The victory of the techno-secular post-European world; with the universalization of its model of life and of its way of thinking, is linked throughout the world, but especially in the strictly non-European worlds of Asia and Africa, to the impression that Europe’s world of values, its culture and its faith, that on which its identity is based, has reached the end and has actually already left the stage, that now the hour of other worlds’ values has arrived, of pre-Colombian America, of Islam, of Asian mysticism.
Europe, precisely in its hour of maximum success, seems to have become empty inside, paralyzed in a certain sense by a crisis in its circulatory system, a crisis that puts its life at risk, resorting, as it were, to transplants that cannot but eliminate its identity. To this interior failure of its fundamental spiritual powers corresponds the fact that, even ethnically, Europe appears to be on the way out.
There is a strange lack of desire for a future. Children, who are the future, are seen as a threat for the present; the idea is that they take something away from our life. They are not felt as a hope, but rather as a limitation of the present. We are forced to make comparisons with the Roman Empire at the time of its decline: it still worked as a great historical framework, but in practice it was already living off those who would dissolve it, since it had no more vital energy.
Joseph Ratzinger – If Europe hates itself