Friday, July 22, 2005

The Dictatorship of Relativism marches on in Britain

British Catholics are finding it increasingly difficult to keep the Faith. CNS has the story here. A report commissioned by the English and Welsh bishops' Committee for Marriage and Family Life tells the bleak tale. Consumerism takes its toll on British Catholics. The growing secularization of Britain--already well under way in the continent--seduces Catholics to leave their religious behavior behind. Among the details:
"Not Easy But Full of Meaning" observed that "financial concerns can cripple family life," suggesting that the family was "not necessarily that calm center of peace that one would hope for."

One family from Nottingham, England, attempted to sum up challenges to families as: "Pressure on appearance, consumerism, selfishness, nonpermanent relationships, competition and godlessness."
Besides economic pressures, the report also highlighted the discomfort many Catholics feel at living in an increasingly secular society.

"Practicing the faith makes you distinctly odd," one parishioner said.

Other Catholics complained about a perceived hostility from the church toward single parents, cohabiting couples, divorcees and homosexuals.

A single mother in the Clifton Diocese said she felt her priest was always "too busy" to speak to her and that she felt she was "treated as a leper."

The report also describes the experience of a man referred to as "Mr. D" who discovered that his son was gay. He said he met with "extremely hostile, disparaging" remarks when he tried to raise the issue with a parishioner and his priest.

"Mr. D feels angry, frustrated and totally rejected by the church," the report said. "There seems nowhere to turn. In his mind there is little hope for the future."
The importance of evangelization can't be under-emphasized. People hurt. The hegemony of Absolute Individualism, embodied by consumerism and materialism, offers no lasting comfort. How can it? It has no answer for death and offers no vision of meaning independent of peoples' own articulation. Well, confused and unhappy people may have trouble articulating meaning in their lives.

When we're faced with death, what do we want most of all? Life! Jesus Christ offers us life, and he offers it to us in the fullest expression possible. His passion and death have shattered Death's hold on our lives. His ressurection has ensured our own as long as we live in him. The fullness of life comes from living fully in Truth and Love. That means we live to the fullest when we live in him. Imagine how fulfilled people would be if they realized that all their hopes for life, meaning and security in the face of death were fulfilled in him. Somehow, they've forgotten that. Or they never knew it.

That's why they need the gospel now more than ever. They won't get to experience it if it's not preached to them. And in these skeptical days, the preaching that most people believe is the witness of those who believe.

The harvest is upon the world. Where are the reapers?