Theologians talking about Pope and Islam

This was sent in response to a discussion on the Pope’s comments that has started so much violence. Here for search-ability!

Brother John!

I will start my reply with one simple statement. Without

reason there is no discussion. My fear here is that the religion of

Islam has been hijacked by the radicals to the point of no longer

being able to distinguish from the two. Having read great portions of

the Koran I can safely state that the God of the Koran (yes we can get

into the singularity of God through Islam/Christianity – Another time

Brother John) is peaceful. The God of the Koran as with Christianity

does not rejoice in war. I think what comes into play here is the

quote states a very true fact.

Using that as my segue (and I hope the same reaction is not

formed because of it :) ) Pope Benedict, I believe, is by nature a

peaceful man. There is great beauty in a Pope selecting the name

Benedict right? I believe that Saint Benedict was in many ways faced

with the same challenges as Pope Benedict. Peace during troubled

times. With that said I would state for myself that Muhammad “could be

peaceful.” If we look at the first portion of the Koran we see he is

not in power and very very peaceful. Watch out when he gets the

reigns. I say this because in the second half of the Koran a very

dangerous topic emerges that I believe the Pope uses in his speech –

“Choose my religion or die” is at it’s lowest levels incompatible with

God. I believe that was the purpose of the quote and use of Medieval

text. Here we have an emperor under siege from the Muslims and

speaking with the counterpart. If read in it’s entirety, the paper

CLEARLY states that this is an introduction into Faith and Reason. I

find it pompous that this is acceptable to assume that if a quote is

made you must agree with the person with who is quoted. “What luck for

rulers, that men do not think.” – Adolf Hitler. Let that be my

example.

What is more troubling for me is the time line. How can I not

watch the unraveling of events and not think this is a big dog and

pony show. An official release was made shortly after the speech

clarifying the Pope’s use of the medieval paper and the reason for it.

This was not good enough and the violence continued. The Pope has now

officially come out and reiterated again that the purpose was not to

incite violence and cause tears between the groups. What happens, more

violence and a statement that this was not good enough. Now that time

has passed I want to look more closely at what the first statement

stated from Cardinal Bertone and why it should have been more than

enough to stop this all. The main points being:

  • “the Holy Father did not mean, nor does he mean, to make that

opinion his own in any way.”

  • “The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God.”

  • “Demonstrations of violence cannot be attributed to religion as such

but to the cultural limitations with which it is lived and develops in

time”

My one quibble with this release would be the last statement

that this is simply a group of yahoos running around causing all this.

I disagree. The Parliament of Pakistan has come out condemning the

Pope. Look at this quote from their Foreign Minister – “Anyone who

describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence,” What

a bunch of double talk there. Don’t describe as us being violent or we

will get violent. Sheesh. No worries though because it isn’t just

Pakistan, the entire Organization of Islamic Conference has come out

now demand that the UN Human Rights council get involved. The OIC

represents 57 Islamic nations. My friend, I would feel all the better

if the shouts of the “radical groups” were drowned out by the peaceful

Muslims for which you speak. As of now I am beginning to think your

equation is much an inverse.

To end this paper I wish to agree with you. As a Catholic man,

peace is the message of the Gospel. Hospitality means accepting and

loving the man who does you wrong. As such I will continue to pray for

reason in this time or turmoil. I fear though that hospitality is now

falling to risk of violence. The Catechism of the Catholic Church

clearly states that we are to defend ourselves when put in risk for

our lives. You may chuckle this off as an extreme, but it has already

been established that the Pope’s comments is now costing the lives of

peaceful Christians everywhere:

  • http://www.aina.org/news/20060916154058.htm – Christian Killed in Iraq

  • http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3304614,00.html – We will

blow up Christian Churches in Gaza

  • http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2006-09-17T135931Z_01_L17724017_RTRUKOC_0_US-SOMALIA-ITALIAN.xml&archived=False

– Nun Slain

I can only pray for an end to this violence as it is now costing

lives. We can only watch in horror now as peaceful loving people

become martyrs for a lack of reason.

In Christ — Nick

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