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The Consequences Of Relativism… A Desperate Call From The Youth Of America

May 22, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By ALBERTO M. PIEDRA

Recently I read an article entitled “From the Heart of a Young Father” written by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap. It appeared in First Things in April and it is worth receiving wide support and shared by as large an audience as possible. The article relates the anguished cry of a 26-year-old father, who wished “to offer my perspective, shared by many of my peers, on Rome’s upcoming synod [on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment].”
The father expressed his concern for the “paradigm shifts related to doctrine, supremacy of individual conscience, and the so-called pastoral accommodation” so prevalent in this relativistic world of ours. These trends are very disturbing for the spiritual growth of children.
Among the major problems facing the Christian youth of America, the following are mentioned by the conscientious father: 1) Young people crave the truth and the clarity of good thinking, which to a large extent is missing; 2) Confusion exists over the basic truths of human nature, as seen in harms such as abortion, same-sex unions, and gender dysfunction.
The young today are inundated with false propaganda which distorts the basic scientific truths about gender and makes fun of high moral standards, going as far as painting virtue and chivalry as “toxic masculinity.” It denigrates the family and desecrates the nature of sex and its fruits, that is, the unborn child.
Precisely because of this tsunami of false and pernicious propaganda, it is extremely urgent for the Church, the authoritative guardian of truth, to openly come out and clarify her position on these moral issues, leaving no doubt as to their veracity and the fundamental teachings of the Bible and Gospels.
Many of these truths are barely mentioned in parishes these days. Instead, we hear more frequently from our bishops’ conferences and dioceses about the federal budget, border and immigration policy, not to mention gun control and the environment, all important in themselves. However, what is needed is clear and authoritative guidance on abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality, including gender identity dysfunction. The list could go on and on. Hardly anything is mentioned about life after death, summarized in the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Even the existence of Hell is now put in doubt.
Young people are continuously listening to cries of compromise and accommodation to the modern culture. even among some members of the hierarchy who blur the Church’s teachings in the name of building bridges. The Dubia calling on Pope Francis to clarify certain issues related to Amoris Laetitia remains unanswered. Those who respect tradition are defined as reactionary and medievalists.
The undeniable symptoms of confusion are widespread, especially when you hear comments from the highest levels of the Church that Humanae Vitae, Familiaris Consortio, and Veritatis Splendor offer unrealistic ideals and that conscience should be the only arbiter of what is right and what is wrong.
Lack of clarity is demoralizing the youth of America, a particular concern for parents who have to raise their children under an ever-increasing wave of relativism. The above comments written by an anguished father in his letter to Archbishop Chaput are best summarized when he writes that his generation was brought up surrounded by moral decay, banal liturgical music, and modernist church architecture. The very concept of beauty is suffering the impact of this distasteful and offensive trend. It is sad to say, but it is true that we are living in a confused world, full of soulless vulgarity.
It is time for Christians in general and for men of the cloth in particular to follow the example of the French writer Paul Claudel when he wrote: “As for me, I believe in a good God and in life that is on the side of good, a life in which it is not a matter of indifference whether one takes one path or another.” Apart from the fact that it is wrong to lead a life that follows the wrong path, it is abhorrent, for those in charge of preserving the truth of the Gospel, to preach theories that run counter to the Magisterium of the Church and place in doubt the basic truths of its salvific mission.
Reminiscing on the divisive religious and political issues of the 16th century and the Catholic teachings on the moral issues of the times, I thought of Raymond Cardinal Burke’s recent interview with journalist Chris Altieri (Catholic World Report). During the interview, the American cardinal affirmed that what frightens him a great deal about the present situation of the Church is the politicization of Church life and doctrine.
At the same time, he did not hesitate to express his concern with regard to the reception and interpretation of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. He was particularly concerned with the passages that effectively permit persons in irregular unions to receive Holy Communion.
Cardinal Burke stressed once again that his greatest concern was and still is the confusion which is growing with respect to the fundamental truths of the Church, especially the truths about the Sacrament of Marriage, the Eucharist, and the worthy reception of Holy Communion.
As a point of reference, note the tendency today to view the Mass as a formal community of Christians, while forgetting that the Holy Mass is the Eucharistic act of worshiping and adoring God the Creator, with the priest leading the faithful in the Eucharistic banquet which is at the center of the Christian life.
The extent of the confusion came into focus when fifteen priests from around the world — including Fr. Gerald Murray, JCD, of EWTN — published an open letter entitled A Pastoral Appeal to the Bishops for an Apostolic Reaffirmation of the Gospel, pleading with them to preach against the errors being propagated by ecclesiastical authorities.
Let me conclude this brief essay with the wise words of Guinean Robert Cardinal Sarah who, at the risk of shocking some people, wrote the following in his book God or Nothing:
“I think that Western colonialism continues today, in Africa and Asia, more vigorously and perversely through the imposition of a false morality and deceitful values. I do not deny the fact that European civilization was able to offer great benefits, particularly with the missionaries, who were often great saints. It spread the word of the Gospels everywhere, along with beautiful cultural expressions that had been shaped by Christianity.”
The Church needs saintly leaders who can lead the faithful — especially our confused youth — to the safe port of the heavenly abode. The only way to protect the young people of America from the evils of corruption and of false ethical principles is to teach them to hate the sin and love the sinner: to recognize the reality of natural law which is at the root of good behavior.

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