benedict XVI and the dechristianizing of europe

A long article in the NYT about the catholic pope who wants to turn western europe back from its secular ways. But no one really thinks that will happen:

His argument, elaborated in the years leading up to his election and continuing through his daily speeches and pronouncements, reduces to something like this: Secularism may be one of the great developments in history, but the secularism that holds sway in much of the West — that is, in Western Europe — is flawed; it has a bug in its programming. The mistaken conviction that reason and faith are two distinct realms has weakened Europe and has brought it to the verge of catastrophic collapse. As he said in a speech in 2004: “There exist pathologies in religion that are extremely dangerous and that make it necessary to see the divine light of reason as a ‘controlling organ.’ . . . However . . . there are also pathologies of reason . . . there is a hubris of reason that is no less dangerous.”

I don’t think christianity will revive in western europe, certainly not in any recognizable form. Spirituality and ‘organized ethics’ might well. If Europe is going to become religious again, it will have to be a secular religion – something that might indeed stand up to science and technology and say: “Enough is enough” but certainly not something that will flaunt reason or fall back into hopeless mysticism.


2 Comments to “benedict XVI and the dechristianizing of europe”

  1. The Pope doesn’t have a chance at success.

  2. I think Christianity can already stand up to science. Science certainly has no comprehensive corner on truth and relevance, people have been convinced it does. When you going to die, what does science matter? Yet, medical science supports the reality of God’s active work in human just as much as when they were being done through Jesus. Medical science verifies life after death. Besides 100 years of physical life is comparable to unending billions of years. Science is meaningless in that light; only Christianity is.

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