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Papal Pot Calls the EU Kettle Black! (Sun Apr 15 12:50:41 2007)

On the occasion of the 5Oth anniversary of the EU Pope Benedict pointed out many of its flaws, i.e. apostasy, denial of its Christian roots and values, its departure from its history, its individualism, secularism, and a few others. However, the fall of the Berlin Wall and 50 years of peace contradicts the implied assertion that Europe is going to hell in a handbasket. Benedict is well aware that many attribute the EU's success to the fact that it has functioned independently from the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. He, defensively, warns that under the pressures of globalization and demography Europe must give pre-eminence to the teaching of the ancient Church of Rome. All churches must be in accord with this ancient Church, recognizing in it the standard of the true apostolic tradition. "Where there is the Church, there is the spirit of God." But the EU seems to have had enough of the "ancient Church" and seeks the Spirit of God in the signs of the times. A stable peace has been achieved without the help of the "ancient Church", thank you!

Benedict's relentless attack on relativism and secularism is in reality an attack on democracy which he describes as an idol substituting for objective morality and cannot be trusted to preserve the dignity of the human person. He has a point. He said Europe was traveling a road leading to its disappearance by overlooking its Christian history. He called on the "common creed" of Iranaeus of Lyon, a second century defender of a pure faith, to facilitate the EU's return to its roots. He insists that the guidelines for a EU social model, preserving the dignity of each person, would be found only in the Christian heritage of Europe. Of course, these guidelines are as defined by Rome and are non-negotiable.

While he decries the secular intransigence of the EU as the enemy of sound secular social policy, he grows more intransigent with the EU the more he is denied access to control over the development of its policies. His "back to the future" statements implying that Christians will lose the right to speak in public debate or the right to conscientious objection, are defensive and certainly not grounded in trust in the Spirit. It does not even dawn on Benedict XVII that Papal intransigency may be serving as the model for the EU... certainly a model to be avoided by both.


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