His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

How do we begin to define what can reasonably be seen as inimical to the society we wish to shape and protect? […] My own inclination is to view actions and values as ‘unacceptable’ if they clearly and unreasonably impede the development of professional and personal competences fit for our economy and professional standards, such as the denial of education on the basis of gender or ethnicity; or if they contradict the shared, fundamental principles that emerge from reflection on the dignity of every person as both an individual and a social being, such as female genital mutilation with all its terrible personal and indeed social consequences; or if they undermine the call for a just society in which the dignity of each is recognized and the balance of needs and resources is constantly scrutinized and challenged, such as employment that excludes the recognition of the rights of labour, as in domestic or sexual slavery; or, finally, if they refuse to recognize, or deny an openness to, the spiritual dimension of the human person and the respect for religious freedom, in both public and private, that is its consequence.

Hope in Action, pp. 68-69 (SPCK Publishing, 2017)

Cardinal Vincent Nichols – Archbishop of Westminster


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