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April 9, 2021 (Catholic World Report) – The watered-down religion of human fraternity which some Catholics hope to bring about will be no match for either militant secularism or militant Islam.

Jesus assured us that the gates of hell will not prevail against his Church. But we’re not told how much damage will be done to the Church in the meantime. So much damage has been done in recent years that, from a purely worldly perspective, it sometimes looks as if Christianity is on the path to extinction.

Polls in the U.S. and in Europe reveal that fewer people identify as Christians with each passing year, while a growing number—the “nones”—don’t identify with any religion. That trend seems likely to continue.

One reason is that advances in technology, medicine, and science have created the illusion that our needs can be met on a purely secular level. The gospel of wealth and health and positive thinking that was popular with many Protestant Christians in the first half of the twentieth century has been revived—only this time without the Gospel. You can easily find it on the internet: “8 Life lessons everyone should learn before 2020”, “Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65%”, and “5 ways to reduce your risk of developing dementia according to new research”. And this is only a very small sampling of the myriad ways you can improve your life and boost your self-esteem without recourse to religion.

Thus, the Internet with its many answers to life’s problems, can, for some, become a substitute for religion. And for most of the rest of us, it serves to distract our attention away from the deeper questions about the purpose of our life.

But the decline of Christianity is caused not just by the many distractions of modern life, but also by direct attacks against it. And these seem to be escalating. The three main assaults against Christianity come from secularism, Islam, and, ironically, from within Christianity itself.

Most Christians who pay attention are aware of the first threat. Committed secularists maintain that Christians are free to believe whatever they want just as long as they don’t bring their beliefs into the public realm. Thus, you are free to believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, but if you’re a baker, a florist, or a wedding photographer, you must lay your beliefs aside for the sake of “community standards”—that is, for the standards of the ideological left.

It’s becoming apparent, however, that secularists won’t be satisfied merely with policing the public sphere. It’s not unreasonable to conclude the day is approaching when the reading of an epistle at Mass will be a hate crime, priests will be forced to perform same-sex “weddings”, and it will be compulsory for Catholic schools to teach the joy of LGBT sex.

Even if militant secularists could be stopped from breaking down the doors of Catholic churches and schools, they have already managed to undermine Christianity in significant ways. One of the most effective ways is to consign Christian teachings to the realm of the unfashionable, or worse. How is this accomplished? It’s simple enough. When the fashionable people who control advertising, the entertainment industry, the NFL, and the public schools say that trans and gay are A-OK, any individual or institution who says otherwise is, almost by definition, unfashionable. And that’s all that those who aspire to “woke” status need to know about Christianity.

The second major attack on Christianity comes from Islam. In places where Muslims are a distinct minority, the attack often comes in the form of demands for equal treatment which soon become demands for special rights. In Europe, Muslims present themselves as the “new Jews”—victims of racism and discrimination who deserve special treatment to compensate for their sufferings. In liberal, secular Europe this ploy is quite effective. Thus, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that criticism of Islam is a crime. And in England, police arrest Christian street preachers for fear that the Christian message will offend Muslims.

In parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Christians come in for much harsher treatment. They face daily persecution and even genocide. But relatively few Christians in the West are aware of the extent of the Islamic assault on Christianity, either in Europe or in the developing world.

Why? Because the same fashionable people who think its fine to bring drag queens into your public library act like Victorian-era prudes when it comes to Islam. Persecution of Christians at the hands of Muslims? You should be ashamed of yourself for even broaching such a delicate topic. Polite people don’t talk about such things. Indeed, the fashionable people who feel that they have a perfect right to teach your children that gay is okay, also believe that they have a God-given (excuse the language) mandate to teach them that Islam is a religion of peace and justice—unlike that other religion that supposedly introduced slavery, sexism, and homophobia to the world.

The frequency and intensity of Muslim attacks on Christians is magnified by the media’s silence. Reporters and journalists who raise an outcry whenever other groups are persecuted, are stricken with laryngitis when Christians are the target. When elephants are hunted in Africa, reporters jump to their defense, but when it’s Christians who are in danger, all they can muster is a shrug of the shoulder.

The tacit and sometimes not-so-tacit alliance between secularists and Islamists means that Christians are up against a combination of formidable foes. What makes the situation worse is that the Church is also under attack from powerful people within its own ranks.

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PETITION UPDATE (3/15/21) - 

Reports suggest that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is preparing a vote on what to do about pro-abortion Joe Biden (and, presumably, other abortion-promoting politicians) who continues to present himself (themselves) for Holy Communion.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/4/20)

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing Executive Orders to destroy the protections which former President Trump offered to the unborn and to the innocence and modesty of children of the United States.

