Simon Caldwell, London Telegraph, January 6, 2010
A leading Catholic cardinal has said Europeans only have themselves to blame for allowing Islam to “conquer” the continent.
Czech Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the Archbishop of Prague, said Muslims were well placed to fill the spiritual void “created as Europeans systematically empty the Christian content of their lives”.
“Europe will pay dear for having left its spiritual foundations and that this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it,” he said.
“The Muslims definitely have many reasons to be heading here. They also have a religious one–to bring the spiritual values of faith in God to the pagan environment of Europe, to its atheistic style of life.
“Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society.”
The 77-year-old cardinal made his remarks in an interview to mark his retirement after spending 19 years as the leader of the Czech Church.
He said he did not blame Muslims for the crisis as Europeans had brought it upon themselves by exchanging their Christian culture for an aggressive secularism that embraced atheism.
“Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims, which is actually happening gradually,” he said.
“At the end of the Middle Ages and in the early modern age, Islam failed to conquer Europe with arms. The Christians beat them then.
“Today, when the fighting is done with spiritual weapons which Europe lacks while Muslims are perfectly armed, the fall of Europe is looming.”
He called on Christians to respond to the threat of Islamisation by living their own religious faith more observantly.
Last year Cardinal Jose Policarpo, the Patriarch of Lisbon, warned Catholic women against marrying Muslims.
Italian Cardinal Giacomo Biffi also urged the Italian government to give priority to Catholic migrants over Muslims in order to protect his country’s religious identity.
The Vatican has also opposed Turkey joining the European Union partly because the Muslim country does not share the continent’s Christian heritage.