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September 18, 2006


Doug Barber

oops....completing my previous excessively verbose comment:

(quoting Robert T. Miller): "Benedict is hinting that Muslims can expect Christians to present their grievances, current and historical, against Islam with the same frankness that Muslims present theirs against Christianity...."

Jim C.

Let me just say that your tireless efforts to help create a context for understanding this matter have rendered an enormous public service. Thank you.


Perhaps the only critique that can be leveled at BXVI is the assumption that intellectuals have any say in Islam. If there are any Islam intellectuals still alive, they know when to keep quiet. This entire affiar proves that out.

St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse

Well, If our ecumenism and open dialog has been so successful to date, why do other parties fly off the handle so quickly? If one believes that the ecumenical dialog process has generated genuine respect among religions, then why are the events of the last 5 years happening?
It seems that one, or more, parties to our dialog have been disingenuous about where the dialog is supposed to lead us.


"Taking it to the most fundamental level: if you're not telling the truth about what you believe - can I really dialogue with you - at all?"

Sure you can, if you're a diplomat. This seems to be borne out by a statement quoted by Amy in another thread from Canberra Archbishop Mark Coleridge, a former papal speechwriter, in which the Archbishop expresses the idea that the speach was not properly vetted by the staff at the Vatican's Secretariat of State.
Diplomats almost never tell the truth. Diplomacy is the art of pretending to believe the other side's lies while they pretend to believe your lies. All directed to procuring the maximum benifit for your side.
The last thing the world needs today is another diplomat. What we need is a voice of clarity and truth.
Sometime truth is ugly, and sometimes people die because of it. If anyone doesn't think the Holy Father doesn't know that his very life is in danger they have a low opinion of one of the greatest theological thinkers of the last 50 years, even excepting John Paul the Great, who was no slouch in that department.
Just as there were political forces who attempted to assassinate JP2 it is possible, even likely that B16 will face attempts on his life, if he speaks out the truth. I do not think this will deter him.


John Allen wrote an update on his usual Friday column.

Among many good contextual analysis, he said this:
"On March 23, Benedict summoned his 179 cardinals for a closed-doors business session. Much conversation turned on Islam, and there was agreement with a tougher stance on reciprocity."

I point this out so that we all understand, this is not "sola-Benedito" there is a general agreement among the cardinals, and presumably all bishops that we need to talk about reciprocity of religious freedom. This is in keeping with his background--he is very much a collegial (as in College of Bishops not in jovial to talk with) man. He is putting his life and reputation on the Church's work--as a good pope should.

Secondly, I wanted to make a comment regarding his ecumenism. If you read "Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith," you get to read an exchange of letters between him and an Orthodox prelate as well as with (if I remember correctly) a Lutheran ecumenist. The regard with which these two men hold him is tangible in the letters. Their dialogue is beautifully wrought, expressing admiration AND the mutal agreements and disagreements. It is ecumenical work the way it should be done--without loss of dignity, reason, or the Truth.
I expect to see similar dialogues with Muslims of good faith.


"Taking it to the most fundamental level: if you're not telling the truth about what you believe - can I really dialogue with you - at all?"

You can do anything you want, so long as you don't use "dialogue" as a verb again.

Spirit of Vatican II

To wish to be like Benedict XV is not the same as actually being like Benedict XV. Benedict XVI has still to prove his worth as a bridge-builder (pontifex). He was divisive as a cardinal and enraged many. His remarks at Auschwitz and now at Regensburg show he has hot changed. His only real fans are on the right.


Hmmm -- Oh, of course -- it's our 'ole syncretistic buddy, the "priest" who's into Zen, etc. etc. Count me as a loyal follower of Papa Benedict XVI.

Spirit of Vatican II

"The 'priest' who's into Zen" -- how much prejudice can you pack into five words, Christine?

Ed the Roman


No more than you pack into thousands on your site. Based on your choice of graphics, whatever you preach, it is not not "Christ, and Him crucified."

Ed the Roman


I apologize for the accusation of prejudice. That was rude of me.

My second bit stands, however. You may be truly Catholic, but the banner on your website is not the Cross. Symbols symbolize.


"Based on your choice of graphics, whatever you preach, it is not not "Christ, and Him crucified."

Thanks for rattling my memory, Ed. Now I DO remember "Joseph".

I happen to admire the ethics of Buddhism but I don't share its belief in karma or reincarnation. Nor does orthodox Christianity. And the Dalai Lama, bless him, would never approve of that kind of syncretism.

Spirit of Vatican II

I do not believe in karma or reincarnation either -- why not read what I wrote on my site?

The photo of the golden Buddha is a perfect image of wisdom and compassion. There are icons of Christ and of his blessed mother of which the same can be said. Do not seek to play one off against the other -- it is contrary to piety.

Spirit of Vatican II

I talked this evening with the President of Romania, who gave medals to a group of religion scholars. His talk on the necessity of religious dialogue and of holding one's tongue when one might give offence to the religious other was very inspiring, and was based on Romania's long experience of religious pluralism. I could not but reflect, sadly, that my former teacher Pope Benedict may blow the precious legacy of John Paul II who reached out to Muslims with understanding, appreciation and friendship.

Ed the Roman

I saw nothing of Christ in the images on your site, only the Buddha. I stand by my remarks.

The Muslim definition of holding one's tongue when one might give offense seems to require suppressing the teaching of the history of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the process whereby Spain became a unified state. That is the problem.

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