Pope: Safeguard and Support the Family

Cautions Hungary on Risks of Newfound Freedom

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 2, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI encouraged Hungary to reaffirm its Christian values in this new time of freedom, and thereby to assist Europe and the worldwide community.

The Pope affirmed this today in an audience with the new ambassador of Hungary to the Holy See, Janos Balassa.

He stated that «the forces that govern economic and political affairs in the modern world need to be properly directed,» to be «built upon an ethical foundation, giving priority always to the dignity and the rights of the human person and the common good of humanity.»

The Holy Father continued: «In view of its strong Christian heritage, stretching back over 1,000 years, Hungary is well placed to assist in the promotion of these humane ideals within the European community and the wider world community, and it is my hope that our diplomatic relations will serve to support this vital dimension of your country’s contribution to international affairs.»

He underlined the risk of the «newly gained freedom» of the country, that «those same Christian and human values, so deeply rooted in the history and culture of individual peoples, and indeed of the whole continent of Europe, can be supplanted by others, based on unsound visions of man and his dignity and harmful to the development of a truly flourishing society.»

The family is important, the Pontiff said, in «building peaceful community relations at every level.»

A nation’s heart

Benedict XVI added: «It is my earnest hope that ways will be found of safeguarding this essential element of our society, which is the heart of every culture and nation.

«One of the specific ways government can support the family is by assuring that parents are allowed to exercise their fundamental right as the primary educators of their children, which would include the option to send their children to religious schools when they so desire.»

He recognized that the «Catholic Church in Hungary has lived with particular intensity the transition between the period of totalitarian government and the freedom that your country now enjoys.»

He affirmed: «After decades of oppression, sustained by the heroic witness of so many Christians, she has emerged to take her place in a transformed society, able once more to proclaim the Gospel freely.

«She seeks no privileges for herself, but is eager to play her part in the life of the nation, true to her nature and mission.»

The Pope concluded with an expression of confidence «that any outstanding questions affecting the life of the Church in your country will be resolved in the spirit of good will and fruitful dialogue which has characterized our diplomatic relations ever since they were so happily restored.»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-24978?l=english

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