"How do we as Catholics fight back against radical secularism’s perverse ideas when we live in world of passive bliss?" Charles Lewis asks. Pixabay

Charles Lewis: It’s vital to be informed on Catholic issues

  • April 29, 2018

We were all lined up at our desks, blank forms at the ready an plenty of pens for St. Michael’s parishioners to use. 

We were in the back of the church as Mass ended, collecting as many names and e-mails as possible. The reason: Cardinal Thomas Collins requested that each parish help create a massive data base so our dioceses could keep us informed about what is going on in the battle against euthanasia — the fight for doctors’ conscience rights and potential plans to extend euthanasia to teens and the mentally ill among other related issues. 

Most people signed with little fuss. A few objected to doctors having conscience rights, which seemed an odd thing for someone to assert coming out of Mass.

Then two young men came over to me. They were well dressed, both in their mid-20s and seemed articulate. They asked what we were doing. I mentioned euthanasia. 

“What is euthanasia?” one asked.

I hoped it was a joke. It was no joke. They were each holding cell phones so I encouraged them to google “Canada” and “euthanasia.” A few minutes later one of them said, “Cool.” And then they signed. 

Not sure “cool” was the right word to describe killing of patients. I always thought cool was reserved for a great jazz musician or artists. More important, though, was their ignorance. How is it they had no idea that we have had legalized euthanasia for roughly 18 months with several thousand deaths as a result? What rock had they been hiding under?

Their lack of knowledge turned out not to be a surprise, at least judging from my discussions with many Catholics in their 20s, 30s and 40s in the past few months. Many of them have told me they no longer pay attention to the news. For a few it has to do with developing a pure spiritual life and focusing on God. For others, they are simply sick and tired of endless spin for the same stories — Syria, Trump, Russia, Syria, Trump, Russia, Stormy Daniels and so on.

And there is the knock that the mainstream media is far too liberal and anti-Christian.

The 24-hour news cycle can be like water torture. The continuous slow drip of bad news that never ever stops.

But this hiding from current events is dangerous. Canadian society is degenerating into a death-happy culture. There is no common morality. Morality is whatever anyone wants it to be.

So how do we as Catholics fight back against radical secularism’s perverse ideas when we live in world of passive bliss? How do we begin to right the ship when our heads are buried neck deep in self-imposed ignorance?

I have been appalled in recent months to find out many Catholics know nothing of the Liberals’ controversial summer jobs program, which demands agreement with abortion before a grant will be issued. Many have no idea about the serious lack of palliative care in this country. Most had no idea that the government is studying extending euthanasia to even more vulnerable groups.

They may hear that the province’s sexual education program is deeply flawed but they cannot explain why in any convincing way. We know we’re in a time in which being transgender is now as a normal as cereal for breakfast, but how many Catholics can explain the serious medical consequences of this trend? 

This kind of ignorance leads to mental sloth. How many of us years from now will offer up the sad excuse, “I just didn’t know.” 

I do not mean that everyone should become a news junkie. Some of us are that by nature, especially people like me who worked in mainstream newspapers for decades. But there should be a minimum obligation to know something about issues that are dear to us. Every Catholic should be fluent in those issues and be able to hold their own in debates with those who disagree with us. It’s called defending the faith. 

There are many ways to do this. Read this publication, for example. I don’t mind promoting The Catholic Register because it combines the most relevant news for Catholics in our diocese and Canada along with important articles on spirituality. There are also many fine publications that send out free newsletters each morning. 

Ignorance may be bliss for the moment but over time it will turn to disaster and awful regret. 

(Lewis a Toronto writer and regular contributor to The Register.)

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.