During Aid to the Church in Need’s annual Mass and Conference in Westminister Cathedral Hall in London on Saturday October 2, Fr. Paul Stenhouse, ACN’s chairman of the board in Australia, explained that Western society’s current religious and moral vacuum is in grave danger of being filled by an intolerant and militant Islamic fundamentalism.
In his address, entitled “ Islam: A Wake-up Call to Slipshod Catholics and to the West,” Fr, Stenhouse summoned Catholics to respond to the threat by witnessing strongly to their faith in an effort to rebuild Christian culture in the West.
“Islamist ideology…left uncontrolled, will cause harm not just to religious freedom but to the civic life of our community,” Fr Paul, editor of the Australian Catholic magazine Annals.
He claimed that the media – especially TV and the Internet – had played into the hands of extremist Muslims by spreading their mission to kill and spread violence in the name of their religion and intimidating people into submission.
“If Islamists do take over, it will be by default – even by democratic means – made possible by liberalism in the West, which does not permit us to take pride in our national and religious identity.”
However, he said, “ I do not think that Catholics have anything to fear from fundamentalist Islam – by Catholics I mean those who practice their faith and take an interest in the world around us.”