Benedict XVI in FatimaPerhaps as a way of diverting people’s attention from the clerical child-abuse scandal that’s been plaguing his Church for a long time now, Pope Benedict XVI has decided that the world is just too “secular” for his taste, and is establishing a new wing of Vatican bureaucracy in an attempt to correct that problem. The AP via Google News reports on his new missionary effort (WebCite cached article):

Pope Benedict XVI is creating a new Vatican office to fight secularization and “re-evangelize” the West — a tacit acknowledgment that his attempts to reinvigorate Christianity in Europe haven’t succeeded and need a new boost. …

Benedict said parts of the world are still missionary territory, where the Catholic Church is still relatively unknown. But in other parts of the world like Europe, Christianity has existed for centuries yet “the process of secularization has produced a serious crisis of the sense of the Christian faith and role of the Church.”

The new pontifical council, he said, would “promote a renewed evangelization” in countries where the Church has long existed “but which are living a progressive secularization of society and a sort of ‘eclipse of the sense of God.'”

The Pope and his minions appear to believe that “secularization” has caused Europeans (in particular) to have become unaware of Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church … in spite of the fact that Christianity is nearly two millennia old and for some 15 or 16 centuries was by far the dominant religion of the occidental world. I’m not sure what the folks at the Vatican think happened, to make everyone suddenly and magically “forget” about something so deeply ingrained in western culture … but it seems they think it has.

Could it be — rather — that the occidental world, and Europe in particular, are actually fully aware of Christianity’s existence and its nature, and have made a conscious and rational decision to reject it, based on its far-less-than-stellar history?

As for myself … if the Pope and his religionist minions want me to convert to Catholicism, they’re going to have to make me do so.

Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales).

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