Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Heed the Warning of Archbishop Chaput: Wake Up to the Growing Threat to Religious Liberty

By Deacon Keith Fournier
June 1st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Archbishop of Philadelphia just wrote a new column for his Archdiocesan newspaper entitled Religious Freedom and the Need to Wake Up.  I ask everyone of our readers to take the time to read it. Once again, his words are prophetic. His explanation of the effects of the trajectory of the  threats to our first freedom, religious freedom, is absolutely correct. He concludes with these words, "The day when Americans could take the Founders' understanding of religious freedom as a given is over.  We need to wake up." He is absolutely correct.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is a prophetic voice. He calls Christians to lives of moral coherence. This is increasingly difficult under the oppressive boot of the Dictatorship of Relativism. His book "Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by living our Catholic beliefs in Political Life" is a must read for Catholics and other Christians.  It addresses the duty integrating faith into our obligations of citizenship.

On Tuesday, August 24, 2010 he addressed the Canon Law Association of Slovakia. The address was entitled "Living within the Truth: Religious Liberty and Catholic Mission in the new order of the world"  His call to all to "Live within the Truth" and to form a "Catholic Resistance" was stirring.  

In an account of the reasons for the decline of Western culture he began with these words, "Tertullian once famously said that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. History has proven that to be true.  And Slovakia is the perfect place for us to revisit his words today. 

"Here, and throughout central and eastern Europe, Catholics suffered through 50 years of Nazi and Soviet murder regimes.  So they know the real cost of Christian witness from bitter experience -- and also, unfortunately, the cost of cowardice, collaboration and self-delusion in the face of evil.

"I want to begin by suggesting that many Catholics in the United States and Western Europe today simply don't understand those costs.  Nor do they seem to care.  As a result, many are indifferent to the process in our countries that social scientists like to call "secularization" - but which, in practice, involves repudiating the Christian roots and soul of our civilization."

He assessed the state of the West with sober clarity, warning, "We face an aggressively secular political vision and a consumerist economic model that result - in practice, if not in explicit intent -- in a new kind of state-encouraged atheism. To put it another way:  The Enlightenment-derived worldview that gave rise to the great murder ideologies of the last century remains very much alive." 

Borrowing a trenchant phrase from the late Cardinal Henry de Lubac he warned of the rise of "inhuman humanism" and called for a Catholicism of Resistance: "Today's secularizers have learned from the past.  They are more adroit in their bigotry; more elegant in their public relations; more intelligent in their work to exclude the Church and individual believers from influencing the moral life of society."

He opined that "Over the next several decades, Christianity will become a faith that can speak in the public square less and less freely.  A society where faith is prevented from vigorous public expression is a society that has fashioned the state into an idol. And when the state becomes an idol, men and women become the sacrificial offering.

"Cardinal Henri de Lubac once wrote that "It is not true that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true, is that without God, [man] can ultimately only organize it against man. Exclusive humanism is inhuman humanism."

"The West is now steadily moving in the direction of that new "inhuman humanism." And if the Church is to respond faithfully, we need to draw upon the lessons that your Churches learned under totalitarianism. A Catholicism of resistance must be based on trust in Christ's words: "The truth will make you free." 

The Archbishop pulled no punches. That speech contained the most searing and insightful analysis of what is rotting western civilization from within which I have read. He proposed a heroic response of living faith and sacrificial action. 

"We live in a time when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance. We need to call things by their true names. We need to fight the evils we see. And most importantly, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that by going along with the voices of secularism and de-Christianization we can somehow mitigate or change things."

The Archbishop of Philadelphia just wrote a column for his Archdiocesan newspaper entitled Religious Freedom and the Need to Wake Up.  I ask everyone of our readers to take the time to read it. In fact, it should be read by everyone concerned over the increasing assault on Religious Freedom.

Once again, his words are prophetic. His explanation of the effects of the trajectory of threats to our first freedom, religious freedom, is absolutely correct. He concludes with these words, "The day when Americans could take the Founders' understanding of religious freedom as a given is over.  We need to wake up."

He is absolutely correct.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)