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De Standaard - Belgium | Wednesday, February 13, 2013

God not poised to make a comeback

A new pope will do nothing to change the fact that traditional faith is on the wane in Western Europe, moral philosopher Patrick Loobuyck writes in the liberal daily De Standaard with an eye to Pope Benedict XVI's resignation speech: "Whereas formerly it was almost impossible not to believe, nowadays Catholicism is the exception. Scientific rationality has drastically disenchanted our view of the world, which is why we apparently no longer even need to develop a religious attitude. In addition, nowadays few people are open to transcendental truths from above if they stand in the way of human freedom. ... Whether or not Catholicism gains ground here once again does not depend on the pope. The very message of the Church is having a hard time. ... The era of traditional belief in God is over. Even if not everyone sees eye to eye on this point, it doesn't look like God's on the verge of a comeback. Catholics may like to hope that the next pope will change all that by bringing new verve to his office. But such hopes are in vain."

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