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Showing posts with label Address of Pope Benedict XVI at White House European Civilization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Address of Pope Benedict XVI at White House European Civilization. Show all posts

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sarkozy Acknowledges Multiculturalism Has Failed

The Battle of Tours, October 10, 732
It is good that European leaders are finally acknowledging that they have a civilization to defend  -  a civilization that has been overrun and is dying, but one which can still be saved and renewed, if only they would recognize what Pope Benedict has called the "unrenounceable Christian roots of its culture."

The crisis, at least now acknowledged by the German Chancellor, the British Prime Minister, and the French President, was foreseen by Enoch Powell in 1968.  He was denounced as a racist, and that brilliant political leader was shunned for the rest of his life.  His "rivers of blood" are now all too real in London, Paris, Madrid, and throughout the continent.

Another prophetic voice was also raised in 1968, that of Pope Paul VI.  In his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, he spoke of "God's loving design" for "the life and happiness of human beings," and warned of the dire consequences that result in a rejection of the natural law.  He, too, has been vindicated by the world around us.

Acknowledging the failure of a half-century of secular liberalism is a necessary first step toward rejecting a narcissistic culture  of contraception, abortion, and same-sex "marriage."  These will continue to create the vacuum into which the enemies of Christian culture will pour.  And they will lead to the certain death of European civilization in less than a half century unless hearts are changed and demographic trends are reversed.  

May we hear God speaking through His prophets and the "signs of the times" before it is too late.

From Agence France-Presse
French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels. Photo: AP

French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared Thursday that multiculturalism had failed, joining a growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.

"My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure," he said in a television interview when asked about the policy which advocates that host societies welcome and foster distinct cultural and religious immigrant groups.

"Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want... a society where communities coexist side by side.

"If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France," the right-wing president said.

"The French national community cannot accept a change in its lifestyle, equality between men and women... freedom for little girls to go to school," he said.

"We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him," Sarkozy said in the TFI channel show.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's ex-prime minister John Howard and Spanish ex-premier Jose Maria Aznar have also recently said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.

Merkel in October said efforts towards multiculturalism in Germany had "failed, totally."

The comment followed weeks of anguished debate sparked by the huge popularity of a book by a central banker saying that immigrants, in particular Muslims, were making Germany "more stupid."

Britain's Cameron last week pronounced his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.

He urged a "more active, muscular liberalism" where equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity.

The prime minister, who took power in May 2010, argued that "under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream".

He said this had resulted in a lack of national identity in Britain which had made some young Muslims turn to extremist ideology.

Sarkozy said in his television interview Thursday that "our Muslim compatriots must be able to practise their religion, as any citizen can," but he noted "we in France do not want people to pray in an ostentatious way in the street."

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen late last year came under fire for comparing Muslims praying in the streets outside overcrowded mosques in France to the Nazi occupation.

Marine Le Pen said there were "ten to fifteen" places in France where Muslims worshipped in the streets outside mosques when these were full.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Call to Freedom

Pope Benedict in Spain 2010

Spain's youth gather to see the Pope

By Sister Janet Fearns, Missio

The UK media has repeatedly stated that Pope Benedict’s visit to Spain has touched on familiar themes. Yet, as usual, it has been left to the Catholic press to identify the central point of his message: freedom. Whilst the secular reports quote the Pope as calling Europe to return to its Christian roots, they frequently omit the reason for such a challenge: freedom.

To a society that often fails to distinguish between freedom and licence, yet is deeply concerned for human rights and justice, on his arrival at Compostella airport the Holy Father declared:

"In his deepest being, man is always on a journey, ever in search of truth… I too wish to encourage Spain and Europe to build their present and to project their future on the basis of the authentic truth about man, on the basis of the freedom which respects this truth and never harms it, and on the basis of justice for all, beginning with the poorest and the most defenceless, a Spain and a Europe concerned not only with people’s material needs but also with their moral and social, spiritual and religious needs, since all these are genuine requirements of our common humanity and only in this way can work be done effectively, integrally and fruitfully for man’s good".

If any statement can be said to summarise the content and significance of the Pope’s visit to Spain, this is it! Yet he goes one step further:

"The Church, which desires to serve unreservedly the human person and his dignity, stands at the service of both truth and freedom. She cannot renounce either, because what is at stake is man himself."

Recalling the struggles and bloodshed of Spain’s Civil War, Pope Benedict thus shows that there is something deeper and more important than the fight for civil liberties, vital as they are. What is the absolute crux of the matter is the freedom of the human heart, "because without this aspiration for truth, justice and freedom, man would lose his very self".

The Pope returned to this theme at Compostella, the burial place of the Apostle St James, who gave his life for the freedom to preach the Word of God.

"The Europe of civilization and culture must be open to the fraternity with other Continents…" to "the true and living God…" and abandon the "tragic belief that God is somehow man’s antagonist and an enemy of his freedom".

The relationship between God and humanity is fundamental to any understanding and appreciation of the meaning of life. Freedom without God is false. Society cannot relegate religious belief to the private and the hidden, because it will never reach the enlightenment for which it searches:

"God is the origin of our being and the foundation and apex of our freedom, not its opponent. How can mortal man build a firm foundation and how can the sinner be reconciled with himself? How can it be that there is public silence with regard to the first and essential reality of human life? How can what is most decisive in life be confined to the purely private sphere or banished to the shadows? We cannot live in darkness, without seeing the light of the sun. How is it then that God, who is the light of every mind, the power of every will and the magnet of every heart, be denied the right to propose the light that dissipates all darkness?"

Again and again, Pope Benedict has, in the five years of his papacy, emphasised that if God is given priority, everything else falls into place:

"One cannot worship God without taking care of his sons and daughters…"

The Holy Father’s message, in imitation of that which St James bore to the people of Spain, goes beyond national borders: it embraces all aspects of life, culture and civilisation. Social progress is possible only as a result of openness to God. The Church is thus promoting freedom, not restricting it.

"The Europe of science and technology, the Europe of civilization and culture, must be at the same time a Europe open to transcendence and fraternity with other continents, and open to the living and true God, starting with the living and true man. This is what the Church wishes to contribute to Europe: to be watchful for God and for man, based on the understanding of both which is offered to us in Jesus Christ."

Since his election to the See of Peter, Pope Benedict’s constant theme has been the importance of truth in the ongoing search for freedom. In stressing that: "One can not live without truth and freedom", he is pointing to all that is fundamental to the culture of Europe… but Europe needs to open its eyes and rediscover God.