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Author Topic: Can Someone Explain This?  (Read 27839 times) Average Rating: 0
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Linus7
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« on: March 11, 2004, 03:18:14 PM »

I am not trying to be divisive, but I would like someone to explain the photo below to me and the circumstances surrounding it.

Perhaps this has been discussed here before. If so, perhaps someone could refer me to that thread.

I think it is well known here that I am generally pretty favorably disposed towards RCs.

I even believe the early bishops of Rome exercised a kind of primacy in the Church based upon their succession from St. Peter, who was appointed by our Lord the Rock and Chief of the Apostles.

But this photo and the whole idea of kissing the Koran - God forbid! - just blows me away!

Forgive me if this offends. That is not my intent.

I am seeking an explanation.
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2004, 03:21:02 PM »

First off, how do we know it's a koran? Second off, how do we know the arab in the picture is a muslim? (There are arab Christians.) Second off, seeing as how Arabic probably is not one of the Holy Father's 17 languages, how do we know he knew these things?
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2004, 03:23:23 PM »

Furthermore, how do we know this isn't an example of Adobe Photoshop magic?
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2004, 03:25:13 PM »

All good questions.

Perhaps someone can answer them.

Meanwhile, I will try to investigate further.
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2004, 03:25:35 PM »

Also, how do we know he is kissing it? It is really not that revealing of a picture.
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2004, 03:34:45 PM »

Here is an article from The Daily Catholic which confirms that, yes, the Pope did kiss the Koran back in 1999.
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2004, 03:35:38 PM »

http://www.crc-internet.org/oct99.htm#find

There are at least 350 other pages linked in a Teoma search...

Demetri
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2004, 03:38:44 PM »

Here is a pertinent excerpt from the article, eye-witness testimony:

 
Quote
Responding to press questions about the trip of John Paul II to Iraq for the Millennium festivities [which were cancelled and held in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican in 2000 before his trip to the Holy Land], Catholic Patriarch Raphael I said this:

"It is known that Pope John Paul II has often voiced a desire to make a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Abraham, the Common Father of Jews, Christians and Muslims. For the Pope, Abraham is a figure who helps the unity of believers to overcome divisions. On May 14th I was received by the Pope, together with a delegation composed of the Shiite Imam of Khadum mosque and the Sunni president of the council of administration of Iraqi Islamic Bank. There was also a representative of the Iraqi ministry of religion. I renewed our invitation to the Pope, because his visit would be for us a grace from heaven. It would confirm the faith of Christians and prove the Pope's love for the whole of humanity in a mainly Muslin country.
    "At the end of the audience the Pope bowed to the Muslim holy book, the Koran, presented to him by the delegation, and he kissed it as a sign of respect. The photo of that gesture has been shown repeatedly on Iraqi television, and it demonstrates that the Pope is not only aware of the suffering of Iraqi people, he has also great respect for Islam"

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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2004, 03:40:16 PM »

First off, how do we know it's a koran? Second off, how do we know the arab in the picture is a muslim? (There are arab Christians.) Second off, seeing as how Arabic probably is not one of the Holy Father's 17 languages, how do we know he knew these things?

Furthermore, how do we know this isn't an example of Adobe Photoshop magic?

Also, how do we know he is kissing it? It is really not that revealing of a picture.


These and similar questions are ones I've heard Catholics propose when they see this picture.  I've even heard different explanations (it's a Chaldean lexicon, it's a Chaldean liturgical book, etc.) for it.  But it is a Quran, and the Pope is kissing it.

I cannot find the source I once used when this subject came up on Byzcath.org (since I am aware that you post there, Linus, you may want to check the archives there for more), but here is a source quoting the original source, a FIDES news report:

http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/99Jun/jun2nv3.htm  

(I don't know the standing of this particular website with regard to the Roman Catholic Church)

In this, one can read the following:

Quote
There was also a representative of the Iraqi ministry of religion. I renewed our invitation to the Pope, because his visit would be for us a grace from heaven. It would confirm the faith of Christians and prove the Pope's love for the whole of humanity in a country which is mainly Muslim. At the end of the audience the Pope bowed to the Muslim holy book, the Qu'ran, presented to him by the delegation, and he kissed it as a sign of respect. The photo of that gesture has been shown repeatedly on Iraqi television and it demonstrates that the Pope is not only aware of the suffering of the Iraqi people, he has also great respect for Islam.

H.B. Raphael I Bidawid, late Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2004, 03:40:40 PM »

Argh, you guys posted while I was writing my post!
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2004, 03:52:18 PM »

Well, I think the articles explain it pretty well...it was a sign of respect for Islam and an act of sympathy for the suffering Iraqi people. I can live with that Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2004, 03:53:02 PM »

It seems pretty plain that the Pope did both bow to the Koran and kiss it.

I am interested in RC reaction to this.

What possible excuse could there be for showing such reverence for that antichrist book?

I would think that dying before doing such things would be laudable and worthy of heaven.

BTW, I don't post at ByzCath anymore.
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2004, 03:55:47 PM »

Well, I think the articles explain it pretty well...it was a sign of respect for Islam and an act of sympathy for the suffering Iraqi people. I can live with that Smiley

Doesn't what's in that damnable book matter?

What of all the martyrs who have died at the hands of Muslims?

What of the effect such an act has on the minds of Christians (the feeling of betrayal, for one thing)?

Is everything he does okay?
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2004, 03:57:10 PM »

Well, I think the articles explain it pretty well...it was a sign of respect for Islam ...

 :rolleyes:

...whatever
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2004, 04:01:59 PM »

Some things are not worthy of respect.

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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2004, 04:09:12 PM »

What about love of enemies? What about all the martyrs that have died among Christians at the hands of Christians? How are we going to move beyond that?

I am not saying it was a wise move, and I am not advocating an appeasement policy. But I think peace among religions is a desirable thing, and I think that was the Holy Father's intention.

Remember...I said I could live with it. I didn't say I liked it.
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2004, 04:12:38 PM »

What about love of enemies? What about all the martyrs that have died among Christians at the hands of Christians? How are we going to move beyond that?

I am not saying it was a wise move, and I am not advocating an appeasement policy. But I think peace among religions is a desirable thing, and I think that was the Holy Father's intention.

Remember...I said I could live with it. I didn't say I liked it.

I guess you will have to live with it if you want to remain RC.

I am glad to hear that you don't think it was a wise move and that you don't like it.

It was most definitely the wrong thing to do.
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2004, 04:23:47 PM »

BTW, I did a search for "Kisses Koran," and this is the first site that came up:

http://www.remnantofgod.org/1wc.htm

FRUITCAKE!

I am unshaken in my faith in the RCC. Rome hasn't made ex cathedra statements on the equal efficacy of Islam and Christianity, and won't. Moreover, I haven't had a chance to look into your sources. Said kiss was at worst ill-advised.
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2004, 04:33:30 PM »

When I was non-Catholic, I still called priests, "Father." This was a sign of respect and not an assent of faith. I think the situation here is analogous.
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2004, 04:35:31 PM »

Caffeinator,

I have read that it was ill advised, but comments come way after the fact.

