Catholic Europe isn’t what it used to be


#1

ECONOMIST: "IN THE Europe of 2017, can there be such a thing as a Catholic political leader? That seems like a topical question in a year when the European Union is being shaken to its foundations and at least three European democracies (France, Germany, the Netherlands) face elections in which issues of culture and identity loom large.

Before even thinking about the matter, it is worth recalling that Europe’s transnational institutions, as they emerged after 1945, were deeply Catholic in inspiration. Devout statesmen such as Robert Schuman of France, Italy’s Alcide De Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer of Germany (pictured, left to right) laid the groundwork for a new continental order in which national divisions would be overcome and Western Europe, at least, would stand firm against totalitarianism. Politicians who had resisted fascism, in the name of their Catholic faith, were seen as well-placed to oppose the new menace of atheist communism, and the movement known as Christian Democracy took shape.

These days, Catholicism still surfaces in European debates, albeit not usually as a decisive factor. At a time when Islam is the fastest-growing form of religious practice on the continent, politicians of the right, centre-right and even centre-left can still appeal to nativist sentiment by stressing the importance of the continent’s historic faith. But the evidence suggests that any aspiring politician who tried, in the name of Catholicism, to roll back the liberal consensus on bio-ethical and reproductive issues would be thumped electorally."

economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2017/02/religion-european-politics


#2

Anti-Pope Francis post coming in 3,2,1…


#3

Curious…is Islam growing, or just migrating? I would find it hard to believe people with a Christian history would convert. Of course I live far from the areas in question.


#4

??? Seriously???


#5

Europe’s Catholic identity has been moving in the wrong direction since (1) the Reformation and (2) the Age of Exploration – (aka the “enlightenment”)

Then, the World Wars really put nails in the preverbal coffin. :frowning:


#6

Really?

If you went back to 1945?

Actually, the World Wars led to a temporary revival as Christian Democracy rapidly spread across Western Europe to fill the vacuum left behind by other ideologies.

This political tradition was directly inspired by Catholic Social Teaching.

If you read the article in the OP, you will find that it states:

"…Before even thinking about the matter, it is worth recalling that Europe’s transnational institutions, as they emerged after 1945, were deeply Catholic in inspiration. Devout statesmen such as Robert Schuman of France, Italy’s Alcide De Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer of Germany (pictured, left to right) laid the groundwork for a new continental order in which national divisions would be overcome and Western Europe, at least, would stand firm against totalitarianism. Politicians who had resisted fascism, in the name of their Catholic faith, were seen as well-placed to oppose the new menace of atheist communism, and the movement known as Christian Democracy took shape…"

So no, the problem was not World War II or the immediate aftermath of the War.

The article correctly identifies the post-war years of the 1940s and 1950s as a golden age for Catholic politicians and Catholic political platforms in Western Europe.

The defeat of fascism in Western Europe by the Allies (a secular ideology) and the fear of Communism in the East (another secular ideology), provided an open for Christian Democratic parties to become dominant for a period in non-Soviet-occupied Europe.

This was the era in which the “Founding Fathers” of the EU were at large.


#7

You and I are talking about two totally different things my friend. Yes, the EU was originally, a Catholic idea, based on Christendom. But the way the EU materialized and the way it was envisioned by the Catholic leaders are two totally different things.

My point is that the Wars (plus the Sexual Revolution) played a major role in why the West is where we are today.

I’ve read a number of articles/books over the last few years that indicate that the World Wars weaken the faith of Europe because the wars were catalysts that helped lead the Baby Boomers away from the faith in Europe; just like the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam Wars were catalysts that helped lead the Baby Boomers away from the faith in America.

Yes, the Sexual Revolution played a major role, but the wars contributed to the Workers Movements in Italy, etc. The devastation of both world wars left the younger generations weak spiritually in Europe. After the war, in the 1940s and 1950s, the same generation that was in power during World War II, was still in control. It was their children & grandchildren who would bare the true negative affects of the wars.

God Bless


#8

I see your point now, I think.

The 1960s and perhaps even more the 1970s were the turning point.

This is a complicated question, nonetheless. Christian Democratic parties were still strong and in many places in power well into the 1980s.


#9

Exactly… the idea is that the wars set the stage for the rebellion of the 1960s & 1970s.


#10

There is some truth to this I think. In many European countries the fastest decline was between 1968 and 1975, and it has slowed down since (though now affecting Ireland and Poland)


#11

You mentioned the Sexual Revolution too. There was some pretty radical sexual ideology being developed before and between war-times, too. It just needed the right ground to take root.


#12

Right


closed #13

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