We are "out of step" with the prevalent way of thinking. Yes, if there remains any thinking at all, that is.
"The regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant." Yes, the chief dogma is that there is no God that matters. One might say the word, God, but it either means "just what I want" or else that His name is used to support positions that He clearly does not. Tolerance means that only Catholics may be humiliated, scorned, beaten or killed. True, in a neutral situation Catholics are not yet always singled out, but if the subject matter comes up that involves the Church, the hatred is palpable. If a moral issue of the Natural or Divine Law is at stake, an issue that only the Church remains to defend, the hatred is palpable.
Soon, the hatred will spill over into action. So, how do we handle it? The Holy Father says we must be courageous, as is demanded of the disciple. "And this courage or forcefulness does not consist in striking out or in acting aggressively, but rather in allowing oneself to be struck and to be steadfast" before the prevailing "dogmatic" heterodoxy. And the Holy Father points out that the Successors of the Apostles (and by extension all of us) must expect to be beaten, by contemporary methods, by those who are the rulers of-- or the unreflecting adherents to-- the culture of death that envelops us.
That is the phrase that jumped out at me in reading the Pope's remarks: by contemporary methods. Modern man has an aversion to the appearance of violence in the punishment of society's enemies. Don't get me wrong-- modern man is as violent as ever, or more so. The secular power raises armies and uses them. The police are increasingly militarized. Violence in our streets, our schools, our homes, our entertainment, and our minds is rampant. But like so many other areas, we have the lie of tolerance in this as well. We just want tolerance. Let's leave everyone alone, let's celebrate our diversity, let's get rid of the means of violence (except for the ruling class). But violence towards the inconvenient Church is the end.
It starts with disapproving language, exclusion from polite society, and being thought stupid. Then the stupidity of the believer and his beliefs are labelled "dangerous" or "insane". Once that happens, there is a basis for state action. Oh, you're a Catholic bishop who won't "marry" homosexuals? You're a Catholic employer who won't provide access for women's "healthcare"? You are a perpetrator of hate crimes, you're dangerous, you're a threat to women and children. Your children aren't safe with you-- we'll take them and reeducate them. You're trying to influence the political process-- we'll take that tax exemption. You're in our way-- goodbye.
By contemporary means indicates that the means, which are always contemporary, will change and evolve. Get ready. The tree will be shaken.
But don't despair says Our Lord, and the Holy Father echoes it in his remarks:
"The fear of God frees us from the fear of men." May it be so.