Thursday, July 1, 2010


ROME (AP) - Preoccupied for months by the clerical sex abuse scandal, the pope on Wednesday shuffled the Vatican bureaucracy before heading off on vacation. His most significant appointment: the head of a new office designed to fight secularism in the West. Pope Benedict XVI tapped a trusted Italian, Monsignor Rino Fisichella, to head the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, a new Vatican department designed to reinvigorate Christianity in the parts of the world where it is falling by the wayside. Pope Benedict XVI has made rekindling the faith in Europe a priority of his papacy, so he has created a new office to “re-evangelise” the Western world in an attempt to roll back secularist advances in what the Vatican sees as the traditional heartland of Christendom. The Pope has made no secret of his dislike for secularism and has been determined to persuade Western countries to rediscover their Catholic roots.

Benedict has frequently railed against some of the key pillars of secular liberalism such as the acceptance of homosexuality and abortion rights and the use of contraception. He has been particularly concerned about Europe's increasing secularization and has focused his foreign trips on the continent as a result. With the creation of a Pontifical Council for the promotion of New Evangelisation, Benedict wishes to cope with “a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith”, as he described. The creation of the council is a stark reminder of just how far secularisation has progressed in an area that was once called Christendom and is a tacit admission that the Church's recent attempts to reinvigorate Christianity in Europe have not succeeded. The 83-year-old pontiff admitted that Europe and North America have suffered from an “eclipse of a sense of God” and needed to be re-evangelised.

Just as Pope Benedict XIV and Monsignor Fisichella warn, this “eclipse of a sense of God” causes the church to lose the main objective: spirituality. People are moving away from the churches disappointed, and are inclined toward indifference and ethical relativism. We must develop in our hearts a wonderful and charming inner taste in the search for God.

With the stirring of the soul from its identification with the body and the mind, the proper understanding will come gradually in one's spiritual development. ... Inner taste will guide us. This is very charming and attracts our hearts. ... Why have we come to Krishna? For what reason have we come? Why has Krishna consciousness attracted our soul, our inner heart? Formerly, we had some conception of religion. But why did we leave that, so many formalities, such association, so many friends within that circle? Why did we leave? Who is to take care of us here in Krishna consciousness? Why have we come, taking some risk? The country, the society, the religious conception, why have we left them and come forward for Krishna consciousness? That same tendency will again drive us to select different departments of service in Krishna consciousness.

Śrīla Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Mahārāja :
“Follow the Angels - The Path of Dedication”
“Part Three: Higher Talks”
Bhaktivedanta Memorial Library

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