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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Thomas A. Gill

Once again, here's a religious story that was inaccurately or incompletely reported by the media, and therfore, subsequently misinterpreted by many. In the mosque, the Holy Father did not pray a Muslim prayer with other Muslims. He clearly said a Christian prayer while holding the large Cross around his neck. In the Hagia Sohpia he wrote a prayer of pewtition in the guest book: "In our diversity, we find ourselves before faith in the one God. May God enlighten us and help us find the path of love and peace." He also blessed some disabled children(Muslim or Christian?) there.

Brian John Schuettler

I believe that Mr. Ibrahim does indeed overstate his case. Let's put this is context. B16, prior to his visit to Turkey, had just delivered a lecture that addresses to the world the necessity of returning to a meaningful, reasonable center that has been essentially usurped by secular materialism and atheistic dogmatic nihilism. Within that address B16 also called upon the leaders of the religion of Islam to join in a dialogue the focus of which is the exclusion of violence and hatred as attributes of religion in general and Islam in particular. Now comes B16 to Turkey with the immediate goal of meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in an act of, shall we say, solidarity. Secondarily Pope Ratzinger was invited by the secular state of Turkey to enjoy an officially approved visit to the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
By his actions His Holiness did not desire to make of statement of power to Islam. Wouldn't that actually contradict the very point he is making that it is faith and reason, not power and irrationality, that are the foundation for our actions with each other? As the saying goes, there is a time and place for everything. By showing respect for Islam the pope practiced what he preached and thereby set the example for those who would be his enemies. He offered the olive branch, not the sword, and in so doing opened the door for the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts and the minds of the followers of the Prophet. There will certainly be those on both sides who will view B16's actions as being weak and not strong but it is not strength that that the Vicar of Christ is charged to bring to the is the love and the mercy of Our Saviour.

Carl Olson

Wouldn't that actually contradict the very point he is making that it is faith and reason, not power and irrationality, that are the foundation for our actions with each other?

Excellent observation, Brian.

Harry Potter

Yes Brian. Also may I add that Turkey's obsession with Heavy Metal Bands like Pink Floyd and the Eagles are both the cause AND result of Islamic violence. Similarly the Pope's instruction to Europe to both admit AND not admit Turkey to the EU shows that he possesses a mind capable of grasping a complex Hegelian synthesis of ideas.

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