A survivor of the Holocaust described very well to the Historian Martin Gilbert how this great evil could happen: it “depended most of all (…) upon the indifference of bystanders in every land”. The famous quote of Edmund Burke that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” equally underlines the core of the problem, something which Pope Francis is today calling the “globalization of indifference”. Whether it is politicians or those of us who decide to turn our back on the many harsh realities of our world because we think “there is nothing we can do”, it is all the same quietism that overlooks a central exhortation that Christ has given to his followers: go out to all nations and proclaim the Gospel – in words and in deeds.
There is the quietism surrounding the great evil of abortion and its dreadful consequences, most recently exposed by a group of courageous men and women in the United States through the release of a series of undercover videos showing how executives of the abortion industry discuss over lunch and wine how best to crush the skull of an unborn child in order for its organs to be sold intact to interested buyers. The Center for Medical Progress videos show a culture of death that bears all too much resemblance to other well documented forms of barbarism.
There is a quietism surrounding the ideological colonization perpetrated by Western governments that require developing countries wishing to receive financial aid to implement so-called progressive concepts of “sexual- and reproductive health” (a euphemism for desired-for population control through the means of unlimited abortion and contraception) and “marriage equality” (a euphemism for redefining marriage to include same-sex unions). These policies reek of a new form a racism.
There is the quietism surrounding the well-planned persecution of Christians from the Middle East and other parts of the world where a genocide is going on that has only one goal: to wipe out all Christians and their culture from the lands where Christianity was born. In the meantime, arms are flowing unimpeded to the various parties in the various conflicts in the Middle East. As a result, Europe is unsuccessfully trying to deal with an influx of refugees and migrants on an unprecedented scale. Most Europeans are showing their basic Christian humanism by receiving these our fellow human beings with charity and understanding. But this is not enough. Only the Gospel is enough.
To defend life in all its stages, Christians need to show by their lived example as couples and families God’s plan with humanity
To defend marriage, Christians need to themselves live and courageously testify to the meaning of human love and sexuality
To defend the faith, Christians need to stand up, go out, and bring the Gospel to everybody – in Europe, now more than ever, we need to bring the Gospel especially to the fallen-away Christians, and to the Mohammedans. Humanism towards refugees and immigrants is not enough. They need Christ above all else. In the words of Pope Francis to the millions of youth on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2013:
Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: he sends us to everyone. The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some. It is not only for those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more welcoming. It is for everyone. Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent. The Lord seeks all, he wants everyone to feel the warmth of his mercy and his love.