Toronto Archbishop Warns of 'False Wisdom' That Blinds Society

Cardinal Thomas Collins Urges Knights of Columbus to Continue Evangelizing

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By Junno Arocho

ANAHEIM, California, AUG. 9, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In a homily delivered at the Knights of Columbus’ 130th Supreme Convention, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, called on participants to follow the example of St. Dominic and evangelize the “world of this age”.

The Catholic fraternal organization is holding their annual three day convention in Anaheim, focusing on the theme of religious liberty.

"Our mission, like that of each generation of Christians, is to make Christ known in the age in which we live, and we should celebrate the fact that the mysteries of faith are being proclaimed by word and witness to the ends of the earth," the cardinal said.

The Canadian prelate acknowledged that the current social environment is shaped by a "false wisdom" that is increasingly antagonistic to the Catholic faith, essentially blinding people to human reason. Those who promote this false wisdom, he says "are affectively de-evangelizing many of the Christian people.

"Often the misguided ideas against which we speak are increasingly attractive, and the principles we affirm are unattractive, to Catholics as much as to any others, who are unconsciously absorbing the false wisdom of the age," he said.

The false wisdom of the age, he continued, "is communicated with extraordinary effectiveness, through touching personal stories that convey a message of moral relativism, and through the skilful promotion of an individualism that corrodes the bonds of love, and ultimately leads to a discordant society of lonely people, without purpose and without peace. While the rulers of this age persuasively tell stories, we tend to issue documents, full of truth, but unread."

Despite the social environment, that is conducive to this false ideology, Cardinal Collins said that there is still a desire for truth, since this way of thinking robs one of inner peace. The cardinal referred to this superficial attractive wisdom as "spiritual and intellectual junk food, delicious but incapable of sustaining life."

Recalling the life of St. Dominic, whose feast day was celebrated at the Mass, the archbishop of Toronto said that the Spanish-born saint’s approach to prayer and communal example would help to guide the mission of re-evangelizing society.

"We need to attend to the fundamentals. As we busily design strategies to advance the new evangelization, we need to build upon the bedrock of prayer, and not just give it lip service," he said.

Regarding personal and communal example, Cardinal Collins stressed the importance of cleaning corruption within the Church. "We can see how our scandals, sexual and financial, especially among the clergy, speed the process of de-evangelization. St. Dominic insisted that the preachers live with manifest austerity and Christian integrity, obeying the invitation of the Lord in today’s Gospel to leave all behind to follow him," the cardinal said.

Cardinal Collins concluded his homily praising the Knights of Columbus for their tradition of communicating the faith and asked that they continue their work while considering how to do so more effectively.

"As we celebrate this Feast of St. Dominic, he guides us as we confront the challenges of these days by laying before us three keys to evangelization: prayer, personal example, and a resolve to communicate the Gospel effectively to the people of our age," he said.