John Paul Took On Communism, Benedict Took on Relativism, Next Pope Must Take on Militant Secularism
cultures do; sometimes for good and sometimes for evil. Marriage is the first society into which children are to be born, learn to be fully human, grow in virtue, flourish and take their role in families and communities. We must not be afraid to make the claim that children have a right to a mother and a father. They do.
Of course we care about the single parent family and the many broken homes. However, their existence does not change the norm necessary for a stable and healthy society. We must be careful not to be sucked in by those who play on our heart-strings. In tact marriages and families are the glue of a healthy and happy social order. We need to be a visible, palpable reflection of this truth about marriage and family in our own lives. To live a faithful marriage is now countercultural.
Our convictions and claims concerning life and marriage are not outdated notions of a past era but provide the path to the future. We are the true progressives of every age. We insist upon the existence of a Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. This is not only a Christian position. It is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built. It is the source for every great and authentic human and civil rights movement. The Natural Law gives us the moral norms we need to build societies and govern ourselves. It must also inform our positive law or we will become lawless and devolve into anarchy.
The next Pope will be a man who can expose the lie at the root of militant secularism and offer the only antidote, the new and true humanism of Christianity. I pray that he will be able to do so with the kind of joy and confidence which characterized the public ministry of Jesus. We heve several Cardinals who come to mind; but, it is not my mind that matters.
We live in an age that has consumed the rancid fruit of a counterfeit version of humanism. In many instances, people of faith have completely rejected the term humanism as well. Thay have been misled into believing that the secularist and atheist co-opting of the very word - and their substitute definitions- are valid. They are not. The truth is that prior to these counterfeit uses of a noble word, it was Christianity that spoke of humanism.
C.S. Lewis in his insightful Studies in Words coined the phrase verbicide, which he called the murder of a word. The modern aberrations of the term humanism are precisely an example of such a crime. They have evolved in the latter half of the twentieth century. Versions of humanism preceded by adjectives such as secular or atheist have accelerated the loss of an authentic humanism right when it is desperately needed. Christianity is the true humanism.
This loss of a proper understanding of humanism is endemic to Western thought and culture. It is one of the bad fruits borne from a philosophical and theological trajectory set in motion by the influence of certain elements of post-enlightenment thought. Though much in human development has occurred as a fruit of the scientific advances precipitated by this period, it unfortunately led to a dualist and instrumentalist understanding of the human being. This atmosphere frames the context of the current secularist and atheistic versions of humanism.
Its limitations are found in its inability to grasp the root anthropological problem or to offer an adequate way out of the failure of much modernist, materialist and relativistic thought. Rather than offering a response to atheistic and secularist modernism, contemporary counterfeits called humanism embrace the same philosophical, anthropological and theological root errors. These errors spring from an inadequate view of the human person - a deficient and faulty humanism.
We need a Pope who continues to proclaim in both word and deed the trajectory of truth offered by John Paul and Benedict. I believe we will receive just such a Pope from the hand of the Lord because I know He is still at work in human history. After all, he broke into it over two thousand years ago and the plan He inaugurated is not yet completed. John Paul Took On Communism; Benedict Took on Relativism. Our Next Pope Must Take on Militant Secularism.
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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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