In this post I would like to ponder the apparent dying of Europe and what God might be teaching us. I would first like to present some information and then reflect as to what God might be teaching us.

We have pondered before on this blog that Christian Europe as we have known it is slowly dying away. The Pope has remarked that the lights are going out in Europe. The Christian faith has largely been forsaken by Europeans (only about 10% go to Mass and in many places over 60% describe themselves as atheists). Birth rates have plummeted to death-wish levels, and Europeans are slowly being replaced by Muslim immigrants who have a much higher birth rate. It is unlikely there will be any huge war that will usher in a Muslim Europe, just a slow and seemingly inexorable replacement as Europeans die out and Muslims from North Africa and other areas replace them.

There is already some evidence of Europe slowly giving way to its new identity as enclaves of Muslims become increasingly insistent on replacing European Law with Shariah based law and observance. Slowly these enclaves are growing. They have met some resistance to be sure, but their growth is undeniable. (See the map of France at the upper right. The darker shades of purple indicate a larger numbers of Muslim enclaves or “no-go” areas discussed below).   

There is an increasingly common thing in European cities often referred to as  the “no-go zone or area.” They are Muslim sections of towns where the police, medical rescue crews, and other government agents will not venture. Some of these areas are “governed” by Muslim gangs. The areas are viewed as just too violent and/or risky to enforce laws. Other areas or zones have enacted Sharia Law, and community leaders enforce it. Local government officials are discouraged from, or no longer attempt to enter these “no-go zones” even to put out fires, enforce law or make infrastructure repairs for they are unwelcome and often meet with resistance and violence. In effect the no-go zones become a microstate.

In France no-go zones are referred to as Zones Urbaines Sensibles (Sensitive Urban Zones). Approximately 12 percent of all French in France live in a Sensitive Urban Zones. Many of the zones are governed under Islamic Sharia law and Islamic militants strongly resist any presence of the French police.

The rest of Europe is going down a similar path. England, for example,  is struggling with many immigrants who insist on living under non-English Law. All this means that political unity is threatened.  Europe, with a dying population and hostile minority groups, faces a bleak future. It seems clear that Europe is simply being replaced. [1, 2, 3, 4]

Now, to be sure, there are some who dispute this picture and insist it isn’t that bad. But, even if the seriousness of the current situation is disputed, the trajectory seems rather clear, and Europe’s future as increasingly Muslim is hard to deny.

It will surely be harder for the Church as well since religious tolerance is not widely appreciated in the Muslim world. Much will depend on how radical the brand of Islam that sets up will be. If Sharia is largely insisted upon and enforced things could get very difficult.

Sharia Law is the religious law of Islam. It comes from the Quran and also the known practices of the Prophet Muhammad. All Muslims believe that Sharia is God’s law but they have many different interpretations of it. It is not necessarily fair to simply condemn the wish for it outright since not all Muslims hold to or wish to see enforced its more odious components. Nevertheless, with Muslim extremism on the rise many rightly fear its wider imposition throughout Europe. Some of the more extreme tenets of Sharia include:

  1. Jihad, is defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion.” It is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.
  2. A Caliph (head of state) is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.
  3. A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.
  4. A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.
  5. A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an apostate 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Vigilante street justice and honor killing is acceptable.
  6. Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging even for crimes of sin such as adultery.
  7. Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims under the law. They must comply to Islamic law if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women….recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals.
  8. A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.
  9. Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.
  10. Homosexuality is punishable by death.
  11. There is no age limit for marriage of girls. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and can be consummated at age 8 or 9.
  12. Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.
  13. Divorce is only in the hands of the husband.
  14. A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and none of them have a right to divorce him.
  15. The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man.
  16. To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses.
  17. A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.
  18. A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body, which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Not all Sharia schools allow the face of a woman exposed.
  19. It is obligatory for a Muslim to lie if the purpose is abiding with Islam’s commandments, such as jihad, a Muslim is obliged to lie and should not have any feelings of guilt or shame associated with this kind of lying.  
  20. The points are from Nonie Darwish in  “Cruel and Usual Punishment; The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law

Again, not every Muslim seeks to impose or enforce all of this. But, who is to say what will actually come to be when such a sweeping law is increasingly imposed in Europe? Who will limit the extremists? It is currently a very dangerous scenario that enclaves (no-go areas) are springing up on their own. Without any central authority or constitution to oversee the whole, “justice” comes down to what the local sheriff (er… Caliph) says.  No one can really say that the most extreme forms of Sharia will not become the law in the “wild west” that Europe may become.

Can’t happen here? In the United States, the dynamics are very different and Christians are not simply being replaced. However, there are already some attempts at insisting on Sharia zones in places like Baltimore, and Detroit. There are also increasing demands for “Sharia Compliant” banks, legal practices and the like. Yes, it may happen here but not likely in the way Europe is going. [5]

Some soul-searching. What must we learn?  – It is easy to lament where things may be headed. Indeed there are likely difficult days ahead. But we cannot miss the painful lesson that Europe shows forth, and to some extent America and the whole western world experiences.

First, Europe has lost the source of its strength. It simply does not pertain to strong, unified and cohesive cultures to simply be replaced. Obviously the West, especially Europe, has lost its strength. How has this happened? Europe’s fate was sealed long ago when the faith was largely abandoned and Europeans, as most of the West, set on a path of contracepting and aborting  themselves right out of existence.  Further, in the western world, as natural law and biblical morality have been largely set aside a cascade of deleterious effects have set in: Abortion, divorce, fornication, STDs, AIDS, teenage pregnancy, violence, broken families, poorly raised children, immodesty, pornography, sexual abuse, materialism, greed, individualism, relativism, egotism, and a whole plethora of crude, base and just plain bad behavior. All of this has dramatically weakened Western Culture.

