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Cardinal Dolan contrasts true freedom, 'culture of death' in new eBook


BENJAMIN MANN

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
6/19/2012

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ABSTRACTCardinal Dolan contrasts true freedom, 'culture of death' in new eBook :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Sacred Arts Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » News » US Cardinal Dolan contrasts true freedom, 'culture of death' in new eBook By Benjamin Mann New York City, N.Y., Jun 19, 2012 / 04:07 am ( CNA ) .- Society faces a choice between true human dignity, and a false concept of freedom culminating in the “culture of death,” New York's Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan explains in his new eBook. This inhumane culture springs from “deeply rooted social, philosophical, and ethical tendencies that, unfortunately, often find their expression in our laws and in our attitudes toward others,” the cardinal writes in “True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty,” released June 19. “To this culture of death,” he writes, “the Church boldly and joyfully promotes the culture of life.” In a work of just over 5,000 words, Cardinal Dolan develops Blessed John Paul II's understanding of the natural law, whose God-given principles are known through reason and confirmed by faith. They are the source of the Church's teaching on subjects such as human life and religious freedom. Cardinal Dolan's eBook aims to propose these principles anew, to a culture suffering what the late Pope called an “eclipse of the sense of God and of man.” “In only the past few years,” the New York archbishop states, the U.S. has experienced “rampant disregard” for religious faith and human dignity – as shown in the approval of embryonic research, the torture of prisoners, disregard for the definition of marriage, and the federal contraception mandate. “We can see that there is a loss here of a sense of truth and objective moral norms – rules of conduct that apply always, to everyone, everywhere,” the cardinal observes. In place of the natural law, society has begun to substitute “pragmatism, utilitarianism, and consumerism,” all of which have no higher goal than the satisfaction of individuals' personal preferences. These ideologies, Cardinal Dolan explains, have tragic consequences, especially when applied to issues of human life and moral conscience. In his own archdiocese of New York, 40 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion. “And any effort to curtail this unfettered access to abortion,” the cardinal notes, “is turned back by a culture that places a greater value on 'what I want,' 'when I want,' 'because I want,' than it does on life itself.” Moral conscience, meanwhile, is also threatened by a governing philosophy that makes no distinction between deeply-held principles, and passing desires. Cardinal Dolan cites Pope Benedict XVI's famous 2005 warning against a “dictatorship of relativism … whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.” He also highlights an address delivered by the Pope to German lawmakers in 2011. In that speech, the Pope spoke of a “dramatic shift” away from laws rooted in moral principles. In their place stands a “positivist conception of nature” that treats moral beliefs as nothing more than subjective, private preferences. Citing the Pope's words to the German parliament, the New York archbishop notes that the separation of law from morality “fails to recognize the full breadth of human nature, and in fact both 'diminishes man' and 'threatens his humanity.'” The real issue in all of these controversies, Cardinal Dolan suggests, is the competition between two visions of.......