30 November 2008

Secularity and Secularism

As I saw the first banners announcing Season's Greetings and Happy Holiday's I thought of an idea for a post about the secularization of society. It seem's that I was not alone as there appeared a very good column in the National Catholic Register this week by Father Alfonso Aguilar, LC. Here a couple highlights and I encourage you to read the rest.

“Silencing or abandoning God or confining him to the private sphere is undoubtedly the defining theme of our bleak times in the West. There is no other movement to be compared with it, not even the loss of the moral sense.”

Pope Benedict seems to agree. Secularization is a constant theme in his speeches and writings. “Secularization, which presents itself in cultures by imposing a world and humanity without reference to transcendence, is invading every aspect of daily life and developing a mentality in which God is effectively absent, wholly or partially, from human life and awareness,” the Holy Father said to the members of the Pontifical Council for Culture on March 8, 2008.

“This secularization is not only an external threat to believers, but has been manifest for some time in the heart of the Church herself. It profoundly distorts the Christian faith from within, and consequently, the lifestyle and daily behavior of believers.”

Secularism, instead, is intrinsically wrong — it intends to achieve an absolute independence of temporal affairs from God and his moral law. It pretends to replace God’s role with man’s. Secularity affirms the autonomy of the earthly spheres from religion but not in opposition to it. Secularism intolerantly seeks the annihilation of religion.

The most appalling expression of secularism might be found in the silent distancing of entire populations from religious practice and even from any reference to the faith. The Church today is confronted more by indifference and practical unbelief than by atheism.

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