Second, no culture can survive without something higher and outside itself to unite it. The word culture has at its root the word cultus. This is the Latin word for a religious system of beliefs and practices (and not the pejorative sense of “cult” that has come into English). Cultus is the totality of  religious practice and observance, the neglect of which is a very dangerous thing. 

Clearly in the West, there has been a misguided experiment to see if we could take the “Cultus” out of Culture, and still have culture.  It is clear we cannot. Without a unifying set of beliefs and understandings that set forth our priorities, moral vision, and ultimate values and goals, we are doomed.

As God was kicked to the curb, first in the academy during the “enlightenment” and then by successive stages  in the wider populace, our fate was sealed. The center cannot hold without the cultus, which is the religious and transcendent basis of culture. A culture must have something outside and above it to knit it together.  The Lord says,

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Is Israel a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder?… Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the LORD your God when he led you in the way?  (Jer 2:13,14,17)

Here in America we have struggled in similar ways. We are still far more religious than Europe, but rampant secularism threatens us as does the setting aside of Biblical morality and Natural Law. We are on a path similar to Europe and very foolish to stay on it.

Tragic Loss – Europe does not even have the dignity of being conquered by an Army. At least then it could go down fighting. No indeed, it is simply fading away by a kind of suicidal death-wish. Despite years of warnings the birth rate continues to drop. The lights are indeed going out in Europe. And it is a tragic loss, for Europe has a great intellectual, artistic and cultural legacy. I cannot claim the mantle of prophet, but barring a miracle, Europe as we knew it is passing away.

The Question we cannot fail to ask – It is one thing to lament the possible coming of a tough, intolerant form of Sharia. It ought to be resisted. Religious Liberty is strongly threatened by a radical form of Islam which may ascend from Europe’s ashes. But we cannot fail to ask, How did we get here? What can we in America and the rest of the West learn? What is God saying to us?

-

I am not entirely sure I like the tone of this video. But it does help paint a picture of what is going on in France and Europe.

 

68 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    It has started already in this country….

    The link below is from an islamic festival in dearborn michigan. Notice how Christian missionaries are treated.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fEPod-hxD7g

    This is the price we will all pay for the West’s rejection of God.

    People think Egypt and Libya will result in better govt’s but it will almost certainly result in less freedom for non-muslims. They will be even more intolerant. Egypt and Turkey was the best they had to show the West in terms of human freedom and they both persecuted Christians mercilessly while touting supposed rights for minorities. Gadaffi gave millions to groups helping muslims immigrate to Europe with the express goal of conquering it sliently from within….. and it is a well known cause amongst many muslims.

    It took a thousand years for the RCC to civilize Europe, and it will take less than 3 or 4 generations to make it as bereft of God as when it began. How quickly a civilization can rot from within.

    • Yes, that is one thing I want to take up with God some day: Why does it take centuries to build and only 20 minutes to tear something down? I too am not as sanguine about Egpyt and Libya as many. I think, with you that tough times are ahead since the only real organized force to fill the power vacuum are groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.

  2. Nick says:

    We have to fight for souls, even those of our enemies’, and fight against the true enemy of man: Satan. In this way we will help God save us from every evil.

    • Yes, when the Barbarians migrated through the declining Roman Empire in the West we converted them. I am concerned however that this is far less fertile soil for us to work in. We shall see.

  3. Alan says:

    When I think of how Europe has forgotten its Christian identity, I am reminded of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. I remember him making some remark about how it was not the winter that destroyed Napoleans grand army when it sacked Moscow (as many are taught). It was the riches and decadence of that great city once occupied. Few soldiers showed up for muster and discipline amongs the ranks collapsed as everyone selfishly indulged in the riches and luxuries of the city… even as the city burned(ala nero). The soldiers knowingly rejected the very things that would have kept them alive. They lost that which made them soldiers, and they were destroyed. Our Catholic faith is no different.

  4. Vijaya says:

    I am not very knowledgeable, but here are some of my observations. When we were living in Europe in the mid-to-late 1990s there was a tremendous pessimism and people spoke about not bringing children into the world. There was a lot of backlash against immigration, particularly from N. Africa and Turkey. There was a lot of racism, yet they needed them to do the jobs that Europeans wouldn’t do. Now the tide is turning. The demographics are such that Muslims will take over Europe unless Europeans turn toward God.

    However, the Muslims are more our brothers than the atheists. We share a history of faith that goes back to Abraham and there is possibility of conversion. One thing that struck me in the Old Testament is that when the Israelites turned away from God, God would allow them to be taken over by the other peoples living in the area. Only a faithful remnant survived. And this happened many, many times. I see the same pattern here …

    But Jesus promised us that the Church will stand forever, no matter the trials, the suffering. And we are the Church … If good Christians spread the Word and live according to God’s commandments, He will not forsake us.

    Peace.

    • crazylikeknoxes says:

      I agree that the Muslims are more akin to brothers than the secularists/atheists. I also feel that, while the Muslins may be taking advantage of Europe’s crisis of faith, they are not responsible for it.

    • Agreed. The problem is the Christian West which has become decadent. The concern however related to the Muslim advancement are twofold: Religious Liberty – for the Muslims are not known for religious tolerance, and the replacement of European (Western Culture) which though now in a decadent state, has brought great benefit to the world and is (was) very tied to the Christian faith.

