Sunday, December 04, 2005

Bogged down with caesaropapism and the power of creative minorities

I don't think Unitarian Universalists or Religious Liberals understand Pope Benedict's depth of thought. I'm just starting to scratch ths surface and keep finding gems like this thought on American religious experience. And then the comment on the power of minorities. We UUs certainly a minority. Whether creative or not I'm unsure.
In comparing U.S. and European attitudes to diverse religions, Cardinal Ratzinger added: "I think that from many points of view the American model is the better one," while "Europe has remained bogged down in caesaropapism."

"People who did not want to belong to a state church, went to the United States and intentionally constituted a state that does not impose a church and which simply is not perceived as religiously neutral, but as a space within which religions can move and also enjoy organizational freedom without being simply relegated to the private sphere," he explained.

On this point, "one can undoubtedly learn from the United States," as it is a "process by which the state makes room for religion, which is not imposed, but which, thanks to the state, lives, exists and has a public creative force," the cardinal said. "It certainly is a positive way."

Cardinal Ratzinger also referred to historian Arnold Toynbee.

"He was right when he said that the fate of a society always depends on creative minorities," the cardinal said. "Christians should consider themselves a creative minority of this kind and contribute what they can so that Europe can recover the best of its inherited patrimony and thus be useful to the whole of humanity."

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