The context of the Pope's remarks was the near total collapse in the western world of any moral consensus rooted in Christian worldview. The Pope declared: "... an eclipse of reason has taken place ... man no longer uses his intellect in search of God ... but is driven by his passions and desire for self-gratification." He began his comments by comparing the current state of affairs with the collapse of the Roman Empire. "The disintegration of the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world."
The pope also revisited the present pervasive blight of sexual depravity: "No pleasure is ever enough, and the excess of deceiving intoxication becomes a violence that tears whole regions apart – and all this in the name of a fatal misunderstanding of freedom which actually undermines man’s freedom and ultimately destroys it."
- Year's-end Jeremiad, "The Pope's Warning" (RealCatholicTV, December 28, 2010).
- Fr. Barron's comments on the wise words from Pope Benedict XVI (YouTube)