    • KM says:

      “Muslims are more our brothers than the atheists”
      I beg to differ. What kind of fellowship can exist between light and darkness? None, be it atheistic darkness, Muslim darkness or otherwise. Why is it so easy to overlook what happened to the Middle East where Christianity was prominent until a gang that belonged to a thug named Muhammad conquered, plundered, raped and pillaged the area. Instead of knowledge and enlightenment, tyranny and ignorance became widespread. Despite the highly advanced civilizations Muslims took over, the pattern was always always always a downfall towards the worse? Why do you ignore all this history? This question is also directed towards those who agreed with your post there, including the Most Excellent Msgr. Charles Pope.

  5. Paul says:

    Romans 1: 18 – 32

  6. Telos says:

    One important detail that should be noted: Some of the people in Europe, and in particular Belgium, reject the church because of many years of corruption within some sects of the hierarchy of the church. We all can recite many true stories of the church lording its power over everyone including Catholics. Corruption from within the church is destroying the people of God. We should focus in on how we can heal our own corruption and people will once again follow.

    • I understand. I think the Church was also more connected to the state in the European experience than here in America. All this both feuled corruption and compromise and caused the faithful to include the Church (fairly or unfairly) in their political difference.

  7. Erica says:

    What will happen to Rome? Can it “move” to America?

    • That Rome can “move” has already been demonstrated in the Avignon Papcy. However, that move (due to war and chaos in Rome) caused severe rifts in the Church. Any move would have to be carefully thought out. But I can see the possibility, if radical Isalm overtakes Italy (and there are similar forces as in France) that the Pope might have to relocate

  8. Linus says:

    Yes, it is very disturbing. It could definitely happen here and there are several places where it has begun. We all know the ultimate or perhaps we should say the first step to recovery begins. Faith and the reinvigoration of the Catholic faith. Beyond that we do have to realize that there simply not enough Muslims to control the entire world. The Americas are blessed some what by our isolation and by large Hispanic populations which adhere to trditional family traditions which include large families. But the overriding solution is one of faith. One thing is certain, God has never blessed faithlessness.

  9. Bill says:

    Thank you Msgr. Pope for this article. I am sure what you wrote could have been written 100 years ago or more by our Catholic church. The reason it remained silent is a mystery. Perhaps God is letting us build our own cross just like the one we built for Him. The crucifixion of Europe and the West will be painful and very, very real for Christians and even atheists. How interesting it is that shariah law directly confronts homosexuality but the Catholic Church seems to be divided and many princes of the Church do not support the teaching of our Popes (no pun intended) on homosexuality among other things.

    The question is will there be a resurrection of Europe and the West? Catholic prophecy indicates a renewal of the Faith under the Great Monarch. Out of persecution come converts so maybe we should be building new churches in Europe and the West because persecution is surely coming. Maranatha!

  10. David says:

    Thanks for such a clear, thoughtful post!

    To try to extend it a bit in one – or a couple – direction(s):

    That curious (reader be warned; often blasphemous and ‘sex’ full) ‘lapsed Catholic’ novelist, Anthony Burgess wrote a book about George Orwell’s 1984, including a short novel,called 1985. Written before Mrs. Thatcher’s rise, it imagines a 1985 in which a thoroughly unionized Britain (“TUC [Trade Union Council] = TUK [the United Kingdom]”) encounters (in head-on clash) Muslim wealth and power (for example, building a great mosque with non-union labour and so not following union rules, with the builders protected by what is in effect a private army).

    But, 26 years after 1985, the practice is more often a leftist/ ‘progressive’ cooperation with various Sharia-minded (etc.) Muslims – not only in Britain.

    About that long ago, a thoughtful (Aquinas- and Chesterton-loving) Englishman I talked to, predicted to me (quite apart from considerations of immigration, etc.) a considerable growth in Western converts to Islam… in effect, because he thought many likely to find it appearing to have much of the ‘appeal’ of Christianity, with a ‘éss difficult’ theology.

    • Yes, the affinity of the Political Left with Isalm is very puzzling to me since Isalm, in its radical form is so repressive. I would add to Chesterton’s point that some in the West find the order within Isalm appealing. As the West delines into decadance and disorder, the focused and apparently disciplined life of Isalm may appeal to wider numbers.

  11. Paul Rimmer says:

    I have been to France, even to some of these zones, and I do not think it is as you say. It is bad there, but many of these zones have nothing to do with Islam. They are simply very poor areas, where unemployment is high.

    In terms of this religious division or places controlled by gangs, it is not as bad as you say. I have seen no evidence for it.

    France is a wonderful place, and I would rather live in France, I think, than in the United States.

    • As I pointed out in the article there are some who debate the current condition of Europe. You are clearly more sanguine than others. But to be clear there are different perspectives on the current state. However, I think simple demographics spells out where this is going. I am not so confident that the France you love will continue in any stable form. I think France 50 years from now will be a very different place.

      Here’s a video from German TV:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpyzglr6PWs&feature=player_embedded
      It discusses the situation there. I think you are right in saying we should not over-simplify the problem. However, even when gangs take over and rule no-go zone, the question then becomes who or what will ultimately fill the power vacuums that are created.

  12. Mike Fears says:

    Great post once again. The push by Muslims to have Sharia imposed is real and should be very worrying. There is a fundamental lack of respect for the person in Islam, and no well developed concept of mercy to non-believers (even Muslims for that matter). Islam is a Christian heresy – a form of Arianism – so it contains a spark of some truth while denying other elements of relevation. To read the Koran is a interesting – it is certainly not a religion of “peace”. It provides an interesting challenge that a religiously illiterate Western culture is incapable of responding to. We have lost our cultural integrity in the process of deifying the individual. As such, we are largely powerless to defend ourselves against the Islamic alternative – even as Islam is itself internally divided and not organizationally monolithic. I encounter Muslims that present a range of practices and cultural views – but they are basically united in their faith and against our culture, which they equate with Christianity (hard to do logically in post-Christian Europe, but a more troubling assertion when looking at what is tolerated in North American society today).

