Pope Benedict Warned Against ‘Western Self-Hatred’ and Depopulation

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Pope Benedict XVI warned in a 2006 book that “Western self-hatred” had become “pathological”, and that the decline of marriage, the family, and depopulation could be the death knell for European identity.

Pope Benedict, who was able to be laid to rest by his successor, Pope Francis, on Thursday after becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign his office instead of dying in post in 2013, was regarded as a conservative — or at least a liberal turned conservative — by many, and made a number of statements against signalling his concerns over Western civilisation’s direction of travel.

Some key examples of this can be found in Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, a book based on correspondence between Benedict when he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Marcello Pera, then President of the Italian Senate, published early in his pontificate.

In it, Benedict noted that in contemporary Europe, anyone who dishonoured Judaism or Islam would “pay a fine” — but that “when it comes to Jesus Christ and that which is sacred to Christians, instead, freedom of speech becomes the supreme good.”

“This case illustrates a peculiar Western self-hatred that is nothing short of pathological,” Benedict argued, suggesting that the West had “lost all capacity for self-love” even as it was “trying to be more open” to foreign cultures.”

“All that it sees in its history is the despicable and the destructive; it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure,” he said — an assessment that seems especially relevant today, with Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other ascendant woke-left ideologies seeking to eradicate much of the West’s built heritage and the history it represents.

“Europe seems hollow, as if it were internally paralysed,” he said, suggesting that it was “infected by a strange lack of desire for the future.”

“Children, our future, are perceived as a threat to the present… as a liability rather than a source of hope,” he said.

Benedict further argued that multiculturalism — “which is so constantly and passionately promoted” — would prove unviable “without the sense of direction offered by our own values.”

“Unless we embrace our own heritage of the sacred, we will not only deny the identity of Europe, we will also fail in providing a service to others to which they are entitled,” he explained, adding: “Multiculturalism itself thus demands that we return once again to ourselves.”

Much of the sentiments of Pope Benedict were echoed by his contemporary, the late Queen Elizabeth II, who like the German clergyman came of age during the Second World War and passed away in her mid-nineties.

In her very first televised Christmas broadcast, all the way back in 1957, the British monarch spoke of “the speed at which things are changing all around us” and the fact that “many people feel lost and unable to decide what to hold on to and what to discard” and “[h]ow to take advantage of the new life without losing the best of the old.”

As Benedict wrote of there being “something deeply alien about the absolute secularism that is developing in the West” in Without Roots, the Queen spoke of the “trouble… caused by unthinking people who carelessly throw away ageless ideals as if they were old and outworn machinery.”

“They would have religion thrown aside, morality in personal and public life made meaningless, honesty counted as foolishness and self-interest set up in place of self-restraint,” she said — a lament considered appropriate for an impartial head of state in 1957 which would today be considered a completely inappropriate conservative ‘culture war’ talking points, giving some indication of how far society has changed.

The Queen met Pope Benedict in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, Scotland in 2010, during which she affirmed that “[r]eligion has always been a crucial element in national identity and historical self-consciousness”.

Source: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2023/01/05/pope-benedict-warned-against-western-self-hatred-depopulation/

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