Vatican singles out faithless Australia

In the Sydney Morning Herald today:

The Pope has issued a dire warning about the state of religious faith in Australia, saying mainstream Christianity is dying more quickly here than in any other country.

In remarks to priests in Italy, Benedict XVI spoke of a crisis for the main Christian churches as people in the Western world felt self-sufficient, with less need for Christ and Christianity.

"Certainly this is a suffering linked to the present historical moment in which generally one sees that the so-called mainstream churches appear moribund," he said. "This is so in Australia, above all, and also in Europe, but not so much in the United States."

This illustrates perfectly why I believe the Australian church needs to forge its own way ahead in the sea of post-modernity and not wait for a golden solution to emerge from the United States. Frankly (and no disrespect to US pastors intended) for Australian pastors to continue to do so is a real case of the tail wagging the dog. Christianity in Australia is on the ropes and even the Vatican now recognises it.

And in a related article entitled And Pope's winner is Syd-er-ney … youth festival on the way

The leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics will lead a mission to rejuvenate the faith in Australia as part of World Youth Day 2008. Speaking in English, Pope Benedict last night summoned pilgrims to Sydney for the six-day gathering of young Catholics, the church's biggest global event. "I'm pleased to announce the next World Youth Day will be in Sydney, Australia in 2008," he said, ending a vigil Mass in Cologne, in his native Germany, attended by up to a million people from 193 countries.

3 thoughts on “Vatican singles out faithless Australia

  1. Vatican Singles Out Faithless Australia

    Thanks to Matt Stone for highlighting this Sydney Morning Herald article on the recent annoucement to hold the next World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008.


  2. Obviously the Pope n I hang out with different people. When living in Europe a few years ago, I felt that young people were far more disinterested in – in fact, generally antagonistic towards – religion than anyone I’ve ever met in Australia. And I’m an Arts grad that hangs out with committed socialists and anarchists. In contrast to the friends I made in Europe, my friends here show at worst a condescending tolerance for, at best a real interest in, my faith.


  3. Bec
    The Pope’s comments about Australia, in this article at least, were limited to the decline of Christianity in particular, not interest in spirituality in general.
    On the contrary, interest in irreligious spirituality is very much on the rise in Australia. And if my experience is any guide it often even includes a vestigial Christian identification, but Jesus tends to be regarded as one teacher among many, not one God above all others. Not historic Christianity at all, and that I believe is the Pope’s essential point.
    As to prevailing attitudes, my experience is there’s a broad spectrum which includes antagonism but just as often is manifested as polite indifference, which at the end of the day changes nothing as far as adherance is concerned.


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