I'll scan some other sites.
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2004, 04:45:40 PM »

BTW: Practically every site I saw with a picture of the Pope kissing the koran was fruitcake and not worthy of close perusal, by Orthodox or Catholic. I wonder if the Holy Father was just throwing a bone to anti-Catholics, to give our apologists something to do for a living. (Just kidding, but it was all fruitcake.)
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« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2004, 06:14:14 PM »

I don't think it's a huge thing (as has been said, it's not an ex cathedra declaration), but, think back to the OT.  Can you imagine Jeremiah or Ezekiel kissing a book by one of the false prophets?
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« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2004, 06:54:38 PM »

Caffeinator,

I agree on the 2 many crazy sites, it happened almost 5 years ago, I got tired of looking at them.

james
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2004, 07:07:45 PM »

Well, I think the articles explain it pretty well...it was a sign of respect for Islam and an act of sympathy for the suffering Iraqi people. I can live with that Smiley

When this came up on another site a few months ago, I wrote the following:

We can respect the religious texts of other religions out of respect for their adherents, but one does not need to kiss the book in question in order to do that. You say that if you found a valuable Quran you would not step on it, defame it, or destroy it, but would respectfully handle it and turn it over to the proper authorities. I agree with this attitude of yours. But I note that you did not say you would kiss it. The point is that you do not need to kiss the Quran (or, for that matter, the Holy Gospel) in order to handle it with respect. I doubt the Muslim finding a Gospel book taken from an Eastern church would kiss it. He'd simply not step on it, defame it, or destroy it, but would probably hand it over to the proper authorities.

In our religion, we kiss things that we have particular reverence for. We kiss icons, we kiss the Holy Gospel, we kiss the Holy Cross, we kiss relics, we kiss the chalice, etc. Such are gestures of respect, but they are much more than that. They are signs of reverence. No Church that I know of advocates showing reverence to the religious symbols of other religions. I'm pretty sure they only advocate what I'll call "negative respect" for these things, defining negative respect as "not stepping on them, defaming them or throwing them away".

The Pope kissed the Quran. That much seems pretty clear. The Pope is a holy man and a great religious leader, but kissing the sacred text of another religion is just wrong. That is something we Christians do to the Gospels or to crosses and icons, not to non-Christian sacred texts, not to idols, not to anything else like that. To do otherwise is to appear to compromise the Faith. I don't think the Pope was trying to confess Islam or anything like that, but certainly the appearance is scandalous, especially since one can show respect in any number of other ways. Kissing the Quran was not necessary, but it was done, and it was a mistake in judgement. Personally, I don't understand why some (and I'm not accusing you of this, Administrator, but am speaking generally) are so intent on proving that the Pope has never done anything wrong that they will attempt explanations that are more "out there" than the simpler, more common sense ones.


Regarding the quality of the websites containing this information, I'm willing to grant that the vast majority probably aren't worth reading except for a little humour.  However, the story was originally reported by FIDES, which (to my knowledge) is a reputable RC news service.  If there is any doubt about FIDES having actually reported the story as quoted, perhaps a letter inquiring about this is in order?
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2004, 07:48:38 PM »

I am starting to accept that the event happened and was covered by the news. I am also starting to think it has been blown out of proportion.

If I were in an Orthodox Cathedral, I would try to be culturally sensitive. I think it is the same here. Christians are slowly entering dhimmitude in many parts of the world, and increasingly, Europe. I think cultural sensitivity is therefore in order. That doesn't mean appeasement, or even indifferentism (a heresy that happens to have been anathematized by an RC pope). But I imagine, in the long run, JPII's little kiss saved lives. (Or at least Catholic lives.)

What would have happened if JPII just refused, as if to say Islam has no redeeming value, that it hasn't contributed to civilization (like in arts, classics, and medicine?) I'll tell you, it would have been an occassion for further persecution.
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« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2004, 09:13:32 PM »

I just can't see Jesus, the prophets or apostles compromising to show formal respect to what they see as false prophecy, in any situation.  Do you think Jesus would have acted toward the pharisees, or Paul toward the Roman pagans in this way?
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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2004, 09:16:19 AM »

What would have happened if JPII just refused, as if to say Islam has no redeeming value, that it hasn't contributed to civilization (like in arts, classics, and medicine?) I'll tell you, it would have been an occassion for further persecution.
Could he not have shown respect for Islam by kissing the delegates?

I don't believe that kissing the Koran was done ex-cathedra, so why do Catholics try so hard to justify it? Do they require the Pope to be infallible in everything he says and does?

John.
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« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2004, 11:24:17 AM »

The practice among the Orthodox, when meeting an Orthodox bishop or priest, is to say, "Father [or 'Your Grace,' etc.] bless!," extend the hands, cupped, and bow the head while he makes the sign of the cross over you, then kiss his right hand, which he places in yours.  We would never expect a Roman Catholic to go through that ceremonial when greeting our bishops and priest (and I have never seen one do so), nor would we go through that ceremonial in greeting a Roman Catholic or Anglican priest or bishop, who would undoubtedly find it confusing, at best.

I doubt most Muslims would expect a Christian, particularly a patriarch, to kiss the Qu'ran when handling it.  

The gesture was clearly unnecessary, and certainly scandalous to Christians who know enough about the Qu'ran to know that it teaches, for example, that Jesus did not really die on the cross.
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« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2004, 11:27:11 AM »

To be more accurate, I should have written that "it teaches . . . that the Son of God did not really die on the cross," as I believe that most Muslims interpret the relevant Qu'ranic passages to mean that there was a crucifixion, probably of the body of Jesus, but that the Son of God was miraculously transported to heaven before it occurred.
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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2004, 01:07:51 PM »

I don't believe that kissing the Koran was done ex-cathedra, so why do Catholics try so hard to justify it? Do they require the Pope to be infallible in everything he says and does?

John.

Exactly.

Were I a Roman Catholic I would argue along those lines: not ex cathedra, Pope not impeccable, no big deal, case closed.

As an Orthodox Christian, however, I disagree with the "no big deal" part of the argument.

Were I Roman Catholic I think I would have called for the deposition of a pope who both bowed to and kissed the Koran. No offense, guys, but that is what I think should happen to any bishop who does such a thing - especially in a public setting. If the EP did that, then he, too, should be deposed and packed off to a monastery.

Although whacked out Fundamentalist web sites have had a field day with this thing, remember, it was JPII himself who gave them the ammunition.

And even The Daily Catholic had negative things to say about it, not to mention the "traditionalist" Catholic web sites.
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« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2004, 01:11:02 PM »

Ah, but were you Roman Catholic, you'd realise that there's no such thing as deposing a Pope.  Wink
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« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2004, 01:13:31 PM »

Ah, but were you Roman Catholic, you'd realise that there's no such thing as deposing a Pope.  Wink

Really?

Is that true?

Is there no way?
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« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2004, 01:23:52 PM »

The Pope is the supreme legislative authority in the Roman Catholic Church.  Everyone has recourse to him, but he answers only to God, not to a Synod of Bishops or anything like that.  You can't force him to retire, much less depose him.  Catholics are free to correct me, but that's how I understand the situation, and I don't recall reading anything in the CIC regarding deposition of a Pope, forced retirement, etc.
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« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2004, 01:27:38 PM »

The Pope is the supreme legislative authority in the Roman Catholic Church.  Everyone has recourse to him, but he answers only to God, not to a Synod of Bishops or anything like that.  You can't force him to retire, much less depose him.  Catholics are free to correct me, but that's how I understand the situation, and I don't recall reading anything in the CIC regarding deposition of a Pope, forced retirement, etc.      

So, if they were saddled with an Alexander Borgia today, they would just have to grin and bear it?

