“In choosing Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to succeed Pope John Paul II as Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church has cast a vote for the survival of Europe and the West. ‘Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century,’ historian Bernard Lewis predicted not long ago; however, judging from the writings of the new Pope, he is not likely to be sanguine about this transition. For one thing, the new Pope seems to be aware of the grave danger Europeans face: he has called upon Europe to recover its Christian roots ‘if it truly wants to survive’.”
Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch holds out hope that the new Pope may mark an improvement on his predecessor who “kissed the Qur’an and pursued a consistent line of conciliation toward the Islamic world”.
Melanie Phillips welcomes this as “a typically informed and thoughtful piece by Robert Spencer”. She agrees that “it is only if Christianity manages to retake the lost continent of Europe and revive its abandoned faith that the moral relativism behind whose banner Europe is marching steadily towards the cultural precipice will be defeated – and with it the colonising ambitions of Islam to fill the void”.
For Muslim concerns about the Pope’s vision of a “Christian Europe”, see Islam Online, 20 April 2005