Thursday, May 24, 2007

Intolerable Liberty

Looking at Father Tim's blog, the Hermeneutic of Continuity, I saw a phrase which was truly startling. Dr. Tom Ward of the National Association of Catholic Families, is quoted as saying, "a legal infrastructure has now been laid down for a massive attack on the Church." He is, of course, talking about Great Britain. At the same time, Pope Benedict is powerfully urging the Italian Bishops to take the gloves off and realize we have a fight on our hands (my non-literal translation!). In his gentle and winsome way, even though he has the heart of a lion, BXVI has really been saying this from the start of his pontificate - or really for the last thirty years. Without wishing to be a purveyor of gloom, it seems, as Gandalf would say, that the "forces of Mordor are gathering." If they are, and some will quite forcefully say that this is all apocalyptic nonsense and can't we get back to our deckchair on the Titanic in time for canapes and cocktails- if the forces of the Dark Lord are gathering, then the Lord's frequent words to his closest companions should fill us with fortitude: "Be not afraid!" Faithful Catholics, who it seems will come to resemble more and more God's Hobbits, are not without protection. We have a "strong city" - we are members of the Church! Perhaps Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson expresses it best, speaking of his conversion from Anglicanism in 'Confessions of a Convert' - "there is a liberty which is a more intolerable slavery than the heaviest of chains. I did not want to go this way and that at my own will: I wanted to know the way in which God wanted me to walk. I did not want to be free to change my grasp on truth: I needed rather a truth that itself should make me free. I did not want broad ways of pleasantness, but the narrow Way that is Truth and Life."

1 comment:

John Seymour said...

The fight is brewing here, too, Father. In California, the State has ordered Catholic Charities to include birth control in the health care coverage provided to employees, in spite of the ethical concerns of the Church. A Court has upheld the law. I believe the ruling is being appealed, but what struck me as particularly curious was that the court held that CC is not really a religious organization because it hires non-Catholics and offers services to non-Catholics. So the choices offered are: violate Church teaching by offering artificial birth control in its health care package; cease providing employees health care coverage; fire non-Catholic employees; or cease offering charitable services to non-Catholics.

And in Massachusetts this last year, Catholic Charities was forced to withdraw from adoption services because they would not place children with gay couples.

It seems to me that, at least in the blue states, the practice of the Faith is being slowly outlawed by the increasingly authoritarian reach of Official Tolerance.

I would suggest we lace up the gloves, but I suspect this will be more of a bare-knuckle brawl.