 :-";"xx
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« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2004, 01:34:04 PM »

Here are some of the relevant canons.  Unless I'm mistaken, they don't say anything about anyone having power to depose a Pope.  Even the provision for a papal retirement states that it must be clear it is done freely, but it is not necessary that the retirement be accepted by anyone.  

http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/canon/c0330-0572.htm#par656
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« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2004, 01:38:31 PM »

This sounds like the king of England not answering to the law: "The king can do no wrong," meaning that the king can't be tried for crimes because that would throw the meaning of justice into doubt. I suppose since the system is based around the Pope, if you removed him, there could be total chaos. But I've always thought that if the pope were a heretic, he would be considered an anti-pope, and thus a new one could be elected.
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« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2004, 01:41:45 PM »

Not to stir the pot, but can anyone tell me who the Orthodox-looking man (presumably a patriarch) in this photo is?

This is supposed to be a picture from some sort of ecumenical prayer service at Assisi in Italy on October 27, 1986.

Note the presence of the Dalai Lama.
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« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2004, 01:57:02 PM »

Here are some of the relevant canons.  Unless I'm mistaken, they don't say anything about anyone having power to depose a Pope.  Even the provision for a papal retirement states that it must be clear it is done freely, but it is not necessary that the retirement be accepted by anyone.  

http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/canon/c0330-0572.htm#par656

The following canon might provide a path of recourse, depending on what the "special laws enacted for these circumstances" are.

Quote
Can. 335 When the Roman See is vacant, or completely impeded, no innovation is to be made in the governance of the universal Church. The special laws enacted for these circumstances are to be observed.

Couldn't one argue that a pope who would bow to and kiss the holy book of an antichrist religion has "completely impeded" the Petrine Office and the Roman See?
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« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2004, 02:10:59 PM »

Couldn't one argue that a pope who would bow to and kiss the holy book of an antichrist religion has "completely impeded" the Petrine Office and the Roman See?

I don't think this is what they mean by "impede".
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« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2004, 02:16:01 PM »

I don't think this is what they mean by "impede".  

You're probably right; they were probably thinking in terms of a pope too ill or incapacitated to carry out his duties.

But it depends on how one defines a complete impediment.
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« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2004, 03:49:11 PM »

You're probably right; they were probably thinking in terms of a pope too ill or incapacitated to carry out his duties.

But it depends on how one defines a complete impediment.

There are precedents for the deposition of a pope.  The last time it happened was at the Council of Constance, which ended the Great Western Schism early in the 15th century.  The council deposed or secured the resignations of all three papal claimants and elected a new pope, Martin V.  Clearly this was an extraordinary measure taken to resolve an extraordinary situation.  It would take a whole lot more than a pope kissing the Koran to trigger such a reaction today.  Presumably in the event of an insane or obstinately heretical pope the college of cardinals could declare that an emergency exists and take steps to resolve the situation.  Failing that, a council of all bishops might have to be summoned.  After all, it was a division in the college of cardinals that precipitated and prolonged the Western Schism in the first place, and it took two councils before it was resolved.

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« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2004, 05:01:59 PM »

Posted by Mor Ephrem:

Quote
The Pope is the supreme legislative authority in the Roman Catholic Church.

Wrong! Wink

The Pope is the supreme executive, legislative, and judicial authority in the Catholic Church! Grin

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« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2004, 06:24:58 PM »

As an RC I certainly appreciate all the EOs and EO wanna be's explaining how our patriarch can be deposed.  Perhaps you might like to help depose him?  Of course you'd need to be RC first.   Grin  

So he kissed the Koran.  Big deal!  We don't need to justify it. The EP used to be appointed by the Sultan.  Remember you guys wanted the turban not the mitre.

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« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2004, 06:47:52 PM »

There are precedents for the deposition of a pope.  The last time it happened was at the Council of Constance, which ended the Great Western Schism early in the 15th century.  The council deposed or secured the resignations of all three papal claimants and elected a new pope, Martin V.  

Yes, but if I'm not mistaken, the Council of Constance also taught that a General Council has authority even over a Pope of Rome, and Rome rejected/rejects that teaching (and the Council itself?).  Also, with three claimants to the papal throne, who would a council choose to depose?  Picking and choosing would only make things worse.  It only makes sense to depose all three and elect someone new.  And did the Council actually depose anyone?  It's no big deal if a Council was able to persuade these guys to resign, but did the Council actually depose?      

Quote
Clearly this was an extraordinary measure taken to resolve an extraordinary situation.  It would take a whole lot more than a pope kissing the Koran to trigger such a reaction today.  Presumably in the event of an insane or obstinately heretical pope the college of cardinals could declare that an emergency exists and take steps to resolve the situation.  Failing that, a council of all bishops might have to be summoned.  After all, it was a division in the college of cardinals that precipitated and prolonged the Western Schism in the first place, and it took two councils before it was resolved.

If the College of Cardinals is confronted with an insane Pope, and they declare that an emergency exists, and enact whatever special laws govern such emergencies, that is one thing.  But that would be something that I think would count as a complete impediment to the exercise of the papal ministry.  No problem there.  There is no provision that I know of (granted, I haven't read all the relevant canons in the '83 Code) for the College of Bishops doing anything about such a situation.  And a General Council can only be called by a Pope; in the absence of one (interregnum or an emergency situation), I don't think you can have one.  

An obstinately heretical Pope?  I don't even know how that can be a possibility after Vatican I.  I've asked several Catholics that I consider knowledgeable about that possibility and never received a satisfactory answer.  I'd like to learn more about this.
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« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2004, 06:49:31 PM »

Posted by Mor Ephrem:Wrong! Wink

The Pope is the supreme executive, legislative, and judicial authority in the Catholic Church! Grin

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I knew that!  Cheesy
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« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2004, 06:50:51 PM »

[So he kissed the Koran.  Big deal!  We don't need to justify it. The EP used to be appointed by the Sultan.  Remember you guys wanted the turban not the mitre.]

What does one have to do with the other?

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« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2004, 06:55:50 PM »

Quote
So he kissed the Koran.  Big deal!  We don't need to justify it. The EP used to be appointed by the Sultan.  Remember you guys wanted the turban not the mitre.

The sultan appointed the EP because of an Islamic Military occupation of Greece.  As far as I know Italy is not under Islamic dictatorship.  If takes a severe congnitve malfunction to equate oppression by an invading empire to a free man kissing the Qu'ran.
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« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2004, 06:57:38 PM »

As an RC I certainly appreciate all the EOs and EO wanna be's explaining how our patriarch can be deposed.  Perhaps you might like to help depose him?  Of course you'd need to be RC first.   Grin  

I'm not interested in deposing anyone.  I'm just trying to say that, to my knowledge, a Pope cannot be deposed.  If he can be, please let me know how that could happen, since it would help me finally figure that out, and possibly raise other questions.  

Quote
So he kissed the Koran.  Big deal!  We don't need to justify it.

It can't be justified, IMO.  

Quote
The EP used to be appointed by the Sultan.  Remember you guys wanted the turban not the mitre.

But how is this a recognition of Islam as a religion?  Surely you are not implying that a patriarch being appointed by a (Muslim) governing authority is the same as a patriarch kissing the Muslim holy book?
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« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2004, 07:04:43 PM »

. . . As far as I know Italy is not under Islamic dictatorship. . . .

At the rate the Moslems are increasing in numbers in Italy through immigration and making babies, your statement will likely no longer be true in 50 to 150 years! Grin



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« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2004, 08:02:22 PM »

"You guys wanted the turban, not the mitre."

Ha!  They were hoping the Latins would show up until the last second to save them from the Turks.  Such sentiments as what you wrote were true for some but certainly not of the majority of the populace of Constantinople.

As for my thoughts, I think JP2 is a wonderful man but we just need to admit that it was wrong what he did. He doesn't need to be deposed or kicked out or whatever, but he should retract his actions, plain and simple.

