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December 06, 2006



I expect that 'take' from the NYTimes & all the other MSM. They're in the business of selling papers & only creating controversy sells papers. What I'm never prepared for is the same 'take' from within the Church. Eg., Drew at the Shrine as been dealing with the same kind of tripe all wk (& doing a good job of it too!) Thanks for doing the same Amy.


You wrote: "The dialogue the Pope promotes is rooted in what he says is a specific value that Muslims and Christians share: the dignity of the human person."
This is ultimately the problem. I honestly do not believe that Islam share this belief in human dignity. First, I think Islam rejects the notion that we are made in God's image and likeness since God can have no images made of Him. Second, the essence of Islam is being subject to God, as a slave to a Master. Since this is how one must relate to Divine Authority it is not a great stretch to see this subjugation as the usual attitude toward human authority.
I would like to see some strong evidence from the Muslim tradition and/or the Koran that we share this value before I could begin to believe it.


Here in Washington, DC -- particularly among the establishment Left -- this take is described as "growing in office."

Of course, what the Pope has been doing is nothing of the sort, but mainstream media reporters only have so many marbles in their bowl. The "growing in office" one is probably the only one that fits into their way of thinking.



>>>The prayer in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque was “not initially planned but it turned out to be very meaningful”. It was a prayer to the “one Lord of heaven and earth, merciful father of all mankind”.

Then it definitely wasn't a "Muslim prayer." No Muslim prayer would be addressed to the "merciful Father of all mankind,” since they don't call God "Father" at all.

In Jesu et Maria,

John Jansen

Well, first of all, the Pope did not engage in Muslim prayer and did not pray to Allah.

Secondly, the Pope, by his own account, prayed to the One True God, and had his thumb discretely on his pectoral cross the entire time.

Forgive me for being nitpicky, but Allah is the Arabic name for God, and is thus used by Arabic speaking Christians (e. g., the Maronite Catholics of Lebanon) to call upon the Lord's Holy Name.

Thus, it's contradictory to say, on the one hand, the Pope did not pray to Allah, and, on the other hand, to say that the Pope did pray to the One True God.

We as Catholics believe that Muslims, despite rejecting belief in the Trinity, do, in fact, worship the One True God, as Nostra Aetate clearly states:

The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.

Amy wrote: "The dialogue the Pope promotes is rooted in what he says is a specific value that Muslims and Christians share: the dignity of the human person."

She didn't even say that it was an Islamic value. She said that it was a value Muslims and Christians share -- through natural law and natural experience, if nothing else. Even the worst of religions tend to accrete good teachings as well as bad ones into their tradition, even if they weren't originally set up in much of a good way. Since Islam is essentially a distorted mirror of Christian and Jewish beliefs, even in distortion the goodness and truth of those beliefs has great power for good. These are God-haunted and Christ-haunted people, whether they know it or not.

As the Pope knows perfectly well. As the Pope has to know, since Muslims too are part of his responsibility. He calls them home as best he can, and preaches the Gospel without words by praying to Christ in the midst of a mosque. He shows them his heart, and urges them to open theirs. In many ways, dialogue and evangelism are not separate; and in this case, they were truly one.

Whether or not people are taught about human dignity, God teaches them. When people are taught about human dignity with authority, and are shown examples of human dignity, they respond. That is what the Pope was trying to do.

But it takes time. New Rome wasn't built in a day. :)

Father Elijah

The Times asks "Has the Pope gone wobbly?"

Sadly, they (not just the Times but all wondering the same thing) probably will never get it-just never understand :(

It is not hard to imagine the same thing being said-editorialized after the incident of Jesus and the Roman centurion at Capernaum....[see Matthew 8.5-11]

Has Jesus gone wobbly???? He actually said to a Roman centurion, a Gentile, one whom the Zealots fight against that He would go to his house to heal his servant???????????????????

And what did Jesus say at the end of this 'moment'?

"I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven"

We need to 'read' Jesus, the Gospel, Vatican II
and Pope Benedict himself with what is called "the hermeneutic of continuity"

No wobbling----simply God's plan of salvation through Christ in the Spirit 'for the many'---as absolutely many as possible!

James Englert

I'm not so sure that "the nature of God" isn't part of the dialogue. At Regensburg, Benedict used the dialogue between the Byzantine Emporer and "an educated Persian" to start his reflections about whether reason is part of God's nature, whether God is bound by truth, goodness, etc.

Dialogue about the nature of God doesn't mean that the Church gives up its understanding of God. But surely the point of the Regensburg speech was to propose this understanding as a sort of challenge to Islam and perhaps even more to modern western culture. Here is the conclusion of his talk:

"The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur - this is the programme with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. "Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God", said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university."

Michael Kremer

The text of the Pope's audience at the Vatican website in the English version is a truncated version of the Italian text (also at the website). The interesting stuff all appears to be only in the Italian text.

Chris Molter

I've already seen a number of comments at various Catholic blogs with 'radtrads' wailing and gnashing teeth over their perceptions of the Holy Father's actions in Turkey. Following the wailing and gnashing comes the obligatory stock diatribes against Vatican II, the Novus Ordo Mass, Pope JP II, etc.

It's really tedious to explain to everyone else when:
1- you're a big supporter of the TLM and generally prefer traditional devotions and solemn liturgies
2- the use of Latin in the liturgy in general
3- wish the US Church would follow Sacrosactam Concilium in regards to music (ie, Gregorian and/or polyphonic chant having a primary place, with the organ being the primary musical instrument in liturgical music)

that you're NOT one of these guys and have a great appreciation for Vatican II (despite the vagueness in the documents which lead to abuses following the council)

Donald R.McClarey

"And...if the Pope had starting preaching in the Blue Mosque...who would have suffered? The Pope? Of course not. You know who would have suffered, and you're not one of them."

Thank God I am not. However, I think Christians who have the extreme misfortune to live in majority Islamic countries, and Turkey is probably the best of a very bad lot, will suffer no matter what the Pope says or does not say. An op ed piece in the NYT of all places calling this pope wobbly is of course absurd. I believe that the Pope does fully understand the danger that the jihadists pose to Christians, and, indeed, to almost all people on the globe, including most of their fellow muslims. I think the Pope is working his way towards something very big on this issue, and his prior addresses and this trip are only parts of a carefully worked out plan.

James Kabala


James Kabala

Re this statement: "And...if the Pope had starting preaching in the Blue Mosque...who would have suffered? The Pope? Of course not. You know who would have suffered, and you're not one of them."
Of course, some would say (and have said) that by supporting Turkish entry into the EU, Benedict is facilitating Muslim immigration into Europe and possibly paving the way for European Christian suffering in the long run. This bothers me a lot more than where he chooses to pray. (And if Erdogan is lying, as some have claimed, why doesn't Benedict's spokesman deny it? His predecessor had no trouble denying "It is as it was.")

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