In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.

And, in another executive order, Biden seeks to force girls' athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to accept gender-confused males.

Since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was shamefully silent throughout the presidential campaign on the pre-eminent issues of abortion and gender ideology, and what Biden vowed he would do as president, it is cold comfort that their pro-life office is now speaking up about this Administration's wilful disregard for human life and for God's design of human nature (i.e., two biological sexes).

Stated plainly, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be, and the bishop, acting in unison (as the USCCB) have an obligation to the Lord (first) and to the faithful (second) to refuse Holy Communion to this grave public sinner.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who continues to use the church as a backdrop for statements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, is now doing everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

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PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)

Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals as a unified body.

The USCCB, the organization to which every U.S. bishop belongs and which is staffed and led by bishops, remained disgracefully silent in the run-up to the election.

What were the bishops afraid of, losing their charitable tax status with the IRS, or being deprived of fat checks from the HHS (immigration programs) and USAID (foreign aid programs)?

Or, were they just too cowardly to clearly declare Christ's law to be above man's law and risk the ire of a Joe Biden as president?

Either way, the bishops’ lack of clarity in this regard is a terrible scandal in itself and probably greatly contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Catholic to the presidency.

Given the fact that exit polling shows Catholics split their vote 50-50 for Trump and Biden, even a slight deviation in the heavily-Catholic swing-states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could have produced different results.

The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s pro-abortion stance collectively, but, again, they were overwhelmingly and shamefully silent.

Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.

However, the bishops can, even now, mitigate the damage done by their inaction by taking the following steps: 1) Speak with one voice, as the USCCB, and plainly condemn Biden's pro-abortion stance; 2) Publicly advise Biden not to present himself for Holy Communion because of his scandalous position on abortion and homosexual "marriage;" and, 3) Tell Biden to publicly repent of publicly promoting the wilfull murder of the preborn, sins against nature, and diminishing the natural family.

Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken out forcefully on Biden's scandalous behavior, and his standing in the Church.

On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”

Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."

But, to add insult to injury, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”

And, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who uses the church as a backdrop to make sickening political advertisements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, says that he will do everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-concerned-about-pro-abortion-biden-previously-hailed-him-as-second-catholic-president

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-philly-archbishop-biden-not-in-full-communion-with-the-catholic-church

https://www.thesoutherncross.org/news/bishop-mcelroy-offers-prayers-and-congratulations-to-president-elect-biden/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/us-catholics-weigh-mixed-reaction-biden-win

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PETITION UPDATE (9/29/20)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has stated that Democratic candidate Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for abortion.

In an interview for Thomas McKenna's Catholic Action for Faith and Family podcast, Cardinal Burke states the following (starting around 5:00):

First of all, I would tell him [Biden] not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation of his own soul.

But, also, he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone, because if someone says, 'I'm a devout Catholic," and, at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it's acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion.

Of course, it's absolutely not acceptable, and never has been, and never will be.

We give thanks for Cardinal Burke's frankness and clarity. And, we call on every U.S. Catholic bishop to follow Cardinal Burke's lead and call out Joe Biden for his bloody-minded hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.

To reiterate: You cannot be a Catholic and support abortion.

Thank you for continuing to sign this urgent petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, keeps claiming to be Catholic but has said he will do everything in his power to support abortion.

And, with his pick of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has just cemented abortion into the Democrats' 2020 presidential ticket.

Indeed, Harris is vehemently pro-abortion.

During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).

And, last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.

Additionally, Harris has dangerous views on religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Harris displayed anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. Harris cited his membership in the “all-male society” the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex “marriage” as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.

And, David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the “greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.”

Joe Biden has seriously erred by taking on Kamala Harris as his running mate, further distancing himself from the truths of the Catholic Faith, especially that every life is sacred from conception till natural death.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article which details one U.S. bishop's warning about the Biden-Harris ticket.

And, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition.

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Of course, these two things are incompatible: you cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.

And, a "Catholic" politician's responsibility in this regard is absolute: On pain of serious sin, he or she can never promote abortion because abortion is the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings, and also because doing so causes grave scandal to the Church and the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition asking the bishops of the United States to refuse to give Holy Communion to Joe Biden until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

Biden recently promised to “codify Roe v. Wade” as president, adding, "my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

And, since starting his latest run for the presidency, Biden also flip-flopped against the Hyde Amendment, saying that he would allow federal funds to be spent on abortion - a position he claimed to be against for more than 40 years.

In short, Joe Biden will do everything in his power to enable and defend the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings.

