SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Friday, November 05, 2004

Pope Decries 'A Militant Secularism Sweeping Over Europe'

The Pope accepts that Islamic teachings are "taking a foothold," but he is perplexed why there are NO Christians willing to stand up and face the movement!

Vatican officials say they accept that a Europe with a growing Muslim population cannot describe itself as Christian. But the absence of any reference to Christianity was a bitter blow for an institution that over centuries has laid down the law for the continent's secular rulers.

For the ailing Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II, whose 26-year papacy has seen a dramatic expansion of the Vatican's authority worldwide, Catholicism's waning influence in Europe is a source of deep dismay, Vatican officials say. The pontiff expressed his regret about the constitution to worshipers at last Sunday's mass in St. Peter's Square, urging Christians to continue to lobby Brussels, home of the European Commission (news - web sites).

"Taking into account the Christian roots of the European continent remains fundamental for the future development of the union," he told the pilgrims.


But the Union wants no part of Christianity and seem to be cozying up to Islam. (I wonder why? (Sarcasm off)
It's not just a question of Christianity or even Catholicism, said Archbishop John Foley, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

"There's this militant secularism, a denial of spirituality, of the destiny of the human person, and it's a great concern," he said. "A number of Muslim countries are closer to us on these issues than some of the European countries."


The Vatican plans to fight back by protesting to various governments and trying to make the Church more relevant in people's lives.

But it seems to be a lost cause:

Politi, a veteran Vatican watcher, suspects it is too late for the Vatican to reverse the tide.

"All they can do is protest. They can't do more," he said. "The fact is that the church in Europe represents a minority view. So many countries and most public opinion simply don't support the stance of the Catholic Church any longer."


Americans watching Christianity dying in Europe decided to keep it going here as many affirm that their faith is an important part of their lives. Once again the great, but unfortuante, disconnect of Europe from America and their common roots.

Poor Europe - we will have to coin a new phrase, paraphrasing and old one, to describe Europe and Europeans as they move into a new phase, "So far from God, so close to Islam."

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