But, as Father Tim Moyle posted a link to it on his blog Where the Rubber Hits the Road, it caught my eye. Still, I would have let it go by, until today, when one of the commenters to his link, a man calling himselg Small Town Guy, spouted his usual rant, but with a little more vigour than uaual.
Bearing in mind, that Small Minded Guy is a member of one of the 30,000 splinters that separated themselves from the Catholic Church about 500 years ago, and can't seem to get their act straight to offer 1 alternative to Catholicism, his continued and unmitigated gall to offer criticism of the Church that he left for his current splinter miffs me.
Here is his latest screed, which I will follow up with the full text of the article that he was spewing on. Here is his comment.
As logical as this article sounds, he is beating a dead horse because it is coming from inside the RCC.
Defending the faith of the RCC is not even on the radar as far as the public is concerned. The general public could care less what doctrines the RCC believes or preaches because most people are not interested. What they see are the reports in the media of widespread sexual abuse coming to light in different countries such as today's report out of Belgium.
If one wishes to have God's truth, even if only a relatively few are believing it, it would be better to disassociate oneself from the RCC and the baggage it is carrying, including, in the opinion of many Bible believers, a binful of false doctrines, and turn to Jesus as the only Saviour and the God of the Bible as the source of truth as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
The truth of Scripture has not been embraced by the hundreds of millions of people in the various religions of the world. If one believes in a sovereign God and what the Bible teaches, then one must conclude that God has predestined or foreordained a relatively small part of the world's population to be the elect (true church). As Jesus said the broad way leads to destruction and the narrow way leads to eternal life and few there be that find it. Don't expect to find the truth in a huge organization. That is not what Jesus said would happen.His screed sounds a lot like the Reverend Terry Jones, of the Quran burning stunt from last week. But here is the article about Archbishop Chaput to which he was responding.
There are truths that the dominant culture sees as subversive: on life, the family, sexuality. American archbishop Chaput explains why, and calls Christians to a great battle of resistance. "Only the truth can set men free"
by Sandro Magister
ROME, August 25, 2010 – Spisske Podhradie is a rural spot in Slovakia, dominated by the ruins of a castle (in the photo). Here, yesterday, in the geographical center of Europe, an archbishop came from the United States to explain that on the Old Continent just as much as on the New, the Catholic Church today has just one battle to fight. A battle "of resistance," he called it. But above all, "of truth."
The archbishop is Charles J. Chaput. His diocese is that of Denver. Together with the cardinal of Chicago and president of the episcopal conference, Francis George, the archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of Los Angeles José H. Gómez, and a few others, he is at the forefront of those few dozen bishops who embody the new direction of the American episcopate.
With respect to the past, the shift represented by the new course of the Church in the United States consists, on the terrain of politics, of abandoning the "Kennedy doctrine," the doctrine of a rigid separation between Church and state, the effect of which – according to its critics – is the privatization of religious belief in the isolation of the conscience and its elimination from the public sphere.
It is no coincidence that Archbishop Chaput himself subjected the "Kennedy doctrine" to harsh criticism with a speech given on March 1 of this year in Houston, the same city in which fifty years before the presidential candidate had presented his vision of the role of Catholics in American politics.
The Doctrine of the Catholic Kennedy? Worthless (2.3.2010)
Reissued in multiple languages by www.chiesa, Chaput's criticism of the "Kennedy doctrine" prompted a point-and-counterpoint between the archbishop of Denver and a renowned political scientist, Professor Luca Diotallevi, a consultant for the Italian episcopal conference: a point-and-counterpoint also duly documented by www.chiesa.
Saving the Catholic Kennedy. A Reply to Archbishop Chaput (11.4.2010)
Kennedy Case. The Bishop Flunks the Professor (21.4.2010)
In the meantime, however, the cultural, political, and legal offensive aimed at taking the Catholic Church out of the game has taken new steps forward, both in Europe and in America, in part taking advantage of the scandal of pedophilia.
And it is against this offensive that Archbishop Chaput is calling Catholics to "resistance." Against the reigning "relativism" that preaches tolerance but in reality produces oppression.
But Chaput's appeal is not only defensive. It is above all proactive. And it is connected to the master plan of Benedict XVI's pontificate, for a "new evangelization" of the regions of the world in which Christianity is at risk of being extinguished.
The engagement of Catholics in the public sphere – according to Chaput – must be part of this overall plan. In which God comes before Caesar.
