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Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the peaceful revolt that brought down the country’s Communist regime, Pope Benedict XVI urged the people of the Czech Republic to rediscover the spiritual and moral values that sustained their struggle for freedom. In a series of gatherings from Sept. 26 to 28 with political and religious leaders and the Catholic faithful, the pope delivered a message of hope meant to inspire both the country’s majority of nonbelievers and the minority Catholic community. Central to his message was the assertion that no society, no matter how democratic, can maintain a healthy and ethical sense of freedom without guidance from the truth found in God. “Far from threatening the tolerance of differences or cultural plurality, the pursuit of truth makes consensus possible, keeps public debate logical, honest and accountable,” the pope said. Pope Benedict’s trip was his 13th trip abroad and his seventh to Europe, a sign of his deep concern for revitalizing the continent’s Christian heritage.

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