by William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine:
As everyone knows by now, the Catholic Church—at least in the West—has been shrinking. Due in large part to the sex-abuse scandals, the Church has not only lost membership, but also trust. Along with the decline in numbers has come a decline in authority, influence, and respect.
Meanwhile, the world’s fastest growing religion continues to grow and spread. And, unlike the Catholic Church, Islam also appears to be growing in both influence and respect. No one worries about saying something that might offend Catholics; nobody—from ordinary citizens to giant media corporations—wants to be considered “Islamophobic,” either.
How is the Church responding to the growing disparity in size and influence between the two faiths? By cleaning out the corruption in the Church that has led to the decline in numbers and trust? By re-emphasizing the Church’s moral teaching with greater force and clarity? By making greater efforts to evangelize Muslims? Unfortunately, none of the above. Instead, Church leaders seem to have placed their bets on pursuing a syncretist approach to other religions.