Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Religion of Modernity

Anent an earlier post, Benedict XVI's address to Swiss bishops, excerpts:

Modern society is not simply without morality, but it has, so to speak, “discovered” and professes a part of morality that, in the Church’s proclamation over the past few decades and even farther back than that, perhaps hasn’t been presented sufficiently.

These are the great themes of peace, non-violence, justice for all, concern for the poor, and respect for creation.


This has become an ethical complex that, precisely as a political force, has great power and constitutes for many the substitute for religion, or its successor.

In place of religion, which is seen as something metaphysical and otherworldly – and perhaps also as an individualistic thing – the great moral themes enter in as the essential reality that then confers dignity and commitment upon man.


B-16 foes on to say that this 'societal morality' is constructed without a foundation of absolute respect for life--thus we get abortion, ESCR, and other horrific manipulations, all in the name of 'morality.'

The morality of marriage and the family is also situated in this context.

Marriage is being increasingly marginalized. We are familiar with the example of some countries where the law has been modified to define marriage no longer as a bond between a man and a woman, but as a bond between persons. This obviously destroys the essential concept [of marriage], and society, from its very roots, becomes something totally different.


The awareness that sexuality, eros, and marriage as a union between man and woman go together – “The two shall be one flesh,” says Genesis – this awareness is continually weakening. Any sort of bond seems absolutely normal, and this is all presented as a sort of morality of non-discrimination and a form of freedom that is due to man. With this, naturally, the indissolubility of marriage has become an almost utopian idea that appears to be disowned, even by many people in public life. In this way, the family itself is gradually falling apart.


In these areas, therefore, our [the Church's] proclamation clashes with a contrary awareness within society, with a sort of antimorality that bases itself upon a conception of freedom as the ability to choose autonomously and without predefined guidelines, as non-discrimination, and therefore as the approval of any sort of possibility, situating itself as ethically correct by its own authority.

HT: What Does the Prayer Really Say?

2 comments:

Pat McIlheran said...

Re an ethical complex consisting in the main of "the great themes of peace, non-violence, justice for all, concern for the poor, and respect for creation":

This is the outcome of the all-I-needed-to-know-I-learned-in-kindergarten theology. These are kindergarten values. Play nicely, stop hitting each other, bring enough cookies for everyone and clean up the classroom.

Nothing wrong with those values. They make the world more pleasant. But lacking anything more grown up -- an awareness of and reverence for the divine, an understanding of God's call to participate in creation -- or, for that matter, prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and charity, they're incomplete.

They produce a kindergarten society, tantrums included.

Dad29 said...

Yup.