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tjprmh

tjprmh

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Published by witheloggia

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Published by: witheloggia on Jan 20, 2012
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01/20/2012

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T
HREATS
 
TO
R
ELIGIOUS
F
REEDOM
:F
ROM
G
ODLESS
C
OMMUNISM
 
TO
 P
ROFANE
S
ECULARISM
Red Mass Dinner Address to the Benchand BarArchdiocese of HoustonSeptember 29, 2011† Most Rev. Thomas John PaprockiBishop of Springfield in Illinois
 Your Eminence, Cardinal DiNardo; YourExcellencies, Archbishop Fiorenza and BishopRizzotto; Reverend Fathers and Deacons,consecrated Religious, honorable judges, civicofficials, fellow attorneys, and my dearbrothers and sisters in Christ:
 
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It is good to be with you for your Red Masscelebration and dinner, and I am grateful toCardinal DiNardo for his gracious invitation tospeak to you tonight. I have been a memberof the Illinois bar now for thirty years and acanon lawyer for the past twenty years, so Ishare in your profession.When I was doing my graduate studies incanon law at the Pontifical GregorianUniversity in Rome, I had the opportunity tovisit the Soviet Union with a group from theNorth American College in Rome. During ourbus tour in Russia, our tour guide in Moscowclaimed that the Soviet constitution provided
 
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for freedom of religion and as proof of thatshe boasted that there were fifty Christianchurches in Moscow. Coming from theArchdiocese of Chicago where we had 365parishes serving Catholics that made up 42%of the population, I quickly did the math in myhead and concluded that fifty churches in acity the size of Moscow was hardly atestament to a robust Christian community.I also learned more about the communistunderstanding of freedom of religion. For theSoviets, the phrase “freedom of religion” moreaccurately meant “freedom of worship,” thatis, people were free to pray in church, but

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