Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois recently did an interview with the Washington Times in which he lamented what he calls the “rupture” in the relationship between Church and culture:
“We [Christians] have to mentally adjust. I know it is an adjustment for me because – and I assume for many other people as well – because I grew up in this country at a time when the values in our secular world mirrored the values of the religious world,” Bishop Paprocki said. “And I think what’s happening now is that relationship – that symbiosis between our culture and the church – has been ruptured.
Paprocki compares today’s situation in the U.S. to Christians being persecuted under Communist regimes and even in ancient times.
“We [Christians] find ourselves now – just in this short period of time – where the early Christians found themselves in the Roman Empire. So the church in 2,000 years, we started out as being a persecuted faith, with Constantine being an accepted established faith, then for centuries, kind of moving in that direction that had this close relationship between the secular world’s values and Judeo-Christian values,” Bishop Paprocki said. “And now I think we are moving in a direction that – not only is it more than secular – it’s a rejection. It’s an outright rejection [of Judeo-Christian values]. It’s a pagan kind of a culture.”
“The reality is that – ironically, it is becoming more like the Church was in the time of John Paul II in Poland under Communism where you [Christians] lived in a very hostile environment. We still have the First Amendment of our Constitution but that is being sorely tested.”