The Pope’s gonna have a cow. Catholic Philippines gains its first atheist society.

Young members of PATAS who were brave enough to take their atheist message to the streets. Levi Monton is pictured second from right.

POPE Ratzinger clearly did not have his eye on the ball over Easter – a period he chose to berate Westerners over their widespread abandonment of faith. The pontiff said it sometimes seemed as if people in Western countries had grown bored of their own history and culture and the heartlands of Christianity were rejecting religion.

Professor Richard Dawkins pictured with PATAS chairwoman, Marissa Torres Langseth in the US.

Someone at this point should have tapped him on the shoulder and pointed out that the secularism he and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, head of the Catholic Church in Scotland so fear is spreading elsewhere in the once great Catholic empire – such as the Philippines.

I received a most heartening email today from young Levi Chui Monton, corporate secretary of the first legal entity launched in the Philippines to promote atheism and Agnosticism.

Wrote Levi:

Our organization’s name is Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society (PATAS) and our main goal is propagating atheism and agnosticism through education and awareness.

Our group was established February 14, 2011, and our first activity was a “Good without Religion” feeding programme.

We are looking forward to let the whole world know our events and existence thus, I am asking if you could feature our group in your website. I believe that in this kind of gesture, people who is now browsing in your website with the same philosophy will be encourage to come out and spread the freedom from religion  message.

Our organization is also aiming for unity of all atheists in the whole world.

Since its launch, the society has hit the ground running. It has held two Atheists Come Out weeks, and the society also had a large presence at a March gay pride event.

Levi has created posted a large number of photographs of the society’s activities on Facebook. They can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here.

When the society launches its website next week, we will alert visitors, and add it to our blogroll.