1 - An offensive memo from the Foreign Office in the UK government was released recently about the Pope's visit. It suggested the Pope do the following, among other things, in order to make an "ideal visit":
- asked to open an abortion clinic
- bless a gay marriage
- launch a Benedict-branded condom range
The Vatican is downplaying the memo and the UK has apologized, but the damage it done. It shows the anti-Catholic sentiment in much of Western Europe.
2 - This is why the Pope has called for a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. The New Evangelization is a term that JPII coined to go and re-evangelize peoples and cultures that have been baptized Christian and left the faith. Western countries are the targets of this New Evangelization.
Western Europe, and to a smaller degree the USA, has left Christ. We need to be actively seeking to evangelize these people, who believe that secular atheism is the path to an enlightened and happy life.
I know that they aren't asking for volunteers, but if they were, I would be the first in line to help with this initiative.