AMERICA/URUGUAY - "Secularism" to obstruct the Catholic presence in the life of the country

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 religious freedom   bishops   democracy   human rights  


Canelones (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishop of Canelones, His Exc. Mgr. Alberto Sanguinetti, called for "a bit of attention in the use of the definition of secularism" of the State and "greater respect for religious freedom". This is how Mgr. Sanguinetti expressed himself after recent statements by the authorities following the request of the Archdiocese of Montevideo to place an image of the Virgin Mary in the main street of Montevideo. Some said they were offended, claiming that it goes against the secularism of the State.
After reviewing all the possible meanings of the term "secularism", Mgr. Sanguinetti concludes that the most widely applied in Uruguayan territory is what he defines an attitude intended to "prevent the Catholic presence in the life of the country".
In a note of the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay (CEU), sent to Fides, the Bishop of Canelones stresses that "sometimes 'secularism' refers to a certain neutrality of the State towards religions, to allow freedom of worship and religious freedom, without suppressing or forcing the conscience or the exercise of life according to one’s own religion". "In Uruguay 'secularism' has been used as a weapon to exclude religion from public life. Secularism has been used by some groups against religion that brings together a large part of the population, the Catholic religion, to obstruct the Catholic presence in the life of the country", the statement concludes.
The Archbishop of Montevideo, Cardinal Daniel Sturla said "Montevideo is one of the few capitals in Latin America where there is no public monument of the Virgin Mary, which exists in almost every city in America and in many urban centers", recalled the Cardinal. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 30/03/2016)