The dean of the College of Cardinals that will choose the next pope published a new book Wednesday calling on Europe to return to its Christian roots and condemning gay marriage, divorce and the possibility of human cloning.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's book, published in German by the Herder publishing house under the title "Values in a Time of Upheaval," says Europe's Christian heritage is the key to respect for human dignity and to the continent's survival as a civilization.
"Europe needs a new - certainly skeptical and humble - acceptance of itself, if it wants to survive," the German-born Ratzinger wrote, according to excepts published in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. "The ever more passionately demanded multiculturalism is often above all a renunciation of what is one's own, a fleeing from what is one's own."
He said people can respect the faith and culture of others only when they remain true to their own, "only when what is holy, God, is not alien to us ourselves."
European integration as represented by the European Union has become a mostly economic project, he wrote, "with far-reaching exclusion of the spiritual foundations of such a society."