The EU, being a secular organisation, is issuing a 50th birthday statement – failing to mention religion at all.
The Pope says..
“If on the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome the governments of the union want to get closer to their citizens, how can they exclude an element as essential to the identity of Europe as Christianity, in which the vast majority of its people continue to identify,”
So, in order to get closer to the citizens of Europe, he’s suggesting that the EU endorse one particular religion that some people in Europe believe in? Statistics in Europe tend to show a downward trend in Christianity. Although many people will mark that as their religion, few attend church, have read the Bible or even follow the most basic rules of Christianity. Ireland has a strong Catholic heritage but if I were to venture out on to the street and ask a few simple questions, I doubt I would get many correct answers.
1) Name the 12 apostles.
2) As well as Jesus, who else rose from the dead when he did?
3) Describe the beast that will be seen in the sky according to revelations?
4) What does Jesus say about paying taxes?
All of these are pretty important if you’re taking Christianity serious. Surely if you believe Jesus to be the son of God, you’d study the texts closely to ensure that you’re following his teachings correctly.
Anyway, the Pope is missing something. Was the European continent always Christian? No it certainly wasn’t. If the statement were to mention Christianity, surely it should pay homage to those fine ‘pagan’ beliefs such as the Norse gods? How about Celtic beliefs?
Christianity has been part of Europe’s history and it continues to affect Europe to this day. However, in a secular society there is no reason why the state (or the EU in this case) should endorse a particular religious belief – particularly when it’s a slap in the face of European citizens who belief in other gods, not to mention the atheists who consider all religion to be superstitious twaddle.
The Pope is perfectly entitled to his delusions, indeed he can throw himself off a bridge to see if his god intervenes if we so wishes. There is no reason we should comfort him by pandering to those delusions.