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September 20, 2006

Comments

Scott W

They say one needs to subtract 25 IQ points when the MSM reports on religion, and 50 points when it covers Catholicism.

To that I think we should subtract 150 points when it is the BBC reporting on Catholicism.

Tom

The problem, quite frankly, is that Muslims are trying to have it both ways. They want to deny that Islam was spread by the sword. Yet, at the same time, it is a religion that lays a great emphasis on proselytization and absolute truth, and guess what the penalty for rejecting Islam is? You guessed it-- death!

So, basically... they want to go to foreign lands to convert the people to Islam, and if they reject Islam (or the equivalent: say that Muhammad is a false prophet), they will be killed. A concession is (sometimes) made to Christians or Jews if they submit and pay the jizyah. Part of this submission as well would be forfeiting the right to build new houses of worship. So, when an angry Muslim mob burns down the local church, the dhimmi Christians are left without a place of worship.

This is the real history. You can try to sidestep it as much as you want, but when the alternatives are: A) accept Islam or B) die, then it is impossible to reasonably suggest that Islam did not spread by the sword.

On the other hand, what on earth is His Holiness trying to say when he says that "violence is incompatible with God's nature?" What kind of hogwash is that? I'm sure he must have read the Old Testament. I'm pretty sure I remember passages such as God telling the Israelites to commit genocide against the Amalekites, psalms extolling the virtue of killing Babylonian babies, and God using pagan armies to teach the Israelites a lesson about turning their back to God. Heck, more often than not, God is referred to in the O.T. as "Yahweh Tz'va'oth"--"Yahweh of Armies" (usually innocuously rendered as "Lord of Hosts").

Is this another example of the Church turning its back on 19 centuries of prior teaching (and even very plain Scripture which needs no interpretation)?

Ed Peters

Scott W put it most succinctly. thx.

Shell

The BBC HATES the Catholic Church and bends over backwards to make Islam look like the 'religion of peace'. They have more excuses for the voilence than Al Jezeera and as a BBC journalist rencently went to work for Al Jazeera I think that says it all.

There was generalised shock and horror among the BBC announcers when Cardinal Ratzinger came out on that Balcony as Pope Benedict XVI. WHAT? No Contraception!!!

They are pushing the secular totalitarian agenda big time, and somehow siding with Islamic terrorism helps this. I don't get it.

Scott W

They are pushing the secular totalitarian agenda big time, and somehow siding with Islamic terrorism helps this. I don't get it.

It goes with a theory I've held that some people will ally with anything, even something against their interest, if they think it will damage the Church. I've seen anti-Catholic Christians use radical skeptic arguments for example; Mark Shea pointed it out when ultra-liberal Episcopalians fawned over Muslim visitors.

This also happens to be one of those inklings that reminds me why I am Catholic--the Church has all the right enemies.

kevin

ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Code: ZE06091908

Date: 2006-09-19

At U.N. Council, Prelate Explains Papal Address

Says Speech Must Be Read in Its Totality

GENEVA, SEPT. 19, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's comments at the University of Regensburg were intended to confirm the rejection of violence in the name of God, a papal representative told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer to the U.N. office in Geneva, dedicated the whole of his intervention today to the papal address of Sept. 12 at the University of Regensburg, and expressed his doubts about some disproportionate reactions.

The papal address must be "framed in an appropriate perspective, in a spirit of peaceful and constructive dialogue," said the prelate as reported by Vatican Radio's news service.

He said that Benedict XVI, "acknowledging the positive aspects of modernity," wishes "to enlarge the horizon of reason so that it will include the dimension of religion and, from here, begin a universal dialogue based on reason."

In this way, added Archbishop Tomasi, it is possible to defend the humanistic value of religious cultures, including Islam.

"Incompatible"

In regard to the Pope's quotation taken from a medieval Byzantine emperor, he confirmed that the Holy Father only wished to underline that "violence is always unreasonable" and "incompatible with God's nature."

And this "is valid for all believers, including Christians and Muslims," Archbishop Tomasi stated.

In fact, the Bishop of Rome confirmed personally on Sunday that the quotation about Islam "in no way expresses his personal thoughts."

