Monday, 11 March 2013

Sexual nihilism amongst "Catholics" has virtually destroyed the Church in Canada

 "...any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin." 

(Pope Pius XI, Castii Connubii)

Pope Benedict XVI wrote and spoke trenchantly on the crisis of the Faith vis-a-vis morality and family life. Indeed, much of his Pontificate was devoted to combating relativism and its malignant effects on the person's understanding of the relationship between faith and morals:

The processes of secularization and a widespread nihilistic mentality in which all is relative have deeply marked the common mindset...of individualism and relativism seem to dominate the minds of many of our contemporaries, it cannot be said that believers are completely immune to these dangers, with which we are confronted in the transmission of the faith....Christians often do not even know the central core of their own Catholic faith, the Creed, so that they leave room for a certain syncretism and religious relativism, blurring the truths to believe in as well as the salvific uniqueness of Christianity. The risk of fabricating, as it were, a “do-it-yourself” religion is not so far off today. Instead we must return to God, to the God of Jesus Christ, we must rediscover the Gospel message and make it enter our consciences and our daily life more deeply. (October 17, 2013)

In Canada, this crisis of faith struck first in Quebec, with an unprecedented collapse in the 1960s; to spread throughout English speaking Canada.  This rise of moral relativism - promoted by men such as the excommunicated ex-priest  Gregory Baum - has seen the vast majority of Catholics in Canada reject the Magisterium (c.f. Paul VI, nr. 4 Humanae Vitae) and, as a consequence, make complete shipwreck of their Faith. For example, H. E. Marc Cardinal Ouellet has also underscored this tragic reality, informing Raymond Arroyo in an interview that Canada has been in crisis for decades.  Archbishop Brendan O'Brien, formerly President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, gave a masterly presentation and assessment of the state of the Family in 2004. Significantly he stated: 

In Canada, where the vast majority of couples including Catholics use one form or another of artificial contraception, the dangers that Paul VI foresaw with the arrival of the Pill have become real: marital infidelity, sexual promiscuity and pre-marital sex.

Statistics vary as to the degree of "Catholic" couples using contraception (an "intrinsic evil"; Pope Paul VI nr. 14, Humanae Vitae), but all are in agreement with a very substantial majority doing so. With secular societal acceptance of contraception - and the consequent detachment of procreation and love - it was inevitable that sexual sins (e.g. fornication) and bizarre forms of sexual perversion would grow and attain some sort of "acceptance" - such as homosexuality and ubiquitous pornography. 

So pervasive has pornography become, that a number of Catholic bishops are taking emergency action to combat its evil effects on the family. His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan has been outstanding in his war against this immorality. Priests are receiving specialized training on how to assist (usually women) in the confessional when confronted with the situation of a marriage in crisis due to pornography. Incredible as it may seem, it is believed that nearly 50% of regular male church goers are also regular porn users. This is staggering, and reflects a near complete moral collapse. But we should not be shocked: one grave evil leads to another. Bishop Finn, in his Pastoral letter to the Diocease of Kansas City pointed out that 90% of children have viewed pornography on the internet

What can be done? Firstly bishops and priests must begin to preach the truths of the faith and the Church's moral doctrine (c.f. Pius XI, Castii Connubii, nr. 57). To preach against the widespread use of contraception will not be popular. The media will rage against them, people in the pews will denounce them, parents on contraception would likely be upset or worse; ridicule, removed and silencing may well be the lot of priests courageous enough to stand in the pulpit and tell parishioners that those who use these sinful means of avoiding conception are objectively in a state of mortal sin and cannot go to Holy Communion. Bishop Finn to his clergy wrote:  "People need your moral leadership and guidance. Do not be afraid to speak out on this topic. Use modesty and prudence, but do not fail to remind all of us of the dangers to our soul this evil represents. Teach the Church’s truth about sexual morality and responsibility with clarity and encouragement". 

It is also time for the Church in Canada to take very seriously the wide-spread growth of pornography. A program, such as that endorsed by Cardinal Dolan should be put into action in every diocese across Canada. Moreover, every parish should have a rigorous catechetical program. We do not need elaborate "pastoral plans", glossy print-ups, feel-good chit-chat etc. We need priests preaching, we need bishops governing, teaching and sanctifying, we need the laity studying the truths of the Faith... 

Further recommended reading: Pastoral Letter of Bishop Robert W. Finn. Blessed are the Pure of Heart
                                                  Pius XI: Casti Connubii
                                                  Paul VI: Humanae Vitae
                                                  Catechism of the Catholic Church 
                                                  Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

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