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September 15, 2006


Chris S.

How DARE you suggest that Islam has preached violence. The Qur'an tells us that we should KILL you for saying such things!


Talk about making dialogue impossible. If a statement such as this cannot be made then what can be said? I hope the pope does not back down and stop talking abut Islam at all. He may end up a martyr but the church needs martyrs a lot more than it needs politically correct speech.


I'm raising my hand and rolling my eyes.

Rich Leonardi

They do it because it works, as "right-thinking" Westerners and their leaders generally fall over themselves to apologize. During the cartoons fracas, French grocer Carrefour (sp.) proudly displayed signs announcing a boycott of Danish food. They may be "foaming Bronze Age fanatics" on one level, but they are keen students of the modern grievance culture on another.


May I raise both hands and be counted twice?

Well, let us give thanks to God. "Blessed are you when men revile you and curse you because of me."

Every one of these outrageous condemnations is a blessing from the true and living God. May Benedict feel their consolations and gain strength from them.


The outrage expressed from the usual suspects demonstrates their intolerance, exceeded only by their predictablility. More interesting will be the reaction of the Orthodox, to both the general theme of the talk, as well as the allusion to their most dire historical era and the principled position they maintained.


I am raising both hands...

I am soooo over it...

Ray from MN

I noticed that the "outraged" Turk didn't mention the priests recently killed in Turkey or the priest stabbled in Kassel, Germany just the other day, all by young Turks.

Islam, the religion of peace and submission. What they don't tell you is that it is "us" who are required to submit.

Actually it is probably smart from a personal point of view that Muslim officials don't mention such things because they probably would be killed themselves within a week if they dared criticize a jihadist.

For a long time I have been praying daily for the Pope's health and intentions. I recently have added his "safety" to my prayers.

Mikaela D'Eigh

My personal favorite is "It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades." That's right baby! I say - "Bring it on!"

Ironic as well - on Fox news, where I read the report, right next to the story are these headlines:
- Iraqi Authorities Find 30 Bodies in Baghdad
- Attacks on Yemen Oil Plants Kill 5 Days After Zawahiri Threatens Region
- NATO Renews Call for More Troops for Afghanistan
- Gunmen Kill Five Security Officers in Gaza
- Possible Airline Bomb-Plot Material Found in U.K.

Hmm - no violence in the Middle East to be found here!


Here's my favorite quote from a recent news article:

"Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerance encourages violence," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.


Do you know what you just said?

Fr. Stephanos, O.S.B.

Amy interjects...
Oh, please
Raise your hand if you're tired of Muslim "outrage."

How about two hands?


Jimmy Huck

But I think it's safe to say that the drumbeat is getting terrifically tedious. It's the drumbeat of constant offense coupled with a Muslim world in which Christians and Jews and the West in general are vilified, in which, for the most part in Muslim states, there is either very little or no freedom of religion for non-Muslims or the threat of violence by Muslims against non-Muslims, in which the most destructive acts of terror are committed explictly in the name of Allah - they are offended?

I must say, as a true liberal, I agree with Amy's comment here. The paradox here is that these Muslim critics of the Pope are once again demanding tolerance of intolerance.


Jimmy, "Tolerance" ALWAYS means The Other Guy Has To "Be Tolerant" Of ME (i.e. always let me have My Own Way), NEVER the other way around.

Any six-year-old can tell you that.


Along with the apparent "these guys can't read," "pawns of the mullah," and "terminally touchy takers of offense," is the possible "consolidate support from anti-Catholic Westerners."

To my newly-in-full-communion Orthodox ears, the Pope's speech is gorgeously subtly clear & brilliant, and heartwarming. Especial prayers for him attending Divine Liturgy on November 30.

John Jansen

Mikaela D'Eigh said: "My personal favorite is 'It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades.'"

I second that.

My only hope is that the current brouhaha will give rise to a renewed discussion of what the Crusades were all about.

I pray my hope is not in vain.

A man can only take so much of the incessant claptrap about Christian "wars of aggression" before a desire to respond in high dudgeon shifts to sheer boredom.


"Just as, the Pope proceeds to ask, what basis for dialogue can there be in the modern world when religious questions and sensibilities are deleted from the discussion even before we start?"

Very smart! I think you got an important point here: what the Pope is looking for is a REAL dialogue, one that discusses of reasons, of understandings and insghts: what do you understand of reality when you are a muslim or an agnostic? Confront seriously on this!
For years we were plagued by an empty "dialogue" glossing over the problems of truth, meaning, morality and hiding the contents of faith because they objectively disturb. I'm so tired of words exalting a fictional togetherness unsubstantiated by any reason that's not "feelings"!

What the Pope fears, I think, is that we are going inexorably towards a climate where we have on one side a large portion (not a minority, in my opinion)of Muslims who take for granted their faith just because it defines their identity, an identity you can't even try to question as it *coincides* with the will of God: in the Gospel people ask questions to Jesus and He tries to guide them to an insight and a decision; in the Koran you have a list of rules and from pure obedience you have salvation. You don't seek a firm but deeper understanding in the Koran, but a practical guide coupled with the assuration that you are right.

On the other side we have a prosperous West, disenchanted about the very possibility of any truth but fearful to lose his good standing if he implicate too much in dubious issues: much better to shut both eyes and ears and pretend to be righteous with the choice to never choose and with the false humility which thinks it's impossible to think.

Mark Wyzalek

Now only if President Bush had views on Islam like the Pope's then hatred by Muslims toward the US would dwindle -
OOPS! never mind.....


I just read the whole address. Wow. Seems to me he could have launched his talk with the same historical anecdote about the emperor, but left out the part of the quote about Muhammad, and it wouldn't have lost any of its persuasiveness. That said, the (over)reaction is ridiculous. I'm afraid the subtleties in this address could never be grasped by those now protesting it.


I raise both hands, and my feet.... I am soooo tired of these fragile sensibilities..

Its allrite for all of them to become enraged by a highly academic theological discussion which nowhere states that the pope himself supports what the 14th century (!!! lets not forget that part too!!!) Emperor said, and then to burn images of the pope.

Can you imagine the reaction in the world if images of an Imam where to burnt ?
How come you don't see highly catholic nations like brazil, spain or even italy for that matter riot ?


I am a Catholic, but always felt the S. Huntington's theory of "Clash of Civilizations" is rather shallow and improbable. At best it is only wishful thinking by those who stoodd to gain by such conflicts. I also think the wars in Iraq and Afganistan are ill-advised and ill-conceived and have caused untold sufferings to innocent men, women and children.

But the Holy Father's speech addressed a genuine issue which we civilized human beings face in the present world, i.e., religious violence. The violent reaction to the speech rather justified the need to address the genuine questions raised by the Holy Father. Our Muslim brothren should understand that such violent reactions have the negative result of hardening the attitudes of even neutral, liberal individuals like me. Now I feel I feel less sympathy.. because after all I am, we are human..

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