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 Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The REAL Pope Benedict XVI

  Read here full article by Madeleine Bunting in The Guardian UK

Only 18 months into his papacy and already Pope Benedict XVI has stirred up unprecedented controversy.

As the explanations and apologies pour out of the Vatican, the questions about what exactly this man intended by quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor's insult of the Prophet Mohammed have only multiplied.

Some say this was a case of naivety, of a scholarly theologian stumbling into the glare of a global media storm, blinking with surprise at the outrage he had inadvertently triggered.

The learned man's thoughtful reasoning, say some, has been misconstrued and distorted by troublemakers, and the context ignored.

But such explanations are unconvincing.

  • This is a man who has been at the heart of one of the world's multinational institutions for a very long time.

  • He has been privy to how pontifical messages get distorted and magnified by a global media.

  • Shy he may be, but no one has ever before accused this pope of being a remote theologian sitting in an ivory tower. On the contrary, he is a determined, shrewd operator whose track record indicates a man who is not remotely afraid of controversy.

  • He has long been famous for his bruising, ruthless condemnation of those he disagrees with. Senior Catholic theologians such as the German Hans Kung are well familiar with the sharpness of his judgments.
But in the 18 months since Benedict was elected, the wary critics who have always feared this man were lulled into believing that office might have softened his abrasive edges.

His encyclical on love won widespread acclaim and the pronouncement on homosexuality being incompatible with the priesthood (and its inference that homosexuals were to blame for the child sex abuse problems in the church) were explained away as an inheritance from Pope John Paul II's reign.

But while the Pope has tried to build a more appealing public image, what has become increasingly clear is that this is a man with little sympathy or imagination for other religious faiths.

Famously, the then Cardinal Ratzinger once referred to Buddhism as a form of masturbation for the mind - a remark still repeated among deeply offended Buddhists more than a decade after he said it.

Even his apology at the weekend managed to bring Jews into the row.

In fact, Pope Benedict XVI's short papacy has marked a significant departure from the previous pope's stance on interreligious dialogue.

John Paul II made some dramatic gestures to rally world religious leaders, the most famous being a gathering in Assisi of every world faith, even African animists, to pray for world peace.

He felt keenly the terrible history of Catholic-Jewish relations, and having fought with the Polish resistance to save Jews in the second world war, John Paul II made unprecedented efforts to begin to heal centuries of hostility and indifference on the part of the Catholic church to Europe's Jews.

John Paul II also addressed himself to the ancient enmity between Muslims and Catholics; he apologised for the Crusades and was the first Pope to visit a mosque during a visit to Syria in 2001.

In contrast, Pope Benedict has managed to antagonise two major world faiths within a few months.

The current anger of Muslims is comparable to the anger and disappointment felt by Jews after his visit to Auschwitz in May.

He gave a long address at the site of the former concentration camp and failed to mention anti-semitism, and offered no apology - whether on behalf of his own country, Germany, or on behalf of the Catholic Church.

He acknowledged he was a "son of the German people" ... "but not guilty on that account";

He then launched into a highly controversial claim that a "ring of criminals" were responsible for nazism and that the German people were as much their victims as anyone else.

This is an argument that has long been discredited in Germany as utterly inadequate in explaining how millions supported the Nazis.

Given his own involvement in the Hitler Youth movement as a boy, and his refusal to make a clean breast of the Vatican's acquiescence in the horrors of Nazism by opening its archives to historians, this was a shabby moment in Catholic history.

Not for this pope those dramatic, epoch-defining gestures that made the last Pope such a significant global figure.

Even worse, in his Auschwitz address, he managed to argue in a long theological exposition that the real victims of the Holocaust were God and Christianity.

As one commentator put it, he managed to claim that Jews were the "themselves bit players - bystanders at their own extermination. The true victim was a metaphysical one."

This theological treatise bears the same characteristics as last week's Regensburg lecture; put at its most charitable, they are too clever by half.

More plainly speaking, they indicate a deep arrogance rooted in a blinkered Catholic triumphalism which is utterly out of place in the 21st century.

But if his visit to Auschwitz disappointed many and failed to resolve outstanding resentments about the murky role of German Catholicism, this latest incident seems even worse.

Quoting Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologos, he said:
"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."
It was a gratuitous reawakening of the most entrenched and self-serving of western prejudices - that Muslims have a unique proclivity to violence, a claim that has no basis in history or in current world events (a fact that still eludes too many westerners).

Even more bewildering is the fact that his choice of quotation from Manuel II Paleologos, the 14th-century Byzantine emperor, was so insulting of the Prophet.

Even the most cursory knowledge of dialogue with Islam teaches that reverence for the Prophet is a non-negotiable.

