Published in Church & Life (1838) 26.7.2012 – 15.8.2012 No 12

There are many signs in the community which are developing into disturbing trends. These signs are pointing to a very secular, and as a result, to a very godless society.

The Australian Census clearly points to the fact that fewer and fewer of us actually believe in God. Amongst those who do, many are saying that God does not have much relevance in their lives, and as a result, fewer actually go to church, and simply remain as children of parents and grandparents who used to go to church. This, without reference, to their own faith or lack of it.

As I often say God does not have grandchildren. He only has children and it is these whom must be in a relationship with Him.

In the recent past, Catholics started to disagree with the churches teaching about abortion, under the banner of social justice; it now seems that it is a matter of choice, especially a woman’s choice because only she, and not God, has anything to say about the human life which she produces. Similarly, euthanasia has become a social justice issue, and it follows the logic of the abortion debate, they say we ourselves have the ultimate control of when and if we are to be born and when we will die. While this is blatantly false before God, more people follow the logic and thus form their own opinions.

The topic of the right of people of same sex to “marry” has become a social justice issue as well. The argument goes like this. All same sex orientated are people like the rest of us and therefore they have the right to marry. This, of course, ignores the teachings of God about the nature of marriage. What God says does not matter as long as they see that justice is being done.

The latest signs of the time reveal that fewer people are getting married in the church. Apparently only about 30% of those who can and should. I certainly agree with the recent words of aMelbournepriest who said that “the Catholic Church does not recruit unbelievers to march then up the aisle”. In the Catholic Church all believers get married before the altar of Christ in the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Marriage is a sacrament instituted by God and the church will always look at it in that way.

The dropping church attendance of our times is another sign that people simply do not believe. Some attend church only at times of the year which to them may have cultural significance. This also is troublesome because the younger generation will soon fail to see the purely cultural significance of church services.

These things all unfortunately add up to a rapid disintegration of our communities. The process is natural. If you make yourself the sole judge if what is right or wrong, or fair or not fair, then it must lead to the ultimate worship of oneself as a sort of god. In human history this was and is called “paganism”.

There is no reason to give up all hope, while unbelievers increase, there are and always will be true believers. History tells us so. Christ Himself promised that the church would never cease to exist. God is with His people.

This is a real challenge to all of us who believe. We must rededicate ourselves to a new evangelization. The Catholic bishops ofAustraliahave declared a year of Grace. Our Ukrainian church has called for an eight year programme for the growth under the programme “The Vibrant Parish: A place to encounter the living Christ”.

Let us continue to pray. God is with us.