01 December, 2009

More strident voices challenges the role of faith in the Public Square

Two articles from cyberspace reminds us today of the reality of the challenges that faith now faces in the public square.

The first reports on gay/lesbian/transgendered etc groups that are now demonstrating on the sidewalks outside of the St. Louis Cathedral, with the promise to be there for every weekend of Advent. Clearly the irony of arguing such an agenda in the weeks leading to Christmas is not lost on the protesters.

An even more irrational example was offered in Vienna when a small Catholic Internet TV reporter was assaulted by protesters who were chanting "If Mary had had an abortion, we would have been spared from Christians." They attacked the reporter and damaged their camera as they were demanding "right to privacy" while participating in a loud and boisterous "public demonstration". I don't think these protesters had enough sense to even recognize the irony of their contrary positions.

Alas, both remind us of the challenges we face in taking up the great argument for the faith.

Yet we must admit that if we demand the right to protest outside of abortion clinics (which Catholics should whenever and wherever they can)or other places in the "actual" public square, then we must grant that same right for our opponents to voice their opinion in a place, in a manner, and at a time that we as Christians consider to be our own.

May the holy, preparatory days of Advent, and the joyous celebrations of Christmas inspire our leaders, both clergy and lay to engage charitably, honestly and in an orthodox manner in the defense of faith in the Public Square.

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