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« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2004, 08:05:56 PM »

I can sympathize with what happened to JP2, because the Muslims probably engineered it for a photo-op.  Let me explain. When I was in India, my ex-fiancee upon wishing me a safe journey thrust a Koran into my face and told me to kiss it to receive her blessing for a safe journey [a good argument for not marrying non-Christians! Thank God I got back with my now-wife!].  Anyway, instinctively I kissed it when it was trust in my face because 1) I am used to kissing books put in my face and 2) I was really floored what was going on.  So I can **understand** JP2's action.

What I **don't** understand is his reaction...You see, immediately after I realized what I had done, I asked Jesus to forgive me and went to confession for it.  Sin absolved, no problema, thank you Lord for forgiving me.  Maybe JP2 privately did so, but a public action demands a public penance.  All he would have to do is say he is sorry, but instead, the "Pope is always right" crowd try to defend this scandelous action.

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« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2004, 08:20:30 PM »

Not to stir the pot, but can anyone tell me who the Orthodox-looking man (presumably a patriarch) in this photo is?

This is supposed to be a picture from some sort of ecumenical prayer service at Assisi in Italy on October 27, 1986.

Note the presence of the Dalai Lama.


Although I agree with the fact that the Pope of Rome, kissing the Quran, is a very scandalous act--especially given his public role among Catholics--and it sends the wrong message (IMO), I do find the Orthodox participation in both Assisi events to be very disturbing.  Remember, the 1st Assisi event, in 1986, was the event wherein the Dalai Lama placed a statue of Buddha on a Roman Catholic altar.  Although we Orthodox can criticize the Roman Catholic hierarchy for sponsoring such an event, that same Assisi event was enthusiastically supported by multiple Orthodox jurisdictions, who sent their representative hierarchs to this religious pow-wow.

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« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2004, 08:39:49 PM »

When the Buddhist monk did that the RC's immediately ran over and took it down. Also, read the Pope's speech at Assissi.  He told the leaders of all religions that peace would only come from Christ.

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« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2004, 09:08:34 PM »



 The EP used to be appointed by the Sultan.  Remember you guys wanted the turban not the mitre.

Carpo-Rusyn

Typical inaccurate "spin". Big difference from 'approval' (meaning pay-off) and 'appointment'.
And ,YES, still the turban , not the miter, any day. But I'd rather have neither.

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« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2004, 09:27:25 PM »

Rome is not under an islamic regime, but remember, the Pope did this when visiting Saddam's Iraq, whose minority Chaldeans were most definitely persecuted. Nobody here has a right to judge. Who knows what would have happened if the Pope mistepped with the Iraqi Muslims?
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« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2004, 09:37:31 PM »

[Ha!  They were hoping the Latins would show up until the last second to save them from the Turks.  Such sentiments as what you wrote were true for some but certainly not of the majority of the populace of Constantinople.]

I'm sorry but have you forgotten that there were Latins defending New Rome from the Turks at the end?  Do all EO's have selective memory loss? Oh well it seems they do.

I think Caff raises a good point about the Chaldean minority.  The pope has to take into account certain political realities such as that there is a minority Christian population in Iraq that he is responsible for.  The pope kissing the Koran doesn't imply he is now a Muslim or that he has abandoned Christ as some have claimed.  I am sorry that EO patriarchs aren't  faced with similar pastoral problems, but  then again the RCC tends not to be ethnic like the EO's, we take anybody.

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« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2004, 10:07:15 PM »

Quote
I am sorry that EO patriarchs aren't  faced with similar pastoral problems, but  then again the RCC tends not to be ethnic like the EO's, we take anybody.

Actually the pastoral issue is more Orthodox, as there are more Orthodox living under the rule of Islam than RCs.  But the Orthodox New Martyrs dealt with it by giving thier lives rather than worshipping the demon allah of Islam.

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« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2004, 11:06:31 PM »

We too have our martyrs but then again they're RCs so probably don't count.

Allah a demon?  Where on earth do you get this stuff?  You know I think you might have more in common with Bin Laden as he views us Christians as worshipping a demon as well.  Extremism in all forms is just wrong.

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« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2004, 11:14:47 PM »

In Christianity any "revelation" that comes and denies Christ is demonic.  There is also evidence to suggest "Allah" comes from combining several pre-Islamic Arab deities.  Look no further than Saint Augustine who calles the pagan "gods" demons - are he and I in the same terrorist cell?

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« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2004, 11:23:38 PM »

An EO idnetifying with St Augustine! I'm shocked.  As for Allah being a amalgam of several Arabic dieties, please cite your source?
Calling Allah a demon or Jesus a false prophet displays a extremism that leads people to drive truck bombs.

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« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2004, 11:58:47 PM »


. . .

 All he would have to do is say he is sorry, but instead, the "Pope is always right" crowd try to defend this scandelous action.

anastasios

Just so we can make this clear, the "Pope is always right" crowd likely comprises a subset of those Catholics called Conservative.  The Liberals and Modernists in the RCC don't particularly care for the guy but also don't think that kissing the Koran is a big deal.  The Traditionalists--I refer to those in union with Rome and not of the SSPX, et. al.--do not generally say the "Pope is always right" and certainly don't believe he is always right.  Traditionalists do not hold with what he has done but are also not ones IMHO who will call for his head on a chopping block.

Catholics are becoming a diverse people Ugh!  I hate that PC word but I used it anyway.
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« Reply #61 on: March 13, 2004, 12:02:56 AM »

I don't see any Orthodox people blowing themselves up.  

Try the book The Sword of the Prophet for starters.
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« Reply #62 on: March 13, 2004, 12:23:35 AM »

This is quickly degenerating into a Catholic vs. Orthodox rant. Let's just be Christian and emphasize what we have in common for a while...like Saints, Fathers, the Eucharist, and Tradition.
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« Reply #63 on: March 13, 2004, 12:38:50 AM »

Rome is not under an islamic regime, but remember, the Pope did this when visiting Saddam's Iraq, whose minority Chaldeans were most definitely persecuted. Nobody here has a right to judge. Who knows what would have happened if the Pope mistepped with the Iraqi Muslims?

I don't think the Muslims would've been terribly offended if the Pope respectfully accepted the book, maybe even opened it up and looked at it appreciatively, without kissing it.  

And I was under the impression (perhaps mistaken) that the Pope never got to visit Iraq.  I thought I remembered reading that a delegation from Iraq had to visit the Vatican since he wasn't able to travel there, and they did some stuff in Rome, and it was in this context that the incident happened.  When did the Pope visit Iraq?
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« Reply #64 on: March 13, 2004, 12:45:18 AM »

IIRC 1999, but it is a moot point. He still had the Chaldeans to think of. I am not an expert on Islamic culture, but I have a friend from Iraq. (Chaldean by culture). I will ask him what he makes of this.
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« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2004, 01:01:16 AM »

There is a lesson to be learn from the fall of Constantinople and the council of Florence regarding sacrificing faith for temporal security.

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« Reply #66 on: March 13, 2004, 04:17:23 AM »

Quote
 As for Allah being a amalgam of several Arabic dieties, please cite your source?
Calling Allah a demon or Jesus a false prophet displays a extremism that leads people to drive truck bombs.
The Quran itself testifies that there are other Gods in Islam !!!
In Surah EL-Nejm, verse 18-20 , when it was first "inspired" (according to muslims), it was inspired to read something like this :" ELLAT and UZZA And Mona, their intercession is accepted (by Allah)." These three Gods were Gods in the old arabic (before Islam) Mekka and had their statues around Kabba.

