THE SERVANT GENERAL
ASSAULTS ON FAITH, FAMILY AND LIFE
I am angry, disappointed, dejected. How can this happen to
one of the daughters of the faith, to a nation that sent out
many missionaries? The vote was not even close! I place the
blame directly on the nation’s bishops in particular,
and to our liberal, politically correct prelates in general,
at the very highest levels of our Church. They are those who
are passionate about immigration and climate change but not
passionate enough about the murder of the unborn and the onslaught
of LGBT forces.
Those in majority Catholic countries have been complacent.
This is the case in Latin America as well as the Philippines.
To our dear prelates, don’t you know we are losing Catholics
by the day? We are losing them by default, because we have
become a Church of maintenance, rather than a missionary Church,
as God intends for her to be.
This is why the Holy Spirit called the Church to the New Evangelization.
But do Catholics, including priests, even understand what
the New Evangelization is? Do they know what needs to be done?
How receptive is the Church hierarchy to new wineskins such
as the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC) mission? Do you embrace
the work of the Spirit or put obstacles in its path?
The intent of the anti-faith, anti-life and anti-family forces
is basic: to destroy faith, family and life. In this, they
seek to destroy the Catholic Church, the one true Church that
Jesus himself established. We need holy warriors who will
stand up and rise in defense of the faith and of our Church.
Unfortunately, the enemy is already within. May their tribe
Ireland’s vote: the fruit of years of
By Phil Lawler | May 28, 2018
On the eve of Trinity Sunday, the people of Ireland voted
to amend their constitution. Just to put the vote in context,
here’s how the preamble to that constitution begins:
In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all
authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both
of men and States must be referred,...
Did the voters invoke the authority of the Most Holy Trinity
when they cast their ballots to allow for legal abortion on
demand? Hardly. The referendum was held at a time when the
people of Ireland are frantically tearing away any vestiges
of the Catholic culture on which their society is based.
Although a doughty band of pro-life activists battled valiantly
to the end, the result of the referendum was predictable.
With every major political party pushing for the legalization
of abortion, and every major media outlet promoting the same
cause, the “No” campaigners were confined to the
peripheries of the political process. All of “respectable”
opinionand the funding that goes with itweighed
In the aftermath of their crushing
2-to-1 defeat, some pro-lifers are complaining that the Irish
Catholic bishops were too timid during the referendum campaign.
Others note that Pope Francis, who has been so outspoken on
other political issues, never entered the fray. But would
exhortations by Catholic prelates have turned the tide? Not
likely. The hierarchy today is massively unpopular in Ireland,
and critics of Catholicism would have pounced on any new opportunity
to inveigh against the slightest perceived imposition of Church
From the perspective of the
Church, then, this political battle was not lost last Saturday;
it was lost some years ago, when the Irish bishops chose to
be satisfied with a complacent, cultural Catholicism rather
than an active and evangelical faith. Ireland
has seen the same sad historical progression that we have
already observed in Quebec and in Boston, where communities
once dominated by believing Catholics have gradually evolved,
passing through generations of public figures who nodded politely
toward Catholic principles, to later generations who ignored
Catholic principles, and finally a generation in full flight
from its Catholic heritage, indifferent if not overtly hostile
to the faith.
Preserving the essence of the Catholic faith is a challenge,
especially in a society where more or less everyone is Catholic,
and where Church leaders assure their neighbors that to be
a good Catholic is to be a good Irishman (or Quebecois, or
Bostonian). Explaining the process in The Faithful Departed
In Boston, certainly, the Catholic faith once held unquestioned
sway over the local culture, just as it had ruled the broader
culture of Europe for generations. But eventuallyin Europe
and in BostonChurch leaders grew complacent in their
authority, sought to align themselves with secular powers,
compromised the distinctive characteristics of the faith,
undermined Catholic unity, and finally found themselves unable
to defend against the encroachment of their secular adversaries.
Now the Church in Ireland must
belatedly confront the challenge that should have been recognized
long ago: the challenge of missionary work in a post-Catholic
society: a society dominated by lapsed-Catholics who have
little interest in the faith and or by ex-Catholics who will
actively resist the Gospel message. Some of these people may
even go to Mass on Sundays, acting from force of habit or
social pressure or a vague, vestigial sense that it is somehow
the right thing to do. But practicing Catholicsthose
who take moral guidance from the teachings of the Churchare
now an embattled minority.
Realistically speaking, practicing Catholics have probably
been a minority for some time now. (Otherwise why would Ireland
have allowed divorce, or approved legal recognition of same-sex
marriage?) But now they are an embattled minority;
anti-Catholic forces are on
the march, triumphant, ready to press their advantage. The
next grave danger for Irish Catholicsand for the Irish
nation generallyis the possibility that all those who
take action “in the name of the Most Holy Trinity”
will be systematically excluded from the country’s public
Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years.
He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight
books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director
and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.