Thank you, Vatican

The Austrians are fleeing the church in droves:

A record 100,000 Austrians are expected to leave the Roman Catholic Church this year after abuse scandals which have badly damaged its image, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Some 57,000 quit the church in the first six months of the year, Austrian daily Der Standard reported, citing figures from local state authorities. This is already more than the full-year total for 2009 when 53,216 walked out.

While the British are a bit smug about their godlessness:

And now congregation, put your hands together and give thanks, for I come bearing Good News. Britain is now the most irreligious country on earth. This island has shed superstition faster and more completely than anywhere else. Some 63 percent of us are non-believers, according to an ICM study, while 82 percent say religion is a cause of harmful division. Now, let us stand and sing our new national hymn: Jerusalem was dismantled here/ in England’s green and pleasant land.

I wish I could say it’s all because those vocal Gnu Atheists have been so effective in making people realize that there is no shame in being unchurched, but I can’t…because the Catholic church has been running a simultaneous campaign to discredit religion at the same time, and to be honest, I suspect that when you compare the publication of a few books to the spectacle of the church hiding pedophiles, I know which strategy is more vivid.

Let’s say there was synergy, OK? Yeah, that’s the ticket, synergy.