Feb 11, 2008 / 15:07 pm America/Denver (CNA).
During a speech at the Saint-Louis of France cultural center in Rome, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, said that the de-Christianization of Europe is dramatic and accelerated, but it is not irreversible.
Addressing the participants of the Congress on “The Future of Christianity in the West,” Cardinal Tauran began his reflection by singling out books recently published by diverse European intellectuals who point out deficiencies in the Church and Christianity that, from an historical point of view, seem to make the total de-Christianization of the West inevitable.
Nevertheless, “the Church has been buried many times,” the cardinal said, recalling the example of Frederick Nietzsche, who declared “the end of religion,” and the totalitarian regimes of the last century that said the same.”
He also noted that many sociologists and scholars take pleasure in describing the Christianity of tomorrow as elderly, divided and undermined by the loss of its identity, succumbing to the attacks of new religions or of new forms of unbelief and atheism.
Cardinal Tauran acknowledged the reality of troubling signs in the West: “very few young people in the West have regular contact with the Church, a large number of children grow up without having ever read the Bible, without knowing the Christian rites, without knowing that one can pray to God…”