Have the threads holding together pluralist democracy begun to unravel?

How strange that our Catholic adoption agencies, which seek homes for some of the most vulnerable and difficult-to-place in our society, should be seen as discriminatory, when in accordance with religious belief and practice they ask only for the freedom for themselves to choose for those children an environment which in their professional wisdom is the one most likely to promote their happiness and well-being.

I begin to wonder whether Britain will continue to be a place which protects and welcomes the works of people shaped and inspired by the Church. My fear is that, under the guise of legislating for what is said to be tolerance, we are legislating for intolerance. Once this begins, it is hard to see where it ends. While decrying religion as dogmatic, is dogma to prevail in the public square, forcing to the margins the legitimate expression and practice of genuine religious conviction? My fear is that in an attempt to clear the public square of what are regarded as unacceptable intrusions, we weaken the pillars on which that public square is erected – and we will discover that the pillars of pluralism may not survive.

The question is whether the threads holding together pluralist democracy have begun to unravel. That is why I have sounded this note of alarm. It is as a British Catholic citizen, pleading for the continuation of our proud democratic tradition of respect for the exercise of religious belief, that I have spoken before you tonight. I am conscious that when an essential core of our democratic freedom risks being undermined, subsequent generations will hold to account those who were able to raise their voices yet stayed silent.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor RELIGION AND THE PUBLIC FORUM – the Corbishley Lecture, 28 March 2007, Westminster Cathedral Hall. the full lecture is a Word document at the bottom of the page

Well roared, Cormac. I think that in tone at least this is a first in the UK. Now what coverage has this speech received?