Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Benedict XVI to America: "Get active or lose your freedoms."

Pope Benedict Warns Americans: Get Active or Lose Your Freedoms

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers,

We are rapidly approaching a new election, and much hangs in the balance.
The Church is under assault in America, with the government intruding more and more, passing laws and policies that violate the Catholic faith and the basic principles of morality. Whether the issue is abortion, homosexual “marriage,” religious freedom, or a host of other issues, the forces that oppose the Church are on the attack.

Even Pope Benedict Is Alarmed
Word of how bad things are getting in America has even caused the pope himself to become gravely concerned. Recently, Pope Benedict told the U.S. bishops:
It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life.

Pope Benedict noted that one right is being targeted in a new and frightening way:

Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms; the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection, on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions, with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.

The situation is alarming, but Pope Benedict pointed out the solution to the bishops.
Yet it isn’t something that the bishops can do by themselves. They can’t even do it with the help of their priests. The task is so great that it must involve Catholics at every level of the Church in America, including ordinary church-going men and women like you and me. Pope Benedict explained:

Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate, and well-formed Catholic laity . . . with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would de-legitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society. The preparation of committed lay leaders and the presentation of a convincing articulation of the Christian vision of man and society remain a primary task of the Church in your country.

Pope Benedict has told us what we need to do, and it isn’t rocket science. We need to mobilize the lay Catholics of America to stand up and fight, to engage the democratic process and to use their voices and their votes in “determining the future of American society.”

But There’s A Big Problem
The problem, of course, is that we simply do not have the “engaged, articulate, and well-informed Catholic laity” that Pope Benedict knows we need. Also, far too few have the courage to counter the radical secularism that is trying to drive the Church out of the public arena.
Too often, all it takes to cow a Catholic into silence is to make the stock accusation, “You’re just trying to impose your religion on others.” Say that, and most Catholics have no idea what to reply.

But America’s future is worth fighting for—and it’s up to you and me to do it. We’ve got to get the laity mobilized. We’ve got to get them educated. We’ve got to help them find the words they need—to be articulate in defending the Church and the basic moral values that America needs so desperately.

That’s why Catholic Answers is rolling out three crucial resources this election year.
Let me tell you about them. . .

Reliable, Tried And Proven

One resource you already know about. It’s our famous Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics. Since 2004, we have distributed this booklet each election year, and it has proved its effectiveness over and over.

The response to the Voter’s Guide has been so huge that we have distributed literally millions of copies.

This concise, powerful booklet is so successful that it is often imitated by other groups—and it is positively loathed by those who would water-down or even oppose the rock-solid moral principles that the Voter’s Guide contains.

The public’s memory is short, though, and people need to be continually reminded of the basic Catholic principles that must inform our voting—lest they fall victim to the distortions that politicians so shrewdly craft.

That’s why we’re rolling out the Voter’s Guide again this year, and we need your help to get it into the hands of as many people as possible.

But this year we’re also adding two new resources alongside the Voter’s Guide to provide even more focus on the most pressing moral issues in America today. . .

For more information visit http://www.catholic.com

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