From What's wrong with Belgium, Tracey Rowland writes of the lack of authentic Catholic culture there:
I first visited Belgium in 2004 to attend a theology conference in Leuven. The conference Mass was the most bizarre liturgical experience of my life. It did not take place in any of the many churches in Leuven but in the conference room itself. Part of the ritual took the form of watching a video of the September 11 attack on the twin towers while listening to mood music. One of the participants from Holland was dressed in a folk costume and looked like a member of the band The Village People. There was also a Nigerian priest who was treated like an idiot because he expressed respect for Cardinal Arinze. I took some flak for being critical of the culture of modernity and one polite person apologized to me by saying, “you see, around here people think of you as an ally of Joseph Ratzinger”!And more of the "soul" of Belgium, archetyped by that country's entry in the Eurovision song contest, which was fear that love leads to death:
My overall impression was that Leuven was like a town that had been hit by a neutron bomb—the kind of bomb that kills people but leaves buildings intact. All the Gothic buildings remained—the outward symbols of a once vibrant Catholic culture were still on view as tourist attractions—but the people who worked within the buildings seemed not to be the original inhabitants, but another people who had moved in after some terrible cataclysm and were ill at ease with what had gone before. Our Lady, the Seat of Wisdom, and Patroness of Leuven, appeared marginalized.
Last year one of the worst songs in the entire Eurovision contest was the entry from Belgium. It was called “Love Kills.” The refrain of the song was:
Waiting for the bitter pill
Give me something I can feel
‘Cause love kills over and over
Love kills over and over
Whatever this means exactly it’s a radical inversion of the normal juxtaposition of love with life and generativity. Other countries offered the usual assortment of Eurovision styles, some heavy metal, some punk, a few soft ballads, but the Belgian entry stood out as something very dark and creepy, a culture of death pop song.
Could New Zealand follow in yet another attempt to mandate the killing of people by their doctors? Brendan Malone thinks so in his post The circle of death is now almost complete in Belgium, and NZ could be next.