That is why, recommended Archbishop Tomasi, the Pope's address "must be read in its totality."

It is amazing, the archbishop noted, "that the demonstrations began even before the address was translated into a language understood by the people who went out to demonstrate."

These demonstrations, he said, were based "only on misleading headlines in the media," which must "assume its responsibility."

The path that must be undertaken, concluded the archbishop, calls for "greater knowledge of other creeds and cultures" and he appealed for "genuine dialogue and a future of peace."

cminor

The media problem was compounded when a couple of short phrases were left out of the original English translation of the address--Wikipedia has an article that brings this point up, headlined 'Benedict XVI Islam Controversy.'

What is truly tragic is that Muslim anger will fall (is already) most severely on Christian minorities living in Muslim countries. A 'moderate' Egyptian cleric has already declared Friday to be a 'day of anger' for this incident. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ living there.

Dee

When I saw this major story breaking on the BBC website last week, I immediately surfed to other sites, CNN, ABC, NBC etc. Seeing no mention of it in most cases at that point, I realised what the BBC was trying to do. I posted a comment on their web-site to the effect that they were inciting this fabricated global crisis by their biased and distorted reporting of the Popes words, and then giving politicalised (and hence extremist) Islam the platform to incite racial hatred (against the Pope, hence against all Catholics, hence against the West). It wasn't posted. I wonder how many others, both outside and within the industry did likewise. By their main 10PM news broadcast that evening it was significantly downrated and they led with a story about illegal immigration to the Canary islands.

Warmongering is a very serious allegation.

I shall write to my local Member of Parliament to complain about this, and to the Director General of the BBC, who is himself a Catholic. I shall request that he apologize to the Pope for his Corporations calumny against him; for yet further evidence of their bias against the Church, and for the atrocious standard of journalism which was evident in this case.

Jordan

Scott W., when the Holy Father says that "violence is incompatible with God's nature," he's saying something that to English-speaking ears sounds a bit semantical. In much of modern Catholic teaching, violence is defined as the inappropriate use of force, however there is an appropriate use of force as well. The Pope would probably label God commanding killing in the Old Testament as "an appropriate use of force" and not "violence" because God commanded it to be done.

Scott W

Jordan,

Did you mean to direct your comment to me? If so, I'm not sure what you mean, because I agree with you as far as I can tell.

DJ

Thought I'd post a link to the Pope Benedict/Islam controversy for people since I had to somewhat hunt for it myself.

John E

Scott/Jordan,
I've noticed this on a few other posts. The poster's name comes after their post, not before, even though those dashed lines can make it seem like the previous poster's signature belongs to the following post.

Tom

Jordan,

And the Muslims believe that it is right to kill those who reject Islam or defame Muhammad because they have divine sanction for it. Of course, the difference is that Catholicism is true and Islam is not.

This is why I get so upset when I hear garbage about how "we all have the truth to varying degrees." Relativism is the first step to so much that is evil. There has to be a demarcation between truth and falsehood. "Incomplete" truth simply is not the truth.

Laura

Dee,
you go!

Allena

TOM! Watch out for lightning bolts. All joking aside, you realize that if you are Catholic you should be respectful to the Pope, that's a serious thing, he is the Vicer of Christ, the represenative of Christ on Earth, our holy Father, whatever you like to call him, please use a little restraint.

Respect, the Pope deserves always, the whole concept of our religion is based on this idea.

Tom

Yes, but this is what I don't understand. When a Pope teaches error, when is it proper to point it out? I mean I'm a fairly young guy, but our current Pontiff and his predecessor seem intent on stretching the truth just far enough to almost break it. It's disheartening to see the rich history of Catholic theology and practice tossed aside in the name of "all you need is love," making nice with the Protestants, and "we're both right, but we're just a little more right"...

I am really struggling with this. On one hand, I see evidence that the Catholic Church is the Church instituted by Christ, on the other, it is incredibly hard for me to see any continuity to Apostolic tradition in the Church of today. The Church is literally redefining itself out of existence. What does that say about "the gates of hell shall ne'er prevail against it"?

