Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Evangelization - part iv...

Here continues the Oct. 26, 2007 address of Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York. The talk is titled "Church and State Today: What Belongs to Caesar, and What Doesn't." It is well worth reading and saving:

“Athenagoras, a Christian layman, told the Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the year A.D. 176 that abortion was "murder" and that those involved would have to "give an account to God." And he told the emperor the reason why: "For we regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God's care."

“As this audience already knows, Christian reverence for the unborn child is no medieval development. It comes from the very beginnings of our faith. The early Church had no debates over politicians and communion. There wasn't any need. No persons who tolerated or promoted abortion would have dared to approach the Eucharistic table, let alone dared to call themselves true Christians.

“And here's why: The early Christians understood that they were the offspring of a new worldwide family of God. They saw the culture around them as a culture of death, a society that was slowly extinguishing itself. In fact, when you read early Christian literature, practices like adultery and abortion are often described as part of "the way of death" or the "way of the [devil]."

“There's an interesting line in a Second Century apologetic work written by Minucius Felix. He was a Roman lawyer and a convert. He's talking about a birth-control drug that works as an abortifacient. He describes its effects this way: "There are women who swallow drugs to stifle in their own womb the beginnings" of a person to be.

“That's what the first Christians saw around them in their world. They believed the world was snuffing out its own future. It was stifling future generations before they could come to be. It was slowly killing itself.

“Since we see similar signs in our own day, we need to find the courage those first Christians had in challenging their culture. We need to believe not only what they believed. We need to believe those things with the same deep fervor.

...continued next week