By Hilary White
TORONTO, October 1, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, the highly influential editor of First Things magazine, has written that the Christian faith in Canada has become completely “disestablished”.
After returning from his annual summer vacation in his native Ottawa Valley, Neuhaus wrote in First Things, “It is true to say that, in most aspects of public life [in Canada], Christianity has been not only disestablished but also banished.”
In an interview with the National Post, Neuhaus linked the erosion of the Christian foundation of Canadian society with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms imposed by the late Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Referring to the Charter as a “thoroughly American” document, Neuhaus told the Post’s Charles Lewis, that it “is riddled through and through with the radically individual notion of the unencumbered self and equality enforced by state power.”
“I think Canada has suffered from it grievously. All of Canada is a fascinating case study in terms of the meaning of modernity relative to religion generally and Christianity in particular.”
Fr. Neuhaus is a staunch pro-life supporter and has been a leader in forming a deep intellectual and cultural foundation for the pro-life philosophy. At the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC earlier this year, he called the “contest between the culture of Life and the culture of Death” the “greatest, moral, political, cultural contest of our time.”
Neuhaus, a former Lutheran pastor born in Pembroke, Ontario, is a leading mind of the so-called “neo-conservative” intellectual movement in the US and is the author of several books, including The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America, The Catholic Moment: The Paradox of the Church in the Postmodern World, and Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth.
He told the Post, “When I’m up there and I speak with clergy they seem very much in a state of defensiveness and a deep sense of malaise.”
Read the interview in the Post
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast