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Lay Catholics must fight growing tide of secularism

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placeholder May 23, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
Lay Catholics must fight growing tide of secularism

Tim Busch

Catholic laymen and laywomen ought to take a stronger role in the fight against secularism's attack on ethical values, according to a successful Southern California attorney and active lay Catholic, Tim Busch.

"There is a spiritual war going on; it is real," Busch emphasized at the May Catholics at Work breakfast in Danville.

Terming the challenge for Catholics "The Next America" Busch drew heavily from Pope St. John Paul II's letter "Christifideles Laici" ("Vocation of the lay faithful").

That papal letter declared that "A new state of affairs today both in the Church and in social, economic, political and cultural life, calls with a particular urgency for the action of the lay faithful. If lack of commitment is always unacceptable, the present time renders it even more so," John Paul wrote. "It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle." ("Christifideles Laici," 3)

Busch urged that "The lay faithful must see their daily activities as an occasion to join themselves to God, fulfill his will, serve other people and lead them to communion with God in Christ.

"We must have personal devotion. It is not a game where we go to Mass on Sunday and say 'I think I have my insurance policy!'

"We should carry out the love of God in every single thing we do!"

Busch added that Pope Benedict XVI, early in his pontificate, warned that "we are subject to the dictatorship of relativism; this is where the slippery slope begins."

While building a successful estate planning law business in Orange County, the Notre Dame graduate found many ways to be an active Catholic.

In 1992, Tim and his wife Steph co-founded St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel. He served as chairman and CEO for 18 years. St. Anne has grown from 140 students to 850 students today.

Then they co-founded JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano. It now educates 1,100 students under the banner "Faith, Intellect, Character."

Later, when the Diocese of Orange looked at the iconic Crystal Cathedral as a possible site for its mother church, Busch stepped up to help purchase and transform it into a vital spiritual center for the diocese.

In April, the Catholic University of America named its business school after the couple. The Busch Family Foundation donated $15 million to the university, where he was on the board of trustees for 12 years,

In 2011, Busch and Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, SJ. co-founded the Napa Institute. an annual conference (this year July 6-10 — http://napa-institute.org) that brings together clerical and lay Catholic leaders and thinkers.

As a very personal example Busch recalled that when his daughter was pregnant with triplets, her doctor twice asked her if she wanted to abort one or two of them "to ease the pregnancy." She declined.

Recently, holding his three new grandchildren, Busch asked himself: "which one of these three were we going to kill?"

That willingness of popular society to abort the unborn is a major dividing line in the battle between good and evil, Busch noted.

"We know that a child in the womb has its own DNA; it is a creature of God."

Busch cites that as another compelling reason for lay Catholics to become more active in fostering Christian values and practices in daily life.

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