Over the course of the last six months, Pope Benedict XVI has delivered five major speeches to small groups of American bishops who were in Rome for their "ad limina" visits, which are required once every five years.
Religion News Service provides a brief recap of some of the Pope's words for American bishops in recent months. Here are a couple of excerpts:
'Anti-Christian' culture in America
“At the heart of every culture, whether perceived or not, is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good, and thus about the conditions for human flourishing. In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation’s founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature’s God. Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.” (Jan. 19)
The church's place in the public square
“The legitimate separation of church and state cannot be taken to mean that the church must be silent on certain issues, nor that the state may choose not to engage, or be engaged by, the voices of committed believers in determining the values which will shape the future of the nation.” (Jan. 19)
Read it all.