity, united himself in a certain way with each person, and called each person, even those who do not yet know his Name, to freely embrace His Father’s love.” …

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