Pontiff Appeals for Healthy Secularity

Calls for Mutual Respect and Constant Dialogue

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI continues to encourage a «healthy secularity,» based on collaboration, respect and dialogue.

The Pope made this appeal today when he received in audience San Martino’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Sante Canducci.

«Only in these conditions of healthy secularity can a society be constructed in which diverse traditions, cultures and religions peacefully coexist,» he affirmed. «To totally separate public life from all valuing of traditions, means to embark on a closed, dead-end path.»

The Pontiff contended that the small enclave of San Marino, enclosed within the territory of Italy, can help Europe to become «a land of dialogue and a ‘common house’ of nations with their specific and religious particularities.»

On the other hand, he added, «healthy secularity» implies that «each temporal reality abides by its specific norms, which should not, nevertheless, forget fundamental ethical forms, the bases of which are found in the very nature of man.»

«When the Catholic Church, through her legitimate pastors, appeals to the value that these fundamental ethical principles, rooted in the Christian heritage of Europe, have in private and even more in public life, they do so moved only by the desire to guarantee and promote the inviolable dignity of the person and the authentic well-being of society,» Benedict XVI affirmed.

He went on to praise the richness of cultural and religious traditions, such as the defense of the family, in San Marino, which celebrates its foundation by the Christian stonemason Marinus in 301 A.D..

«Each nation and institution, great or small, is called to cooperate actively in the construction of an international community supported by shared human and spiritual values,» the Holy Father affirmed.

San Marino, the third smallest state in Europe, after the Holy See and Monaco, has some 30,000 inhabitants, most of whom are Catholic.

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