There's one thing I've remarked on to various Catholic friends the last few days as we've watched the enormous worldwide reaction to the death of JPII. For a world that for the most part professes unbelief in the Church, it seems odd that deep down there seems to be a resonance in people's reactions, a resonance reflecting some sort of deeply buried belief or perception that with the Church, we really are gazing upon the Genuine Item. It was such a reaction in my own self back in 1990 that started drawing me in (a process which became conscious in 1995, and came to fruition on Easter Vigil of 1996, when I officially entered the Church, receiving the sacraments of Confession, Confirmation, and the Eucharist). In 1990 I did a solo around-the-world trip through Europe, Turkey, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. When I started the trip, I was a "seeker" who thought he'd end up sitting in a cave in the Himalayas, finding "enlightenment". Instead, what happened was that in my 4.5 months hosteling all around Europe, I came face to face with History and Catholicism. The Cathedrals and sacred art of Europe (as well as the little whitewashed churches of Greece) shouted out to me: "This is Real, this is It, this is No Joke, this is The Big Kahuna!". Some sort of seed was planted. It took another 4.5 years before I was driven to action, but the seed was indeed planted.
Something similar seems to be going on around the world today.
Recently (and it will intensify) we've seen the spectacle of the MSM trying to tell the Church (via the next pope) what it must do to change and "get with the times", and be successful and popular. Can you even begin to picture the same MSM telling Islam how best to celebrate Ramadan, or telling the Dalai Lama what Buddhism is really about? On the other hand, can you picture them trying to tell Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and Fundamentalists anything that would "help" them, rather then simply heaping on scorn and ridicule? No. The Catholic Church gets singular treatment. It is worthwhile pondering, "Why?"
These thoughts were prompted by this hard hitting essay by Gerard Van Der Leun, entitled "They Hate the Church More Than They Hate Life Itself".