Do Europe's near-empty churches tell us that his kingdom has come and gone?


Thursday, 6/20/13

In the Lord’s Prayer we pray, “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” In the Middle Ages Europe was known as Christendom, and people felt that they their prayer had been answered, since all of Europe saw itself as God’s kingdom on earth.

Europe no longer sees itself as God’s kingdom, or as Christendom. Its church spires are still there, but the churches are near empty.

This year with Slovokia entering the European Union the officers of the Euro zone are objecting to Slovakia’s flag and coinage. The flag features two crosses that honor St. Cyril and St. Methodius, founders of their country, and their coins have twelve stars from Mary’s crown; and the European Union is objecting to those Christian symbols as forms of proselytizing.

Some Catholic leaders feel we should wage war on this blatant secularism, but waging war isn’t always the best way to change people’s minds. A better way of ending hostilities is to find common ground for which we can agree. So many people who have stopped going to church still insist that they are spiritual. That is common ground we can build on. Another bit of common ground where we could get a start is the realization that every one of those secularists is actually God’s beloved child. 

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