By denying the natural law, secularism is undermining the very foundations of democratic society and causing a crisis for civilisation.
All people of good will, with or without faith, must reclaim a common moral tradition.
The natural law makes it clear that the ethical content of faith is not imposed from outside man's conscience but is a norm with its basis in human nature itself (cf. Cicero).
The natural law is accessible to all rational creatures and must therefore form the basis for dialogue in civil society for reaching a consensus on fundamental moral questions.
Without the shared recognition of natural law there is no means of resolving public debates other than by a contest of political strengths. Then the process of legislation becomes, not a search for truth and the good, but the search for the balance of power - might is right; the numbers game.
Ethical relativism is based on the mistaken notion that relativism guarantees tolerance and mutual respect. Certainly we must tolerate people in their mistakes to some extent, but not where self-destructive ideas and behaviour are involved, such as the gay rights agenda.
The fundamental essentials of society are at stake - human life, human dignity, the institution of the family and equity of the social order - in other words, the fundamental rights of man.
We must restore full appreciation for the natural moral law in conformity with right reason.
Christmas is an excellent time to contemplate the nature of man in society, the meaning of life and suffering and death. We can wonder again at our Creator becoming one of his own creatures as the Word-made-flesh in Mary to help us overcome the ignorance and weakness of our fallen human nature and to know and to do all the right things for the health, happiness and peace among men, now and forever.
FR BERNARD McGRATH