What Pope Benedict XVI Means by George Weigel.
Ever since the Second Vatican Council, some Catholics and most of the world media have expected --- and in certain cases, demanded --- that the Catholic Church follow the path taken by virtually every other non-fundamentalist western Christian community over the past century: the path of accommodation to secular modernity and its conviction that religious belief, if not mere childishness, is a lifestyle choice with no critical relationship to the truth of things.
These expectations have involved both doctrinal accommodation (e.g., the question of whether Jesus is the unique savior of the world) and moral accommodation (e.g., the many issues involved in the post-Freudian claim that human beings are essentially bundles of desires).
I respect the decisions that other Christian communities have made, before God and before the bar of history, in adopting accommodation strategies. Yet it is very, very difficult to argue that this strategy of cultural accommodation --- which in some cases bleeds into cultural appeasement --- has solved the 250-year-old problem of being Christian in the modern world.
Nor is it possible to demonstrate, empirically, that cultural accommodation or appeasement produce vital, growing, compelling Christian communities. Precisely the opposite is the case. Christian communities with porous doctrinal and moral boundaries wither and die. Christian communities with clear doctrinal and moral borders flourish, even amidst the acids of modernity.