    • Yes, I think that you are right in asserting that we have lost our capcity even to speak out against the more flagrant aspects of radical Isalm. After years of relativism, and extreme forms of multiculturalism, and then the jettisoning of religious truth, there is little to say except that we don’t like Isalm – but that comes off not as thoughtful, but just visceral.

  13. ecks why says:

    islam is a horrible ideology for human rights

    4 key things about islam

    1. mythical religious – all religions have this (faith) because its part of being a religion, having beliefs without proof until after the believer dies. the problem is people will believe almost anything

    2. totalitarianism – there is no free will in islam sharia law governs all. there is no seperation of church and state in islam: only submission to the will of allah as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests. there are no moderate muslims they all support sharia law, see dar al harb

    3. violence – of all religions islam leads the pack in violent tenets for their ideology & history: containing eternal canonical imperatives for supremacy at all costs using violence & intimidation as basic tools to achieve these goals

    4. dishonesty – only islam has dishonesty as a fundamental tenet: this stems from allah speaking to mohamhead & abrogation in the koran which is used to explain how mo’s peaceful early life was superseded by his warlord role later, see al taqiyya

    really there are NO redeeming qualities for this muddled pile of propaganda named islam

    islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics in yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedom

    thanks for reading & of course delete if too harsh for this blog :)

    • Yes, I think this is true of miltiant or radical forms of Isalm. I would still like to maitain SOME distinction between the more radical interpretations and others less radical. But we shall see what sort of Islam finally wins the day. I am somewhat convinced the radicals have the passion and will win.

      • Charles Martel says:

        Let’s be perfectly clear there is no “distinction” now and there never was. Before the successful cultural assaults launched by Marxism/Socialism in the West, our Christian forebears knew how to speak frankly about THE Death Cult known as Islam:

        “In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e. Muhammad], the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself a prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new revelations of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE. … Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant … While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will toward men.” (Emphasis in original text) –
        John Quincy Adams

        Read more: Why Islamists can beat us http://www.wnd.com/index.php/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=233697#ixzz1FO4Xsbg8

    • Tony Layne says:

      I agree. I would just make the note on point 1 that even atheism suffers from the lack of proof problem, since there’s no way you can prove, by either logic or evidence, that something does not exist. Disallowing all revelation and miracles from the question, it still remains true that “There is no god” is as much a leap of faith as “Credo in unum Deum.”

  14. Vox Day says:

    Where America is headed and Americans must do:

    “No society that has been reorganized and restructured to provide such a perverse system of incentives deserves to survive, indeed, no such civilized society ever has survived. And therein lies the awesome challenge present to the men of the West, to the young men of America, today.

    The education system is stacked against them. The media are stacked against them. The law is stacked against them. The family courts are stacked against them. The church will cheerfully lecture them on their failures while uniformly giving women a pass on everything from abortion and gluttony to a failure to honor and submit to their husbands. Society has provided every possible excuse for a young, white Christian man to give up, opt out and become the videogame-addicted, marriage-avoidant, slut-shagging degenerate that the entertainment industry portrays him to be.

    But is this not precisely the sort of challenge that real men have always craved? To stubbornly persist in the face of overwhelming evil is the root of all heroism. Instead of being seen as an unavoidable morass, the culture must be viewed as an evil to be resisted and eventually overcome. Not every man will survive the battle, just as not every Marine who stormed the bloody beaches of Tarawa lived to tell the terrible tale. For every man who marries a God-fearing woman and becomes the head of a strong family in which the basic tenets of American Christian civilization are preserved, there will be one who is financially raped in divorce court, is ruined by the parasitic governmental hegemony or falls victim to an intoxicated illegal alien driving without a driver’s license. But it is no shame to fall in the battle. The only shame is to be found in the failure to fight it.

    There is no reason for despair. The collapse of American empire is precisely what will bring about the end of the current system in which the unproductive prosper on the efforts of the productive, and it is certain because it is mathematically unsustainable. The old White Man’s Burden was to bring Christian civilization to the savage. The new White Man’s Burden is to plant seeds of Christian civilization that are capable of surviving the coming descent into savagery.”

    • You seem to be quoting something here. What and who is it? It’s a little on the iconclastic side. Personally I still pray for reform.

    • Christine says:

      Vox Day,

      I understand and agree with at least part of what you wrote, but why is it that men who are unhappy with whatever situation they might have always find a way to blame it on fat women?

      Statistically in the US, more men are overweight than women, so the chances of you being fat are greater than the chances of me being fat.

      I know I am careening the dialogue off course, but I always wonder about those who blame fat women for any sundry list of men’s problems. A full-length mirror check might be in order. Besides, pornography has more to do with the want to escape the reality of life and the difficulty of relationships. A little fantasy time with unobtainable women says much more about the spiritual state of the man than it does of the physical (weight) state of the woman.

  15. M says:

    I don’t get it, Why I never see anyone on the coments section talk anything about the servants of the devil?
    I mean, it was suposed to, by this time, be a common knowledge of how, aproximatedly, the devil control this world.
    He directly control certain peoples (the satanists), who in turn control all the banks, countries, presidents, ditactors, television, entertainment, drug, trafic, fake religions (like the islam and in good part the protestantism), etc.
    What this means: the world is not really separated. The evil ones are, despite apparences, well organized and following a common leader that is on the top of the pyramid, the devil.

