Sunday, October 08, 2006

Scholar sees bleak future for Europe

[7 October 2006 - Boston Globe] What could bring out 600 people, including a cardinal, on a beautiful fall night in the middle of the week? At St. Paul Church in Cambridge Wednesday, the draw was a leading Catholic intellectual with a pessimistic prognosis for the future of Europe and maybe the United States. George Weigel may not be as famous as actor George Clooney, but as a senior fellow at Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, a syndicated columnist, and a prolific author who wrote a popular biography of Pope John Paul II, he commands attention among the intelligentsia. Weigel's talk, the first lecture this season sponsored by St. Paul's lay Committee on Spiritual and Public Concerns, was elaborately planned and regimented. ... Asked what could be done about the European demise he forecast, he cited a suggestion Pope Benedict XVI made in a book when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Ratzinger, Weigel said, called for a "creative minority" of religious believers allied with those nonbelievers who agreed that there are universal moral imperatives. He hoped that such a coalition might reform public life. "That's the most interesting suggestion along those lines that I've heard so far," Weigel said. More

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