Christian optimism: and God's logic

Christian optimism: and God's logic (Homiletic and Pastoral Review: May 2010, pp. 26-41)

For the Christian mind, today's world appears to offer little that is encouraging. To all appearances, the most fundamental institutions and values are in rapid disintegration: marriage and the family, human sexuality, the sense of the unique dignity of human life and of the respect due to it before birth and at the moment of death. Moreover, our modern society seems dominated by a lack of solidarity, growing suspicion, distrust, separation, alienation, opposition and even hatred.

Modern man seems to have turned away from God, and to no longer care about him. "European culture", according to John Paul II, "gives the impression of a 'silent apostasy' on the part of men who are sated, who live as if God did not exist" (Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in Europa, no. 9). In the last few years the apostasy has become less and less silent.

Marriage, Annulment, and the Quest for Lasting Commitment (Catholic World Report, Jan. 1996, pp. 54-61)

            I have been asked to reply to an article written under the pseudonym of Polonaise in the June issue of the Catholic World Report. Anonymous writings do not appeal to me, since I feel that each one should have the courage of his or her convictions. So, while Polonaise involves me in his animadversions, I would probably have let that pass, also because it is never pleasant or easy to answer a critic who has not understood the position he criticizes. But since he also misrepresents the teaching of the magisterium (partly by ignoring it), I think your readers are entitled to some comments which hopefully can clarify some important points.

Law and Medicine in the Service of the Person and Society

(A lecture given in Wellington, New Zealand, 1994, to a combined meeting of the SS. Cosmas and Damian Guild and the St. Thomas More Society)

Renewal, Personalism and Law (Onclin Chair Lecture, Louvain 1995)

Renewal, Personalism and Law (Onclin Chair Lecture, Louvain, 1995)

The Second Vatican Council was aimed at formulating principles for the renewal of ecclesial life in all its aspects. More than thirty years later, varying evaluations of the results are made. Some persons, perhaps feeling that renewal was a dangerous idea in itself, hold that in any case it went off the tracks from the start. Others think that it ran into too much entrenched opposition from conservative forces, and is now largely dead-ended, an ideal or a dream they no longer really believe in. For others again, it remains a program of hope, which is still being attempted or needs to be attempted. Pope John Paul II is evidently one of these; he is a firm believer in renewal and, as I see his ministry, it is being constantly spent in seeking to bring it about.

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