Europe today is tired of religion and bored by God claims the Irish bishops in a new pastoral letter dated March 29. Throughout the European Union it appears that God is 'silent and unmissed in the lives of many.'
The bishops' 12-page document, titled 'Repent and Believe the Good News,' advises the Irish not to follow the lead of their neighbors on the continent.
The bishops reiterate Pope Benedict's observation that Europeans seem tired of their faith, including their history and culture, and they no longer seem to wish to know Jesus Christ.
To respond to this, the Irish bishops are promoting a theme of repentance, building on the call for renewal made by Pope Benedict to the Catholics of Ireland in his 2010 pastoral letter.
'None of us remains unaffected by our culture,' the letter claims, adding that it 'takes a real effort in a busy and noisy world to ask the fundamental questions about what our lives mean and where they are leading' and to make the space for reflection.
Welcoming publication of the letter, the primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, told Catholicnews.com that repentance was the only path to real renewal for Ireland and the church. The Cardinal made no distinction between the need for repentance on the part of the clergy or the Irish public.
The Cardinal also asked the faithful to resist the temptation to put convenience, celebrity, domination, blindness, dishonesty, pride or any other ambition, craving or comfort in the place of God.