The Washington Post implies that the Catholic Church is a fading institution in today’s lead editorial:
Pope Benedict will leave behind a church facing the same debilitating problems that loomed after the death of Pope John Paul II—above all, how to remain relevant to an increasingly secular world and to its own changing membership. This pope’s response was to insist that only uncompromising adherence to past doctrine would preserve the faith. Catholics who seek a different answer will have to hope that a college of cardinals dominated by the pope’s appointees will choose a more progressive successor.
The Church has a 1.1 billion membership. From 2004 to 2050, the Catholic population of Africa will increase by 145.8 percent. This is an institution that is more than 2,000 years old. Renewal is not a foreign concept.
But the Church is not merely a temporal political institution, and it seeks not to be either “conservative” or “progressive.” It strives to communicate Truth. As the world transforms, the Church reapplies its teachings; but it will never reconstitute the substance of its message.
The Post, along with progressive Catholics, should note that man is constantly changing his temperament in a desperate longing for peace; the Church will never fade because it has found it.