And this – in his judgment – explains why the questions of abortion and of marriage between one man and one woman must be so central, as they are already for the Church in the United States, but are becoming increasingly more so in Europe as well. The reason is that Christian beliefs about abortion and marriage "express the truth about human fertility, meaning and destiny."
These are, therefore, "subversive truths," in a world that wants to deny human life an intrinsic nature and end.
So the Church "must be punished," because by reaffirming these truths, it becomes "the most compelling and dangerous heretic of the world’s new order."
Below are reproduced the essential passages from the talk given by Archbishop Chaput in Spisske Podhradie on August 24, 2010.
But those who wish to read it in its entirety can find it on this other page of www.chiesa:
Living Within the Truth
Archbishop Chaput was invited to Spisske Podhradie by the association of canon law scholars of Slovakia and by the country's episcopal conference.
LIVING WITHIN THE TRUTH
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND CATHOLIC MISSION IN THE NEW ORDER OF THE WORLD
by Charles J. Chaput
Today, in an era of global interconnection, the challenges that confront Catholics in America are much the same as in Europe: 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. [...]
In the United States, a nation that is still 80 percent Christian with a high degree of religious practice, government agencies now increasingly seek to dictate how Church ministries should operate, and to force them into practices that would destroy their Catholic identity. Efforts have been made to discourage or criminalize the expression of certain Catholic beliefs as “hate speech.” Our courts and legislatures now routinely take actions that undermine marriage and family life, and seek to scrub our public life of Christian symbolism and signs of influence.
In Europe, we see similar trends, although marked by a more open contempt for Christianity. Church leaders have been reviled in the media and even in the courts for simply expressing Catholic teaching. [...] Earlier this summer we witnessed the kind of vindictive thuggery not seen on this continent since the days of Nazi and Soviet police methods: the Archbishop’s palace in Brussels raided by agents; bishops detained and interrogated for nine hours without due process; their private computers, cell phones, and files seized. Even the graves of the Church’s dead were violated in the raid. For most Americans, this sort of calculated, public humiliation of religious leaders would be an outrage and an abuse of state power. And this is not because of the virtues or the sins of any specific religious leaders involved, since we all have a duty to obey just laws. Rather, it’s an outrage because the civil authority, by its harshness, shows contempt for the beliefs and the believers whom the leaders represent. [...]
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” (John 8:32). [...]
Living within the truth means living according to Jesus Christ and God’s Word in Sacred Scripture. It means proclaiming the truth of the Christian Gospel, not only by our words but by our example. It means living every day and every moment from the unshakeable conviction that God lives, and that his love is the motive force of human history and the engine of every authentic human life. It means believing that the truths of the Creed are worth suffering and dying for.
Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live.
Two of the biggest lies in the world today are these: first, that Christianity was of relatively minor importance in the development of the West; and second, that Western values and institutions can be sustained without a grounding in Christian moral principles. [...]
Downplaying the West’s Christian past is sometimes done with the best intentions, from a desire to promote peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic society. But more frequently it’s done to marginalize Christians and to neutralize the Church’s public witness.
The Church needs to name and fight this lie. To be a European or an American is to be heir to a profound Christian synthesis of Greek philosophy and art, Roman law, and biblical truth. This synthesis gave rise to the Christian humanism that undergirds all of Western civilization.
On this point, we might remember the German Lutheran scholar and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He wrote these words in the months leading up to his arrest by the Gestapo in 1943: “The unity of the West is not an idea but a historical reality, of which the sole foundation is Christ.”
Our societies in the West are Christian by birth, and their survival depends on the endurance of Christian values. Our core principles and political institutions are based, in large measure, on the morality of the Gospel and the Christian vision of man and government. We are talking here not only about Christian theology or religious ideas. We are talking about the moorings of our societies – representative government and the separation of powers; freedom of religion and conscience; and most importantly, the dignity of the human person.
This truth about the essential unity of the West has a corollary, as Bonhoeffer also observed: Take away Christ and you remove the only reliable foundation for our values, institutions and way of life.
That means we cannot dispense with our history out of some superficial concern over offending our non-Christian neighbors. Notwithstanding the chatter of the “new atheists,” there is no risk that Christianity will ever be forced upon people anywhere in the West. The only “confessional states” in the world today are those ruled by Islamist or atheist dictatorships – regimes that have rejected the Christian West’s belief in individual rights and the balance of powers.
I would argue that the defense of Western ideals is the only protection that we and our neighbors have against a descent into new forms of repression – whether it might be at the hands of extremist Islam or secularist technocrats.
