Today Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the United States on their “ad limina” visit, expressed grave concern over the powerful new cultural norms “which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.”
The Pope pleaded with American bishops, and the broader American people, to uphold and be vocal about the unchanging moral truths which are the keys to real happiness and social prosperity.
Calling on the church universal, Pope Benedict said, “With her long tradition of respect for the right relationship between faith and reason, the Church has a critical role to play in countering cultural currents which, on the basis of an extreme individualism, seek to promote notions of freedom detached from moral truth.”
Today, as we reflect on the words of this great religious leader, we also remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” This is what we are seeing in America. A complete removal and in some case reversal of the moral truths we have known for millennia to promote and provide for the social good!
Truths are such because they have stood the test of time and have proved to be right in all contexts, but even in the church there has been a calling of good evil and evil good. If Churches across America leave behind the moral high ground in order to be inclusive and tolerant, the human situation will not improve.
We, the Church, have a role to play in preventing the reversal of moral truths in America. In order to counter the cultural tide rising in this nation, the Church must not reflect the sinful world. The Church must rise above the status-quo, accepted, tolerated. We cannot look like the world. We must be the light, the good, the sweet.
We join with Pope Benedict XVI in calling upon the American Church to rise up and realize the grave threats our moral witness is facing! The Pope expressed how now more than ever, “…we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed [Church] endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society.”
May we be that Church together.