A fascinating article describes Pope Benedict’s critiques of the western world in a 2006 book.
Here are some notable excerpts from the article:
In (his book), Benedict noted that in contemporary Europe, anyone who dishonoured Judaism or Islam would “pay a fine” — but that “when it comes to Jesus Christ and that which is sacred to Christians, instead, freedom of speech becomes the supreme good.”
“This case illustrates a peculiar Western self-hatred that is nothing short of pathological,” Benedict argued, suggesting that the West had “lost all capacity for self-love” even as it was “trying to be more open” to foreign cultures.”
“All that it sees in its history is the despicable and the destructive; it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure,” he said — an assessment that seems especially relevant today, with Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other ascendant woke-left ideologies seeking to eradicate much of the West’s built heritage and the history it represents.
“Europe seems hollow, as if it were internally paralysed,” he said, suggesting that it was “infected by a strange lack of desire for the future.”
“Children, our future, are perceived as a threat to the present… as a liability rather than a source of hope,” he said.
Benedict further argued that multiculturalism — “which is so constantly and passionately promoted” — would prove unviable “without the sense of direction offered by our own values.”
“Unless we embrace our own heritage of the sacred, we will not only deny the identity of Europe, we will also fail in providing a service to others to which they are entitled,” he explained, adding: “Multiculturalism itself thus demands that we return once again to ourselves.”
His critiques of Europe are extremely applicable to the United States also. Benedict was essentially advocating identitarian conservatism, which America’s elites and the political class intensely despise. But his musings on this overall topic are precisely on target.
2 thoughts on “Benedict Accurately Diagnosed West’s Self-Inflicted Maladies”
Pope Francis’ homily at Benedict’s funeral was cold and hardly respectful for that man , from Bavaria, who was a model for those that love Jesus Christ. As Rod Dreher said:
“You don’t even have to have liked Ratzinger’s theology to nevertheless recognize his significance. This was Francis’s opportunity to do so. He refused. He could have delivered this homily for his butler. Compare it to the detailed, joyful Benedict XVI gave at the funeral of John Paul II.”
His message to Europe will, no doubt, fall on deaf ears but America should pay close attention to it.
I had not heard about Francis’ homily, Fred, but somehow that is unsurprising. I saw that he was brought to the funeral in a wheelchair. This man is not good for the Catholic Church– or any church.
And yes, America should pay very close attention to Benedict’s warning to Europe.
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