Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor Assails Liberalism's "Feeble" Beliefs

Says Church Is Attacked Because It Confronts Secular Culture

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LONDON, SEPT. 4, 2002 ( Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, archbishop of Westminster, denounced the tenets of secular liberalism as ridiculous and feeble, the Telegraph reported.

Liberalism in society and the media was «a pretty thin affair» and the Church was under repeated assault because it remained a potent force against it, the cardinal said in an attack on much of secular culture.

But he warned that if the clergy became demoralized and their teachings were seriously undermined, they were in danger of being reduced to social workers or political advocates.

The cardinal, who spoke Tuesday at the annual National Conference of Priests, referred to a 2001 speech in which he said the influence of Christianity was almost gone in Britain.<br>
The phrase had «touched a nerve» and had been used to attack the Church’s doctrines, he said.

In contrast, liberalism was much easier to believe, but its claims about the relativity of values were «feeble» and it advocated «ridiculous, indeed sometimes highly shameful programs» for social and moral living, the cardinal said.

«So we should not be surprised if the attack on the Church today is a subtle one,» he warned. «And we are not to be too discouraged by our weaknesses, our shame or the changes which the media think are obvious for the Church of the future.»

«For Catholicism and the witness it displays, at its heart, is the force that confronts contemporary liberalism,» he added.

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