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Monday, June 28, 2004

New Zealand cardinal slams liberalism

Cardinal Thomas Williams, Catholic Archbishop of New Zealand has published a missive in the New Zealand herald deriding social policy in New Zealand and, by implication, the rest of the modern world, for the placing of the comparatively young notions of individualism and cultural relativism ahead of traditional judeo-christian values and traditions.

Refreshingly, Williams does not advocate a state sanctioned return to the values of the Roman Catholic church as a solution to the problem, but rather advocates a civic minded mistrust of what he describes as the "barbaric" work of tearing down existing standards uncritically.

Quoting Shaw, Williams suggests that New Zealand, like Shaw's United Kingdom, may be passing directly from barbarianism to decadence without first pausing at the stage of civilization. This begs the question, from the value-free post modernist perspective, what is decadence? It is precisely this lack of common language that challenges the dialogue between traditions in our pluralistic society - in this sense, relativistic individualism is a tradition along side of Catholicism, Tibetan Buddhism, Indonesian Islam, etc.

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Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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