Death and Secularism

Father Z recently pointed out how we have now reached a stage in our secular culture in which priests are no longer allowed to minister to the dead and dying during crises.  Of course, this is a society which sees the priest as nothing more than a social worker dressed in black.  The evil of this is that Catholics caught in extraordinary situations may not be allowed to receive last rites.  This is something Blessed Pius IX foresaw in the events of his own day and wrote about in his warnings over what would happen if socialists and secularists were given charge of societies.

You know as We do, venerable brothers, the recent wrongdoing which has strengthened some wretched enemies of all truth, justice and honor, who strive both openly and deceitfully with plots of every sort to spread their disorders everywhere among the faithful people of Italy. These disorders include the unbridled license of thinking, speaking and hearing every impious matter. They spread these like the foaming waves of a savage sea, and they exert themselves not only to shake the Catholic religion in Italy itself, but if possible to utterly destroy it. The method of their diabolical design has been made very clear both elsewhere and particularly here in this fair city, the seat of Our pontificate, where upon Our forced withdrawal, they gave free rein to their rage, although only for a few months. Here, in their wicked recklessness, as they cast divine and human affairs into confusion, they finally grew enraged enough to interfere with the work of the respected clergy of the city, disregarding the authority of their superiors, who, on Our orders, were attending fearlessly to religious matters. Consequently, when some of their own number fell sick and struggled with death, they were deprived of all the helps of religion and compelled to breathe their last in the arms of a wanton prostitute.


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