The occasion was a prayer in the Masjed (a mosque, but where all the religions would go and worship) which gathered the opponents of Muhamed with Muhamed, in Mekka, before he grew powerful. he spent 13 years in Mekka and had only 80 followers, mostly slaves and women  Grin.
To win the pagan worshippers over, he told them that their Gods as indicated in the verse, are not totally false. Their intercession is accepted, meaning they are less than Allah but still divine. His opponents made peace with him.

This is in Kurtubi, Ibn Katheer, Tabari, Galelein commentary. These are the authentic books of Islam and the oldest and the ones acknowledged by muslims. They are mentioned under "reason for inspiration of verses" section.

Now, you won't find these verses nowadays in Quran. After Muhamed grew stronger in Madina after his flight to this city, he didn't need his opponents peace anymore. In fact, he cancelled all the peace treaties with them.
Anyhow, as mentioned in these books, Gebreel ( arabic for Gabriel, the angel,may God forgive us for using the name of the holy archangel Gabriel in connection to Islam) came to Muhamed and told him that the above mentioned verses, in which he acknowledged the Pagan Gods, was actually inspired by Satan, not God. Hence the term "Satanic verses" which caused a controversy many years ago by Salman Rushdy, the indian muslim writer.  

The verses were abrogated, Gebreel told him the right verses and not the one in which Satan intervened with divine inspiration. Abbrogation is also a pillar in Islam "theology" . Meaning, that verses which were peaceful in the beginning of the Quran, to win over christians (mostly arians and ibonians ) and Jews, were abrogated by very violent verses in the end of the Quran, when Muhamed gained power .

Did you ever hear the Islamic prayer "Allah AKbar" ? In arabic, this verse , grammatically does not make sense. It is translated " Allah greater.....", fullstop. Akbar means , as a word, greater....But, another deep look would give it the only meaning it could have and ratify the meaning it originally had, which is "Allah is Akbar". Akbar is name of the High God in the old Arabic Pagan religions. Of course muslims don;t think so, nowadays, and they might not know, sadly.

A good book on Islam would be " The Sources of Islam" by Alfred Tisdall.
It lists how Islam borrowed from different religions and cultures.

All the other resources that list the different cources of Islam are in arabic.
I will list them anyway:

1- " Priest and Prophet" by Abou Mussa El-Hariri (killed by muslims)
 This book talks the christian background of Muhamed and his devotion to an arian or ibionian priest called )Warraqa Ibn Nufel. Most interesting, the first marriage of Muhamed was to the cousin of this priest, a christian woman. The wedding was a christian, and the priest (Warraqa) led the ceremony in "christian" rites . This indicates that Muhamed could probably have been baptized before the marriage. Note this: Muhamed's name is not found before. It is not a common name, actually nobody heard of a Muhamed before the Islamic prophet. Note, that the name in arabic consists of four letter. Changing the second letter with a 3, an arabic letter not prounounced in English, the name would be Mu3amed, which means "The Baptized". Interesting, isn't it ?
Except for the issue with the name, all other facts can be backed up by researching Islamic sources Muslims acknowledge to be authentic and authoritive. The research in Muhamed's life would make it very possible that the above mentioned regarding his  name is very credible.

2- "The problem of Islamic Mind" by Mustafa Guha (killed by muslims)

3- " Islam as a christian heresy " by Ilais Murr ( has a price on his head by muslims)
Very interesting as it discusses the character of Issa (Jesus) in Islam and how it is very much an arian point of view (nestorian at times).

For more info, if I may post a link , you can visit:

www.islamreview.com
www.answering-islam.org

I would rather spend time in learning the christian theology from the Fathers . Also, reading about the Real Islam, and not the westernized version, defiles the mind. But in light of the fact that many people have a very distorted view of Islam, it might be helpful.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #67 on: March 13, 2004, 05:26:29 AM »

As usualy, Stavro, you are a wealth of information. I was aware of the early history here, but not the tie-ins in the Quran. I have two translations of that book and do sometimes read a verse or so; but I just can't bring myself to read the whole thing.
Thanks, again.
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« Reply #68 on: March 13, 2004, 11:30:21 AM »

You're right, Mor. The Pope never went to Iraq. He was hoping to visit as part of a pilgrimage to all the important Biblical lands, starting with  Patriarch Abraham's homeland. However, Hussein said it would be too dangerous for the Pope to enter Iraq.

In Christ,
Anthony

I don't think the Muslims would've been terribly offended if the Pope respectfully accepted the book, maybe even opened it up and looked at it appreciatively, without kissing it.  

And I was under the impression (perhaps mistaken) that the Pope never got to visit Iraq.  I thought I remembered reading that a delegation from Iraq had to visit the Vatican since he wasn't able to travel there, and they did some stuff in Rome, and it was in this context that the incident happened.  When did the Pope visit Iraq?  
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« Reply #69 on: March 13, 2004, 12:31:26 PM »

In Christianity any "revelation" that comes and denies Christ is demonic.  There is also evidence to suggest "Allah" comes from combining several pre-Islamic Arab deities.  Look no further than Saint Augustine who calles the pagan "gods" demons - are he and I in the same terrorist cell?

As mentioned in the past history of this thread, it is allowable theological opinion for the Christian to hold or believe that Muslims worship a false god (and yes Islam is a synthesis of many elements, including pagan)--without implicating the name of God in this issue in order to support that point.  Nektarios used a lower-case 'a' in a previous post, which does not make his statement offensive.

But the topic of the Arabic name's origins and proper use has been violently addressed and re-addressed in previous threads, wherein I already presented hypotheses on the matter.  Fact remains that 'Allah' remains a holy name, used by pre-Islamic-era Christian Arabs, and should never be attacked, and so I request again that listmembers conduct themselves properly and carefully when employing the name 'Allah', and not flirt with this sensitive topic and start a repetition of the arguments that have been already been beaten to death.  The list's archives are available for the inquirer.  The case for the identity of W/whom (depending on your belief) Muslims worship is always open for discussion and exploration, but this rests on points of theology, not on etymology, the latter crossing into territory that is Christian as well as Muslim.

Stavro is right about the phrase 'Allahu Akbar', which in its literal translation, would mean 'God is greater', not 'great'.  Bop the next translator who uses the conventional translation in news reports.

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« Reply #70 on: March 13, 2004, 12:58:15 PM »

I am amazed that no RC has really come out here and condemned what the Pope did in kissing the Koran or Quran (or whatever this week's spelling of that book's name is).

It really makes me wonder about the wisdom of placing all of one's religious eggs so thoroughly in one very human basket.

If someone wants to find things done wrong by various Orthodox bishops, I think he will surprised that the Orthodox would join him in condemning those things. We believe in obeying our bishops, but only when they are not obviously contradicting the Apostolic Tradition and betraying the faith.

I agree with Anastasios when he wrote that the Pope should have just admitted that he made a mistake.

I think we would all respect that.
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« Reply #71 on: March 13, 2004, 01:04:17 PM »

When the Buddhist monk did that the RC's immediately ran over and took it down. Also, read the Pope's speech at Assissi.  He told the leaders of all religions that peace would only come from Christ.

anastasios

I am relieved to hear that.

Why invite unrepentant Buddhists in the first place?

Can one imagine St. Peter conducting some sort of "ecumenical" prayer service and inviting the leaders of the various pagan cults of his day?

