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Thinking about what the Pope said

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Addressing a full house, Pope Benedict spoke to those gathered in Westminster Hall -

Thank you for your words of welcome on behalf of this distinguished gathering. As I address you, I am conscious of the privilege afforded me to speak to the British people and their representatives in Westminster Hall, a building of unique significance in the civil and political history of the people of these islands. Allow me also to express my esteem for the Parliament which has existed on this site for centuries and which has had such a profound influence on the development of participative government among the nations, especially in the Commonwealth and the English-speaking world at large. Your common law tradition serves as the basis of legal systems in many parts of the world, and your particular vision of the respective rights and duties of the state and the individual, and of the separation of powers, remains an inspiration to many across the globe. . .

The full text is here.

We note that most of the people who developed protections for each of us and respected the dignity of every person were Christians. We painfully observe that many of the people listening to the Pope in Westminster Hall have worked assiduously to increase the power of the state and to diminish the rights of the individual. More happily we see and hear from many people who are working to limit the encroaching power of the state.

How individual people set their fortunes, their bodies and ultimately their lives against the power of the state - and won - is described in Share the Inheritance.

Elsewhere in Britain, there was this statement from the Pope -

“For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology.”

We remember.

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