Rod Dreher

Philip Jenkins forecasts that the abuse scandal is going to change the Catholic Church — by turning it upside down, demographically. Excerpt:

Some media commentators are even asking if the Church can survive the crisis. But most evidence suggests that the Church will endure and even enjoy a historic boom–just not in places it has flourished historically. For years, its core has been migrating away from Europe, heading southward into Africa and Latin America. Some Church observers have remarked that the Vatican is now in the wrong location: It’s 2,000 miles too far north of its emerging homelands. The recent abuse scandals will accelerate this radical shift, discrediting older European elites and opening the door to new generations of leaders who are more attuned to the needs and concerns of believers in the southern hemisphere. Literally, the Catholic world will turn fully upside down.

Jenkins, who studies this stuff, goes on to say that we are fast moving away from Hilaire Belloc’s famous line — “Europe is the faith” — into the emerging reality that “Africa is the faith.” We live in interesting times.

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