Maybe because they started down the road of relativism long ago.
Relativism which might sound like a benign “you think what you want and I’ll think what I want — and we’ll all get along” has proved to be not so harmless. More than a decade ago Pope Benedict had this to say:
“We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”
He’s been proved correct. The “dictatorship” has been increasing. The intolerance of any opposing perspectives or opinions has increased to the point of people wanting to throw those who disagree in jail (Bill Nye on “climate deniers”) or ruining the livelihoods of those with the “wrong” ideas (Christian bakers, florists, etc.). It has even gotten to the point that physical violence is justified against “wrong think” (“punch a Nazi” or Berkeley riots).
Benedict, as then Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote in his book Without Roots:
“In recent years I find myself noting, how the more relativism becomes the generally accepted way of thinking, the more it tends toward intolerance. Political correctness … seeks to establish the domain of a single way of thinking and speaking. Its relativism creates the illusion that it has reached greater heights than the loftiest philosophical achievements of the past. It presents itself as the only way to think and speak — if, that is, one wishes to stay in fashion. … I think it is vital that we oppose this imposition of a new pseudo-enlightenment, which threatens freedom of thought as well as freedom of religion.”
In 2013, Benjamin Wiker wrote Benedict vs. the Dictatorship of Relativism and accurately identified where this was headed: the destruction of our civilization and the persecution of Christians.
That last point is key. While appearing to be the very essence of neutrality and equity — “all views are equal and equally valid” — it actually undermines both the freedom of thought and the freedom of religion. As to the latter, it does so (ironically) as a new religion itself, “a new ‘denomination’ that places restrictions on religious convictions and seeks to subordinate all religions to the super-dogma of relativism.”
As Cardinal Ratzinger noted in his Truth and Tolerance, “relativism … in certain respects has become the real religion of modern man.” It has become, especially in Europe, but now increasingly in America, the religion that stands at the heart of modern secular civilization in the way that Christianity defined the heart of Christendom.
It is the religion, Pope Benedict insists, which the Church must combat in the third millennium for the sake of civilization itself. A civilization built upon dogmatic relativism is one that ensures its own destruction. It is also a civilization in which Christianity — challenging dogmatic relativism with the proclamation that Jesus Christ himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life — must be persecuted.