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A Catholic Lay-Driven Re-evangelization of Western Culture

2/19/2006 - 7:02 PM PST

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A Catholic Lay-Driven Re-evangelization of Western Culture:Formation of a Comprehensive Catholic World View Apostolate

John P. Hubert Jr. MD FACS
© CCWVA
Catholic Online

INTRODUCTION

It is apparent to all thoughtful orthodox Catholics that once Christian Western Culture has devolved into a virulent form of neo-pagan secularism. It is marked by moral relativism combined with utilitarianism, materialism including largely unregulated free-market capitalism, wild inequitable consumption of precious resources and the goods of production and a dangerous version of rabid personal “freedom” in which truth itself is sacrificed at the “alter” of the autonomous self which pursues various “preferences” in the name of “human rights.”

These developments represent the logical extension of several atheistic post-Enlightenment philosophies which have finally made their way from the “elites” and academics into the secularist “pop-culture” of the West. They are predicated on a materialistic metaphysics in which no immaterial (spiritual) reality exists, an epistemology in which truth is either unknowable or non-existent, and a morality which denies in principle the possibility of moral absolutes (exceptionless moral norms). This is the milieu in which 21st century Catholics find themselves. The new paganism is much more virulent than the old paganism because it denies in principle that there is any truth, right or wrong and any spiritual realm. It maintains that these are practical matters which can be arrived at by consensus and dialogue, and then ultimately subjected to a vote. Hence the great interest in “democracy” as an “end” rather than as a means to some greater and noble end such as the ultimate good (virtue in this life and the beatific vision in the next). Such a circumstance gives rise to various tyranny’s of the majority perhaps more dreadful than those of totalitarian making. A good example is legalized abortion.

PROPOSAL:

Given that this is the situation in which by Divine providence we now find ourselves, the author has developed a proposal for how orthodox Catholic lay-persons might attempt to re-evangelize Western Culture in general and the United States in particular. The following represent some of the salient features of a Comprehensive Catholic World View Apostolate:

1.) Absolute and meticulous adherence to Catholic Magisterial teaching not that of various extra-Magisterial or so-called “Parallel Magisterial” imposters.

2.) Total conceptual separation of Catholic belief and practice from the political concepts of “right” and “left”, conservative and liberal particularly in the presentation and dissemination of Catholic dogma and doctrine as well as faith and practice (praxis).

It is vital to underscore the fact that neither political party in the United States advocates policies that are completely compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church on all relevant issues. In fact, both parties have significant portions of their platforms and public policy initiatives which are at direct variance with magisterial teaching. For prudential reasons, Catholics as individuals may belong to or associate from time to time with either political party when a particular initiative is advanced which is consistent with magisterial teaching as Pope John Paul II suggested on multiple occasions. However, blind acquiescence to the entire platform of either party will simply not be possible in good conscience.

3.) It is vital to recognize that at least 2 full generations of American Catholics have been subjected to inadequate catechesis. Many simply do not know what the Catholic Church actually teaches or why. Redressing this reality is complicated by the fact that there has been a generalized “dumbing-down” of education in general for at least 40 years particularly in the areas of logic and philosophy in general and metaphysics in particular. An appropriate vehicle must be found which contains the appropriate amount of pre-evangelization within it. The apostolate called for in this proposal provides it.

4.) Any attempt to reach the totally uncatechized or marginally catechized Catholic or non-Catholic is complicated by the fact that the Gospel message is completely contradictory to their experience of everyday life. Our neo-pagan culture now worships selfishness, greed, fame, physical beauty, worldly success etc. and deprecates virtue, sacrifice, and acts of charity which are unrecognized. The vehicle mentioned in # 3 above must recognize and deal effectively with this reality.

5.) There is presently no coordinated attempt in the United States (specifically targeted at re-evangelizing the neo-pagan West) to offer or organize an adult Catholic advanced apologetics/evangelization program which can prepare people to live their faith as properly formed ...

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