All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Dignity welcomes Pope

Lord Alton

Lord Alton

Prof Lord David Alton of Liverpool, Convenor of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Dignity, has issued the following press release ahead of Pope Benedict XVI’s State Visit to the UK.

“I am delighted, on behalf of the All-Party Group on Human Dignity, to welcome Pope Benedict to the UK.  I hope his visit will encourage the opening up of the political environment to include more serious consideration of all religious views.  Over the last decade we have seen too clearly the fruits of the policy of driving religious sentiment out of the public square: the effective driving of religion underground, which is never going to be healthy.  The Pope has been critical of the tendency to downplay the importance of religious sentiment in today’s culture, and perhaps he will want to address this.”

“There is a desperate need for us to recognise the inherent dignity of Man – which in the Judaeo-Christian tradition is based in the fact that we are made in his image and likeness; and the Church can and ought to be a moral and social compass towards the promotion of that recognition.”

“With regards to the inter-religious dialogue that forms a component of the pastoral nature of this visit, I hope that the Pope will be given the respect and space he deserves to make his Evangelical proposal to all who are interested to hear it.”

Rob Flello MP, one of the founding Members of the All-Party Group, noted that: “the Papal visit offers a great opportunity to reinvigorate the Christian values which have shaped our culture, and which need to be strengthened in our society.  Looking to Saint Thomas More, we need to look at how we can bring our Christian faith and politics back into line.  Politics is a tool to improve the lives of all our citizens but we need a sound ethical basis to work from.”

The All-Party Group on Human Dignity is affiliated to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, which holds absolute value be given to every single life from the moment of conception to death.

Nirj Deva MEP, President of the Institute’s International Committee of Human Dignity, added: “Whether we like it or not, Christianity forms the bedrock for our ideals of the human person and individual freedom because this anthropological interpretation leads to a very interesting conclusion – the State may give us our human rights, but only God can give us an infinite human dignity.  This has direct consequence in politics: there can be no universal brotherhood of Man without a common fatherhood in God.”

Benjamin Harnwell, Chairman of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, observed: “The Dignitatis Humanae Institute insists that man’s essential nature is to be found in his being made in the image and likeness of God.  The Pope’s visit gives us all a rare opportunity to imprint this recognition onto our national consciousness.  He represents a shared moral and conceptual reality, which is bound up with the very identity of our nation; this visit can only encourage and foster a more harmonious relationship amongst us.”

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