From the remarks last month of Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, to the "Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life":
Catholics need to wake up from the illusion that the America we now live in – not the America of our nostalgia or imagination or best ideals, but the real America we live in here and now – is somehow friendly to our faith. What we’re watching emerge in this country is a new kind of paganism, an atheism with air-conditioning and digital TV. And it is neither tolerant nor morally neutral.
As the historian Gertrude Himmelfarb observed more than a decade ago, “What was once stigmatized as deviant behavior is now tolerated and even sanctioned; what was once regarded as abnormal has been normalized.” But even more importantly, she added, “As deviancy is normalized, so what was once normal becomes deviant. The kind of family that has been regarded for centuries as natural and moral – the ‘bourgeois’ family as it is invidiously called – is now seen as pathological...."
The task you need to take home with you today is this. Never give up the struggle that the March for Life embodies. No matter how long it takes; no matter how many times you march – it matters, eternally. Because of you, some young woman will choose life, and that new life will have the love of God forever.....
Changing the course of American culture seems like such a huge task; so far beyond the reach of this gathering today. But St. Paul felt exactly the same way. Redeeming and converting a civilization has already been done once. It can be done again.