You are herePope: We have drifted into a desert of godlessness

Pope: We have drifted into a desert of godlessness

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By Virgil - Posted on 10 April 2009

Pope Benedict XVI will tonight attack the rise of aggressive secularism in western societies, warning them that they risked drifting into a 'desert of godlessness'. The Bavarian-born Pontiff will use his Good Friday meditations to compare deliberate attempts to purge religion from public life to the mockery of Jesus Christ by the mob as he was led out to be crucified.He will say said that 'religious sentiments' were increasingly ranked among the 'unwelcome leftovers of antiquity' and held up to scorn and ridicule.

'We are shocked to see to what levels of brutality human beings can sink,' he will tell the congregation as he meditates on the stations of the cross at an evening ceremony at the Coliseum, Rome.

'Jesus is humiliated in new ways even today – when things that are most holy and profound in the faith are being trivialised, the sense of the sacred is allowed to erode,' he will say.

'Everything in public life risks being desacralised – persons, places, pledges, prayers, practices, words, sacred writings, religious formulae, symbols, ceremonies. Our life together is being increasingly secularised.

'Religious life grows diffident. Thus we see the most momentous matters placed among trifles, and trivialities glorified.

'Values and norms that held societies together and drew people to higher ideals are laughed at and thrown overboard. Jesus continues to be ridiculed.'

The Pope, who turns 82 later this month, will pray that Christians would respond to the problem by growing in faith.

'May we never question or mock serious things in life like a cynic,' he will say.

'Allow us not to drift into the desert of godlessness. Enable us to perceive you in the gentle breeze, see you in street corners, love you in the unborn child.'

On the station that marks the passage in the Gospel where Jesus met the women of Jerusalemon the way to be crucified, the Pope will also condemn the oppression of women, saying there were 'many societies in the world where women fail to receive a fair deal'.

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Parker's picture

This is exactly right. Europe is sinking deep into barbarism in conjunction with its aggressive campaign against Christianity. Europe is on a suicide mission in virtually every measurable aspect of life, business, and society.

Once you throw out the basis of human rights (God), you get despotism and tyranny over increasingly depraved and animalistic masses. Every imaginable civilizing force (family, fraternity, human rights, civic virtue, etc.) dissolves into chaos and anarchy.

The way of God leads to higher civilization. The rejection of God leads to decadence and the fall of civilization. The two are entirely linked, as the Pope is teaching. Christianity and a good civilization are inseparable.

plymouthrock's picture

Yes, what in the world would we do without the great pope?!!!!!!!!

plymouthrock!

mazuur's picture

AMEN! It's not like there isn't a thousand other Christians out there who hasn't already stated such many times over.

-Rich

-Rich

Virgil's picture

I do think that the essence of the message is great, but I don't want to go back to the catholic v. protestant debate again. Let's look at the positive in the message...also, Peggy Noonan had a great article in the Wall Street Journal today (I think Mick blogged about it) about some of these very same issues.

If God's values are not threaded and weaved throughout our lives, business and society, then it's all empty of purpose and value.

Ed's picture

Back to our other debate Parker, I think that the Pope is saying that we are to live our faith outwardly as an example to the world - not get involved with politics. Again, if the world does not see Christendom as a viable solution to the world's problems, it will eventually see it as the problem itself. That will result in persecution. While that is not necessarily desirable, the Church and Kingdom have always survived persecution - just look at John Paul II.

Sister Act, the movie with Whoopie Goldberg, comes to mind. In it, the convent becomes very active in community activities, offering love and ministry to the young people in the neighborhood. The result? A packed Church building with honest seekers, who enjoyed the wonderful music and relevant message.

We can do this very thing in our neighborhoods. We'll have a greater impact than running for political office. Oh and btw, this can mean starting our own business too. :). I'm always open to that.

blessings,

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Parker's picture

Ed: if the world does not see Christendom as a viable solution to the world's problems, it will eventually see it as the problem itself.

Parker: Pagans will never see Christendom as a viable solution so long as Christianity is against murder, sexual libertinism, bribery, slander, child abandonment, etc. Pagans view those things as valid and normal to greater or lesser degrees. The problem is that pagans are ethically illiterate.

Blessings to you on this Holy Saturday, Ed.

Parker's picture

By the way, Ed, I meant to agree with your general comments on living out the faith (you used the Sister Act movie as an example). It's just that I don't see an either/or here. I see a both/and situation.

Christians can both minister to the needs of the poor and set moral objectives for society via our participation and representation in business, entertainment, education, and good government. To me, that's the essence of being salt and light within our lives and society.

But if pagans gain total control of the political/legal activity of our nation, our kids and grandkids will not be permitted to practice their faith freely and may even be coerced to participate in evil acts that the pagans define as "good." Religious liberty is NOT a pagan ideal, and we cannot expect pagans to be champions of religious freedom and free expression. Instead, we can expect pagans to set up an aggressively depraved set of laws and norms in government, education, entertainment, etc. etc. That is where pagans consistently trend, as they are ethically challenged and darkened in their minds.

