WASHINGTON (CNS) — The White Home issued a proclamation honoring the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket Dec. 29 and alluring “the individuals of the USA to watch the day in colleges and church buildings and customary locations of assembly with acceptable ceremonies.”
The proclamation, signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 28, described Becket as “a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop and a lion of non secular liberty.”
A London-born clerk to Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury, St. Thomas studied canon regulation overseas and was ordained a deacon. His help of Henry II’s declare to England’s throne led to his appointment as royal chancellor.
However he and the king clashed over many points, notably the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts. Becket fled to France for six years; quickly after his return, Henry’s want to be rid of this troublesome prelate led to Thomas’ homicide by 4 knights.
The White Home proclamation described this martyrdom as “an occasion that modified the course of historical past” and which “finally caused quite a few constitutional limitations on the ability of the state over the church throughout the West.”
It additionally mentioned Becket’s demise “serves as a robust and timeless reminder to each American that our freedom from non secular persecution just isn’t a mere luxurious or accident of historical past, however fairly a vital ingredient of our liberty.”
It urged Individuals to “have a good time and revere” the saint’s brave stand for non secular liberty and to reaffirm efforts to finish non secular persecution worldwide.
The White Home acknowledged non secular believers in all places that suffer persecution for his or her religion, significantly Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong and Pastor Wang Yi of Chengdu, China, describing them as “tireless witnesses to hope.”
“To honor Thomas Becket’s reminiscence, the crimes towards individuals of religion should cease, prisoners of conscience have to be launched, legal guidelines limiting freedom of faith and perception have to be repealed and the weak, the defenseless and the oppressed have to be protected,” the proclamation mentioned, including that the “tyranny and homicide that shocked the conscience of the Center Ages must not ever be allowed to occur once more. “