Here’s an article I wrote some time ago for CDC’s official quarterly publication, which also featured in the Culture Vulture. I’ve just managed to move it on to here from my previous blog – happy reading folks 🙂
“A dictatorship of relativism is being built that recognizes nothing as definite, and which leaves as the ultimate measure only one’s ego and desires .Having a clear faith, according to the credo of the church, is often labeled as fundamentalism. Yet, relativism, that is, letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept along by every wind of teaching’, appears the sole attitude acceptable to today’s standards.” -Pope Benedict XVI.
There are so many ‘isms’ in the world, coming and going, which often start out as intently good and wholesome in nature but evidently fall due to human failure – communism, capitalism, feminism, liberalism, fundamentalism, empiricism etc. These ‘isms’ often proclaim universal truths but even Aristotle recognises that multiple truths cannot co-exist – they cannot all be true if they conflict with the other, so objectivity is vital. The question then becomes – What is the objective truth? And what can we do to preserve it?
For the Christian, the answer is simple – “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…no one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6.
It holds then, that the example of Christ, who is the embodiment of Truth, must therefore be followed, taught, preserved and promulgated. The ‘ism’ that therefore presents the absolute and authentic truth – and thus the answer to the search for the objective Truth – is in the life and mission of Christ, which has been taught and preserved by the Church. Thus it is a logical and fitting conclusion that any other ‘ism’, which conflicts with any single teaching of Christ,the Eternal Truth, cannot therefore be considered an objective truth but merely, subjective opinion.
In light of this, turn your thoughts to the state of the Church today, and indeed the state of society at large. Liberalism, which began as a renewal of the Church, now rocks it to its very foundations, with Liberal dissidents inside Western church walls advocating subjective truths influenced by the decaying moral norms of Western society. Outside the walls of both the Eastern and Western churches, Secularism – which began as a preventative measure to pre-empt the interference of overly zealous religious groups on Civil affairs – has all but shunned the the moral teachings of the Church and has accelerated the process of deconstructing the moral truths which had built Western society. Communism, which began as an egalitarian movement promoting the fraternity and equality of all, capitulated into the disastrous chapter of history we have come to know as the Cold War. Most unfortunate, is that whereas Religion intially held the monopoly on semi-frequent spasms of zealous fundamentalism, Science has developed its own rite in the form scientific empiricism – where Scientific method becomes the only method to determine absolutes.
In all of this, we see the promulgation and indeed, the proliferation of ‘ism’ after ‘ism’. Shallow ideologies which contravene Christian teaching cloaked with a false guise of objectivity seek only the immediate gratification of human need without thought nor care for the long-term impacts on the moral and physical fibre of man.
Truth : Christ embodies it – the Church preserved it – Pope Benedict XVI, despite it being unpopular, continues to teach it. The Objectivity of which lies at the heart of the Christian tradition and which it has taught, often at times to its own peril, unceasingly. But Papal encyclicals, homilies from the pulpit and internet blogging will not suffice in today’s modern world. More and more, Christ calls on the laity – the ordinary man and woman – to proclaim the Truth the world needs through action. Pope John Paul II famously called on the youth of the world to rise up and bring a new spring time to the Church – and that they did. Now, with a lively and younger church, we have been tasked once again by the successor of Peter – this time, to bring Christ to a secularized world in a more loving and intelligent manner.
The world needs a new generation who, armed with intellect and a strong moral conviction, can comprehensively filter through all the subjective truths of this world bringing them to the light of day, to show the truths of each of these in their correct contexts relative to Christ’s objective compass. Through careful discerment, prayer and intellectual honesty, one must highlight any and all incompatibilities with the Truth that Christ teaches. Finally and most profoundly,out of concern and fraternal love, those who are fortunate to recognise descrepancies in these teachings are morally obligated by God and conscious to help those who are yet to understand.
This, always to be done in a loving manner, must be done vigorously as a matter of highest priority, to preserve what remains of society’s moral fibre, and uphold the absolute Truth which the world so desperately needs and that we Christians hold most dear – Christ.
“Sia lodato Gesu Christo.”
Insights from my Sunday morning meditation. Have a blessed Sunday, and a great week ahead!