For Remembrance Day 2017 written by a priest friend of Fr Jonathan in the Liverpool Archdiocese.

Remembrance Sunday.

Pope Benedict did two surprising things when he visited Britain not necessarily because he was the Pope but because he was German.

Firstly he mentioned the war the one which defeated Nazism and secondly he beatified John Henry Newman on the 70th Anniversary of the battle of Britain the decisive battle for the liberation of our collective nations which make up Britain.

He gave great praise to our war dead and he honoured them. He reminded us that he too had lived through those dark days when many did not recognise the evil that had come.

From his great wisdom, experience and inspiration he reminded us of new threats, new persecutions and distortions of truth we in our time have to be aware of. He warned several times against aggressive secularism-a kind of dictatorship he called it a dictatorship of relativism where definite beliefs about what it true, right and good are put aside. “There are some who now seek to exclude religious belief from public discourse to privatise it or even paint it as a threat to equality and liberty.” He exhorted us to be ready to put the case forward for the promotion of faiths wisdom and vision in the public forum. Society needs clear voices which propose our right to live not in a jungle of self destructive and arbitrary freedoms but in a society which works for all its citizens especially when they become vulnerable and fragile. “Do not be afraid to take up public service.” The Holy Father concluded his visit by stating this which is very apt for this weekend and Remembrance Sunday,”

There is still such a thing as valour, as honour, as sacrifice- things which we learn from our beloved War dead – these noble virtues are still possible because they remain true and truth remains, because hope is still with us, but above all because there is still love in our hearts.

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