    So, when you people go talk about current world situations, what are the causes and what could be the provable predictions, always take in consideration this information (that should be a common knowledge, it’s no big secret that the world is controled by a satanic group, it’s just that they thenselves have turned this “conspiracy theory” in a joke thing, for they protection or something)

    • The Church prefers to dinstinguish and see three basic sources of trouble: the world, the flesh and the devil. It would be wrong to deny demonic influence in the is world. But it is myopic to not also see the flesh and the spirit of the world also at work.

      • M says:

        No, of course there is the demonic influence to acount for when analizing/judging the action of some peoples. But I am refering to the human “soldiers” of the devil, the guys who literaly receive and follow orders from the devil, the guys who are on just bellow the “top of the pyramid” and give orders to the rest of the world (as I said, the nations, presidents, media, banks, muslin chiefs, etc).
        It’s just that it’s bad to see people in the news/coments always ignoring this part of the “puzzle”. You can’t expect to deduce the just cause and possible foresseing consequences if you are ignoring a part of the mechanichal behind the events.
        The muslin are one more tool of the devil, he utilizes it as he see fit on his plan, and certainly the great comanders of the muslin world are satanists or directly comanded by they.

        • M says:

          Also, Charles Pope, I din’t noticed that it was you who responded, the guy who writed this article (really good one, thanks for this info, I was unaware of some of this things).
          I case you are really unaware of this subject, of how the devil directly control the world (putting aside the influence he and his demons do, or something like that)(and to any supernatural thing that he may able to do, in case he can), I will tell you something (that in part are deductions, but you get the idea): There is some guys who control lots of powerful/important guys, who in turn control others, etc. The subordinated don’t need to be or know anything about satanism exactly (a muslin chief controled can really be a muslin for example). This guys, I guess, besides being evil guys are too really possessed by some important demon, and receive directly the orders/plans of the devil.
          What this means to the vision of the world? it means that the countries are like states more or less, since they all have the same king, all the money and the big companies have the same owner, the yakuza, triade, mafia, big drug dealers, etc, all have the same owner. All the big armies belong to him.
          “Then why he don’t just vaporizes the vatican?””why he don’t kill the pope and go around eliminating the christians?”
          It’s possible to imagine some good answers for this questions, and you can’t consider that the devil is dumb and don’t have his strategies and stuff.

          Why don’t you do a research about this (would take some time and lots of “filtering” to achieve correct information among the disinformation that is highly spread by then among time) and post something (if not just for considerations)?

          • M says:

            Hum… I guess you will not them? well, silly of me to expect atention on a “coments conversation”. anyway, never mind then. Usualy people don’t believe this anyway, too much “anestesy”.

  16. Turgonian says:

    “A Caliph (head of state) is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.”

    This is not extreme. Many monarchs enjoy sovereign immunity, including those of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and indeed the Holy See. The ministers are usually accountable for the monarch’s actions.

  17. Jude Byamukama says:

    Funny enough,even parts of urban Africa are also following the same route! In Uganda where I live, most young Catholics are falling away from the faith although no one seems seriously bothered since Churches are always full at Mass time.

  18. l&j says:

    Re: Linus 3-1-11
    There are millions of ILLEGALS (not necessarily Hispanic) here in the US waiting for amnesty and hundreds crossing daily from Mexico. Who supplies drug money for arms coming to the US from Mexico? There are plenty $$$Muslims in Mexico. The US is generously sending $$$$$ to Mexican government to fight drugs. It disappears.
    As for Hispanics family oriented and adhering to family traditions – no more – not in U.S or Mexico! Lets not feel so snug!

    • Well, I don’t know if snug is the word. But, at least our imigrants are largely Catholic Christians. Further, they seem to value and share the American Dream rather than seek to replace it. Most immigrant groups have broght with them some social ills and NewYork was at one times filled with crowded and crime-ridden tenement houses. But most of our immigrants want what America is. THey do not seek to replace american law with Mexican Law, as the radical muslim immigrants of Europe (and even here) seek to impose Sharia Law. Hence, I do not see a simple equvalency here though our immigrants do surely present challenges to this country.

  19. Jamie Reynolds says:

    Whatever ills my home continent has, Islam is not responsible (as if Islam was a unified movement with clear goals and strategies). The dangers of some sort of Islamic take-over in Europe are vastly over-estimated.

    Europe’s geographic position close to north Africa and the Middle East, its relative wealth, and its colonial connections with Islamic countries make it a natural destination for Muslim emigrants. But the decline of Christianity is only weakly related to the rise in Muslims. Europe has gone secular. While some Christians have converted, it is a tiny percentage. Most have just given up their Christian beliefs altogether.

    Note as well that there are comparatively few Muslims in political power in Europe – or, indeed, in high military office. Most that are there are moderates (of course, as otherwise they wouldn’t participate in the political system). All of this makes me believe that we won’t see a “Muslim Europe” at all.

    • I don’t think we’re far apart here. My article is primarily a soul-searching of what has happened to the Christian faith in Europe (which is historically tied to its culture) and I see THAT as the primary cause.

      That said, the jury is still out but evidence does seem to be comming in that Isalm is tipping toward the radical and this does not bode well for religious freedom or for the survival of European culture as we know it. But the fault in Europe is surely on the part of Christians for our own decline.

  20. Charles Curtis says:

    Father,

    I admire your blog very much – when it comes to teaching Catholicism, you are incredible.

    But when it comes to Islam, with all due respect, you don’t know what you are talking about. The crap you’ve posted here is sheer right wing propaganda.

