John Paul Took On Communism, Benedict Took on Relativism, Next Pope Must Take on Militant Secularism
there is no truth. Cultures stumble, drunken on the false notion of freedom as giving some people a right to kill the innocent, divorced from norms to guide the exercise of human choice and govern our behavior. Any culture which rejects the truth is destined to be enslaved by error. When there is nothing objectively true, which can be known by all and form the basis of our common life, then there is no basis for real freedom. Instead, we rush into anarchy.
The Cardinal who would soon become Pope continued, "However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an "Adult" means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth. We must become mature in this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith."
"And it is this faith - only faith - which creates unity and takes form in love. On this theme, Saint Paul offers us some beautiful words - in contrast to the continual ups and downs of those were are like infants, tossed about by the waves: (he says) make truth in love, as the basic formula of Christian existence. In Christ, truth and love coincide. To the extent that we draw near to Christ, in our own life, truth and love merge. Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like "a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal" (1 Cor. 13: 1).
Pope Benedict XVI tried to guide the flock of Christ toward this mature faith. He asserted the primacy of truth as revealed in a Divine Person who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) Communism proclaimed a counterfeit gospel. It offered equality and promised a contrived utopia through statist manipulation of the economy. It was a materialist error which promoted a counterfeit new man. Karl Marx, its lying demagogue, promised that his godless system would produce a new world.
However, the dictatorship of relativism is a voracious vacuum devoid of any such claims. It is an ideology of nihilism and despair. It threatens the very existence of the human person because it denies the existence of any values which can make us human or undergird the charity necessary for a common life. Not only does nature abhor a vacuum, but spiritual vacuums lead to false substitutes for truth and can unleash a reign of terror.
The next Pope has to continue the work of his predecessors. However, he also has to confront another "ism". One which has removed its sword from its sheath and declared war on the Church and her rightful role in culture. That adversary is militant secularism. I am not speaking of a secular state, in the sense of a political polity which embraces no specific religious identification but respects the role of religious faith and the values informed by faith.
Rather, I am speaking of the intolerant, anti-Christian, anti-religious secularism which is behind the growing effort to marginalize the Church and her institutions by attempting to keep her message and her mission within the buildings which she uses and out of the public square. The struggle we face in an increasingly hostile western culture involves a clash of worldviews, personal and corporate, and competing definitions of human freedom, human dignity, and human flourishing. The Catholic Church is at the center of that struggle.
We need to see our struggle in light of our own Christian history. I do not care how modern the issues of this age purport to be, humans do not change all that much, at least without grace. We need to engage the dictatorship of relativism which claims there are no truths and insist that there is Truth, it can be known - and it must govern our lives. This means facing persecution. Our path is already paved with the insults, accusations and calumny of our fellow citizens. It will get worse.
We are accused of being against progress and anti-science for defending the dignity of every human life - including the lives of our first neighbors in the womb. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are Pro-life because it is right. Science exists to serve the person, the family and the common good. In an age deluded by the architects of a cultural order of death we will never compromise on the truth concerning the dignity of every human life from conception through natural death. Science confirms what our conscience confirmed, those little girls and boys in the womb are our neighbors. It is always wrong to intentionally kill our innocent neighbors. To say and do otherwise is barbaric.
We insist that true marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of the universe. That is because they have. Truth does not change, people and ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: papacy, interregnum, chair of peter, pope benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Conclave, New Evangelization, Missionary age,
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