The Catholic Church has failed to defend Christians effectively, partly because it historically accepted persecution as part of its “community story”, a Vatican official said.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister, told an online forum that efforts to counter persecution were now required because the entire fabric of human rights was at stake – even in the West – if religious freedom continued to be attacked.
He made his remarks on the first anniversary of the 176-page Truro report, the publication of which led to a commitment by the British government to address the global persecution of Christians specifically.
“I think that the Truro report was very timely,” he said from the Vatican via Zoom, the video-sharing platform. “It was a bit of a wake-up call.
“Speaking to some extent on behalf of the Catholic Church and the Holy See, I think in some ways perhaps we became too complacent in front of persecution, too used to it being a phenomenon in our community story, and thought therefore perhaps it was something you had to live with, something that we can’t do anything about. I think the Truro report was a very significant effort to do something about that,” he said.
“I think also we all know the denial of religious freedom is the beginning of the denial and erosion of so many other human rights; it is almost the litmus test of human rights,” said the Liverpool-born archbishop.
Picture: Protesters display signs and carry flags during a 2014 protest in Detroit, calling on the US to intervene in the persecution of Christians in Iraq. Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister, recently said the Catholic Church has grown complacent to the persecution of Christians. (CNS photo/Mike Stechschulte, The Michigan Catholic).