But indifference to our Christian past contributes to indifference about defending our values and institutions in the present. And this brings me to the second big lie by which we live today – the lie that there is no unchanging truth.
Relativism is now the civil religion and public philosophy of the West. Again, the arguments made for this viewpoint can seem persuasive. Given the pluralism of the modern world, it might seem to make sense that society should want to affirm that no one individual or group has a monopoly on truth; that what one person considers to be good and desirable another may not; and that all cultures and religions should be respected as equally valid.
In practice, however, we see that without a belief in fixed moral principles and transcendent truths, our political institutions and language become instruments in the service of a new barbarism. In the name of tolerance we come to tolerate the cruelest intolerance; respect for other cultures comes to dictate disparagement of our own; the teaching of “live and let live” justifies the strong living at the expense of the weak.
This diagnosis helps us understand one of the foundational injustices in the West today – the crime of abortion.
I realize that the abortion license is a matter of current law in almost every nation in the West. In some cases, this license reflects the will of the majority and is enforced through legal and democratic means. And I’m aware that many people, even in the Church, find it strange that we Catholics in America still make the sanctity of unborn life so central to our public witness.
Let me tell you why I believe abortion is the crucial issue of our age.
First, because abortion, too, is about living within the truth. The right to life is the foundation of every other human right. If that right is not inviolate, then no right can be guaranteed.
Or to put it more bluntly: Homicide is homicide, no matter how small the victim.
Here’s another truth that many persons in the Church have not yet fully reckoned: The defense of newborn and preborn life has been a central element of Catholic identity since the Apostolic Age. [...]
The evidence can be found in the earliest documents of Church history. In our day – when the sanctity of life is threatened not only by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, but also by embryonic research and eugenic temptations to eliminate the weak, the disabled and the infirm elderly – this aspect of Catholic identity becomes even more vital to our discipleship.
My point in mentioning abortion is this: Its widespread acceptance in the West shows us that without a grounding in God or a higher truth, our democratic institutions can very easily become weapons against our own human dignity.
Our most cherished values cannot be defended by reason alone, or simply for their own sake. They have no self-sustaining or “internal” justification.
There is no inherently logical or utilitarian reason why society should respect the rights of the human person. There is even less reason for recognizing the rights of those whose lives impose burdens on others, as is the case with the child in the womb, the terminally ill, or the physically or mentally disabled.
If human rights do not come from God, then they devolve to the arbitrary conventions of men and women. The state exists to defend the rights of man and to promote his flourishing. The state can never be the source of those rights. When the state arrogates to itself that power, even a democracy can become totalitarian.
What is legalized abortion but a form of intimate violence that clothes itself in democracy? The will to power of the strong is given the force of law to kill the weak.
That is where we are heading in the West today. [...] Writing in the 1960s, Richard Weaver, an American scholar and social philosopher, said: “I am absolutely convinced that relativism must eventually lead to a regime of force.”
He was right. There is a kind of “inner logic” that leads relativism to repression.
This explains the paradox of how Western societies can preach tolerance and diversity while aggressively undermining and penalizing Catholic life. The dogma of tolerance cannot tolerate the Church’s belief that some ideas and behaviors should not be tolerated because they dehumanize us. The dogma that all truths are relative cannot allow the thought that some truths might not be.
The Catholic beliefs that most deeply irritate the orthodoxies of the West are those concerning abortion, sexuality and the marriage of man and woman. This is no accident. These Christian beliefs express the truth about human fertility, meaning and destiny.
These truths are subversive in a world that would have us believe that God is not necessary and that human life has no inherent nature or purpose. Thus the Church must be punished because, despite all the sins and weaknesses of her people, she is still the bride of Jesus Christ; still a source of beauty, meaning and hope that refuses to die – and still the most compelling and dangerous heretic of the world’s new order. [...]
We need not and should not abandon the hard work of honest dialogue. Far from it. The Church always needs to seek friendships, areas of agreement, and ways to make positive, reasoned arguments in the public square. But it’s foolish to expect gratitude or even respect from our governing and cultural leadership classes today. Naïve imprudence is not an evangelical virtue.
The temptation in every age of the Church is to try to get along with Caesar. And it’s very true: Scripture tells us to respect and pray for our leaders. We need to have a healthy love for the countries we call home. But we can never render unto Caesar what belongs to God. We need to obey God first; the obligations of political authority always come second. [...]
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. Only the Truth can set men free. We need to be apostles of Jesus Christ and the Truth he incarnates.