IN The Catholic Leader of June 19, both Fr Kevin Ryan (Real Life) and Michael McKeown (Vinnies View) are ‘poking a stick’ at our modern secular society.
Both men infer that today’s society is ignoring the problems of the less fortunate and allowing the secular nature of society to distract us from our true purpose.
Mr McKeown suggests that many countries are greedy and have little regard for justice or moral behaviour.
This is a disappointing comment, coming immediately after the international forgiveness of debt of the world’s 18 poorest nations, and also the generosity shown by the whole world for the tsunami victims.
Also, Mr McKeown’s comments give no credit to the heroic efforts being made by Bob Geldoff to assist the African nations.
Today, while we live in a world that is economically complex, that same world offers significant opportunity to poorer nations.
We can help poorer nations by allowing them to take on tasks where they have an economic advantage, eg telephone call services, computer production, manufacture of clothing and motor vehicles, etc.
The selfishness arises when we attempt to protect these jobs locally using import protection measures.
The impact on our people can be minimised with training and other economic tools. We should also recognise that we have record low unemployment levels.
Most lay people live in the secular world, including those not involved in the workforce.
All people, including the clergy, take advantage of the benefits of this modern secular world.
However, as Fr Ryan points out, we need to take respite from its fast pace.
What an opportunity for the Catholic Church.
It seems that it is time that the Catholic Church embraced the secular world and recognised its benefits and opportunities.
This would do more to extend God’s work than ‘poking a stick’ at it.