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Monday 7 January 2008

Catholics called to Cudgel Secularists by Cardinal Brady

Cardinal calls on Catholics to fight against secularism. By Johnny O`Hanlon, in Rome.

NEWLY elected Cardinal, Archbishop Sean Brady, called on Catholics to "take up the cudgels against secularism" in Ireland when he informally addressed the guests at a reception at the Irish College in Rome on Monday evening.

Well if you want to talk aggressiveness how about this sort of talk from a bishop! :)

As I said before the bishops are conflating materialism with secularism again. They might be two noted trends of the modern era but I don't see the direct connection between them. It such a big subject I haven't managed to channel my anger at his ill-considered speeches to into a blog entry that would sum up the issue, it is admittedly hard to define secularisms place in society (without using words such as values), I have started to correct people when they use the word freedom when they mean capitalism but maybe secularism is a counterpart of capitalism although I personally would consider secularism as having more value to a society then capitalism.

Although heres an interesting counterpoint to my opinion on commercialism.

Bertie Ahern talked in the Dail about 'aggressive secularism'. Yet all I see is secularism 101, its this church which is aggressivly trying to keep its privileged position.

The bishops say the word secularism far more then they say materialism, although they are taking the word as secular meaning the secular and the profane rather then secularism as in creating society neutral to religion.

Here are some examples of recent comments from the bishops, where they compare secularists with...drug addicts,violence, killings, alcoholics, convicts, vain celebrities...

Being an Irish celebrity can-be-dangerous-warns-bishop Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray waffles.

Preaching in Christchurch Cathedral, Dr Neill reminded the congregation that it was not only the socially deprived who were vulnerable. "Those who have lost all sense of direction and meaning in life, in a society focused on wealth creation and instant gratification, are extremely vulnerable," he said.

"The drug culture that has recently come to public attention is indeed about addiction, but it is also about wealth, instant self-gratification and criminal activity including mindless violence and murder.

Unfortunately we have to depend on the Pope to actually name capitalism rather then just secularism as a threat. Pope Speech in Brazil For some reason the Bishop can't manage to say the word capitalism in a critical manner? The Pope Denounces Capitalism and Marxism

The headlines is Brady says Ireland's secular project has failed Welcoming economic growth in the Republic as "a fantastic and very welcome achievement", he warned of "becoming intoxicated with it" as there was "growing concern about evidence of a gradual breakdown in social cohesion". This arose from "an emphasis on the happiness of the individual, particularly of the individual as a consumer".

This evidence included a "dramatic increase in the levels of violent crime", with "increasing use of illegal drugs", "the phenomenon of gangland killings", and the fact that "our young people have some of the highest levels of alcohol addiction in Europe". The most tragic evidence was "the unprecedented levels of suicide, notably among the young".

There was clear evidence that "many people are getting tired of the emptiness and stress of a life built predominantly on secular and consumerist values".

He is suggesting secularism can't battle greed as well as catholicism can. But as always secularism isn't trying put itself in that position, I don't know what is. Innate commonsense, considered thought and mutual aid perhaps.

Archbishop: We're addicted to wealth and shallow celebrities