To be prepared

I am usually a bit wary when it comes to cries of religious persecution of Christians in the west. Surely we are being not murdered for our faith, or imprisoned and tortured? But in recent days it became clearer to me that, as in such countries where these things do happen, there is a seemingly deep-rooted distrust to people of faith in our society. Of course, having to explain our convictions and occasionally defending them is nothing to be surprised or concerned about, but all too often there is no place for those explanations or defences.

Complutense University chapel, scene of relentless hatred

Theologian George Weigel discusses a serious incident in Spain in his column, speaking of ‘student gangsters’ desecrating a Catholic chapel at the Complutense University in Madrid, apparently for no other reason than that it is a Catholic chapel used by Catholic students and university staff. Madrid is the same city where millions of young Catholics will celebrate their faith this summer at the World Youth Days.

From Belgium. Jeroen van Hecke writes about a ‘terrorist attack’ against Archbishop Léonard, committed by some students displaying  “especially low intellectual and moral levels”. Strong words, but the fact that pies were smashed in the archbishop’s face for no other reason that that he stands for Catholic faith and teachings is telling. “He deserves it,” said one of the perpetrators, “for all gays who do not dare tell it at home and for all girls who want to undergo an abortion.” Make of that what you will.

Both these incidents are just that, incidents, but they do point out the extent to which a true Christian understanding of life is at odds with modern society’s ideas of the same (what Weigel calls, after Pope Benedict XVI, “the dictatorship of relativism”). And this is something that we Catholics should be aware of and prepared for. We should not only be ready to face the differences these incidents are examples of. No longer can we assume that we live in a free and open society where every faith, philosophy and opinion is equally respected. We don’t, and I don’t think we ever have. Reasoned and intelligent debate is something to strive and hope for, but it rarely is reality. Not if the answers to differences are thought to be found in desecration and attacks.

We must stand prepared: internally to understand, learn from and love Jesus Christ, His Church and our faith; and externally to protect and defend ourselves and that which we call our own from those who wish to see anything that does not conform to the dictatorship of relativism removed.

4 thoughts on “To be prepared”

  1. Well… what can you do. Nowadays young people have heroes like ‘Dawkins’ who are what I would call ‘intellectually depraved’ (ie. basing their intellectual work on bigotry, ignorance, hatred, double standards, relativism, sarcasm and offensive language, rather than logic, knowledge and solid arguments).

    No wonder that intellectual deppravity is also so widespread: it requires little thinking and work for the brain.

    And it is indeed from this intellectual depravity that follows the “the dictatorship of relativism”, ie false tolerance and false liberty (you are free to think what you want as long as it agrees with the ‘liberal mindset’, otherwise you are stigmatized as a ‘bigot’ or ‘old fashioned’ or worse).

    But then we live today in a society based on a very flawed philosophical system… and since most philosophers and thinkers are too lazy to read and learn beyond what is currently written, this intellectual depravity will continue to spread.

    1. Well, what we can do is be aware of it and be able and willing to face the consequences of society’s attitudes. Hopefully that may be a basis to counter the current developments.

      One can hope, right?

  2. Ever since the Reformation, Western Civilization has been in decline because it has been drifting farther and farther away from its very foundation, which is the Church. Europe, and now America, seem to have two grave problems: 1.) They no longer understand who they are and where they came from 2.) They have effectively stopped reproducing. This will allow, within a short amount of time, for a new culture to replace the old, and we have a strong suspicion who that is (crescent moon).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s