A SCOTTISH adviser to the Vatican has blamed “materialism, individualism and hedonism” for the malaise in Europe and urged the Catholic Church to lead the charge against them.
Professor John Haldane, of St Andrews University, warned Europe is on the brink of collapse amid bitter recriminations.
He said personal debts, driven by individual greed for consumer goods and other pursuits, will prove to be a bigger problem than national and bank debts.
Professor Haldane, who is consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture, gave an address to the annual conference of delegates of the Catholic church, being held in Edinburgh.
Speaking outside afterwards he said: “Europe as a cultural project has lost its way.
“If you take, for example, levels of indebtedness, so far the big story has been government debt and banking, but the bigger story is personal debt.
“Europe is being subverted from within by three characteristics – materialism, individualism and hedonism.
“What that’s doing is destroying the idea of Europe as a kind of ennobling sense of human identification. What we’re left with is an economic project that is dying on its feet.”
Prof Haldane believes the union now has more to do with economic necessity, than shared cultural values, which is pushing it to the brink of collapse.
“I think this is very dangerous,” he said. I think we will see a revival of nationalism in Europe. We will see an angry and resurgent Germany.
“This is exactly what happened after the First World War – the idea of unjust penalties.
“I’m not saying there is going to be a war – Europe has demilitarised. But it will be like a family breaking up, we are watching a culture disintegrate.”