Ed's picture

btw, I am not opposed to high moral standards - I am opposed to what God was opposed to. When God's intention was that HE would be Israel's King, they wanted another king, like the other nations. He gave them one - Saul.

Now, read what Samuel warned Israel what would happen if they had a king:

1Sam 8:10-12, "10 Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots."

War, taxation, government employment. That's what we see happening today, is it not? That's what we will always see happen when we desire another king over us rather than the LORD.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Parker's picture

Ed: I am not opposed to high moral standards

Parker: Let's assume a total withdrawal of Christians from government. Why do you expect the pagans to develop or create laws which have high moral standards or even permit free christian practice? I mean, if we followed your view and had Christians withdraw from the realm of government, we'd have a comprehensive slide toward unjust laws and concepts of morality led by pagan leaders. Pagans are mostly incapable of high ethics and moral thinking.

Ed: That's what we will always see happen when we desire another king over us rather than the LORD.

Parker: I view the ongoing christianization of all life and society as the essence of asserting that the Lord is King over all humanity. A christian parent complies with Christ's kingship only if he/she operates family life in a way that complies with the teachings and commands of God. Likewise, a christian businessman complies with Christ's kingship only if he/she establishes proper business and workplace ethics and compensation. Likewise a government complies with Christ's kingship only if its leaders govern in godly righteousness and justice as enlightened by the guide of the Judeo-Christian virtues and morals.

I view pagan control over life and society as the essence of the denial of the Lord's kingship.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

True to form, the Vatican continues to emphasize the need for increased clerical authority over the affairs of men. A return to the Dark Ages, if they had their way - at least in terms of the governmental powers wielded by the Pope, cardinals, bishops, etc. This would restore the Western world to a society of peace, prosperity and human nobility. Too bad history does not, in fact, support this notion. The barbarism of the Catholic Inquisition will never go away. The Crusades attest to the cruelty, savagery and debauchery of "church-authorized" warriors accumulating wealth and land on behalf of Rome by violent means - imposing their faith by the edge of the sword, as they conquered "pagans".

Europe hasn't sunk so low, morally and ethically, that they need to submit once again to the governance of the Vatican. Rather, the vacuum of belief needs a new focus - a fresh, new cosmology.

We are likely approaching some monumental shift of some kind in human consciousness, within the next five years or so. My sincerest hope is that the RCC (and all other institutionalized forms of "church" of every denominational persuasion) will pass away into obsolescence. The sooner these antiquated institutions vanish from human society, the better. Mankind as a whole will benefit from their departure.

JM

Writerx's picture

SSF,

I'll admit, I have my share of irritation with the catholic church, but I don't think I'd wish it away. I was doing a bit of research on orphanages recently and found once place that said catholics run around 300 orphanages that care for 50,000 children in this country alone (not counting the ones they help find families). Would that Christianity at large had that kind of organization. Sometimes I wonder if American Christians by themselves dug deep enough if we couldn't wipe out poverty in one fell swoop.

History sings the sad song of Rome's failures, but many catholics feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, care for orphans, and help the poor. I don't even disagree with you on principle, but before I dream of a vacuum, I like to have something better in mind to fill it.

Cheers,

-A.J.

Ed's picture

Yes AJ,
It was monks and nuns that built the first hospitals, orphanages, and other service ministries that today's society takes for granted as having existed forever. There's a reason that the majority of hospitals are named after Saints.

Let's also not forget that it was the monks who brought beer to Europe and eventually to America. They also produced some of the finest wines, mostly for communion; as well as being the place where the holy scriptures were copied and preserved.

While I have many gripes with the RCC, I have to admit that it gets a generally bad rap from most people. RCC priests aren't the only ones sexually abusing children, it seems that there are Protestant Sunday School teachers who are as well (and in a very recent situation actually allegedly murdered the young girl).

God uses all things for His purposes, including organizations that we may not agree with entirely. I say, embrace the good, and pray that the not-so-good disappear.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Islamaphobe's picture

Ed,

Let's recognize that besides producing beer and wine as well as preserving Scripture, monastic scholars in the Middle Ages did a great deal to preserve and advance scholarship in general and that the practical lessons about economics that church officials learned in connection with the management of real estate and other property helped overcome much of the prejudice against "usury" and the development of financial instruments in general. Our overly secular academic establishment has given far too much credit for the development of Western Civilization to the inheritance from Greco-Roman Civilization and far too little to the Scholastics and other Catholic thinkers. Moreover, I think it's great to have someone around with Benedict's intellect and knowledge who can gain ready admission to the public square and get the liberal media establishment all riled up. All that said, this does not mean that I endorse the idea that the RCC should have a religious monopoly. Far from it! The conjoining of church and state that tends to result brings disaster in its wake whether the state church be Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal, or Lutheran.

John S. Evans

Parker's picture

SSF,

Your mind is lost in the "dark ages." Please enlighten yourself by reading How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

The Catholic Church had its hands in the *origins* of nearly every good progress of the West: human rights, hospitals and orphanages, art and architecture, science and the scientific method, classical music, the university system, literacy, international law.

You only expose your own ignorance when you paint the church as an enemy of progress. No educated historian could ever make the absurd claims you just made.

Sincerely,
Parker

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