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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Pope Benedict’s mission to heal Europe

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Francis Campbell, Britain’s highly regarded ambassador to the Holy See, gave a major speech in London this week on Pope Benedict XVI and Europe. It’s worth reading in full, but here’s the conclusion:

When Pope Benedict talks about Europe he is not entering into the day to day affairs of Europe or the European Union, rather he is attempting to heal an intellectual rupture caused at the time of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. He does not see faith and reason as enemies, but as allies. He does not see the Enlightenment as alien, but as something which grew out of faith. He sees reason policing faith, and faith policing reason.

Pope Benedict rejects the inevitability and lack of hope in Oswald Spengler’s thesis of decline and he allies himself to the position advocated by Toynbee. Of Toynbee, Pope Benedict writes: ‘He was right when he said that the fate of society always depends on creative minorities … Christians should consider themselves a creative minority of this kind and contribute what they can so that Europe can recover the best of its inherited patrimony and thus be useful to the whole of humanity.’

Hat tip: Love Undefiled

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm

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