I can't.
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« Reply #72 on: March 13, 2004, 01:07:48 PM »

Linus,

But Paul preached in the Acropolis to the leading pagans of his day.  I think getting those fellows there all in once place and then preaching Christ was a good idea.  We can see that it didn't have much effect though, so the repeat "Assissi 2" *was* unnecessary.

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« Reply #73 on: March 13, 2004, 01:08:51 PM »

Of course I agree the Pope's action was scandalous and a grave mistake.  No apologies need be made about thinking so.

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« Reply #74 on: March 13, 2004, 01:18:53 PM »

Linus,

But Paul preached in the Acropolis to the leading pagans of his day.  I think getting those fellows there all in once place and then preaching Christ was a good idea.  We can see that it didn't have much effect though, so the repeat "Assissi 2" *was* unnecessary.

anastasios

Come on, anastasios.

How can one possibly equate St. Paul's evangelistic efforts with the sort of sappy ecumenism that occurs at gatherings like the one is Assisi?

Did St. Paul pray with the pagan leaders of his day and stand by while they invoked their gods?

Did he appear in concert with them as if the Way of Christ was just one alternative among many?

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« Reply #75 on: March 13, 2004, 01:31:17 PM »

Well, I'll weigh in as a Catholic.  I think it was a bad idea, it has caused scandal.  However, Catholics accept Muslims as children of Abraham, and worshipers of the one true God, albeit it in a defective way.  The kiss was meant as a sign of this belief and respect for Muslims not an endorsement of Isalm itself.  However, given the kissing of the Altar, the Gospel, Icons and each other is a liturgical act it should not have been done because of the confusion it creates.  

However, I do not think anyone other than this forum, the SSPX, Sedevacantists, and the Fundamentalist "the Pope is the antichrist" crowd has raised a stink about it so the Pope is probably unaware there is scandal over it or that anyone wants a public apology for it.

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« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2004, 01:55:30 PM »

Linus,

I think the issue here is, DID the Buddhists pray to Buddha? Did the Muslims pray to Allah? Does anyone have any texts from Assisi?  Maybe we should examine what really went on there.

I think it took a lot of guts for JP2 to preach Christ to pagans.  Hardly syncretistic.  However, as I said before, such a meeting didn't seem to have any effect so there was no need for "Assisi 2"

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« Reply #77 on: March 13, 2004, 01:58:11 PM »

Quote
However, Catholics accept Muslims as children of Abraham, and worshipers of the one true God, albeit it in a defective way

From the Koran:

"O people of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers and say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is better for you!) - Allah is only one God. Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son...The Messiah will never scorn to be a slave unto Allah."
 
"And when the son of Mary is quoted as an example, behold! The folk laugh out, and say: Are our gods better, or is he? They raise not the objection save for argument. Nay! but they are a contentious folk. He is nothing but a slave on whom we bestowed favor, and we made him a pattern for the Children of Israel. And had we willed it we would have set among you angels to be viceroys in the earth".
 
"That they rejected Faith; That they uttered against Mary a grave false charge; That they said (in boast): We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah. But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjunction to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. ... And on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them." (Koran, 4:156-159)

From the Word of God:

"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me' " (John 14:6).

"Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also" (1 John 2:22-23).

"Jesus said to them, 'If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" (John 8:42-44).

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« Reply #78 on: March 13, 2004, 02:06:53 PM »

Linus,

I think the issue here is, DID the Buddhists pray to Buddha? Did the Muslims pray to Allah? Does anyone have any texts from Assisi?  Maybe we should examine what really went on there.

I think it took a lot of guts for JP2 to preach Christ to pagans.  Hardly syncretistic.  However, as I said before, such a meeting didn't seem to have any effect so there was no need for "Assisi 2"

anastasios

I think you are really stretching here to excuse the inexcusable.

Did the Buddhists pray to Buddha? Did the Muslims pray to Allah?

If they are invited to an ecumenical service and to pray, and they do appear to be praying, to whom are we to suppose that they are praying?

Can we read their minds?

Ecumenical services like Assisi are not designed to evangelize the pagans. If they were, the pagans would be seated in the audience, listening. They would be told to repent and be baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Is that what they were told?

Ecumenical events feature the leaders of various world religions acting together as if equals and representatives of equally valid paths to the ill-defined "truth."

It is my personal opinion that they serve only to pave the way for the Antichrist.
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« Reply #79 on: March 13, 2004, 02:17:35 PM »

Religious "relativism"? Now THAT'S an un-Orthodox concept!

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« Reply #80 on: March 13, 2004, 02:39:33 PM »

Linus,

Did they offer prayers at all?  I am asking, not stretching.  From your postings it is clear that you don't have any concrete facts as to what went on at Assisi.  So all I am saying is, let's get the program and analyze what went on.  I am not trying to excuse the unexcusable--that's silly as I have not said Assisi was a good thing--in fact, I clearly said the result was failure! Really, sometimes you push ideas onto other people that they don't subscribe to, and that's not good.

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« Reply #81 on: March 13, 2004, 02:41:08 PM »

I just read what you write, anastasios.

Maybe it's not as clear as you think it is.
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« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2004, 02:43:17 PM »

Here is what the Pope actually said:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1986/october/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19861027_prayer-peace-assisi-final_en.html

PASTORAL VISIT TO PERUGIA AND ASSISI

ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AND ECCLESIAL COMMUNITIES
AND OF THE WORLD RELIGIONS

Basilica of Saint Francis
27 October 1986

 

My Brothers and Sisters,
Heads and Representatives of the Christian Churches
and Ecclesial Communities and of the World Religions,
Dear Friends,

1. IN CONCLUDING this World Day of Prayer for Peace, to which you have come from many parts of the world, kindly accepting my invitation, I would like now to express my feelings, as a brother and friend, but also as a believer in Jesus Christ, and, in the Catholic Church, the first witness of faith in him.

In relation to the last prayer, the Christian one, in the series we have all heard, I profess here anew my conviction, shared by all Christians, that in Jesus Christ, as Saviour of all, true peace is to be found, "peace to those who are far off and peace to those who are near". His birth was greeted by the angels’ song: "Glory to God in the highest and peace among men with whom he is pleased". He preached love among all, even among foes, proclaimed blessed those who work for peace and through his Death and Resurrection he brought about reconciliation between heaven and earth. To use an expression of Paul the Apostle: "He is our peace".

2. It is, in fact, my faith conviction which has made me turn to you, representatives of the Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities and World Religions, in deep love and respect.

With the other Christians we share many convictions and, particularly, in what concerns peace.
With the World Religions we share a common respect of and obedience to conscience, which teaches all of us to seek the truth, to love and serve all individuals and people, and therefore to make peace among nations.

Yes, we all hold conscience and obedience to the voice of conscience to be an essential element in the road towards a better and peaceful world.

Could it be otherwise, since all men and women in this world have a common nature, a common origin and a common destiny?

If there are many and important differences among us, there is also a common ground, whence to operate together in the solution of this dramatic challenge of our age: true peace or catastrophic war?

3. Yes, there is the dimension of prayer, which in the very real diversity of religions tries to express communication with a Power above all our human forces.

Peace depends basically on this Power, which we call God, and as Christians believe has revealed himself in Christ.

This is the meaning of this World Day of Prayer.

For the first time in history, we have come together from every where, Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities, and World Religions, in this sacred place dedicated to Saint Francis, to witness before the world, each according to his own conviction, about the transcendent quality of peace.

The form and content of our prayers are very different, as we have seen, and there can be no question of reducing them to a kind of common denominator.

4. Yes, in this very difference we have perhaps discovered anew that, regarding the problem of peace and its relation to religious commitment, there is something which binds us together.

