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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Catholic Church has been in the spotlight a lot recently, but especially since Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation Feb. 28. As a non-Christian living in a secular society, you might think I wouldn’t care who runs the Catholic Church. For the most part, it’s true.

But make no mistake, the Catholic Church, as the oldest extant institution in the West, has been cultural force of unsurpassed power for well over a thousand years. During what’s commonly called the “Dark Ages,” it held European thought in a veritable stranglehold for somewhere in the neighborhood of six centuries. Starting from the moment Columbus landed on our shores, the landscape, language, and culture of most of the Americas were created and enforced by Catholic conquistadors and priests.

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