~from the Jerusalem Post
Pope Benedict XVI's private secretary warned of the Islamization of Europe and stressed the need for the continent's Christian roots not to be ignored, in comments released Thursday.
"Attempts to Islamize the west cannot be denied," Monsignor Georg Gaenswein was quoted as saying in an advance copy of the weekly Sueddeutsche Magazin to be published Friday.
"The danger for the identity of Europe that is connected with it should not be ignored out of a wrongly understood respectfulness," the magazine quoted him as saying.
Gaenswein also defended a speech Benedict gave last year linking Islam and violence, saying it was an attempt by the pontiff to "act against a certain naivety."
Muslims around the world protested against Benedict's speech, with churches set ablaze in the West Bank and a hard-line Iranian cleric saying the pope was united with US President George W. Bush to "repeat the Crusades."
An Italian nun was also gunned down in a Somali hospital where she worked, and the Vatican expressed concern that the attack was related to reaction to the pope's remarks.
Recently, the influential archbishop of Cologne, Joachim Meisner, said in a widely-publicized interview on Deutschlandfunk radio that the "immigration of Muslims has created a breach in our German, European culture."
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Pope Benedict's wider goal to restore Catholic identity--of which the derestriction of the Classical Rite is part of the whole program for anyone interested in connecting the dots--and which reclaims the Church's role to grapple with issues in the public square should not be ignored by Catholics. It's too easy to circle the wagons and pretend that Vatican II made for a stronger church ("our Church has never been stronger," said someone to me very recently...and then with the next breath decried the loss of vocations. Huh? there's a disconnect here), when the consequences of rapid secularization are hard upon our wheels. One only has to look at the stem cell research debate and euthanasia debate to realize how much ground we've lost.