StubbleSpark

There is a word for folks who think the pope can teach error on Divine Truth and morality: "Protestant".

We respect the papal office as much as we respect 2000 years of constant teaching. This is the human element of our faith that Christ Himself wanted for His Church when he personally walked this Earth. Otherwise, He would have just left a book and we would be, well, Muslims or Protestants.

If you see contradiction with a past teaching, the first thing you should do is admit your lack of understanding in total faith in the Holy Spirit's power to protect and reveal Divine Truth through His Church and then to ask for clarification from smart folks like your pastor or Jimmy (rather than calling the Leader of the New Israel an infidel or apostate).

That is how it is supposed to work; God puts humility over rational understanding so consequently finding God requires humility before rational understanding. You may have the entire Summa memorized but without humility God would be forever out of your grasp.

This is the very reason Aquinas did not finish his greatest work; the insufficiency of worldly knowledge was revealed to him by God in a vision which utterly humbled him.

And as far as Pappa Ben is concerned, he is the only true rebel living on this planet! Pappa Ben, ROCK ROCK ON!

Peace

StubbleSpark

With regards to the way the press handled this, I noticed especially in the British press the willfully ignorant and despicably mean-spirited statements exuded not only in the "news" but also in the reader comments section.

The press would have us think no one is critical of their methods and everyone feels sorry for the randomly murdering cowards.

But then how can you account for the absolute turn-around in Bush's approval ratings over the weekend? You do not have to be Catholic be alarmed at the fact that both Secularites and Muslims think we should be beholden to Sharia law.

If the pope, the leader of the Spiritual Freeworld, is supposed to be so scared and intimidated of Muslims that he has to constantly look over his shoulder for fear of random and violent reprisals, then what about the rest of us?

So their dumb little trick backfired. Predictable. Thinking involves connecting things and Relativists call not reaching conclusions "avoiding extremes" when what they really should say is they are avoiding thinking. In other words, they are morons.

I just wish they had an once of moral fiber. Those reporters have blood on their hands for their folly and the saddest thing is they will probably go their entire lives without realizing the gravity of their sins. They should be made accountable to some temporal power so they can get the idea they are going to be responsible to an Eternal Power. But we all know they will have long, happy lives just like Richard Rich (who died in his bed).

I know of a two instances when individual Muslims have apologized. The attempted assassination of JPII and the recent murdering of a Jesuit priest. But in 1400 years, that is it. Maybe those are trends, but I doubt it. I cannot see the Pakistani parliament, for example, issuing a statement to the effect that they were wrong -- not even when they can deflect some of the blame to Secularist Western media.

I do not expect apologies nor do I expect condemnation (the press also is counting on this predictability of Muslims to play the part of World's Greatest Victims). This is because Islam proper will not brook sincere displays of good Samaritan-ism. Moderates who want to speak against the violence are afraid they will be killed and anyone who wants to express remorse fears similar reprisals.

Which, if you are Muslim, should make you ask yourself: is this religion or is this theo-philic fascism? If you are not free to disagree with those you know are wrong, not for fear of some ecclesial injunction against you but because you are SCARED FOR YOUR VERY LIFE, then maybe that should be your little proof that you are not in the One True Faith. Or at the very least you should realize you are a simple pawn in larger game of power.

I for one would be ashamed to stand with such evil cowards and would risk a holy death to distance myself from them. I can say that with confidence because I have risked much to distance myself from the evil Secularites who control our nation's media and because I know this is no age for cowards.

Viva Il Papa!

Brother Cadfael

Tom,

it is incredibly hard for me to see any continuity to Apostolic tradition in the Church of today.

I don't know your background, and please don't take this the wrong way. But, in my experience, most people who complain or despair about this have simply not taken the time to sit down and read what has actually been written. We as a society these days rely more on what is said about something than sitting down and reading the matter itself and trying to absorb it.

If you actually sit down and read Pope John Paul II's encyclicals or his Theology of the Body or the 6 volume catechetical set compiled from some of his Wednesday general audiences, I believe the continuity will be much easier to see. I would recommend beginning with his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis, but just read him in context.

