Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Church is called to be a believing movement of resistance - Archbishop Chaput

In a remarkable speech to the Canon Law Association of Slovakia earlier this week, Archbishop Chaput speaks about the challenges of secularism and its attack upon the Church both in the US and in Europe. He notes however that the situation in Europe is much more serious than that in the US.

Among the many incisive comments he makes is this one:

The temptation in every age of the Church is to try to get along with Caesar. And it’s very true: Scripture tells us to respect and pray for our leaders. We need to have a healthy love for the countries we call home. But we can never render unto Caesar what belongs to God. We need to obey God first; the obligations of political authority always come second. We cannot collaborate with evil without gradually becoming evil ourselves. This is one of the most vividly harsh lessons of the 20th century. And it’s a lesson that I hope we have learned.
And so it is impossible to seek to 'negotiate' with a state that preaches tolerance and diversity but cannot live with the fact the Church actually preaches intolerance of evil:
This explains the paradox of how Western societies can preach tolerance and diversity while aggressively undermining and penalizing Catholic life. The dogma of tolerance cannot tolerate the Church’s belief that some ideas and behaviors should not be tolerated because they dehumanize us. The dogma that all truths are relative cannot allow the thought that some truths might not be.

I think we have many lessons to learn in Great Britain in this regard: the Church's acceptance of sex education into our schools' curricula; the acceptance of 'diversity' legislation when it comes to employment in our schools; the climb-down that many adoption agencies made in the face of anti-Catholic legislation forcing them to open adoption to same-sex couples; the backing of 'compromise' legislation to reduce the time limits on abortion when such legislation still legislates for abortion and usually results in further relaxation of the abortion law... This is hardly the stuff of 'resistance'.

Archbishop Chaput says that "abortion is the crucial issue of our age" and that "it is no accident" that

the Catholic beliefs that most deeply irritate the orthodoxies of the West are those concerning abortion, sexuality and the marriage of man and woman... These Christian beliefs express the truth about human fertility, meaning and destiny.

These truths are subversive in a world that would have us believe that God is not necessary and that human life has no inherent nature or purpose. Thus the Church must be punished because, despite all the sins and weaknesses of her people, she is still the bride of Jesus Christ; still a source of beauty, meaning and hope that refuses to die -- and still the most compelling and dangerous heretic of the world’s new order.
Hence these issues are the key issues of our age that we must be concerned with.

Archbishop Chaput uses the issue of abortion to illustrate the problem we face today in a rights-orientated culture that does not acknowledge the source of human rights:
My point in mentioning abortion is this: Its widespread acceptance in the West shows us that without a grounding in God or a higher truth, our democratic institutions can very easily become weapons against our own human dignity...

If human rights do not come from God, then they devolve to the arbitrary conventions of men and women. The state exists to defend the rights of man and to promote his flourishing. The state can never be the source of those rights. When the state arrogates to itself that power, even a democracy can become totalitarian.

What is legalized abortion but a form of intimate violence that clothes itself in democracy? The will to power of the strong is given the force of law to kill the weak.

Read the whole speech at the Archdiocese of Denver website. (With thanks to Rev. James Mackay for bringing it to my attention.) See also Lifesite News.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please avoid being 'anonymous' if at all possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...