Pope Expresses Worries Over Spiritual State of US
Tuesday, June 1, 2004
During a meeting with several US bishops on Friday, May 28, Pope John Paul II warned them of the declining spiritual state of America as the society increasingly turns to materialism. The bishops visited the Pope at the Vatican, a trip that all bishops from around the world must make every five years. Through these visits, the bishops receive blessings and counseling from the Pope for their countries and ministries.
The Pope commented that American society is in danger of falling into a “soulless vision of life.” He called upon the church to “respond to the profound religious needs and aspirations of a society increasingly in danger of forgetting its spiritual roots and yielding to a purely materialistic and soulless vision of the world.”
Although the US has been gaining in prosperity and wealth, with the development of technology and economy that allows living conditions far better than those in other countries, the spirituality of the nation has been in a slump. The Pope recognized that as contemporary culture has developed, the church needs to keep up with the current trends to reach the youth. Often times, the relevance of the Biblical teachings become lost as churches become stagnant, not growing with the times.
We must recognize “the ‘signs of the times,’” said Pope John Paul, “in order to develop a persuasive presentation of the Catholic faith and prepare young people especially to dialogue with their contemporaries about the Christian message and its relevance to the building of a more just, human and peaceful world.”