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REAL CLEAR RELIGION

Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

Culture, Christianity, Catholic Dogma & The Death Of The West

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BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANITY, THE BODY AND BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST & THE DEATH OF THE WEST

So many in the West have fallen away from Christianity and continue to do so.  The popular churches of the day do not adequately arm Christians to do battle with the seductions of the world, let alone the onslaught of Islam.

Two recent articles reveal how young people who have been "born again" in the protestant fashion are nevertheless falling away.


"As Pentecostalism advances across the world, winning converts faster than any other Christian denomination and siphoning believers from more established faiths, it is also suffering its own slow leak: young people who are falling away from the faith."

One teenager stated 
“[t]he pastor is cool...He doesn’t lie to us. He is a little kid, like us.”

"One of [the pastor's] biggest dreams is an after-school center where they could study, play — and convert.
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CHRISTIANITY AND THE CONVERSION OF ISLAM


"Islam is apparently unconvertable.  The missionary efforts made by great Catholic orders which have been occupied in trying to turn Mohammedans into Christians for nearly 400 years have everywhere wholly failed.  We have in some places driven the Mohammedan master out and freed his Christian subjects from Mohammedan control, but we have had hardly any effect in converting individual Mohammedans save perhaps to some small amount in Southern Spain 500 years ago; and even so, that was rather an example of political rather than religious change." Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies.


He is not the only modern day prophet that shares the viewpoint that Islam is near impossible to convert.  Fr John Hardon S.J. also shared his analysis of Islam.
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RELATIVISM, NIHILISM AND HATRED OF TRUTH

The following is an excerpt of an interview with René Girard, French historian, philosophical anthropologist and emeritus professor of anthropology at Stanford University.

"NPQ: When Pope Benedict XVI recently denounced what he saw as the "dictatorship of relativism," especially in European culture, it caused great controversy. Is the Pope right that we live in such a dictatorship?

René Girard: Yes, he is right.... It makes sense that this formula comes from a man—(the former) Cardinal Ratzinger—whose specialty is dogma and theory.

This reign of relativism which is so striking today is due, in part, to the necessities of our time. Societies are so mixed, with such plurality of peoples. You have to keep a balance between various creeds. You must not take sides. Every belief is supposed to be accorded equal value. Inevitably, even if you are not a relativist, you must sound like one if not act like one.
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"BY THIS SIGN YOU WILL CONQUER" THE CROSS, SUFFERING AND THE DEATH OF THE WEST


I have never understood the aversion to the crucifix.  The West has thrown it aside to its own detriment.  But by this sign we can again conquer and overcome our grave inadequacies that have led us down a path of self destruction.    

Why is it that so many have  difficulty looking upon the Cross of Christ and His suffering?  Many argue that Jesus is risen therefore why dwell on His suffering?


However, "[I]t is true and even tautological to say that the Cross is the crux of the matter."  G.K. Chesterton.  The lessons of the Cross are absolutely critical to living a truly christian life.  The cross teaches us not only how to live but how to live with meaning and purpose.    A christian is not truly a christian if they do not take up their cross. 


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IF EUROPE HATES ITSELF


"Europe will return to the Faith, or she will perish.  The Faith is Europe.  And Europe is the Faith."  
Hillaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith.


The following is excerpted from Joseph Ratzinger's speech entitled "If Europe Hates Itself" given prior to his becoming Pope.  


"[W]hat is our culture, what’s left of it? Is the civilization of technique and commerce spread victoriously throughout the world actually European culture? Or was this not perhaps rather born, in a post-European way, from the end of the ancient European cultures?



"Europe, precisely in this its hour of maximum success, seems to have become empty inside, paralyzed in a certain sense by a crisis in its circulatory system, a crisis that puts its life at risk, resorting, as it were, to transplants that cannot but eliminate its identity. To this interior failure of its fundamental spiritual powers corresponds the fact that, even ethnically, Europe appears to be on the way out.  There is a strange lack of desire for a future. Children, who are the future, are seen as a threat for the present; the idea is that they take something away from our life. They are not felt as a hope, but rather as a limitation of the present."

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