Modern society no longer respects the Church as its major interpreter and guide in the social crisis. There are many reasons for this development.

Christianity On The Defensive

For one thing, the Church herself appears inundated by the World; never has she been so unmercifully challenged to justify her very right to existence. To be sure, Christianity always has been a minority movement, and the World has always confronted the Church with some degree of deliberate indifference and hostility. In our day, however, the front of opposition reveals a swaggering re-enforcement quite unknown in ancient, medieval and early modern times. In strategic Western intellectual circles, self-assured and bold philosophical naturalism has triumphantly overrun the social sciences and therefore culture itself. Moreover, the lunge of communism betrays a veritable lightning thrust of social revolution. Its world penetration and power have made the Christian impact seem embarrassingly inefficient and ineffective. As never before, the ranks of atheism are trying to uproot and to discard Christian guidelines; their concerted drive to dominate and monopolize both intellectual and functional areas of society has anti-Christian goals. Naturalism is deaf to the Church’s verdict on the social order because it considers a supernatural faith devoid of authentic credentials to survive a scientific age. It believes the Church sooner or later must simply learn to speak the language of this World.

For this misunderstanding and abuse the Church itself must accept a measure of blame, although certainly not because of failure to convert the whole World. Actually, global conversion has never been her God-given responsibility, although this fact in no way excuses ...

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