Cardinal Tucci Sees Hypocrisy Over Religious Liberty

Wary of Situation in Muslim Nations

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ROME, MARCH 2, 2004 ( Cardinal Roberto Tucci lamented a «certain hypocrisy in international quarters» in relation to rights and religious freedom in many Muslim countries.

«I am personally in favor of Turkey’s entry in the European Union, but one is concerned about the freedom of Christian minorities,» the cardinal said on Vatican Radio recently.

Cardinal Tucci, 82, used to be in charge of the preparation of the Pope’s trips and was director of Vatican Radio.

«It is very important that, when they visit Turkey, the politicians of the European Union be concerned about solving this problem — at least the European politicians who are inspired in Christian values,» the cardinal said.

He added: «One must not forget this emphasis on full respect of religious freedom, not only as an expression of the faith in private, but also as an expression of the faith as community, therefore, in its communal expression.»

In Turkey, certainly, «the situation is less critical in relation to the rest of the countries of Muslim majority, where there is no full recognition of religious liberties,» the cardinal said Thursday. There «are countries where the Shariah exists, the Islamic law that regulates all personal and community situations in the ambit of the state.»

«Today this is unacceptable for any one who really wishes to participate in the society of nations in the full sense, and not just feign that principles are recognized which later are regarded as not being in conformity with the Koran,» he noted.

«There is truly a certain hypocrisy in international quarters when there is talk of rights linked to religious freedom in the greater part of countries of Muslim majority,» Cardinal Tucci continued.

In this context, the case of India is also worrying, «where rights must be defended, not just those of the Christian community, but also those of the Muslim community,» he said.

The two communities «suffer the attitude of the present party in government which identifies with, so to speak, nationalist Hinduism, and which regards the Hindu religion as the only one that really corresponds to the Indian spirit.»

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