by ROWENA OREJANA
Moral relativism and “lukewarmness” have allowed the culture of death to take hold in modern society, according to a North American visitor to New Zealand.
EWTN programme host Raymond de Souza said Catholics need to study their faith more deeply so they can stand up against moral relativism and live more passionately according to their faith. He spoke at the St Joseph Church hall in Takapuna on March 3 about how we can respond to the culture of death. The talk was supported by Family Life International.
Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, Mr de Souza said there is a dictatorship of relativism.
“People would tell us, ‘You are against abortion? Fine, be against abortion, but don’t impose your morals on me,’” he said.
“When people challenge us, we get stuck. We don’t know what to say because we give in to the idea that morals are relative. Once we give in to relativism, the final result is the destruction of the family.”
He said there is a dechristianisation of society where economics, politics and laws are devoid of God. “When there are people in Europe paid to burn harvested crops to keep prices
up [we have], economics without God,” he said.
He said the culture of death includes contraception, abortion and euthanasia.
Contraception allows people all the sexual freedom they want without the burden of children. “There was a time when children were considered blessings,” he said.
He said abortion then became a backup plan when contraceptives fail.
Euthanasia, Mr de Souza said, is a false sense of mercy that is gaining traction in the United States and other parts of the world.
In an increasingly dechristianised world where morality is relative, Mr de Souza said the faithful need to step up and stand for what they believe in.
“Our problem is our lukewarmness. Our love for God has gone cold,” he said. “Lukewarmness
is abhorrent to Jesus.”
To counter the culture of death, Mr de Souza said Catholics need to pray, study and act.
“Pray. Discover a devotion,” he said. He suggested the Holy Hour, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a devotion to St Michael the Archangel. He also strongly advocated
praying the rosary.
Mr de Souza said there is a “sacred intimacy” in spending an hour before the Blessed
Sacrament. “We must find time to pray, because our nation is falling apart,” he said.
Mr de Souza said Catholics must also discover the art of studying.
“How can I explain the Catholic faith if I don’t know it?” he said.
The last, he said, is action. He encouraged those present to join the 40 Days of Life movement and pray outside abortion clinics. He also encouraged them to join other organisations that support life.