Don't Confuse True and False Religion, Says Cardinal

The Real Thing «Points Us Towards Healing»

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LONDON, NOV. 20, 2005 ( The archbishop of Westminster has called for a new basis of coexistence in British society based on authentic religious values.

In an article for the Nov. 14 issue of the parliamentary weekly, The House, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor distinguishes between true and false religion in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks worldwide.

«It has become fashionable to talk as if religion was the source of all that is amiss in our world, to see it as bringing nothing but violence and hatred and conflict,» he writes.

The cardinal makes a distinction between «twisted religion … used to justify hatred and violence,» and «true religion» that «points us towards healing and wholeness, towards whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious.»

He says a new basis for belonging needs to be forged which starts from what true religion holds in common. «More religion of the true sort means human beings becoming closer to God, and therefore to each other,» he writes.

The cardinal also states that religious leaders «must have the courage to draw sharp dividing lines between true religion and the perverse mockery of it.»

«We must find ways, in Britain and across the world, of demonstrating that when religion is linked to violence, violence is done to religion,» he writes.

The article is one of a number in the magazine by religious leaders focusing on «multicultural Britain.» Others include Iqbal Sacranie, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, and Bishop Tom Butler of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark.

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