    I’ve lived in Switzerland, Egypt and Turkey, have studied Islam and Arab studies in graduate school, and can tell you the reality of Islam and Muslim people is vastly different than the lurid imaginings of Pat Robertson and cretins like him.

    The video clip you’ve posted from CBN has an interview of a member of Bloc Identitaire:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloc_identitaire

    They are crypto fascists and racists. I suggest that you ought not be associating the arch-diocese with such politically charged material. It is, to say the very least, inappropriate.

    Further, all Muslims do not “believe that Shariah is God’s law.” My sister in law, for example, is a Turk and a Muslim – as well as an American citizen, now – and she and her entire Turkish family all believe in secular political values. They are vociferous supporters of Ataturk’s republic, as incidentally are even most of the Turks that support the AK, PM Erdogan’s party which is characterized as “Islamicist” by idiots here who have no idea what they are talking about – the Turkish constitution’s explicit rejection of Islamic law in governing the country.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey#Religion

    While it is true that the Turkish Republic often engages in actions detrimental to Christians, as in the suppression of the Greek Ecumenical Patriarch, that has far more to do with nationalism than religion, religion having become an artefact of tribal identity in that case.

    I could go on, Egypt and most other Muslim societies are just as complex and have little resemblance to the stupid rancid imaginings of the Western Right. What they are doing is characterizing a world religious tradition of vast complexity and richness. It would be like saying Catholicism is synonymous with the Christian Identity movement, and that all Christians (as opposed to just a minuscule percentage – a millions out of the 2 Billion Christians in the world) share the beliefs of the likes of Pat Robertson.

    Again, this post is both wrong, and benighted. It should not be associated with the archdiocese.

    • Methinks thou dost protest too much. I wonder if you even read this post since I make important distinctions that you seem to have missed and also lay the blame at the feet of Christians.

      • Charles Curtis says:

        No, Father. I’m simply pointing out that you have linked to a “news report” which contains a sympathetic interview of a member of a right-wing French political party that is openly opposed to miscegenation, and which rails against gypsies and foreigners on its websites.

        They are also, incidentally, openly opposed to American imperialism, an ironic detail that probably escaped Pat Robertson’s “journalists.”

        Now, you are free to adhere to that sort of thing if you like, in which case I will lose all respect for you. But I say as a Catholic that I do not want my Church officially associated with such racist bigotry.

        I’ll also repeat that the Islamicist caricature that you’ve propagated here is an unhelpful and distorted view of a religion that in practice is much more variegated and complex than your “expert” source understands. Most Muslims do not dream of imposing “shariah” on the West. I speak Arabic in rudimentary fashion (trained by our military) and can tell you that word means law. Not Islamic law, but just law. “The Shariah” (with the definite article) is analogous to “the Law” in Judaism. Islamic law is a very complex study, just as is study of Torah. There are many different local traditions, and four major Sunni schools of interpretation, as well as differing Shiite traditions, some more “liberal” (to use a reductive and problematic term) than others. There is, in other words, no one “Shariah.” Again, it’s like Judaism in that there are differing stream of thought in the Tulmud, and now many different traditions in Judaism, from varieties of Reform to manifold Orthodox perspectives.

        A brief search online – google Sunni madhabs for example – will prove what I am saying.

        This is not meant as an attack against you personally, Father, I am telling you – as someone who has studies all this formally – that what you have posted here is not accurate.

        Period.

        We need to be careful and fair, Father. That’s all I’m saying.

        Is that to protest too much?

        • Yes, I think you are protesting too much. I think I was careful and make distictions that you don’t seem incorporate in your rather sweeping condemnation of the post. As for the video I did indicate some dis-satisfaction with the tone. I have no idea who you are speaking about on the video and doubt most anyone else does. I don’t think it is necessary however for me to know the background of every individual interviewed on a video by someone else. My purpose in posting the video is to indicate the views and concerns about the no-go areas. I DO indicate that others are less convinced we have a problem here. I have posted your objections. I included 5 footnotes in the posted material and think the concerns about the future of Europe are widely attested. Other comments have added other videos and links. So I think your charges about careful and fair are unfounded and that you DO protest too much. Why not try objecting to the material without all the personal attacks and labels (eg: cretins, crypto fascists, racists, right-wing, “expert” etc etc). Why all the venom? Just state your case.

          IOW: I have left the door open for other views in the article itself. This is a discussion not an encyclopedia entry.I have in no way indicated that I have the final word and have clearly indicated that there are other views. You are free to state your case but you don’t need to denigrate others or heap uncessary labels. Stop protesting so much and just state your case: You think the article is inaccurate and here is how you understand the situation. In such a case you might also be open to the notion that others do not see it exactly as you and that this might not mean that they are fascist etc.

          Finally, what do you think about the main point of the article? The Pope and others have noted that Europe is dying, that the lights of the Christian faith and the culture tied to it are going out. I have tried to state why I think that is so and why it is that Europe will become a largely Muslim land. I lay that at the feet of Christians, not Muslims.

          • Daniel says:

            Msgr. , you have made a valid point to Charles Curtis when you exhorted him to comment on “the material without all the personal attacks and labels”…
            “You are free to state your case but you don’t need to denigrate others or heap unnecessary labels”.
            But in fairness, there have been an awful lot of attacks on Islam and Muslims, in the form of radical generalities and caricatures, made in other comments which have gone unchallenged by you as a moderator:

            “a gang that belonged to a thug named Muhammad conquered, plundered, raped and pillaged”

            “Islam is a Christian heresy”

            “…as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests.”