The challenge of peace, as it is presently posed to every human conscience, is the problem of a reasonable quality of life for all, the problem of survival for humanity, the problem of life and death.
In the face of such a problem, two things seem to have supreme importance and both of them are common to us all.

The first is the inner imperative of the moral conscience, which enjoins us to respect, protect and promote human life, from the womb to the deathbed, for individuals and peoples, but especially for the weak, the destitute, the derelict: the imperative to overcome selfishness, greed and the spirit of vengeance.

The second common thing is the conviction that peace goes much beyond human efforts, particularly in the present plight of the world, and therefore that its source and realization is to be sought in that Reality beyond all of us.

This is why each of us prays for peace. Even if we think, as we do, that the relation between that Reality and the gift of peace is a different one, according to our respective religious convictions, we all affirm that such a relation exists.

This is what we express by praying for it.

I humbly repeat here my own conviction: peace bears the name of Jesus Christ.

5. But, at the same time and in the same breath, I am ready to acknowledge that Catholics have not always been faithful to this affirmation of faith. We have not been always "peacemakers".

For ourselves, therefore, but also perhaps, in a sense, for all, his encounter at Assisi is an act of penance. We have prayed, each in his own way, we have fasted, we have marched together.
In this way we have tried to open our hearts to the divine reality beyond us and to our fellow men and women.

Yes, while we have fasted, we have kept in mind the sufferings which senseless wars have brought about and are still bringing about on humanity. Thereby we have tried to be spiritually close to the millions who are the victims of hunger throughout the world.

While we have walked in silence, we have reflected on the path our human family treads: either in hostility, if we fail to accept one another in love; or as a common journey to our lofty destiny, if we realize that other people are our brothers and sisters. The very fact that we have come to Assisi from various quarters of the world is in itself a sign of this common path which humanity is called to tread. Either we learn to walk together in peace and harmony, or we drift apart and ruin ourselves and others. We hope that this pilgrimage to Assisi has taught us anew to be aware of the common origin and common destiny of humanity. Let us see in it an anticipation of what God would like the developing history of humanity to be: a fraternal journey in which we accompany one another towards the transcendent goal which he sets for us.

Prayer, fasting, pilgrimage.

6. This Day at Assisi has helped us become more aware of our religious commitments. But is has also made the world, looking at us through the media, more aware of the responsibility of each religion regarding problems of war and peace.

More perhaps than ever before in history, the intrinsic link between an authentic religious attitude and the great good of peace has become evident to all.

What a tremendous weight for human shoulders to carry! But at the same time what a marvellous, exhilarating call to follow.

Although prayer is in itself action, this does not excuse us from working for peace. Here we are acting as the heralds of the moral awareness of humanity as such, humanity that wants peace, needs peace.

7. There is no peace without a passionate love for peace. There is no peace without a relentless determination to achieve peace.

Peace awaits its prophets. Together we have filled our eyes with visions of peace: they release energies for a new language of peace, for new gestures of peace, gestures which will shatter the fatal chains of divisions inherited from history or spawned by modern ideologies.

Peace awaits its builders. Let us stretch our hands towards our brothers and sisters, to encourage them to build peace upon the four pillars of truth, justice, love and freedom.

Peace is a workshop, open to all and not just to specialists, savants and strategists. Peace is a universal responsibility: it comes about through a thousand little acts in daily life. By their daily way of living with others, people choose for or against peace. We entrust the cause of peace especially to the young. May young people help to free history from the wrong paths along which humanity strays.
Peace is in the hands not only of individuals but of nations. It is the nations that have the honour of basing their peacemaking activity upon the conviction of the sacredness of human dignity and the recognition of the unquestionable equality of people with one another. We earnestly invite the leaders of the nations and of the international organizations to be untiring in bringing in structures of dialogue wherever peace is under threat or already compromised. We offer our support to their often exhausting efforts to maintain or restore pea+ô. We renew our encouragement to the United Nations Organization, that it may respond fully to the breadth and height of its universal mission of peace.

8. In answer to the appeal I made from Lyons in France, on the day which we Catholics celebrate as the feast of Saint Francis, we hope that arms have fallen silent, that attacks have ceased. This would be a first significant result of the spiritual efficacy of prayer. In fact, this appeal has been shared by many hearts and lips everywhere in the world, especially where people suffer from war and its consequences. It is vital to choose peace and the means to obtain it. Peace, so frail in health, demands constant and intensive care. Along this path, we shall advance with sure and redoubled steps, for there is no doubt that people have and never had so many means for building true peace as today. Humanity has entered an era of increased solidarity and hunger for social justice. This is our chance. It is also our task, which prayer helps us to face.

9. What we have done today at Assisi, praying and witnessing to our commitment to peace, we must continue to do every day of our life. For what we have done today’s is vital for the world. If the world is going to continue, and men and women are to survive in it, the world cannot do without prayer.

This is the permanent lesson of Assisi: it is the lesson of Saint Francis who embodied an attractive ideal for us; it is the lesson of Saint Clare, his first follower. It is an ideal composed of meekness, humility, a deep sense of God and a commitment to serve all. Saint Francis was a man of peace.

We recall that he abandoned the military career he had followed for a while in his youth, and discovered the value of poverty, the value of a simple and austere life, in imitation of Jesus Christ whom he intended to serve. Saint Clare was the woman, par excellence, of prayer. Her union with God in prayer sustained Francis and his followers, as it sustains us today. Francis and Clare are examples of peace: with God, with oneself, with all men and women in this world. May this holy man and this holy woman inspire all people today to have the same strength of character and love of God and neighbour to continue on the path we must walk together.

10. Mossi dall’esempio di san Francesco e di santa Chiara, veri discepoli di Cristo, e convinti dall’esperienza di questo giorno che abbiamo vissuto insieme, noi ci impegniamo a riesaminare le nostre coscienze, ad ascoltare pi+¦ fedelmente la loro voce, a purificare i nostri spiriti dal pregiudizio, dall’odio, dall’inimicizia, dalla gelosia e dall’invidia. Cercheremo di essere operatori di pace nel pensiero e nell’azione, con la mente e col cuore rivolti all’unit+á della famiglia umana. E invitiamo tutti i nostri fratelli e sorelle che ci ascoltano perch+¬ facciano lo stesso.

Lo facciamo con la consapevolezza dei nostri limiti umani e consci del fatto che, lasciati a noi stessi, falliremmo. Riaffermiamo quindi e riconosciamo che la nostra vita e la nostra pace futura dipendono sempre da un dono che Dio ci fa.

In questo spirito, invitiamo i leaders mondiali a prender atto della nostra umile implorazione a Dio per la pace. Ma chiediamo pure ad essi di riconoscere le loro responsabilit+á e di dedicarsi con rinnovato impegno al compito della pace, a porre in atto le strategie della pace con coraggio e lungimiranza.

11. Consentitemi ora di rivolgermi a ciascuno di voi, rappresentanti delle Chiese cristiane e delle comunit+á ecclesiali e delle religioni mondiali, che siete venuti ad Assisi per questo giorno di preghiera, di digiuno e di pellegrinaggio. Vi ringrazio nuovamente per aver accettato il mio invito a venire qui per questo atto di testimonianza davanti al mondo. Estendo pure il mio ringraziamento a tutti coloro che hanno reso possibile la nostra presenza qui, particolarmente ai nostri fratelli e sorelle di Assisi.

