The European continent faces danger from both the concept of the atheistic state and the Islamic theocratic state, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI warned in a rare public message he sent to a recent conference in Poland.

“The topic of the conference,” his message said in Polish, “…is of key significance to the future of our continent [Europe].

“The contrast between the concepts of the radically atheistic state and the creation of the radically theocratic state by Muslim movements creates a dangerous situation for our age, one whose effects we experience each day.”

So what should Christians do about it? Here’s what Benedict recommends: “These radical ideologies require us to urgently develop a convincing concept of the state that will stand up to the confrontation between these challenges and help to overcome it.

In other words, he doesn’t want Christians to capitulate to either one in an attempt to resist the other. Rather, Christians should develop a concept of the state that avoids both atheism and theocracy.

He pointed to two Polish figures as examples for Catholics today to follow on this topic: Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Pope St. John Paul II.

Held in Warsaw on April 19th, 2017, just a few days after his 90th birthday, the conference was on Benedict’s view of government.

You can read the full text of his message on the National Catholic Register.

Say a prayer for the Pope emeritus!

[See also: 8 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pope Benedict XVI]

[See also: The Meaning of the Strange Birds Hidden in Christian Art Around the World]

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