Respecting religious freedom in the world today means combating “Christianophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism,” says Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states at the Vatican Secretariat of State.
Archbishop Mamberti contended that “respect for the right of religious liberty is the base of respect for any other right, since when religious liberty is in danger, all other rights totter.”
Religious freedom, “a right which cannot be suppressed,” has “a private, public and institutional dimension,” he explained. “Moreover, religious liberty is not only one of the fundamental human rights, but it is the pre-eminent right, since as John Paul II reminded us, its defense constitutes the test to verify respect for all other rights.”
Archbishop Mamberti also spoke about the relationship between religious freedom and freedom of expression, proposing “an adequate balance oriented toward safeguarding the exercise of both.”
Concerning interreligious dialogue and dialogue among cultures, he clarified that “it is only possible if truth is not renounced.”
11 January 2008