Pope warns of threat to freedom of religion, conscience in US

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI warned visiting U.S. bishops that "radical secularism" threatens the core values of American culture, and he called on the Church in America, including politicians and other laypeople, to render "public moral witness" on crucial social issues. The pope spoke Jan. 19 to a group of U.S. bishops who were in Rome for their periodic "ad limina" visits, which included meetings with the pope and Vatican officials, covering a wide range of pastoral matters.

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