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Mulling over this…

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‘We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us.’

CS Lewis.

Cardinal Wuerl: Synod strives to turn back ‘tsunami of secularism’

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington is pictured at the Pontifical North American College in Rome Oct. 2 after arriving for the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, which begins at the Vatican Oct. 7 2012

As the synod’s relator, Cardinal Wuerl has reviewed preliminary suggestions from bishops’ conferences around the world and synthesized them in a speech he will deliver in Latin at the first working session Oct. 8. The cardinal will address the assembly again 10 days later, once more in Latin, to summarize hundreds of speeches by his fellow bishops.

Initiated by Blessed John Paul II and eagerly embraced by his successor, the new evangelization is a project aimed at reviving Catholic faith in increasingly secular societies, especially the wealthiest Western nations.

For Cardinal Wuerl, it is also an opportunity to fulfill the goal for which Blessed John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council: a faithful presentation of Catholic teachings in a way “attractive to a very rapidly changing culture.”

It’s no mere coincidence, the cardinal said, that the synod overlaps with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the council, Oct. 11, which Pope Benedict has designated as the beginning of a special Year of Faith. Like Vatican II, the cardinal said, the synod will emphasize continuity with the church’s ancient traditions.

“There is a continuum of Catholic faith going all the way back to the creed, going all the way back to the apostles,” Cardinal Wuerl said. “That continuum is where we find the articulation of our faith.”

Although Vatican II was faithful to the church’s traditional doctrines, the cardinal said, implementation of the council’s teachings in the 1960s and 1970s coincided with a “current of secularism sweeping the Western world,” especially Europe.

“It’s almost as if a tsunami of secularism washed across Western Europe and, when it receded, it took with it all of those foundational concepts: family, marriage, right and wrong, common good, objective order,” he said.

In Europe and beyond, the cardinal said, that secular wave accompanied a loosening of standards in Catholic religious education.

“Somehow we were to be catechizing without content,” the cardinal said, describing what he called a widespread attitude at the time. “Somehow there was supposed to be communicated some experience, some idea that God loves us, we love God, but it wasn’t rooted in the creed.

“As our Holy Father has pointed out so many times,” the cardinal said, “if you are not proclaiming the Christ that the church knows and lives, then you could be proclaiming a Christ that you’ve created.”

The cost of poor catechesis, Cardinal Wuerl said, was a “diminished allegiance from two generations” of Catholics.

A key part of the church’s response to that development was the Catechism of the Catholic Church, whose compilation was overseen by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when the future pope was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In another non-coincidence, the 20th anniversary of the catechism’s publication will also be celebrated Oct. 11.

The cardinal said the catechism has been the basis for dramatic improvement in religious education over the last two decades, especially in the United States. When he and other U.S. bishops met with Pope Benedict earlier this year during their “ad limina” visits, Cardinal Wuerl said he was happy to report the sound state of Catholic education at the elementary and secondary school levels.

“And at the level of the colleges?” the pope replied, with a smile and what the cardinal describes as a “twinkle in his eye.”

The church in America has a “long way to go” to bring Catholic higher education back into harmony with church teaching, the cardinal said, and an essential part of that effort is restoring the “institutional identity” of Catholic colleges and universities.

Effective evangelization, he explained, requires that “we speak out of our own identity as members of the church, as Catholics, as people who hold dear the creed, who worship at the table of the Eucharist, and who simply know Christ is with us.”

Despite the setbacks of earlier decades, he said he draws hope from the growing interest among youth in the teachings of the church.

“We have a whole new group of young people coming along,” the cardinal said, “and they’re saying, ‘this secular world isn’t answering my questions.’

“There is a lot of good happening,” he added. “We just have to find ways of tapping into it and inviting those young people to look to Christ for an answer.”

Quote from CNS

Herewith the vidoe link: The tsunami of secularism

Attacked by Tolerance in America

I first watched this at Catholiclibertarian.com The volunteers at the Society of Tradition Family and Property are the victims here of public derision, violence and vitriolic hatred. The fierce attacks shocked me to my core. What really affected me deeply is the obvious hatred of Our Lord displayed by these attacks.

We have purpose.

Image @The Catholic Church facebook

“We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.” – Pope Benedict XVI

Humanae Vitae: Day 5

5. The consciousness of the same responsibility induced us to confirm and expand the commission set up by Our predecessor Pope John XXIII, of happy memory, in March, 1963. This commission included married couples as well as many experts in the various fields pertinent to these questions. Its task was to examine views and opinions concerning married life, and especially on the correct regulation of births; and it was also to provide the teaching authority of the Church with such evidence as would enable it to give an apt reply in this matter, which not only the faithful but also the rest of the world were waiting for. (5)

When the evidence of the experts had been received, as well as the opinions and advice of a considerable number of Our brethren in the episcopate—some of whom sent their views spontaneously, while others were requested by Us to do so—We were in a position to weigh with more precision all the aspects of this complex subject. Hence We are deeply grateful to all those concerned.

Paragraph 5 simply speaks of a study commission that was begun by Pope John XXIII that Pope Paul VI has asked to be expanded.

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

Humanae Vitae in 31 days: Day 1

The recent mandate from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in forcing all institutions to include coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortifacients in the healthcare plans they offer, is an attack against religious liberty as it doesn’t allow religious institutions to be exempt from the mandate.  Those who are morally opposed to contraception, sterilization and abortifacients – including Catholic hospitals and universities – should not be forced into acting against their consciences.

This mandate has not only escalated the secularists’ war against the Church, it has also revealed some disturbing things about the general Catholic population’s understanding about the evil nature of contraception.  A recent survey done by the Pew Research Center on February 14, 2012  showed that only 15% of Catholics say that using contraceptives is morally wrong.  36% say that it’s not a moral issue.  Even among Catholics who say that they attend Mass weekly,only 27% say that using contraceptives is morally wrong.  Those numbers are stunningly sad and disappointing to me, but it shows that we have A LOT of work to do.

All of this having to do with the HHS mandate is has given us an opportunity to further emphasize the Church’s teaching from the beginning that the use of contraception is an intrinsic evil: “Every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2370; Humanae Vitae, n. 14).

We can start by making sure that everyone reads Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical “Humanae Vitae”.  It’s a short document (there are thirty-one paragraphs), but it is both an amazing and prophetic document.  I also thought that I could post one paragraph a day here for 31 days. 

Let’s start with the introduction:

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

Paul VI begins by pointing that married couples being able to cooperate in God’s work of procreation is both a “serious role” and “a source of great joy.” However, the pope also recognizes that “the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions”. Remember that this was written in 1968. It’s amazing to think how those challenges have multiplied and intensified in the last forty-three years.

The Church is not oblivious to what’s going on in the world. In fact, she is the one who is dealing with these challenges head on because “they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.” This doesn’t only affect individuals. It affects all of humanity.

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

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