LEICESTER, England, MAY 17, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the retired archbishop of Westminster, is warning that atheism seeks to wipe out Christianity from the United Kingdom.
In a speech delivered this week in Leicester’s Anglican Cathedral, the prelate stated, “In the name of tolerance it seems to me tolerance is being abolished.”
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor retired three years ago as head of the Archdiocese of Westminster. The speech was delivered to a group of Catholic thinkers in England.
The cardinal had strong words regarding the effect that secularists have had in the U.K.. “Our danger in Britain today is that so-called Western reason claims that it alone has recognized what is right and thus claims a totality that is inimical to freedom,” he said.
“No one is forced to be a Christian. But no one should be forced to live according to the new secular religion as if it alone were definitive and obligatory for all humankind.”
“The propaganda of secularism and its high priests want us to believe that religion is dangerous for our health. It suits them to have no opposition to their vision of a brave new world, the world which they see as somehow governed only by people like themselves.”
The cardinal cited the controversy over same-sex “marriage,” stating that the issue was not about prejudice against homosexuals, but about democracy and the nature of marriage itself. “On what grounds does a minority have the right to change the meaning of a fundamental institution for the majority?” he said.
He also protested the treatment of Christians in the workplace, citing a recent case in March where two women were penalized at work for refusing to not wear crucifixes. The British government asserted in that particular case that since wearing a cross is not a requirement of the faith, employers have a right to ban wearing a cross in the workplace.
The cardinal further objected to the treatment of the elderly and the most vulnerable in society, saying that a loss of “reverence” for humanity causes them to be viewed as a problem, and not a gift. “An aging population certainly presents its challenges – not least to our prejudices – but it is also an extraordinary gift,” he continued. “When society only sees age as an expensive inconvenience, a threat to resources and lifestyles, it no longer sees a person but a problem. This permits a slow erosion of dignity; subtly and silently the process of dehumanzation has begun.”