By Susan Brinkmann,OCDS
The president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity is warning Christians that the time has come to assert themselves in the secular world or risk allowing the creation of a new world order where Christianity is no longer present.
Speaking at the opening of the 23rd plenary assembly of the Vatican dicastery on Nov. 13, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, denounced the growth of a new “anti-Christian” attitude in Western societies that “make attacks on Christians, and particularly on Catholics, pass off as politically correct.”
He called on Christians to respond to this treatment by leaving aside their inferiority complexes and become valiant witnesses in the world.
“One who wants to live and act according to the Gospel of Christ has to pay a price, even in the highly liberal societies of the West,” he said.
The problem for Christians is not with being a minority, but rather that of “we ourselves are putting ourselves at the margin, making ourselves irrelevant — due to a lack of courage, so that people leave us in peace, because of mediocrity.”
For Christians, he said, “the moment has arrived to free themselves from a false inferiority complex […] to be valiant witnesses of Christ.”
This should be the “hour of the laity,” he continued, and said the Christian has a “responsibility in the diverse fields of public life, from politics to the promotion of life and family, from work to the economy, from education to the formation of youth.”
Otherwise, we risk ushering in a new era where Christ is absent. “The idea of creating a new man completely uprooted from Judeo-Christian tradition and a new world order is gaining ground,” he warned.
He urged all Christians to read Pope John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation “Christifideles Laici,” which he referred to as a “true handbook for the whole Church.”
Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, confirmed Cardinal Rylko’s statement by urging Christian collaboration in the world of politics.
“Laypeople are called to go after, little by little, a just social order. It is an intense task that awaits them, both in personal and community life, a task that implies taking up with valor and creativity their evangelizing duty.”
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You can read “Christifidelis Laici” here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_30121988_christifideles-laici_en.html