Catholic Church must not let society marginalize it, British cardinal says


The Archbishop Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor is calling on the Church to resist the spread of secularism. At a conference at the Cathedral of Westminster the cardinal said, “the Church in our society has great vitality and a crucial role to play, more importantly even now in this time of recent history.” 

According to the L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal encouraged the faithful to resist the advance of secularism: “Many of the arguments of secularism aim to confirm the evolution of a self-sufficient humanistic vision. All of this leads to the disappearance of the spirit with an historical perspective that is fundamentally reductionist.”

This manner of looking at man, he said, “is intended to impoverish the understanding of what is the root of the human being” and makes it difficult to defend the human person from being used as an instrument.

Only by “accepting the dignity and ultimate end of man in God—which the Church has always affirmed—can the proper appreciation of human life be embraced,” Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said. 

He went on to note that the “greatest danger for us is that of allowing ourselves to be convinced by the secular culture that we Catholics are becoming more and more marginalized and that we are in decline. For this reason it is true that we have many challenges to confront and much work to be done.”

The cardinal pointed out that moral and ethical values have been expelled from today’s society, despite the fact that there are many people who are striving to do good.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor closed his talk by saying, “in order to be fully human we must always remain open to the good. We need a renewed sensibility to the ethical and moral dimensions of life.  We need to affirm and encourage the good that is in each person, instead of pointing out the negative. An authentic and lasting change will be possible if we first share the joys and hopes of all of humanity.”

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