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OTTAWA, September 29, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking at a recent award ceremony, Archbishop Adam Exner, the recently retired archbishop of Vancouver, said, “I am becoming more and more worried about the state of freedom in our country.” His remarks came at the Priests for Life annual Symposium in Ottawa September 18, where the Archbishop was awarded a Meritorious Service Award by Priests for Life.

In his address, Exner warned that the growing judicial activism in Canada is changing laws and institutions beyond the restraint of democratic process. “Same-sex marriages are now legal in four provinces and one territory. But did any of this come from the people? It came from the courts, and when courts legislate, democracy is undermined,” he said.  Exner said that real hope for reversing trends against life and marriage in society lies in Christians increasing their spiritual efforts, but he also said the laity must be more involved in the public square. “Vatican II was really clear that the role of the laity is irreplaceable,” he said. “There are places like boardrooms and legislatures where bishops and priests cannot go. The laity must be active in promoting faith and justice in the marketplace.”  The archbishop said that not enough was being done to restore a respect for human life in Canadian society. “The media has brainwashed many of us into thinking evangelization is not important,” he said. “We have even been taught to think that our religion is a private matter and should not be imposed on others. This is true. We should never impose it, but we are all called to propose it.”  (with files from Peterborough writer John O’Brien)

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