In his speech last week at the fall assembly of bishops, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), repeated themes from a virtual address he gave earlier this month about the “need to proclaim Jesus Christ boldly” in the face of “social justice movements” in American society that have become “pseudo-religions.”
Several other U.S. bishops spoke with the Register about Archbishop Gomez’s comments on the rise of aggressive secular ideologies, and how the Church can respond to them with the message of Christ.
During his Nov. 4 address to the Congress of Catholics and Public Life in Madrid, Archbishop Gomez said that “the best way for the Church to understand the new social justice movements is to understand them as pseudo-religions, and even replacements and rivals to traditional Christian beliefs.” He said “today’s critical theories and ideologies” deny “the soul, the spiritual, transcendent dimension of human nature; or they think that it is irrelevant to human happiness. They reduce what it means to be human to essentially physical qualities — the color of our skin, our sex, our notions of gender, our ethnic background, or our position in society.”
“In denying God,” he said, “these new movements have lost the truth about the human person. This explains their extremism, and their harsh, uncompromising, and unforgiving approach to politics.” He said the Church “should not be intimidated by these new religions of social justice and political identity” as “the Gospel remains the most powerful force for social change that the world has ever seen. And the Church has been ‘antiracist’ from the beginning. All are included in her message of salvation.”
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