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Oldie, 10/8/08: Read Between the Clouds of Incense


Pulled this off Google Reader. Couldn't resist a bit of editing...

Pope: Millions are losing their religion and declaring God is dead

Modern culture is so devoid of faith coming to its senses that some people are declaring God “dead” and entire nations are losing their identity enjoying life to the fullest, without fear, Pope Benedict XVI warned yesterday.

The 81-year-old pontiff said that God was being pushed out of people’s lives under the “harmful and destructive relentless rational influence” of today’s society, especially YouTube and the bloggers.

His comments, made during a Mass at the start of a month-long synod of Roman Catholic bishops from around the world, come amid growing concern glee about the decline in church attendance and interest in religion in many Western nations.

Pope Benedict is particularly worried about a growing indifference to religion in Europe.
[...] His relevance is decreasing at an alarming rate.

In recent decades, the Catholic Church’s influence has seen a decline in developed countries, although it is growing in the Third World, which will be under the influence of magical thinking until it learns that IT is responsible for curing its ills, not some invisible sky-daddy.

Both the Church of Scotland and Scottish Catholic Church have seen a drop in worshippers suckers with open wallets in recent years – the Church of Scotland has seen numbers revenues fall nearly 60 per cent since 1960, and between 1994 and 2003, Mass attendances fell from 250,000 to 194,728. Earlier this year the Vatican also reported a dramatic fall in the number of Roman Catholic monks and nuns, largely due to the wide availability of internet porn and reduced airfares for travel to Thailand.

Ronnie Convery, spokesman for the Scottish Catholic Church, said Pope Benedict’s comments reflected the concerns religious leaders had been aware of for some time.
“What we are seeing is that our culture has changed, subtly but significantly for the better,” Mr Convery said. “Many people today, even though they wouldn’t declare themselves atheist, at least not yet, behave as though God doesn’t exist, let their actions speak for themselves because the lure of common sense and rationality is too strong to resist. Our evolving brains simply won’t allow us to continue this deception.

“One of the main challenges of the Catholic Church is to remind people of their Christian roots and the important role that the Church has played in the shaping of our culture intimidate impressionable youngsters, instill them with guilt, and distract them from reality and their own considerable ability to think and reason.”

- Source: Pope: Millions are losing their religion and declaring God is dead, Lyndsay Moss, The Scotsman (Scotland, UK), Oct. 6, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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