Religious Liberty under Attack in the Year of Faith

Authored by Dr. Edward Hulmes in Issue #33.3 of The Sower

In his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, published in October last year, Pope Benedict XVI declared that a Year of Faith will start for Catholics on 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Year will end on 24 November 2013, on the Feast of Christ the King. The Pope’s intention is that these months be used to deepen our understanding of the truth that the foundation of Christian faith is a continuing encounter with Jesus Christ, who ‘gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.’

The Year of Faith will also provide the faithful with an additional (and, perhaps, an unexpected) task, namely, to respond more effectively to the increasing attacks of secularist critics on religious liberty and freedom of conscience. This task calls for adequate preparation. What is neither known nor understood cannot be taught or defended. Seeking to bear faithful witness to the Catholic Faith, personally and unapologetically in public, is not easy, but today the Faith needs informed advocacy as never before. There will have to be determined efforts in schools and parishes to improve catechesis.

In his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, published in October last year, Pope Benedict XVI declared that a Year of Faith will start for Catholics on 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Year will end on 24 November 2013, on the Feast of Christ the King. The Pope’s intention is that these months be used to deepen our understanding of the truth that the foundation of Christian faith is a continuing encounter with Jesus Christ, who ‘gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.’

The Year of Faith will also provide the faithful with an additional (and, perhaps, an unexpected) task, namely, to respond more effectively to the increasing attacks of secularist critics on religious liberty and freedom of conscience. This task calls for adequate preparation. What is neither known nor understood cannot be taught or defended. Seeking to bear faithful witness to the Catholic Faith, personally and unapologetically in public, is not easy, but today the Faith needs informed advocacy as never before. There will have to be determined efforts in schools and parishes to improve catechesis.

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This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

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