Spisske Podhradie, Slovakia, Aug 25, 2010 / 03:48 am
Addressing the first session of the 15th symposium for the Canon Law Association of Slovakia on Tuesday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver called for Catholics in America and Europe to oppose the rise of a “state-encouraged atheism” which reduces religion to “an individual lifestyle accessory” incapable of influencing the world. The archbishop exhorted Christians to respond to these trends by rediscovering their historic faith as the only sound basis for a just society.
Recalling the historical experience of the Slovakian Church under Communism, Archbishop Chaput told the assembly of Central European bishops and canon lawyers that Christians are being called today to defend the Church's own rights, and the rights of all people, against the “civil religion” of relativism.
Like Communism, he explained, today's secularist ideology envisions “a society apart from God” where “men and women might live wholly sufficient unto themselves,” sharing no higher guiding principle than “satisfying their needs and desires.”
This seemingly benign vision, he warned, leaves no place for the Church's work of evangelism, teaching, and activism.