God­less world rears ugly head

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

For a prac­tic­ing Catholic, or Chris­tian of any de­nom­i­na­tion, read­ing Dr. Deaton’s “Hypocrisy, history and public pol­icy is like walk­ing through a mine field of morally ex­plo­sive is­sues: abor­tion, eu­thana­sia, the In­dex, sep­a­ra­tion of church and state, ar­ti­fi­cial con­tra­cep­tion and fam­ily plan­ning.

First, I would agree his­tor­i­cally the Church does not have a good record with cer­tain is­sues: the In­qui­si­tion, the treat­ment of abo­rig­i­nals in colo­nial North Amer­ica

and cler­i­cal abuse. Re­cent pon­tiffs, es­pe­cially Pope Fran­cis, have ad­mit­ted the Church’s guilt and are mov­ing to­wards rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. Only the mercy and grace of God work­ing in our hearts will help us re­store jus­tice in these sit­u­a­tions.

Se­condly, the curt com­ment on cur­rent epis­co­pacy cries out for a re­sponse. Decades ago some bish­ops in for­eign coun­tries may have over­stepped their bounds and breached the sep­a­ra­tion of church and state. But in Canada any state­ment from the bish­ops on po­lar­iz­ing sub­jects like abor­tion or eu­thana­sia is not to tell peo­ple what to do but to ad­vise them, for ex­am­ple, on the sanc­tity of life. The bish­ops of Canada would be re­miss if they did not speak up on such crit­i­cal top­ics.

De­ci­sions on se­ri­ous is­sues like the above are not purely po­lit­i­cal, but es­sen­tially moral re­al­i­ties toohence the ad­vice of the bish­ops.

Thirdly, Dr. Dea­con’s ar­ti­cle, though highly crit­i­cal of the moral phi­los­o­phy of the Church, may have a re­deem­ing sub­text. One may won­der why a writer would di­rect such ve­he­ment crit­i­cism at the Church. Could the pointed vol­leys be also the prod­uct of liv­ing in moder­nity, that is, a so­ci­ety de­void of any sense of the Tran­scen­dent? If we have lost touch with God, we have also lost all absolutes, like truth and jus­tice. Iron­i­cally Dr. Dea­con’s ar­ti­cle shows us what can hap­pen in a god­less world. Bernard J. Cal­laghan, Char­lot­te­town

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