            “there are NO redeeming qualities for this muddled pile of propaganda named islam”

            “islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics in yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedom”

            “He [Satan] directly control certain peoples (the satanists), who in turn control all the banks, countries, presidents, ditactors, television, entertainment, drug, trafic, fake religions (like the islam and in good part the protestantism), etc.”

            “The muslin are one more tool of the devil,”

            “The points made about the murderous, mysoginistic, pedophilic, mendacious, treacherous and blasphemous undergirding and nature of the Mohamedan ideology are all true.”

            I think a magisterial teaching like Nostra Aetate represents Catholicism here far more accurately than Pat Robertson’s CBN. Robertson tends toward fear-mongering rather than dialogue and understanding.

            • Fair enough. But I will say I don’t have time to Challenge everything here. I tend to respond more to comments directed at me personally but hope that readers will also engage and challenge each other. To be moderator does not mean to be the answerer in chief.
              I’m on to the next article the next day and don’t always have time to carefully read each comment. I am always happy when cross-talk sets up and readers engage each other. So, I say go for em Daniel and Charles! What I DO object to is when someone says the tone of my article was unfair. I do present a concern and a POV but I think on several ocassions in the article I assert that there are other views. Remember too, a blog is a little different than a newspaper article or some official statment of the Church, it is a discussion. And to provoke a discussion a little bit of an edge is good. Cross-talk etc. is good. There are very few things I censor here, just profanities and unneccsary personal attacks against individuals. Ocassionally I just stop posting comments on rather old posts since its time to move on. Otherwise the door is pretty open.

              As for the video, I am not all that aware of what CBN is, you and others link it to Robertson, I am not aware of that connection but presume your connection is true. I just look in Google video search and find a topical video. If you want to find a Nostrae Aetae video and send me the link I’ll use it. Sadly the church has far less resources out there than we should. If CBN is “out there” with well produced, news-like stuff, where are we? I am starting to find some good stuff at the Vatican TV and and CNS sites but the content is sporadic. Perhaps in time we’ll catch up. In the video, I was persoanlly alarmed to learn that the French Govt wants to out law veils (esp burquas) and am not sure how that is just. Catholic Nuns dress a lot like many muslim women, sans the face covering. I recall some time back we discussed that here on the blog but cannot recall the exact time frame.

  21. Simply Jojo says:

    Remember the Battle of Lepanto. Christianity was saved from the hands of invaders through the power of the Rosary. Our Blessed Mother Mary has already crushed the head of the serpent. Let us continue and intensify our prayering of the Rosary. Mary Help of Christians, Pray for us!

  22. Brian Cook says:

    The apparent link between Catholicism and right-wing extremism–White supremacists and Neo-Nazis–seems to be the elephant in the room.

    • Usually elephants are quite visible but I don’t see it here. I think the post is measured and I attempt to distinguish between extremist Islam and also to place the blame of the abandonment of the faith by Christians.

  23. Piotr says:

    What is God up to? All we need to do is to open the Old Testament and read about the fate of Israel when it turned away from God. Punishment for building a golden cow came in different forms, sometimes God used the rods of men to teach Israel a valuable lesson. Europe is worshipping a golden( secular) cow now and it may well be that punishment will come from Islam. Europeans are responsible for the existing state of affairs. In France Muslims were always second rate citizens exploited for military services and other social engagements( October 17, 1961 – Paris read about what happened to few hundred Algerians demonstrators); the roots of discontent are complex but wishing now for a miracle may simply be too late.
    Jesus said that no one comes to his father except through him and it looks like Europe is not going there.

  24. Fair enough. I hope there’s still time for prayer.

  25. bt says:

    I learned a lot about Shariah Law from this post–thank you Monsignor Pope. I know a member of a charity group who visits the poor and has told me that he has run into a Muslim man with more than one wife. This is in Seattle, so their customs are definitely being carried over to our country. However, I would think our government would try to discourage any new marriages of this sort just due to genetics as well as the availability of wives for every one else. We have our laws for a reason, and it is reasonable to expect those emmigrating to our country to respect and obey our laws. If we cave in to Shariah Law, then it is really our country that is caving in, as law is one of the key ingredients of our country. For some reason I am reminded of Biblical account of Samson losing his strength to the wiles of Delilah. Our country is losing its vigor. I also think about the Israelites when they were enslaved by the Pharaoh. God heard their cry, and led them out of Egypt, however, it is interesting to note that while the Egyptians were enslaved, according the Bible, their population was rapdily expanding. Imagine that despite such desperate straits, they increased and multiplied. I suspect we live in far easier circumstances (most of us don’t have to make bricks from straw every day), yet our population is expanding largely due to immigration.

    As for miracles, we present our needs to God in prayer each day and trust and hope.

  26. Steve from Long Island says:

    Thanks, Father, for another thoughtful and thought-provoking post. And I also thank some of those who’ve given their comments, while I had to scoff at a few of the others. The points made about the murderous, mysoginistic, pedophilic, mendacious, treacherous and blasphemous undergirding and nature of the Mohamedan ideology are all true. It is what it is. I’ve read the Koran, and “Allah” is not the God of Scripture nor the Magisterium. I recall that Jesus told us that the devil is the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning, and that He warned us about false prophets, telling us that we will know them by their fruits. The account here about what is happening in Europe is another exposition of those fruits that have been on display over vast areas of the globe for 1500 years.

