The Battle of Britain: Will Catholicism or atheism prevail? | George Neumayr | Editorial for the October 2010 issue of Catholic World Report
In World War II, Great Britain survived an atheistic assault from outside the country. Today’s “Battle of Britain” comes from an atheistic assault inside it. British culture is crumpling under the growing weight of a fervent secularism that appears religious and an exhausted state religion that appears secular. The once-claimed sturdy Anglican bridge between Christianity and the modern world has largely collapsed, leaving those thrashing around down below it to swim from the Thames to the Tiber or drown.
The Catholic Church in the United Kingdom, to be sure, has her own problems, but, as Pope Benedict’s historic September visit to Britain suggested, the country’s future could end up looking like its distant Catholic past. Pope Benedict stepped into the battle for that future not as a triumphant warrior but as a humble witness to the truth and grace contained in Christ’s Church.
The tone of Pope Benedict’s visit to Britain was set even before he got there. Asked by a reporter on the flight over what he could do to make Catholicism appear more “attractive” and “credible” to secularists and atheists in Britain, the Pope responded by challenging the premise of the question. He noted that a Catholicism which thought in those superficial terms would become just one more dangerous ideology and power grab in a world that needs fidelity to Christ:
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