Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Religious Unbelief in the World

Cardinal Poupard Draws a Sobering Sketch of Rising Secularism
Religious unbelief isn't uncommon anymore, says the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

"Unbelief is no longer a phenomenon reduced to a few individuals but a mass phenomenon," warns Cardinal Paul Poupard. It is manifested especially "in countries where a secular cultural model prevails," he adds.

In an interview with ZENIT, the French cardinal sketched a map of religious unbelief in the world, a problem analyzed by the culture council during its assembly last March in the Vatican.

Q: Aren't many sociologists talking about a "return to the sacred"?

Cardinal Poupard: Many talk about a "return of the sacred" without specifying that this is rather the emergence of a new weak religiosity, without reference to a personal God, something more emotional than doctrinal.

We are witnessing the de-personalization of God. This new religiosity does not coincide with a return to the faith and it is a real challenge for Christianity.
Some sobering statistical information from a study made by the assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture is then presented.

The interview concludes with this question...
Q: Given this situation, are there signs of hope for the Catholic Church?

Zenit Article.

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