Sunday, 5 July 2015
Reversing the Culture Collapse
Human culture is in a state of collapse. We have gone from a culture of life and love to a Culture of Death and lust, and this can only result in the disappearance of human civilisation because death cannot generate anything and lust is simply gratification.
If we look at the world around us today we will see that rather than pursue the eradication of problems we pursue the eradication of persons: babies are killed by abortion (removed limb by limb), while the terminally ill are killed rather than having their anxiety and pain relieved. Any society that eradicates persons rather than their problems is following the Culture of Death.
As for the Culture of Lust, we are misusing the word love here. Love today means ‘emotional attachment’ rather than seeking the good of the other, which real love cannot help but seek. Love-making has been replaced by lust-relief: lust-relief excludes the complete sharing of oneself and one’s life with others because our life-giving properties are withheld by non-procreative acts (contraceptive sex and homosexual acts). The most either of these activities can lead to is shared living arrangements.
What we have today then is a culture of killing and of lust; in the ‘killing culture’ we have come to accept the killing of babies, the sick and the imperfect; and in the ‘lust culture’ we have embraced contraception and homosexual activity, and in both ‘life-generating’ is excluded (thus there is no ‘love life’ only a lust-life).
With each of these comes the exclusion of family, and with the loss of the family comes the loss of human society since it is in the ‘family community’ that learn to give and take when seeking to fulfil our own needs (where we learn the give and take needed in the wider community of human society).
The killing-culture and lust-culture are not new; we are not undergoing a modernisation of society but a return to ancient Greco-Roman paganism wherein babies were left to die of exposure if they were handicapped or the wrong sex, and where men and boys were free to vent their lust with one another –it was even considered good for boys to be initiated into sex by acts with older men. So society is not progressing but regressing.
How can we overcome the eradication of the true human society, which is structured around a culture of family and life?
First, we need to challenge our clergy -especially the Pope and Bishops- to remain faithful to the teaching of the Tradition and to impose adequate penalties for the failure to maintain the Tradition in word or deed. The attempt to call to the deeper part of man by the language of invitation rather than condemnation has failed; it took no account of the damage at man’s core where original sin leaves its wound.
It has to be said that we lost the culture of family and life because over the last fifty years our Bishops have accommodated secularity; ever since Humanae Vitae they have opened the door to secular opinions and allowed them to displace The Faith from the Church at large. Thus, the majority of Catholics working in the professions of the media, politics, journalism, entertainment, education, health care and science were not required to stand up for The Faith over the decades, and so followed the secular agenda themselves for reasons of ‘career prospects’ -and in the false understanding that The Faith itself was changing.
This was bound to follow from the changes made in the Mass because the Mass was central to Catholics back then: it gave us our identity and formed our community; it was the Holy Sacrifice of the Cross and the source of our salvation. (Vatican II was supposed to affirm these things, but the liturgy which followed the Council seems to have destroyed them: communities are divided over which kind of music they will have, while Mass itself is perceived as a celebration of the community with the Risen Lord rather than a propitious commemoration of the Saving Sacrifice). As a result, the assumption made by many was that if we could change the Mass, the very heart of The Faith, we could change anything.
We now urgently need a new crop of Bishops who are courageous and humble enough to swell the number of those who have held and continue to hold to the Tradition. And we need those future Bishops to ensure it is followed in the Church committed to their care. I thought I was theologically scandalised by the Bishops of the last fifty years but I realised in prayer that what I am is disturbed that they have allowed so many souls to lose their way, and in fact, they have led them off ‘The Way’ from the front.
Second, we need to ensure we are fully and wholly educated in both secular subjects (law, medicine etc) and in The Faith, so that we can bring the light of Truth to bear in the workplace, especially in the media, politics, law, journalism, entertainment, education, health care and science. Only when Catholics truly believe in The Faith, live by it and apply it to their work in these professions will we recover true human civilisation in the culture of family and life.
Third, we need to know how to answer in short, sharp -and if possible- penetrating terms, suitable rejoinders to the rationalism of the secularist/atheist. I once gave a few ‘sound-bite’ responses I had found useful to retain my integrity as a Catholic, to Andrew and our R.C.I.A. group when moral irregularities were presented as good. Andrew later shared that in a staff discussion about IVF at work he voiced a challenge to IVF: “I can’t agree with it because I’m Catholic”. The retort was that “people have a right to a child and the Catholic Church of all things would push that because it doesn’t agree with abortion and contraception”. Andrew’s sound-bite response was simply, “We can’t have a right to a person; persons are a gift, not property”. The discussion ended there. We need to develop more of these one-liners and make use of the broken-record technique in our exchanges (repetition of the phrase like a needle stuck on a vinyl record) so we can make the necessary challenge to this disastrous culture of death and lust that has taken hold of today’s society.