Pope Francis’ record breaking visit to the Philippines reminds the world of the sheer power of numbers when it comes to debates about religion.

Let the Oxford intellectuals like Dawkins squawk all they want about the evils of religion and the goodness of atheism.

They are a fly not even worth swatting when you consider the crowds in Brazil for World  Youth Day and the phenomenal crowd that turned out in Manila yesterday.

Between six and seven million souls braved the rain to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis.

These were not wicked people who were responsible for all the evils in the world. These were not six million people causing all the wars in history. These were not crowds of delusional maniacs or head in the cloud believers in fairy tales. These were not fanatical puritanical spoil sports or slightly insane women with a religious mania.

These were millions of ordinary, down to earth, real people. They were the poor, the middle class, the young and the old. They were a throng of human beings who long for love, long for God, long for goodness, truth and beauty. They were Catholics.

The secular atheists must stop and think. They must stop and think hard. If their nihilism is so wonderful why are there not more people to follow it?

Oh, they claim that religion is dying and atheism will soon take over.

Talk about wishful thinking! Talk about fairy tales!

Religion is not dying out. It is stronger in the human heart than ever before.

Atheism will never be anything more than the frail, frightened voice of protest from old men with too much  money, too much education and too little common sense. It will never be more than a cadre of cynics and snobs who think themselves clever for laughing at the simple faith of the huge majority of humanity.

Stalin once asked “How many battalions has the pope?”

If only he could have seen the great crowd of witnesses in Manila, and perhaps now in his own place the sick monster Stalin does see just how many battalions of faithful souls the pope has.

Maybe that is part of his punishment

…and maybe screams with impotent rage.