    This is not racism, as a Turk is not a Persian, nor an Arab, and far from being a Javanese. This is an ideology that unites them, as Cuba was with the Soviet Union in their pursuit of Communism, another effort to unite all people of the world by the forced imposition of its tenets and often violent suppression of other religions and ideologies,. Degrees of zeal for the ideology exist from fanatical across the spectrum to rejection and opposition. Yet, the fact remains: if the exhortations and commands found in the Koran were carried out by every proclaimed adherent, most of the world would be engulfed in flames today. The good, peaceful muslim is the one who doesn’t follow most of its demands in his daily life. But, he does believe that we are the infidels and he is thus better than us. The Koran tells him that he can lie, cheat, and kill us without any sin; it’s only a sin if they do these things to each other. The suicidal murderers blowing up themselves and others do it because this is the life of the Koran and Mohamed, and they are putting into action what those tenets demand.

    We’re not making it up. To not know these things or to deny it all is just dangerous and ultimately deadly. By bringing this topic up for discussion, you have helped many people, some of whom have never understood much about the threat to our society and our Church before now.

    And you are right that the state of Europe should be seen as the product of giving up the Faith. Yet, we should also remember that Arians almost took control of the all of the bishoprics of the Church, but they and their heresy were beaten back and then routed, until it came back in a warped, Gnostic-spiced form with Mohamed a couple of hundred years later. And it was the bishops of Europe that stood up for the Faith and resisted the Arians; pehaps, they’ll do it again in the not-too-distant future.

  27. True Grit says:

    I simply will continue to pray for a miracle. I do not want to live where my faith is denied, or women are covered head to toe like some ‘object’, and men who follow their Islmanic Faith are allowed to rape, beat, and murder if they believe someone else who is a muslin, is not following their Islamic way or the Shariah Law.

    We have much work ahead of us.

  28. Brian Cook says:

    Steve, the last time I checked, the Pope has shown much respect to Muslims and called for dialogue as a path to peace, not demonization or warfare. Moreover, liberals frequently claim that the Bible promotes extermination and cite certain verses. That’s what you seem to be doing with the Qu’ran.

    • Steve from Long Island says:

      I know what the pope has said, and what the Catechism says. I expect and appreciate that the Church cares about the salvation of every soul, and tries to promote good will and harmony, and takes these people at their word publicly. But look what happened when the Pope spoke about a dialogue based upon reason: the muslims rioted and burned him in effigy. Recently, when he protested the murder of several dozen Christians attending New Year’s Mass in Egypt, the muslims who were supposed to be in a dialogue with the Church accused him of meddling in the internal affairs of Egypt, and publicly announced that they were canceling the dialogue. To them, Pope Benedict had no right or place to speak out against the slaughter of Christians by muslims in a muslim dominated society. And I don’t recall those muslims expressing any outrage about the murders; I’ve come to expect that I almost never will when these things happen, and if I do that they are not sincere. Knowing what I know about the condoned lying and deceiving of the infidel, I don’t know how any dialogue can actually occur that will be meaningful. They can and do say many platitudes that sound reasonable and hopeful for peace but their actions speak otherwise. “Who and what are you going to believe? Us or your lying eyes?” Muslims say that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, it was someone who looked like him. Once again, you can’t trust the lying eyes of the witnesses to the Passion, death and Resurrection.

      I didn’t pull select quotes from the Koran, taken out of context, and twisted around for my purposes, as many people are comfortable doing with the Bible. I’ve read it and these are the things it says. They are no minor sayings, but are repeated many times. And when I read it, I was expecting that I would read and discern what the real islam is, believing that the murderers had twisted the theology to justify their nasty deeds. Sadly, I was wrong. This does not make me gleeful. But I am now educated and I cannot ignore or deny what it is, nor be silent.

      And I’m not saying muslims are demons; I’m convinced that they are not allowed to reason or think for themselves about these matters, because open disagreement will get them killed or exiled under a constant threat of death. Look what happened to the muslim governor in Pakistan who recently spoke against the blasphemy laws that placed a Christian woman on death row, and for which this governor was soon murdered by his own bodyguard. The bodyguard has been treated like a hero by muslims because he was “defending” islam. Sadly, as I was writing this response, I just saw this article about a Catholic cabinet minister being murdered today in Pakistan for speaking out against the blasphemy law. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2011/03/02/catholic-critic-of-blasphemy-law-is-shot-dead-in-pakistan/ Disgustingly timely but so on point. Am I really demonizing them?? The problem is with people like me stating it like it is??

      To understand these things, I have relied upon Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. He has given me the keys to understand and that is what I have done by application of those simple tests to what I see and hear. In fact, this is likely the reason why muslims are not allowed to read the Bible, even though the Koran says the Bible is to be treated as Scripture. Try to bring a Bible into Saudi Arabia sometime.

      Notice how vociferous and violent the attacks are against Christians but rarely against any other faith. Why is that?

  29. wsoiram says:

    @ Erica:

    Rome move to America? BRRRRR! To an America that is highly responsible for the decay in morality worldwide? To an America which, through the neglect/apathy/ignorance of its clergy has allowed the Catholic Faith to become a travesty with Jesuits defending homosexuality, with openly rebellious nuns? With priests/bishops openly questioning the existence of GOD?!!! To an America where priests often ridicule/not give importance to/openly contradict official church dogma. You might as well blow up the Vatican, kill the Pope and massacre all priests.
    The ‘author’ Rick Riordan had the gall to move Olympus from the Mediterranean to the US of A in his Percy Jackson series, because, he says, the gods move to wherever the centre of power is. One read through the books immediately shows how ignorant and superficial the man is when it comes to mythology. Moving the Holy Roman Catholic Church to the country of Riordans would be like crowning the anti-Christ Pope.
    You must never, never, ever even think such a thought…BRRRRR…..!

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