Friday, April 18, 2008

Pope Says American Secularism Leads to Pro-Choice Views

Pope TIME/CNN: The Pope Faces His US Flock, by Jeff Israely and David Van Biema:

For many years and more frequently in the past month, Benedict has been lauding America's vigorous piety, which he has said is partially a result of the First Amendment's leveling the religious playing field and ensuring competitive vigor by forbidding the government to pick an "established" church. The Pope has called it a "positive secularism," in contrast to what he considers outright government hostility to religion in Europe. He expressed this admiration to President Bush this morning. But in front of his bishops, for the first time, Benedict gave vent to an idea that he has usually presented only as a brief, if dark, caveat: that it is not enough for Americans "to count on this tradition," because its "foundations are being slowly undermined."

The dropping of this other shoe makes the Pope seem more consistent, since there is much he clearly dislikes about American materialism and pop culture. Today he explained that "perhaps," after all, America's brand of secularism "poses a particular problem: it allows for professing belief in God... but at the same time it can subtly reduce religious belief to a lowest common denominator. Faith can become a passive acceptance... without practical relevance for everyday life. The result is a growing separation of faith from life." Combined with what he called our "individualistic and eclectic approach to faith," he said this can lead to what he noted St. Paul termed a temptation to "conform to the spirit of the age." The Pope then gave a pointed example: "We have seen this emerge in an acute way in the scandal given by Catholics who promote an alleged right to abortion."

Abortion, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink

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