Friday, June 24, 2005

Yay, Papa!

Pope Benedict XVI Chastises Europe in Book

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

ROME - Pope Benedict XVI rails against Europe (yeah, "rails," real objective, Ms. Winfield) in his first book published since becoming pope, chastising a culture that he says excludes God from life and allows innocent lives - the unborn - to be taken from God through legalized abortion.

"The Europe of Benedict: In the crisis of cultures" was written when the pope was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's guardian of doctrine, and serves as a strong indication of issues that will be priorities in his pontificate ...

... Ratzinger takes as a starting point the decision of European Union leaders to exclude a reference to Europe's Christian roots from the preamble of the proposed EU constitution, whose future remains uncertain following its rejection by French and Dutch voters in recent referendums.

... "Europe has developed a culture which, in a way never before known to humanity, excludes God from public conscience, either by being denied or by judging his existence to be uncertain and thus belonging to subjective choices, something irrelevant for public life," Benedict writes ...

... Looking at current culture in Europe, Ratzinger acknowledges it would be easy to resign oneself to the fact that abortion is a legal right in much of Europe. But he concludes that there is no such thing as a "little homicide" and that when man loses the respect for life, "inevitably he ends by losing his own identity."

He criticizes parents who think their rights to freedom trump the rights of the unborn child, saying "they become blind to the right to life of another, of the youngest and weakest who don't have a voice."

"Accepting that the rights of the weakest can be violated, means that you accept also that the right of force prevails over the force of rights," he writes ...

If you read the entire article, which you can find here, you will discover that the "Benedict" in the title "The Europe of Benedict" refers to St. Benedict, whose monastic order, the Benedictines, were hugely instrumental in preserving European culture when the continent fell under the Dark Ages - art, classical era philosophy and texts, some of which may have otherwise been lost to us forever, including works by Tacitus, Seneca, Varro, Frontinus, and Juvenal. According to Papa, Europe needs more people like Benedict who will rescue western culture, which the Holy Father believes to be dying. I agree with him.

Incidentally, I wonder when the AP will get around to mentioning to its scribes that it is good form to at least attempt to hide one's bias when one does any reporting. They have been doing the Mean Old Celibate Man routine with the Catholic Church for quite a while. I remember how it always seemed that whenever there was an "unsuitable" bit of news to report about John Paul II, they would headline it with something like "Old Crank Scolds Public About the Sacred Right to Choose" and accompany it with an extremely unflattering photograph of the pontiff. I see that their headlining talents have not improved.


  1. Oooooooh, I shall have to add on to my "need to read" list again, apparently. I have on older one out from when he's was still Cardinal (should be good car reading for next week, right?) but a book sounds so much more important if it was written by a POPE, lol.