Saturday, September 16, 2006

Why Pope Benedict said it

It seems that Pope Benedict has ideas of doing what his predecessor did – no, not building bridges but taking sides in an ideological war.

The previous head of the Catholic Church, John Paul II with his Polish background, saw it as his mission to crusade against the godless communism. He took sides in that war, with such fervour that the Kremlin of the old USSR saw it necessary to launch a (failed) assassination attempt against him.

Pope Benedict thought he wanted to do likewise, taking sides in the Western world’s declared war against terrorism, which in the minds of the West, has been instituted by mainly Islamic states or groups.

His address on Tuesday at a German university, where he taught theology, have been interpreted by many experts in interfaith relations as a signal that the Vatican is now assuming a new and more demanding stance for its dealings with the Muslim world.

They said that Pope Benedict appears to believe that the West's confrontation with radical Islam as a fateful moment in history that demands the Vatican's moral authority, in the same way as his predecessor reshaped the Church’s stance by openly taking sides in the Cold War.

Unfortunately, by needlessly quoting a medieval statement by a Christian Emperor, Manuel II Palaeologus, his message has now been received by the Muslim world as the Vatican actively participating in a broader Western cultural and political campaign against Islam.

Reader xpyred was annoyed that the Pope's speech has been taken out of context. He(?) said: "If people have actually read and understood what he was saying, they'd know that he was actually making a huge, massive attack on post-Enlightenment rationality, which prizes a certain view of human ends devoid of any considerations of religion. Also, he makes an attack on the view of the divine devoid from reason. There's just so much more that he says that make those quotes sensible in the context in which they are said."

I think ;-) that xpyred meant the Pope's speech postulated that today's people take drastic actions without bearing in mind the sacred teachings of religion, and then one shouldn't use religion without reason, as in perpetrating acts of killing in the name of religion.

I am sure that would be something everyone would agree to, especially victims of Islamist and Tamil Tigers' suicide bombings or those of US-Israeli hi-tech wanton massacres.

However, John Voll, director of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington analysed the papal speech as also reflecting deep dismay over the current conditions of Christians in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world.

Voll said Pope Benedict intends to ‘distinguish himself from his predecessor on his approach to interfaith dialogue’. He wants more reciprocity, meaning that it’s not just going to be all give and no take. Voll predicted that the Pope may now instruct Vatican envoys to stress more forcefully on issues of forced conversions of Christians and limits on Christian rights and worship.

Meanwhile, and predictably, PM AAB, also as Chair of the OIC, has demanded that the Pope apologises and withdraws his remarks.

AAB said:
"The Pope must not take lightly the spread of outrage that has been created. The Vatican must now take full responsibility over the matter and carry out the necessary steps to rectify the mistake."

"It is unfortunate that such an eminent figure like the Pope has not shown leadership in promoting good relations between religions. Instead, his statement has had the effect of sowing more seeds of discord and will not be conducive for dialogue among religions."

Pope Benedict Shattered Glass House & Goodwill


  1. Actually I believe what the pope said is historically and factually correct and reasonable. So what is the hoohah except it has hurt the sensitivities and feelings of muslims? If he is wrong or has erred from the factual truth, correct him. If he can be proven wrong, I am sure he can face it.

    As christians, we have admit to errors of practice in history and have appologised for them where we have hurt or sinned against. We can take criticisms. It is high time muslim face them too!

  2. Hey , what is the big deal ?

    Didn't the Talibans of Afghanistan destroyed the 2000 years old Giant Buddhas of Bamiyan ?

    Did Thailand , Sri Lanka , China , Taiwan and other Buddist nations or any buddists take revenge for this barbaric act ?

    Did any Islamic country or Muslims criticize the Talibans ?

  3. i disagree and disagree with Y1. Yes, the quote really exist, and historically documented, BUT look at whose saying it.

    I can show you a quote from a Roman emperor during the rise of christianity in rome, when he says that, christians ritual includes killing their babies, having wild parties and orgies and drinking blood.

    Why would you comment such things when you know it's false?

  4. heh. When the Pope practices free speech regardless the intent, its okay. When Muslims practice free speech, its not.

    The Pope was wrong and he has apologized. No need to justify his mistake when he himself has admited the mistake.

  5. Again Babawi is merely filling his role as an OIC orang kerusi and not doing anything to mend ties between Muslims and the rest of the world. He's taking the easy way out like any of his predecessors would and pass his time. Extra gaji masuk cukup, beb.

  6. Good4nothing...
    I agree that christians were accussed of canabalism because of the symbols of blood and body 'eaten' during the holy eucharist/communion and all kind of wild accusations against christians. But do we protest and go rampaging when anyone, even if the ayahtollah, the grand mufti or iman quotes them?

    There are many sins that we christians have commited historically. The crusades and inquisitions are dark dark episodes of the church when ordinary men hungry for power kills in the name of God. We admit it openly, ashamed of it and hopefully have repented and asked for forgiveness from God as well as from all who were hurt by them. If those hurt by it, especially the muslims and jews refuse to forgive us nor forget about those atrocities, I can understand it.

    But is it historically false that Islam has spread with coercison and violence? Even in Sabah and Indonesia there are documented evidence of this practice being continued to this day. What is Osama and Al-Queda doing now with their 'convert of be destroyed' challenge? Think about it.

    The pope has appologised for hurting the feelings of muslims. He knows where to draw the line and admit his error. Are we asking too much if muslims commit errors, they too would admit it?

  7. Muslims can never admit their their errors because they use coercion and force in the name of their religion. In Muslim majority countries they start by telling the whole world their religion is the only true religion. Then they start making rules to restrict the movement of religious minorities in their country. Next come their state-backed missionaries to brainwash and coerce others into becoming converts.

    Now, if those in the religious minorities were to resist this onslaught. The Muslims will then start to accuse them of being anti-Islam. Further resistance will be met by calls to 'jihad' to protect the religion. Next, come forced conversions and killings.

    The above cycle of events is repeated in almost all Muslim majority countries. Two of the worst prepertrators of this
    vicious cycle are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

    In countries where Muslims are minorities they also start by telling the whole world their religion is the only true religion in the world. Then they start asking for the implementation of 'syariah' laws. When their host country says that there should be only one legal framework for one nation, a wholly sensible approach, these Muslims start to claim oppression of their religion. Further refusal to capitulate to the demands of these Muslim minorities will trigger calls for 'jihad' to protect Islam. This 'jihad' can even take the form of demands for territorial autonomy or independence from their host country such as in the case of South Thailand. After all the protest the bombings and killings will start.

    These two cycles are unversally true of almost all Muslims. Of course, the Muslims have scapegoats for their violence. They are Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhist............ the list goes on and on.

    Apologise for the killings and mayhem we see today, never. After all anything said or done in the name of the only true religion in the world must be correct.

    In Malaysia people like Khairy Jamaluddin and political parties such as PAS are two of many firm believers in the doctrine that "Islam is never wrong. All things done in the name of Islam must be correct regardless of the negative impact on others. Therefore, there is never a need to apologise for these negative impacts." Sounds familiar? It should.