What unites all Muslims is a passionate devotion and commitment to protecting the honour of Muhammad.

Given the scale of the offence, the carefully worded apology, actually, gives little ground; he recognises that Muslims have been offended and that he was only quoting, but there is NO regret at using such an inappropriate comment or the deep historic resonances it stirs up.

By an uncanny coincidence the legendary Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci died last week. No one connected the two events, but the Pope had already run into controversy in Italy by inviting the rabid Islamophobe to a private audience just months ago.

This is the journalist
who published a bestseller in 2001 which amounted to a diatribe of invective against Islam. This is the woman who was only too happy to fling out comments such as "Muslims breed like rats" and "the increasing presence of Muslims in Italy and Europe is directly proportional to our loss of freedom."

At the time of her papal audience, Fallaci's ranting against Islam had landed her in court and there was outrage at the Pope's insensitive invitation.

The Pope REFUSED to backtrack and insisted the meeting was purely "pastoral".

Put last week's lecture in Bavaria and the Fallaci audience alongside his vocal opposition to Turkish membership of the EU, and the picture isn't pretty.

On one of the biggest and most volatile issues of our day - the perceived clash between the west and the Muslim world - the Pope seems to have abdicated his papal role of arbitrator, and taken up the arms in a rerun of a medieval fantasy.

    • An elderly Catholic nun has already been killed in Somalia, perhaps in retaliation for the Pope's remarks; churches have been attacked in the West Bank.

    • How is this papal stupidity going to play out in countries such as Nigeria, where the tensions between Catholics and Muslims frequently flare into riots and death?

    • Or other countries such as Pakistan, where tiny Catholic communities are already beleaguered?

    • Or the Muslim minorities in Catholic countries such as the Philippines - how comfortable do they feel this week?
Two lines of thought emerge from this mess.

1. Personal Authority Damaged

The first is that the Pope's personal authority has been irrevocably
; how now could he ever present himself as a figure of global moral
authority and a peacemaker after this?

At the weekend, a message was read out from Cardinal Murphy O'Connor at all masses in Catholic churches in England; he spoke of the regret at any offence caused and urged good relations between Catholics and Muslims.

For a church that prides itself on taking centuries to respond, this was unprecedented crisis management.

It cannot but damage the pope's authority with the faithful that such emergency measures were necessary, and it compromises not just this pope but the papal office itself. (This is a job, after all, that is supposed to be divinely guided and at all times beyond reproach: a claim that looks a bit threadbare after the past few days.)

2. Failure of the Catholic Church

The second is a more disturbing possibility: namely, that the Catholic church could be failing - yet again - to deal with the challenge of modernity.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, it struggled to adapt to an increasingly educated and questioning faithful; now, in the 21st century, it is in danger of failing the great challenge of how we forge new ways of accommodating difference in a crowded, mobile world.

The Catholic church has to make a dramatic break with its triumphalist, bigoted past if it is to contribute in any constructive way to chart this new course.

John Paul II made some dramatic steps in this direction.

But the fear now is that Pope Benedict XVI has NO intention of following suit, and that he has another direction altogether in mind.

More from Pope Benedict

On homosexuality

"Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living-out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option.

It is not."

On Buddhism

"Auto-erotic spirituality."

The ordination of women

On the excommunication of seven women who called themselves priests: "... the penalty imposed is not only just, but also necessary, in order to protect true doctrine, to safeguard the communion and unity of the church, and to guide consciences of the faithful."

On same-sex marriage

"Call[s] into question the family, in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father, and make[s] homosexuality and heterosexuality virtually equivalent, in a new model of polymorphous sexuality."

On rock music

"[A] vehicle of anti-religion"; "the complete antithesis of the Christian faith in the redemption."

On cloning

"[A] more dangerous threat than weapons of mass destruction."

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Blogger PrimeMinisterKalkiGaur said...


