Blog di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA – Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa MISSIONARY ONGOING FORMATION – A missionary look on the life of the world and the church
Christianity and the cross (which lies at its center) can be compared to a time-released moral-capsule that is dissolving slowly in history.
We can trace, historically, some of the more salient moments in this process: It took us, the Christian world, eighteen hundred years to accept, unequivocally, that slavery is wrong, but eventually we learned it. It took us two thousand years, and the last pope, John Paul II, to accept that capital punishment is wrong, but, like slavery, eventually too we learned that. And it has taken us two thousand years and we are still, slowly, learning and accepting more and more of the implications of the gospel in terms of social justice, equality for all, and respect for the integrity of creation.
The good news is that we are, slowly, getting it. It is no accident that, for instance, Holland, the most secularized culture in the world, takes care of its poor better than any other country in the world, has perhaps the highest status for women in the world, and is a culture of high tolerance. These are major moral achievements inside of a culture that is at the same time regressing morally in terms of its acceptance of abortion, euthanasia, prostitution, pornography, and drugs. What’s best morally inside of secular culture issues forth mostly from its Judeo-Christian roots.
What all this highlights is that our moral judgments may not be simple: The past we sometimes idealize, for all its moral strengths (its faith in God, in church, in family, in sacrifice, in self-renunciation, in sexual responsibility) was, because of racism, sexism, and dogmatic intolerance, less of a golden age for some than for others.
Today, our secularized liberal culture, for all its heightened moral sensitivity within the areas of race, gender, justice, tolerance, and the integrity of creation, has its own glaring moral blind-spots in the areas of abortion, end of life issues, church, family values, and sexuality.
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