New Roman Offices
It is reported that the Pope has established a new office in the Vatican to examine those countries which once had a deep and vibrant Christian faith.
Some commentators have assumed that this refers to the post-Christian situation in Europe, and that may well have been the Pope’s intention.
But “countries which once had a deep and vibrant Christian faith” could apply even more to North Africa and the Middle East where for centuries Islam has tried to eradicate the Christians. The ancient patriarchal sees of Alexandria, Antioch and Constantinople are shadows of a shade; the Ecumenical Patriarch is constantly harassed; Syrian Orthodox Christians have been fleeing their ancient homelands for Sweden and the United States; the Christian population of Palestine grows smaller and smaller every year.
The Islamic countries are the real threat, not just to Christianity but to the peace and stability of the world. The real danger of the secularism of Europe is that it leaves a vacuum of faith which may well be filled with a fanatical Islam.
So I hope the new Roman office will study and find ways to re-evangelize both Europe and those countries where the ancient Christian Churches have been all but eliminated.
And the next Roman office that needs to be set up is one to examine the crazy, unhealthy, fanatical and fundamentalist Christianity that afflicts so many in the United States!