May Europe be reconciled to its own Christian roots, which are fundamental for understanding its past, present and future role in history; in this way it will come to experience justice, concord and peace by cultivating a sincere dialogue with all peoples.
It's pretty clear from the Pope's message for World Day of Peace that what we are seeing in Europe is the beginning of forms of political and ideological totalitarianism which emphasise public power while demeaning and restricting freedom of conscience, thought and religion as potential competitors. Whenever the legal system at any level, national or international, denies citizens the right to express publicly their religion and the right to obey their conscience, it becomes an instrument of injustice and not justice. To reject the freedom of religion is not only unjust to individuals and to God, but also to itself. Since humans are not
a creation of the state, they cannot be manipulated by the state, but must rather be acknowledged and respected by it.Today in his homily for January 1, 2011 on the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, the Pope stressed once again as he had in his Peace Day message, that religious freedom is the essential element of the rule of law. “you cannot deny it,” he said, “without, at the same time, undermining all rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Read the full text here