Religious Indifference Rampant, Says Cardinal Poupard

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 19, 2002 ( Since the fall of the Soviet Union, structural “non-belief” has given way to religious indifference in many dominant cultures, says a Vatican official.

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French Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, made that observation in an address during the March 14-16 assembly of the council in Rome.

The indifference “causes countries of former Christian culture, such as Italy, France and other Western countries to live today in a situation of so-called cultural and religious pluralism,” the cardinal told Vatican Radio.

“Moreover, some people in power think that they can do without the religious element, saying that they are spokesmen of the peoples by whom they have been democratically elected,” Cardinal Poupard added.

This situation is especially worrying in Europe, he stressed. “We are in a phase in which some say they speak in the name of the people, but there should be verification of what it is that the people think,” he added.

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