In an address to church leaders in the Czech Republic Pope Benedict encouraged European Christians to remind those who want to marginalize Christianity that the culture and freedoms that they presently enjoy are due to their Christian heritage and roots:
“Attempts to marginalise the influence of Christianity upon public life – sometimes under the pretext that its teachings are detrimental to the well-being of society – are emerging in new forms.”
“As Europe listens to the story of Christianity, she hears her own. Her notions of justice, freedom and social responsibility, together with the cultural and legal institutions established to preserve these ideas and hand them on to future generations, are shaped by her Christian inheritance.
“Indeed, her memory of the past animates her aspirations for the future. Christians are obliged to join others in reminding Europe of her roots.”
He said those roots had not withered but rather were continuing “to supply the continent with the spiritual and moral sustenance that allows her to enter into meaningful dialogue with people from other cultures and religions”.
“Let us ask the Lord to implant within us a spirit of courage to share the timeless saving truths which have shaped, and will continue to shape, the social and cultural progress of this continent.”
Response: The Pope is right on! In the last couple of decades, Europe as a whole has increasingly become more secular and in many ways has been turning away from the Christian roots which helped to define its culture and freedoms in the first place. Lately even atheism has been on the rise and has become a favorite debating past time.
While Europeans are having less children and backing away from Christianity, immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East have been flooding into the void bringing Islam and an alternate Muslim culture with them. The current demographics suggest that at some point in the future the traditional cultures and languages of Europe could actually disappear and be replaced.
It is ironic that the European Christian roots that produced the freedoms and religious toleration that Europeans currently enjoy could at some time be supplanted by an intolerant Muslim sharia ruled future if the present demographics hold.
It would be ironic because freedom and toleration make it all possible but the end results would be quite the opposite.