Rabbi Sacks worries Europe is losing its Judeo-Christian 'soul'
By David Kerr
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Credit: Mazur
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Credit: Mazur

.- Lord Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth, told Pope Benedict XVI that he fears Europe is losing its Judeo-Christian heritage.

“We are very concerned obviously with the soul of Europe, I mean Europe was built on Judeo-Christian foundations, even the market was built on Judeo-Christian foundations,” he told Vatican Radio in an interview following his private audience with the Pope Dec. 12.

The 63-year-old Englishman, who was elevated to the British House of Lords in 2009, stated that Judeo-Christian roots best historically explain why the West has outstripped other cultures both politically and economically.

He also believes that while religious leaders have “no power” in the modern world, they still “have a great deal of influence.” Rabbi Sacks said the Pope’s influence was why he came to visit him, “because I think if Jewish and Christian voices are heard, along parallel lines, then they should not underestimate the influence they have.”

Rabbi Sacks said he saw this influence in action last year during Pope Benedict’s four-day visit to Scotland and England when “everyone was amazed that the interest was so acute and so widespread.”

Religious leaders “should not aspire to political power,” he said, but they are engaged in “talking to people, especially when they’re thinking, ‘what kind of answer do I want to give to the meaning of life and what kind of value system do I want for my children?’”

It is Rabbi Sack’s belief that Europe is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the answers offered by secularism and materialism – two factors he has blamed in the past for a rise in selfishness and the decline in the birthrate.

Many people, he said, are now wondering if “there is something lacking in the wider secular culture where all that matters is ‘what I am, what I spend, what I buy, what I earn,’ instead of ‘what I am.’” One practical outcome in the Jewish community has been an increase in the number of parents choosing to send their children to Jewish schools.

He also wants to foster a united Judeo-Christian front against both anti-Jewish and anti-Christian persecution around the world. In fact, just last week he spoke during a debate in the British House of Lords in which he condemned Christian persecution in the Middle East.

“It is important that Jews, the British Jews, the European Jewish community stand in solidarity with Christians where they face persecution,” he said to Vatican Radio.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »


Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: