ROME, Italy, July 28, 2005 ( – In the conclusion of Cardinal Ratzinger’s lecture, now Pope Benedict XVI, delivered on April 1st, the eve of John Paul II’s death, the then Cardinal strongly denounced the European Enlightenment culture and its increasing dogmatism against religion, Christianity and freedom.Â

The Cardinal expressed his belief that the reasons given by the architects of the EU Constitution for excluding God from the document—that the mention of God or recognition of the Christian roots of the continent might offend those of other religions—doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

“The affirmation that the mention of the Christian roots of Europe injures the sentiments of many non-Christians who are in Europe, is not very convincing, given that it relates, first of all, to an historical fact that no one can seriously denyâEUR¦It is not the mention of God that offends those who belong to other religions, but rather the attempt to build the human community absolutely without God,” said the Cardinal.

Instead, Ratzinger continued, it is obvious that the exclusion of religion from the public sphere is rather the result of the imposition of Enlightenment dogma, which dogma falsely professes the ideals of freedom and tolerance. Indeed, one of the inevitable consequences of what Ratzinger called the ‘Culture of Rights’, as divorced from its Judeo-Christian roots, is that “the concept of discrimination is ever more extended, and so the prohibition of discrimination can be increasingly transformed into a limitation of the freedom of opinion.”

“Very soon,” said the Cardinal in a chilling prophesy that is already coming to fulfillment in many Western nations, including Canada, “it will not be possible to state that homosexuality, as the Catholic Church teaches, is an objective disorder in the structuring of human existence.”

According to Ratzinger it is “obvious that the ill-defined or undefined concept of freedom, which is at the base of this culture, inevitably entails contradictionsâEUR¦A confused ideology of freedom leads to dogmatism, which is showing itself increasingly hostile to freedom.”

Ratzinger concluded by expressing his strong doubt that the Enlightenment culture will ever provide a common cause for men. “We have to ask ourselves,” says the Cardinal, “if it is really complete in itself, to the degree that it has no need of a root outside itself.” The implied answer, of course, is no, the Enlightenment culture without the firm foundation of Europe’s roots in Christianity can only devolve into a pseudo and dogmatic religion, ultimately restrictive of freedom.