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       Saturday, September 16, 2006

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Our Vatican Pope

[There is always tension in the Roman church between the conservatives based in Rome and the modernists out there in the wider world. One could see the disaster of Benedict XVI coming a long way off. Pope John Paul II was a fine and caring person, but his political attitudes were shaped by his experience as a prelate in Communist Poland. Almost invariably his appointments to the hierarchy tended to be political and moral conservatives. A primary case in point was Hans Kung, highly regarded Catholic theologian, who should have been one, but who was, as most modernists, shunted aside:

It was Kung, incidentally, who introduced Benedict to his first academic job.

John Courtney Murray, S.J. was actually ordered to stop writing about his primary field of expertise, natural law, because his reasonableness apparently threatened the dogmas of Vatican pols:

And any who have challenged the sick attitudes towards sex of the church -- its opposition to contraception even in the era of AIDS, let alone abortion in nations where thousands of women are being butchered because of the Church's late 19th century determination that abortion should be outlawed, have none too subtly been dismissed from positions in Catholic Colleges. Pace the pedophilia which has stained the church's reputation -- sadly smearing many a good and decent priest.

It should be no surprise that hubris has encouraged this pathetic appointment's latest nonsense. He cannot apologize because he is stuck with 'papal infallibility' (again first pronounced by a late 19th century right wing Catholic event, the First Vatican Council). And no wonder that most Europeans one way or another are ex-Roman Catholics. They see this phenomenon up close.

I should add the disclaimer that I was trained in theology at Union Theological Seminary and Oxford and that some of my dearest friends have been Catholic clergy (or became ex-ones). Ed Kent]


New York Times Denounces Pope's Remarks Over Islam

September 16, 2006 9:45 a.m. EST

Shaveta Bansal - All Headline News Staff Writer

Washington D.C. (AHN) - The New York Times on Saturday joined other newspapers that have denounced latest remarks by Pope Benedict XVI and demanded an immediate apology from him.

In an editorial published Saturday, the Times called Pope's remarks about Islam as "tragic and dangerous" and urged him to apologize.

In a recent speech to university professors in German city of Regensburg, the Vatican implicitly denounced links between Islam and violence particularly in regard to jihad, or "holy war."

Benedict cited an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman'' - comments some experts took as a signal that the Vatican was staking a more demanding stance for its dealings with the Muslim world.

Quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor on the Prophet Mohammed, founder of the Muslim faith, the head of the Roman Catholic Church said: "He said, I quote, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"

The furor over Pope's remarks about Islam and violence has prompted world-wide protests from Muslim community.

Newspapers in many Muslim countries query the reasons behind his controversial reference, at this particular moment, to a medieval Christian text attacking Islam.

The Times recalled that this was "not the first time the pope has fomented discord between Christians and Muslims."

In 2004 when he was still the Vatican's top theologian, he spoke out against Turkeys joining the European Union, because Turkey, as a Muslim country was in permanent contrast to Europe, the paper recalled.

At the recent comments, Turkey's ruling party likened the pope to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades.

"A doctrinal conservative, his greatest fear appears to be the loss of a uniform Catholic identity, not exactly the best jumping-off point for tolerance or interfaith dialogue," the editorial said.

"The world listens carefully to the words of any Pope," The Times continued. "And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly. He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal."
"A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope." (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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posted by Ed Kent at 9:37 AM  


MikeyMike said...

It takes absolutely nothing to set off the Muslim world. It is sad that you do not understand Muslim hypocrisy as they begin their violent backlash against the Pope's statements about their violence.

6:33 PM  
BlogForFreedom said...

The Pope should not apologize for telling it like it is. The violent reaction of the Muslim world has spoken volumes about the ‘religion’, and has proven the Pope’s quote to be true. Killing a nun…? Come on, is that what Allah would really want?

12:34 PM  

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