Washington D.C., Feb 15, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Collapsing Catholicism in Europe, radical Islam and biotechnology will be the three major issues the cardinals will consider at the next Conclave, predicted papal biographer and columnist George Weigel in an article published in the Washington Post Feb. 15.
Weigel says controversial issues, such as abortion, homosexuality and ordination of women to the priesthood, will not be issues at the next Conclave. Instead, they will all be “matters of global consequence.”
Weigel said one of the cardinals’ major preoccupations is Europe’s “demographic suicide.” He pointed out that “no Western European state has a replacement level birth rate.” Catholic practice there is at its lowest and the society’s radical secularization “dissolves a people's sense of responsibility for the future.”
Weigel also said cardinal-electors are concerned about radical Islam as “an implacable enemy of religious freedom.”