NewsWireUSA, 9/19/2006. (1) DIALOGUE OF CULTURES: Good Pope Benedict XVI meant well and Muslims should look in the mirror. Good Pope urged in his German address a respect for reason and an appeal to all religions and secular communities to become partners in the Dialogue of Cultures, the very message Jesus gave and Hindus and Buddhists have been giving all these years. Pope set out to define his fundamental, deeply held Hegelian convictions about the rule of reason in religion and society. The Occidental religious cultures, in monotheist Islam, Judaism and Christianity, regard the “exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions.” Pope argued, reason and faith must “come together in a new way.” Jesus and Socrates were murdered because they taught because they brought together reason and faith. Gnostic Gospels, Hindu Upanisad, Buddhist logic, Jewish Kabbalah, Shiite Sufism and Taoism taught about the discovery of absolute Divine Brahman Atma through universality of reason, by bringing together yoga meditation and Upanisadic spiritual reasoning together. No wonder the Semite Muslims, Judeo Marxists, Jews and Judeo Christians are howling for the blood of Good Pope who is determined to bring Roman Catholic Church back to the principles of 1965 Synod of Bishops by dismantling the Marxian materialist Vatican-Mecca Axis of theocracy, monotheism, extremism, fundamentalism and intolerance developed during Judeo-Pontificate of John Paul II. Hegelian Protestants, Gnostic Christians, Kabbalah Jews, Hindus and Buddhists welcome this increased role of reason in religion advocated by German Hegelian idealist Pope Benedict XVI. Hindu India welcomes Pope Benedict with open arms. Acting against reason is “contrary to the nature of God.” Pope benedict XVI is bringing Christianity back to its original roots in Nicean theism of 325 AD, before Jews hijacked the leadership of Church and made Christianity anti-thesis of reason, which culminated in 1,000-year Dark Age in Christian world. Those who controlled Pope John Paul II from behind had conspired to descend on Christian Europe looming New Global Dark Age, which good Pope Benedict XVI has scuttled.

(2) Pope Benedict XVI is not a clone of Pope John Paul II. Benedict XVI is antithesis of John Paul II. Secretary Condoleezza Rice and President Bush put upside down the pro-Papacy patriarchal iconoclast monotheist Realism of former secretaries Kissinger, Brzezinski and Albright. Similarly Benedict XVI will reject and put upside down the Bolshevik Jew and Judeo-Christian conspiracy that cemented the Vatican-Mecca-Beijing Axis of Semite Extremism, Fundamentalism as part of grand alliance of Semite Judeo Christianity, Semite Wahhabi Islam, Semite Marxism and Semite OPEC, to wage a global war against Asian Buddhism, African Paganism and Asian Hinduism. Germany not Poland represents the soul of European Christianity. The pontificate of John Paul can be called with the benefit of hindsight the pro-Terrorism pontificate, Commie pontificate and anti-pagan pontificate. In contrast Benedict XVI represents anti-terrorism pontificate and anti-Communism pontificate. Pope Benedict XVI has silently ended the Vatican-Mecca-Beijing Axis of intolerance, extremism, totalitarianism and fundamentalism. The Semite Judeo Christianity of John Paul II, replaced by Aryan Christianity of Nicean Christianity that has been brought to the lime light by revelations of Da Vinci Code and Gospel of Judas. Pope Benedict XVI shall reform Catholic Church, Catholic Bible and undo all wrongs that Jew hijackers of Christianity, Orthodox and Catholic Church inflicted on the Christian Bible, theology and dogma during last 1700 years. The moral purpose of the Pope Benedict XVI is to reform Roman Catholic Christianity, in the light of the demands for Reformation by laity readers of Da Vinci Code and Gospel of Judas and other Gnostic Gospels.

(3) Hindu Indians would welcome new Catholic Pope with the same open arms as they welcomed president George Bush and secretary Condoleezza Rice in march 2006. The WASPs have a grudge against the Pope John Paul II for his alleged opposition to Protestantism and his alliance with Islamic terrorism and that is why Americans did not invite Pope John Paul II to visit USA after the 9/11/2001 attacks. Once German Pope Benedict XVI convinces Americans and WASPs that he is negation of John Paul II then Protestants could feel brotherly to Catholics once again.

(4) Pope Benedict XVI will help Baltic Orthodox Christians recover what they lost because of anti-Orthodox Catholic-Islamic Axis. Pope John Paul II was instrumental for secession of Catholic Slovenia and Croatia from Orthodox Yugoslavia. Orthodox Russia is again wealthy and powerful and Orthodox Church wants to bring back Kosovo and Bosnia and Albania under the control of Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy wants to create a Christian State of “Holy Christine” in Israel so that Holy Christian Religious properties in the Holy Land Israel are not desecrated, in the manner Muslims desecrated the Orthodox Monasteries in Holy Christian lands of Kosovo. Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania and Israeli Holy Christian properties should be brought back under Orthodox rule to promote better Catholic-Orthodoxy Christian brotherhood. Pope Benedict XVI would develop better ties with Orthodoxy and end the Papal alliance with Sunni terrorists and Sunni Heroin cartels.

