Valin Posted February 21, 2012 Share Posted February 21, 2012 The American Spectator: A remarkable agnostic, Maarcello Pera, explains why. Philip F. Lawler February 2012 You were taught that pious platitude that you can't judge a book by its cover. But the truth is that usually you can. This one, for instance, looked easy. You read the title: Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians. You saw that the preface is written by Pope Benedict XVI. You could already guess what you would find on the inside pages. And you would be wrong. The author, Marcello Pera, is not an evangelist or theologian but a seasoned politician: the former president of the Italian Senate. He is not a devout Catholic but an agnostic, a secularist. A philosophy professor before and after his political career, he studied Karl Popper and defends the traditions of European liberalism, which have historically been at odds with the public stands of the Catholic Church. Nevertheless Pera has made common cause with the Pope because he is convinced that Europe cannot survive as a free and democratic society without recognizing its cultural roots in Christianity. The history of Europe is inextricably entwined with the history of Catholicism, he argues, and to love Europe means to admire the Catholic faith. The Church is not without flaws, he concedes: But in the end, how can we fail to see that without the Catholic Church, Europe would have disappeared not once but countless times, and the West would have lost its civilization.…How can we fail to realize that when other institutions, parties, movements, or systems—political, philosophical, juridical, economics—are in error, they simply cease to attract adherents or they disappear, but when the church errs, its very errors exalt the grandeur of its message, the noncontingent value of its words, and the spiritual reality to which it bears witness? (Snip) Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies Marcello Pera (Encounter Books, 224 pages) Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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