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Recent polls show that the Catholic Church is still strong in Europe!

read about it [url=http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=6353] here[/url]

For those interested, I gave an interesting commentary about the issue at [url=http://godfaimilynation.blogspot.com/2006/04/polls-show-catholic-church-… my blog[/url].

I namely states that this seems to vindicate two arguments Ive made: 1)the Church is not necessarily in decline in Europe, it still have life in it and 2)since the reason for this upward turn seems to be attributed to the “Benedict XVI effect”, it confirms my argument about the continous need for European popes(which I posted about here).

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I think that Pope Benedict has influenced a renewal of faith in Western Europe. Much as Pope JP2 did with Eastern Europe. We are in a time of crisis and renewal. I’m not sure if this is true in Western Europe but, it is true in America. American Coservative Catholics are showing birth rates at twice the replacement levels. I also know this from personal experience, all of my family is made up of family of 2-3 children or more so this may be a good trend. American Conservatives in gernaral will outbreed their liberal couterparts 3 to 1 with in 30 years. Today Conservatives & Liberals are fairly evenly split around 50/50.

..In Pursuit of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The article says that (1) most Frenchmen still think of themselves as Catholic, half the new generation is still being baptized, and there are still a lot of bishops, priests and Catholic schools around, and (2) the Germans like having a German pope, especially a scholarly and soft-spoken German pope. Does any of that really suggest a turnaround? I agree it means that all is not lost and the Church still matters in Europe. Still, I don’t see any distinct good news.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Well Mr. Kalb as the Chinese say “every journey begins with just one step”. Plus there’s other literature out there about this revial of the faith.

You can read Mary Jo Anderson’s article http://www.wf-f.org/03-1-France.html Faith of the Eldest Daughter -Can France retain her Catholic heritage? which states:

“”Whatever the socio-political influences may be, there is evidence that faith is making a comeback among ordinary French Catholics… All across France, convent and abbey guest quarters are finding more religious pilgrims at their door. Increasingly, families combine reunions and celebrations with retreats at a nearby religious house. And while France is still in grave danger of losing her soul to secularism, there are genuine signs of hope.”

You can read more at the link.

Then Dr Geoffrey Hull has written http://www.ad2000.com.au/articles/1991/oct1991p12_711.html France and the revival of traditional Catholicism and states this(among other things):
“The traditionalist movement in France is today far more vital than ‘mainstream’ Catholicism, whether ultramontanist or liberal. Churches and chapels where the ‘immemorial’ Mass is offered by priests of the late Archbishop Lefebvre’s Society of St Pills X or under the 1984 Indult are generally well-attended, whereas the more numerous parish churches and cathedrals given over to the Novus Ordo liturgy of Vatican II are more often than not close to empty, even in former bastions of religious practice like Brittany and Alsace.”

And he notes that Traditional Catholicism is a popular phenomea within French society.

So there’s evidence that French society is beginning to turn around.

Thanks for the references.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Matthew W. Maguire’s http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=19-03-054-r “Is Paris Turning?: Some Unexpected Signs of Christian Vitality in Post-Christian Europe”

And
Hartwig Bouillon’s http://www.mercatornet.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=241 “A challenge to European Christians: The rise of Islam in traditionally Christian Europe coincides with a rise in Germans searching for their cultural roots.”

Sandro Magister and Nicholas Sarkozy are joining the chorus it seems.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Sandro Magister’s article quotes text from the back cover of Nicholas Sarkozy’s book. It reads, “Sarkozy wants to create an open and serene secularism, in which each person can live out his own vision of hope and participate in building up democratic society.”

Having defined religion as one’s “own vision of hope,” any public spending that facilitates the circulation of this private harmless lifestyle product poses no threat to secularism. The state funds condoms, abortions, vaccinations, why not fund hope? Why not fund any good privately consumed that politicians might deem to have positive externalities?

Magister’s sub-title reads, “In a book, the candidate for the presidency of the French republic acknowledges the public role of religion.” It should read, “… acknowledges the public role of religion as a privately consumed technology of hope.”

To establish his flat pluralist happyland, Sarkozy proposes state funding for construction of “places of worship” and financial aid for clergy formation. He even wants to allow for a French version of the U.S. federal government’s “faith-based initiatives”. One day, French meth junkies might finally get the chance to select a special church recovery program called “On Eagles’ Wings.”

Now that a key member of France’s political class has placed the financing of mosques and imam training on the table, let there be no doubt—Christendom’s back!