(5) Hindus will welcome if Pope Benedict XVI ended the Vatican-Mecca-Marxism Axis, which had resulted in the genocides in Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo. Pope John Paul II presided over the genocide of black African pagans in Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Congo, Chad and Nigeria that was implemented by Vatican-Mecca Axis of Iconoclast Monotheism. Papacy had earlier aligned with Marxists to end the Orthodox monarchy of Emperor Haile Selaisie. Papacy had aligned with Marxists to end the Hindu-Buddhist monarchies of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

(6) IS ISLAMIC TERRORISM IS EVIL & INHUMAN? Alexander invaded Egypt and brought North Africa under Greek civilization and Greek religion. Julius Caesar invaded Egypt and brought North Africa under Roman civilization and Roman Religion. North Africa and Asia Minor were Christian lands when they were subdued militarily and Muslim victors slaughtered all Christian men and took over all Christian women and made these lands Muslim. The manifest destiny of the Western Civilization is to bring back Asia Minor and North Africa under Christian Civilization. Christian Crusades and Crusades of Democracy would make Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco Christian again in the 21st Century. Christian-Hindu Pact of Civilization would restore pre-Islamic religions of Asia Minor and North Africa in first half of the 21st Century.

(7) ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF SWORD: Pope quoted Byzantine Emperor “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” Pope Benedict XVI is right. It is Evil and Inhuman to propagate Islam by sword. John Paul II's Pontificate was largely defined by his relationship with a global conflict between west and east. In 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. With a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Pope Benedict XVI in a speech in Germany quotes the fourteenth-century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who challenged a Muslim correspondent to name anything not "evil and inhuman" spawned by the Prophet Mohammed. "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," was part of an historic dialogue between the emperor, whose throne in Constantinople was then under siege by a Muslim army. Yet some question the wisdom of his decision to use a besieged emperor's depiction of Islam as a faith, which condones "acting unreasonably. Religions of Sword, which expanded by sword destine to decline or contract or die when the rival sword became more powerful than their sword. Islam is on the decline as it has abandoned Modern Islam and embraced barbarian Wahhabi Islam.

(8) CHRISTIAN-HINDU PACT OF CIVILIZATIONS: Hindu-Christian Pact of Civilizations to launch Christian Crusades on Islam and Crusades of Democracy in the Middle East. Hindus can provide 10 million soldiers to back it up. Pope John Paul II supported Wahhabi terrorists that bombed on 9/11. Pope Benedict XVI is wisely launching Crusades on Islam. The 900 million Hindus of India wholeheartedly support new Christian Crusades on Islam and new Crusades of Democracy on Islamic Middle East. Pope Benedict XVI is right that Mohammad taught nothing new except Evil and Inhuman. Hindus support all what Pope Benedict said. Hindu India wants to have a Hindu-Christianity Pact of civilizations to tame Islamic barbarism. Hindu India is willing to provide 10 million Hindu soldiers to new Christian Crusades in the Middle East and on Crusades of Democracy to the Middle East.

(9) RECLAIM MEDITERANEAN AFRICA FOR CHRISTIANITY: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco were thriving Christian civilizations, before they fell for Arab Muslim Bedouin invaders after 630 AD, and Arab Muslim killed all Christian men and took over Christian women by sword. The Christian Manifest destiny in 21st Century is to regain Christian Lands of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco for Christianity again before 2050 AD. Hindu India is willing to join Christian Crusades on Mediterranean Islam and provide 10 million Hindu volunteers soldiers for this noble cause in the name of Jesus to regain Mediterranean Africa and Asia Minor back to the folds of Christian Civilization, to help Pope Benedict XVI realize his Christian Dream in first quarter of 21st Century Age of Aquarius. If Jews can return to Israel after 2100 years, there is no reason that Christians cannot return to North Africa after 1300 years and Turkey after 700 years. Victory of Christian-Hindu Alliance is predestined. Jesus shall rule over Turkey, Asia Minor and North Africa again before 2050, with the blessing of Hindus. Hindu civilization is in clash with Islamic civilization. Doctrine of Chanakya Mandala Realism states that enemy of your enemy your friend. In the event of Christian-Islamic clash of religions, Hindu civilization shall enter into pact of civilizations with Christian civilization to tame the rising wave of Islamic terrorism, extremism and fundamentalism. Civilizations have neither permanent enemies nor permanent friends. German idealist Hegelian Pope Benedict XVI is the nemesis of or antithesis of materialist Marxian Bolshevik Polish Pope John Paul II, and provides a new historic opportunity for the Hindu-Catholic Pact of Civilization to meet the challenge of iconoclast monotheist patriarchal extremism and fundamentalism in the Aquarius Age. Hindus welcome Hegelian Pope Benedict XVI with open arms. The demise of Judeo monotheist intolerance in Christianity is the precisely the purpose of Catholic End of Time teleological Eschatology in New Millennium.

Philosopher Kalki Gaur, “GLOBAL CLASH OF RELIGIONS” (2006)
Kalki Gaur, “ ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

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