For the next few weeks, this Pastor’s column will consist of the talk given by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver on our need to bear witness to the Faith. His address was given delivered Oct. 26 at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York. The talked is titled "Church and State Today: What Belongs to Caesar, and What Doesn't." I found it both inspiring and encouraging to read. So, I share it with you.
“I want to quickly sketch for you the picture of an anonymous culture. But everything I'm about to tell you comes from the factual record.
“This society is advanced in the sciences and the arts. It has a complex economy and a strong military. It includes many different religions, although religion tends to be a private affair or a matter of civic ceremony.
“This particular society also has big problems. Among them is that fertility rates remain below replacement levels. There aren't enough children being born to replenish the current adult population and to do the work needed to keep society going. The government offers incentives to encourage people to have more babies. But nothing seems to work.
“Promiscuity is common and accepted. So are bisexuality and homosexuality. So is prostitution. Birth control and abortion are legal, widely practiced, and justified by society's leading intellectuals.
“Every now and then, a lawmaker introduces a measure to promote marriage, arguing that the health and future of society depend on stable families. These measures typically go nowhere.
Ok. What society am I talking about? Our own country, of course, would broadly fit this description. But I'm not talking about us.
“I've just outlined the conditions of the Mediterranean world at the time of Christ. We tend to idealize the ancients, to look back at Greece and Rome as an age of extraordinary achievements. And of course, it was. But it had another side as well.
...continued next week