Is the Catholic Church moving towards relativism?

Friends,

Does anyone find the way in which our Faith has been treated in the last 40 years troubling? There seems to be a general move away from missionary work and saving souls, and a move towards relativism and coexistence with other religions.

It is a rare bishop who talks about sin, redemption, atonement, and the sole centrality of Christ in human salvation, these days. There is a lot of ecumenism, with prayer-meetings held not only between different Christian denominations, but between Catholics and Buddhists and others. We don’t even believe in the same God, yet we’re praying together and not trying to evangelize them. Only a century ago, this would have been considered outrageous and scandalous to the Catholic Church. Where is this going?

My great worry is that the Church is abandoning her claims of possessing the Truth, in order to take up the mantle of a secular peace-maker, and an engine of “tolerance” and “equality”. Is Rome becoming an agent of social justice, and nothing more? Are we still allowed to say that Christ is the only Way, Truth, and Life of all Humanity? Would our bishop - or even the Magisterium itself - agree with us, were we to say these things to those who have never heard of Christ?

I am now afraid to bring my own parents to the Church, for fear that they will only hear homilies about Being Nice, or Tolerant, or Equal, or having a Community or loving Relationships. I am afraid that they won’t really be taught the faith, because we don’t really believe it anymore. How can we engage in Apologetics to convert sinners when we’re just supposed to co-exist with every religion?

Is this worry shared by anyone else?

Note that you’re not talking about ‘ecumenism’, per se, but rather, about a certain ‘false ecumenism’ which seeks shared experience at the expense of the truth. True ecumenism is, in fact, an attempt to share the Truth taught by the Catholic Church with others who hold to aspects of the Truth, but lack the fullness of truth in their faith community.

So, if you want to suggest that some have lost the way in their attempts to implement a true ecumenism, you might be offering a valid critique. However, that does not mean that this flavor of outreach is what the Church means when she speaks of ‘ecumenism’.

Saving souls and coexistence are not mutually exclusive. Nor are praying together and evangelizing. In fact, many people feel that interaction, mutual prayer, and treating others with respect is the best way to start evangelizing.

I haven’t seen any sign of the Church “abandoning her claims of possessing the Truth.” Do you perhaps have a specific document in mind?

No. My experience is just the opposite. That people are learning more and more about the faith, that they are LIVING the Gospel message, and that pastors are very spiritual.
You can’t put the Holy Spirit in a cage.
Why do you believe that faith has to be a hammer?
Bring your parents to Church. Let Jesus take care of their hearts. He converts loads of people every day you know. :shrug:
The Apostles preached to all kinds of people. Didn’t they?

What you refer to is often referred to as the “spirit of Vatican II” This does not involve the Council at all, but rather, how the Council reforms were implemented. That spirit is a worldly spirit that lead many in the Church astray, causing Pope Paul VI to comment that the “smoke of Satan enters the Church through the fissures.”

What the Church is doing as we speak is retreating from the relativism that crept into her thinking, and which was lead by the spirit of Vatican II. Note: relativism crept into her thinking, and not into the deposit of faith.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.