Thursday, November 20, 2008

Interview: Archbishop Naumann of Kansas City

An interview with Archbishop Naumann of K.C.

Issues of Moral Weight

Q: Your Excellency, do you believe that the United States could be making a sharp turn toward secularism -- following the lead of Canada or Western Europe?

ArchbishopNaumann: I do not believe that we have to take a fatalistic view and simply concede that we will inevitably go the same route as Western Europe or Canada. I think there are different dynamics in the make-up of the United States.

However, Europe and Canada are sober reminders of what could happen if the Church and all people of faith are not vigilant. Of course, the Church, in its beginning, found itself in a hostile society and throughout history and in some parts of the world today, the Church has to keep the light of truth burning in difficult cultural environments.

There are those who are constantly trying to write the obituary of the pro-life movement. I remember in the mid-1980's a television commentator reporting on the huge crowd at the annual March for Life as the "dying gasp" of the movement. It is 20 years later and the pro-life movement is growing stronger and younger.

Q: In this election cycle the clergy spoke out as never before for the rights of the unborn. More than one-third of all ordinaries issued statements on the importance of supporting pro-life candidates. Why do you think they spoke out like this?

Archbishop Naumann: Bishops and priests have had the example of Pope John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict XVI, both who have spoken the truth fearlessly with love. I also think that Archbishop [Raymond] Burke, in the last election cycle, calling Catholic politicians to accountability has had a significant impact.

Some Catholic politicians, for many years by their actions, have been contradicting Church teaching on the sanctity of human life, but now several are actually attempting to redefine what the Church teaches. This has compelled bishops to assert their role as the authentic teachers of the faith.

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