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The Drumbeats of Persecution and the Dawn of the New Missionary Age

7/24/2005 - 5:48 AM PST

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By Deacon Keith A. Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
Catholic Online

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“…the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.” John 16:2

I see the dawning of a new missionary age, which will become a radiant day bearing an abundant harvest, if all Christians, and missionaries and young churches in particular, respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time. (Pope John Paul II, Mission of the Redeemer, 92)

At least for many peoples, however, the present time is instead marked by a formidable challenge to undertake a ‘new evangelization,’ a proclamation of the Gospel which is always new and always the bearer of new things, an evangelization which must be new in its ardor, methods and expression. (Pope John Paul II, The Splendor of Truth, 106)

I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization and to the mission “ad gentes”. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples. (Pope John Paul II, Mission of the Redeemer, 3)

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Our neighbors to the North have followed the pied pipers, the new cultural alchemists. They have attempted, by legislative fiat, to turn the relationship between homosexual paramours into a “marriage” like the alchemists of old attempted to change impure metals into gold. They have done so with the might of the State behind them. Sadly, this will only result in a further unraveling of peace and injury to the common good in Canada.

It may also signal a shift for the continuing mission of the Church in this neo-pagan age. As she remains faithful to the truth about the dignity of every human life and the ontology of true marriage, the Catholic Church is being viewed as a looming threat to those who continue the ill-fated and sad attempts at this “new” (actually very old) Cultural Revolution. Proclaiming their efforts as somehow moving Canadian society forward to some perceived “liberation”, they are in fact moving it backward to precisely the kind of debased and deformed vision of a former pre-Christian paganism.

Lifesite News, an excellent source of news for Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will, reported the following:

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“On July 19, Canada's national public radio CBC Radio (has) aired a commentary by a retired professor from the Royal Military College calling for state control over religion, specifically Catholicism. While parliamentarians dismissed warnings by numerous religious leaders and experts that such laws would lead to religious persecution, former professor Bob Ferguson has called for "legislation to regulate the practice of religion."

"Given the inertia of the Catholic Church, perhaps we could encourage reform by changing the environment in which all religions operate," Ferguson began his commentary in measured tones yesterday. "Couldn't we insist that human rights, employment and consumer legislation apply to them as it does other organizations? Then it would be illegal to require a particular marital status as a condition of employment or to exclude women from the priesthood. "

Ferguson continued, "Of course the Vatican wouldn't like the changes, but they would come to accept them in time as a fact of life in Canada. Indeed I suspect many clergy would welcome the external pressure."

The former professor pitched his idea as a boon to religious freedom. "We could also help the general cause of religious freedom by introducing a code of moral practice for religions," he said. "They will never achieve unity so why not try for compatibility? Can't religious leaders agree to adjust doctrine so all religions can operate within the code?"

Ferguson, would see religion regulated by provinces in the same way professions are regulated. "I am an engineer so the model I am thinking about is rather like the provincial acts regulating the practice of engineering," he said. "For example, engineers must have an engineering degree from a recognized university or pass qualification exams. They must have a number of years of practical experience and pass an ethics exam. The different branches: mechanical, electrical, civil and the like have a code of practice that applies to everyone. Why can't religious groups do the same?"

Continuing his comparison Ferguson stated, "I envisage a congress meeting to hammer out a code that would form the basis of legislation to regulate the practice of religion. Like the professional engineers' P.Eng designation, there would then be RRPs (or registered religious practitioners). To carry the analogy to its conclusion, no one could be a religious practitioner without this qualification."

Ferguson also ...

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