So, this should not be a hard decision for our U.S. bishops. In fact, in another circumstance, it was already done by an Illinois bishop.

Indeed, Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, invoked Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law to withdraw Holy Communion from two Illinois state politicians who had worked to enact radical new abortion legislation in 2019.

Canon 915 states: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

Of course, no-one, least of all the bishops, wants anyone to be deprived of Holy Communion.

A politician who publicly and obstinately advocates for the murder of innocent preborn babies puts himself out-of-communion with the Church and her teaching. 

Pro-abortion politicians should not think that they can advocate for the murder of the unborn and receive the Body of Christ at the same time. This would be to defile the Eucharist while giving scandal to the faithful.

Depriving politicians of Holy Communion is not just meant to prevent scandal; it is also designed to bring a grave public sinner to repentance. In this way, such an action is meant to be for the good of their souls, too.

Thank you for SIGNING this urgent petition which calls on the U.S. Catholic bishops to refuse to admit Joe Biden to Holy Communion until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion for pro-abortion stance - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-holy-communion-for-pro-abortion-stance

Cardinal McCarrick and the Concealing of Rome’s Position on Denying Communion  - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-and-the-concealing-of-romes-position-on-denying-communio

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

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These Churchmen seem intent on transforming the Church from a God-centered institution to a man-centered organization. Their goal is not to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, but to create a humanitarian and egalitarian community here on earth—possibly in partnership with the United Nations.

However, in the process of making the Church more acceptable to the world, they have weakened the Church in the eyes of the world. When the Church claimed to be the One True Church, she commanded more respect (though sometimes grudgingly) from the world. Now that leading Churchmen make no claim to exclusivity, the Church commands much less respect.

Of course, this loss of respect is compounded by the recent revelations of corruption in the Church—sexual and financial corruption and everything in between. It may well be that this corruption is the direct result of exchanging the goal of sanctification for more humanistic goals. In any event, it seems fair to say that the Church in recent years has lost both respect and credibility, and has even become something of a laughing stock—an old boys club where the old boys act like frat boys. The world, however, seems willing to overlook these “foibles” because the “new Church” has proven useful to progressive causes.

Some in the Church have proven useful to the Muslim world as well. That’s because various churchmen have become apologists for, and enablers of, Islam. Many Church leaders long ago joined the chorus of world leaders who—with hardly a shred of evidence—claimed that Islam is a religion of peace—a tranquil faith that has nothing to do with terror.

Not only were church leaders willing to whitewash Islamic history and doctrine, they were, in large part, willing to overlook the Muslim slaughter of Christians in the developing world.

When Benedict XVI had the temerity to decry the bombing of Christian churches in Egypt, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar broke off the university’s dialogue with the Vatican, and only agreed to reopen it if Pope Francis promised not to cross the “red line”—namely, criticism of Islam.

Francis gladly agreed, presumably on the assumption that terrorists are misunderstanders of “true” Islam. As he stated in Evangelii Gaudium: “Authentic Islam and a proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”

It appears that Francis and his circle not only think that Catholicism can be turned into a sort of humanistic religion, they apparently think the same of Islam. The “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” which was signed jointly by Francis and the Grand Imam is full of humanistic nostrums, and it seems to assume that the coming one-world religion is only a step away.

Of course, if Francis’s assessment of Islam as a nascent humanistic religion is correct, then there is reason to hope for a more peaceful world. But if he is wrong—if, as President Erdogan of Turkey has said, “Islam is Islam, and that’s that”—then the newly humanized Church has put itself in a very bad position vis-à-vis both Islam and secularism.

In times past, the Catholic Church was a rallying point against both the aggressiveness of Islam and the excesses of secularism. In its present weakened state, however, it is hard to imagine it as a rallying point for anything other than LGBT initiatives and socialist schemes. Like Francis, secularists long for a one-world government, but it takes a special kind of naiveté to believe that the one they envision will be hospitable to Catholics and other Christians. Like Francis, Muslims, too, yearn for a one-world religion, but the one world religion they have in mind is Islam—not a syncretic blend of spiritualities.

The watered-down religion of human fraternity which some Catholics hope to bring about will be no match for either militant secularism or militant Islam. And it will certainly be no match for a simultaneous assault from both forces.

From a worldly perspective, the odds for the survival of Christianity do not look good. On the other hand, we have Christ’s promise that the Church will emerge victorious. And that changes the odds considerably.

This article originally appeared in the January 5, 2020 edition of Catholic World Report under the title “The Triple Threat to Christians and the Church.” Reprinted with permission.

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