|Address by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos in Mexico
PUEBLA, 26 AUG 1999(ZENIT).
"We are facing the largest growth of esoteric cults
and occult sciences that Western culture has known,"
Cardinal Dario Castrillon, prefect of the Vatican
Congregation for the Clergy, said at a ceremony in which he
received a doctorate "honoris causa" from the
Autonomous Popular University of the State of Puebla, Mexico.
Astrologers Outnumber Physicists and Chemists "Today the
world of religions has become a supermarket where commercial
interest counts above all." In order to illustrate his
point, the Colombian Cardinal gave some significant data:
"In Europe and the United States, the number of
registered astrologers is three times larger than all
and chemists combined. In France alone, there are over 50,000
fortune-tellers' consultation centers.
"The proliferation of sects is a notable phenomenon
throughout the world, not just in America. And we are only
seeing the tip of the iceberg that is coming," Castrillon
The Cardinal went on to analyze the other phenomenon that
characterizes the end of the millennium. "The men of the
20th century have created a new kind of atheism: the atheism
of indifference that distances man from God far more than the
radical and militant atheism that confronted religion. Today
man dispenses with God and intellectuals label themselves
agnostics because they have not even asked themselves about
the choice they must make before God."
Cardinal Castrillon defined contemporary atheism as
"Narcissus' atheism," which results in a model of
culture and civilization built on the
"mega-temptation" of wanting to conceive a world
without God where man is the absolute.
Feelings Suffocate Reason
The apparent contradiction of these two movements (esoteric
and narcissistic atheism), stems from the new cultural model
that tries to impose itself at the end of the century and that
proposes the rejection of reason in favor of emotions.
"In a society where there is a glut of information, and
man receives an avalanche of unclassified stimulation, it is
normal to take the easy way to survival by drifting, without
major worries, passing from idea
to idea without any problem."
It is a phenomenon whose origins are based on a new concept of
liberty. "The negative liberty of the absence of
limitations, instead of understanding liberty as
self-determination and capacity to integrate oneself."
The result of this principle is self-evident: a new morality
and an impoverished idea of man, who has become one more
animal, without a
Oddly enough, this state of affairs offers the Church an
historic opportunity. "To put forward religion once
again, based on truth, and offering solutions to the important
problems that contemporary philosophy does not address, like
the question of death, and the meaning of life."
The cardinal concluded that with Pope John Paul II at the
head, the Catholic Church can count on strong moral leadership
which is the great alternative to these new cultural models.