Same with the documents of Vatican II, or any of the writings of Pope Benedict XVI/Cardinal Ratzinger.

You have to understand what they're saying before you can critically compare it to what's been said in the past. I'm not saying don't do that, it's a valuable exercise, and the tradition is the foundation on which they write. It is simply apparent to me that the majority of people who make this criticism have simply not invested the time and effort to study what they're really saying.

FWIW.

mr

"It is incredibly hard for me to see any continuity to Apostolic tradition in the Church of today."

I must say, as a student and teacher of both philosophy and theology for over 30 years, I am stunned by this statement. I have read just about everything major that John Paul II wrote and most of what is available in English by Benedict XVI, and the continuity is crystal clear to me. Yes, there are suprising and brilliant new ways of explaining aspects of the faith, as in the Theology of the Body writings, but what is new is only the stance or vision of the way we can understand what remains true throught the millennia in apostolic teaching.

I truly don't understand the comment and would like to see it clarified.

mr

PS to my post above: I do agree, however, that we do not see enough of "...and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it..." which to my mind, after of course the "three R's" - the Resurrection, the Redemption, and the Real Presence - is the reason I am a Catholic.

erick

Tom-, To clarify why violence is not compatible with God's nature.
Violence is an Act of God, at least we finite beings percieve it as violence.
Justice, for example is an ATRIBUTE of God. This he possesses intrincically(inherently)- this is His nature.
One is an act, the other He possesses in His nature.
I hope that helps.

To say that violence is incompatible with God's nature to me just reeks of Marcionism. As if we have the new, loving New Testament God and the Old Testament God was something foreign.

Jesus said "Happy are the peacemakers"
David said "Happy is he who smashes [Babylon's] infants against the rock"

And yet we believe that both are inspired statements. I'm so sick and tired of the perversion of the teaching of God's love in the Church. Yes, God is Love. But God also hates. Do a search on the word "hate" in your favorite Bible search and see how in most of those verses, God is the subject.

It is perfectly spiritually healthy to hate that which is anti-God and anti-Christ. We love our enemies and pray for them, but nowhere does Jesus suggest that our enemies are actually something other than enemies. A soldier does not (or ought not) wish any harm to any of his enemy personally, but he still does not lose sight of the fact that it is the enemy that he must kill. Violence and hatred are good attributes when directed in a holy manner. You'd never suspect that though with the statements that have been coming out of the Vatican for the last few decades. Instead, you get the "hippie gospel." I think it's just a matter of time before the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" becomes approved for liturgical use.

J.R. Stoodley

One disturbing trend is to reduce religion to "all you need is love." Another is to develope a distaste for the idea of love and dwell on the violence and hate percieved in the Bible. The Old Testament points to and is fulfilled by the New Testament. They do not contradict each other, but there is a progression of revelation and a higher morality revealed by Christ.

I wonder what many Catholics like anon would have thought of John's Last Supper Discourse if they were there. "Love love love, all we hear about is love. Give us some fire and brimstone Rabbi!" Spiritual immaturity. You understand neither the one nor the other. At least that's how it looks from here.

J.R. Stoodley

To be fair, I am lumping anon together with others in whom I have encountered similar sounding attitudes, something I generally dislike when I see others doing it.

But that disturbing trend to reduce religion to "all you need is love" is exactly what the problem is with the recent popes.

The reason why everyone in the world loved JPII was because he told people what they wanted to hear, not what they needed to hear.

I was really hoping things were turning around with BXVI, but if he finds it necessary to apologize to the Muslims, then I'm not so sure it's getting any better.

bill912

"...JP II...told people what they wanted to hear, not what they needed to hear."

LOL

Brother Cadfael

Anonymous Poster,

I was really hoping things were turning around with BXVI, but if he finds it necessary to apologize to the Muslims, then I'm not so sure it's getting any better.

Perhaps if you let B16 know that you're available for consultation, he can stop consulting with the Holy Spirit and start crafting a Church more to your liking.

erick

Anonymous-, that God "acts" with violence has nothing to do with his "nature".
Acting and being are two different things.
Having said that i agree with much of what you posted.

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