Militant secularism at home, and militant Islam abroad, are the two greatest threats to Catholicism today. Speaking of the latter, Pope Francis said, “there are more Christian martyrs today than during the early days of the Church.” Communists in North Korea are also killing Christians at a record pace, and Communist China continues its persecution.
The pope rightly said that “the world does not tolerate the divinity of Christ. It doesn’t tolerate the announcement of the Gospel. It does not tolerate the Beatitudes. And we have persecutions: with words, with insults, the things that they said about Christians in the early centuries, the condemnations, imprisonment….But we easily forget. We think of the many Christians, 60 years ago, in the labour camps, in the camps of the Nazis, of the communists: So many of them! For being Christians! And even today…But (people say) ‘today we are better educated and these things no longer exist.’ Yes they do!…They are condemned for having a Bible. They can’t wear a crucifix.”
The Holy Father is right. Islamism and communism are responsible for murdering Christians and persecuting Christianity. But the insults, the condemnations, and the censoring of religious speech that he addresses stem from another source: militant secularism.
It is precisely the “better educated” class who are leading the militant secularist crusade. They are the ones who seek to ban the public expression of religion, make movies that insult Catholicism, paint priests as molesters, ban Bibles from hotels, display vile anti-Catholic billboards, attempt to crash the St. Patrick’s Day parade, sponsor Catholic-bashing artistic exhibitions, force Catholic non-profits to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, and the like.
Kudos to Pope Francis. His words underscore the reason why the Catholic League exists. Look for the media, including many in the Catholic media, to ignore them.