The Vatican has once again warned of the Islamisation of Europe, and reiterated the need to protect the continent's "Christian identity". In an article in German weekly Sueddeutsche Magazin, the Pope's private secretary Monsignor Georg Gaenswein is quoted as saying: "Attempts to Islamise the West cannot be denied . . . The danger for the identity of Europe that is connected with it should not be ignored out of a wrongly understood respectfulness."
It has been a clear aim of Pope Benedict XVI to define Europe as Christian, and earlier this year he even teamed up with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to try and encourage the insertion of a reference to religion in any new EU constitutional treaty. Merkel even went so far as to state that Europe "should be connected to Christianity and God, since Christianity has forged Europe in a decisive way."
As Donald Sassoon pointed out in the March/April issue of New Humanist, perhaps the people of Europe don't want the continent to be defined as "Christian", or that matter "Islamic", but rather as a secular entity accommodating of all cultures and beliefs, where religion remains in the private sphere.