Wasn't it easier to spot secularism when it was under the guise of Soviet Communism? The late Pope John Paul II always spoke about the dangers of secularism in both the communist East and the materialist West.
I always wondered why he critiqued us, but now I know. Our own "capitalist/democratic" version is more forcefully rearing its ugly head, or perhaps it's just easier to see now that the Bolsheviks are out of the way? (mind you I'm not trying to say that capitalist democracy is inherently secularist, it's not. We are unfortunately allowing our society to be mongrelized into a secularist version.)
I read a very interesting article in the on-line version of "The Tablet" which reports on a speech given by the Holy Father on 19OCT06. In that speech, the Pope echoes the comments of Bishop Sheridan of Colorado Springs (LOL - or perhaps the Bishop must be echoing the Pope!).
In an earlier post I hyperlinked to a letter by Bishop Sheridan from May of 2004 which was recently "re-issued" by the Colorado Catholic Conference in preparation for next week's election.
Although the Pope speaks particularly about the secularization of Europe, the USA is not far behind.
As the article is short, I've copied it below. To view it at The Tablet website one has to register.
28 October 2006
‘Snares of secularism’ even found in Church, says Pope
Pope Benedict XVI has returned to what has become the predominant theme in his 18-month-old pontificate, saying that the "snares of secularism are present everywhere" - including the Church. During a speech on 19 October before a major Italian ecclesial congress in Verona, the Pope said that a positive witness of Christian faith was the best way to respond to "the challenges of our times".
The 79-year-old former theology professor said one of the most serious of these is the risk of Europe losing its Christian roots, a topic he touched upon again in two separate speeches on 21 and 23 October to pontifical university students and professors in Rome.
In his message to the Fourth National Ecclesial Convention, the Pope said that the way the Church community must combat this threat of secularisation is by becoming "true witnesses of the risen Christ" in order to bring Christian joy and hope to the world.
"We must learn to resist that ‘internal secularisation' that ensnares the Church of our times, following the processes of secularisation that have deeply marked European civilisation," he said, and commented that Western culture had become impoverished by its attempts to exclude God from public life. For example, he said that ethics had been "reduced to the confines of relativism and utilitarianism".
Regarding political questions, Pope Benedict said the Church did not intend to be a "political agent", but that the lay faithful were called to "confront ... political and legislative choices that contradict fundamental values and anthropological and ethical principles rooted in human nature". These, he said, included the "safeguarding of human life in all its phases" and the "promotion of the family founded on marriage", which meant opposing other juridical forms of unions. The Pope praised Italian Catholics for resisting same-sex unions, saying this was a "precious service" to the country and an encouragement for other nations.
In a speech last Saturday while inaugurating a new library (named for Pius IX) and a great hall (named for himself) at the Pontifical Lateran University, Pope Benedict again lamented Europe's crisis of identity and culture.
Then on Monday, after a Mass in St Peter's Basilica for the inauguration of the academic year for all of Rome's pontifical universities, the Pope said students must give priority to their spiritual life, balanced human maturity, and a deep ascetic and religious formation."