E soprattutto rendo grazie a Dio e Padre di Ges+¦ Cristo per questo giorno di grazia per il mondo, per ciascuno di voi, e per me stesso. Lo faccio invocando la vergine Maria, regina della pace. Lo faccio con le parole della preghiera che +¿ comunemente attribuita a san Francesco, perch+¬ ben ne rispecchia lo spirito: “Signore, fa’ di me uno strumento / della tua pace: / dove +¿ odio, ch’io porti l’amore, / dove +¿ offesa, ch’io porti il perdono, / dove +¿ discordia, ch’io porti l’unione, / dove +¿ dubbio, ch’io porti la fede, / dove +¿ errore, ch’io porti la verit+á, / dove +¿ disperazione, ch’io porti la speranza, / dove +¿ tristezza, ch’io porti la gioia, / dove sono le tenebre, ch’io porti la luce. / Maestro, fa’ che io non miri tanto: / ad essere consolato, quanto / a consolare, / ad essere compreso, quanto / a comprendere, / ad essere amato, quanto / ad amare: / poich+¬ donando si riceve, / perdonando si +¿ perdonati, / morendo si risuscita a vita eterna”.

Greetings in other languages:

A TOUTES les hautes personnalit+¬s pr+¬sentes et +á tous ceux qui se sont associ+¬s +á cette initiative de pri+¿re, j’adresse un salut fraternel et un message d’esp+¬rance: la paix est possible, si tous les hommes veulent progresser dans la v+¬rit+¬, fondement de la paix.

Pour la premi+¿re fois sans doute dans l’histoire humaine, Eglises chr+¬tiennes et religions de toutes les parties du monde se sont r+¬unies en un m+¬me lieu pour montrer que la paix est un imp+¬ratif de la conscience des croyants engag+¬s dans la recherche de la v+¬rit+¬ sur Dieu, sur notre destin+¬e, sur l’histoire le l’humanit+¬.

J’invite tous les hommes de bonne volont+¬ +á s’engager avec une g+¬n+¬rosit+¬ renouvel+¬e pour la promotion de la paix.

Deseo presentar mi m+ís cordial saludo, junto con mi vivo agradecimiento, a todas las personas que desde aqu+¡ o desde cualquier parte del mundo han querido asociarse a esta Jornada Mundial de Oraci+¦n por la Paz.

Hago votos y aliento a todos a un renovado compromiso a ser constructores de paz entre las naciones, entre los pueblos, en las sociedades, en las familias, en los corazones y en la conciencia de cada uno.

Agrade+ºo a todas as pessoas que, de uma ou de outra forma, se associaram conosco a - esta iniciativa de ora+º+úo. Cada um se sinta pessoalmente empenhado em ser testemunha da - paz e pacificador dos homens, e compromissado com a realiza+º+úo de uma sociedade mais fraterna.

Aufrichting danke ich allen, die sich nah und fern, einzeln oder in Gemeinschaft, unserem heutigen Gebet f++r den Frieden in der Welt angeschlossen haben. Ich ermutige euch, darin auch in Zukunft nicht nachzulassen und im Geiste Jesus Christi in der eigenen Familie, im Beruf und im Leben der Gesellschaft selber immer mehr zu Friedensstiftern zu werden. Der Friede Christi sei mit euch allen!

         
 
 
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« Reply #83 on: March 13, 2004, 02:44:18 PM »

I just read what you write, anastasios.

Maybe it's not as clear as you think it is.

Perhaps, or perhaps you are just not reading it clearly.  I call for the facts to be clear before we go off attacking something.  I said that Assisi was a failure but when it happened it wasn't such a bad idea.  That's not supporting it.  You saying I did was putting words in my mouth.

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« Reply #84 on: March 13, 2004, 02:44:52 PM »

I think reading an account of the prcoeedings at Assisi is a good idea.

Can someone supply a link?


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« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2004, 02:47:28 PM »

Perhaps, or perhaps you are just not reading it clearly.  I call for the facts to be clear before we go off attacking something.  I said that Assisi was a failure but when it happened it wasn't such a bad idea.  That's not supporting it.  You saying I did was putting words in my mouth.

anastasios

Who's putting words in whose mouth?

Did I say you supported Assisi?

I said you were stretching to excuse the inexcusable. And that was what I derived from the content of your posts.

And I doubt that I am the only one.

Do you seriously think no praying occurred at Assisi?
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« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2004, 04:03:56 PM »

IMO,

I don't think anyone can explain the event, except the parties who were present.

All we have here is speculation & assumptions.

Can you tell me what was in the hearts of the participants ? What was the intent of their actions ?

I for one will not fling insults, judgements years after the fact.

What is next for speculation ? Lets judge all by their negative actions & forget the positive.

So I spend my time researching a negative action done by the Eastern Church Hierarchy to even the score ? I think not, at least not by me.


Too much pharisaism for me,

Peace in Christ,

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« Reply #87 on: March 13, 2004, 07:16:40 PM »

However, Catholics accept Muslims as children of Abraham, and worshipers of the one true God, albeit it in a defective way.  The kiss was meant as a sign of this belief and respect for Muslims not an endorsement of Isalm itself.  However, given the kissing of the Altar, the Gospel, Icons and each other is a liturgical act it should not have been done because of the confusion it creates.

    Slava Isuzu Christu. Forgive me deacon if I seem "uneducated" (as I have not taken theology or what have you), but I have to disagree with that assertation. Was it not within the last century that the hierarchy of the Church began to support the idea that Islamists/Muslims were children of Abraham?

     I firmly believe that it was meant as a sign of respect, but respect a book that has pushed people to persecute our ancestors and forebearers (along with their cursed Shariah laws and Haddith)? Our forebearers of holy Constantinople, in the Balkans, in the Middle East (before the Muslim religion appeared in those areas), and in regions in the West as well? Why are they suddenly neglected and Muslims now accepted as "true believers"?

     However, I agree that these things are probably not causing a scandal in the real world (with very few exceptions).

--Ben
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« Reply #88 on: March 13, 2004, 07:41:53 PM »

As usualy, Stavro, you are a wealth of information. I was aware of the early history here, but not the tie-ins in the Quran. I have two translations of that book and do sometimes read a verse or so; but I just can't bring myself to read the whole thing.
Thanks, again.
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Thank you for your words, brother, I was adding a humble contribution to a topic already rich with very educated posts.
Problem with reading the Quran and Haddith and the commentary books is that it might defile your mind, and makes one sometimes loose the inner peace.

Pray for me.
Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #89 on: March 13, 2004, 07:42:52 PM »

Linus, et al, is this the best Orthodoxy has to offer?

What on earth could anything anybody said here make me want to make the swim!? Think about what you write. Think about how things looks to outsiders. Wash the cup, inside and out.

All I have seen here is more internet intransigence. I don't know what you were trying to prove, but thanks, I am even more deeply convicted of my Faith.

As the black boy on South Park once said, "that's it. I'm OUT!"
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« Reply #90 on: March 13, 2004, 07:55:17 PM »

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However, Catholics accept Muslims as children of Abraham, and worshipers of the one true God, albeit it in a defective way.

Peace Deacon Lance,
is this an official position of the Catholic church or your own opinion ?
I am very surprised about the idea of including other sects and religions under the worship of the same God appears in the Catholic church.
It is a pluralists idea which is more consistent with the New Age Phenomena and other sects, and I am surprised, in fact disappointed to find it in a Church of such heritage like the Catholic Church.
I think that the Trinity in one God head is the fundamental idea in christianity, and denying it is very much denying the real God. Muslims don't believe in the Trinity.
Also, the idea of Incarnation is also very fundamental to christian belief, and The Lord Jesus Christ is God Incarnate. How can a religion that denies the divinity of Christ be called worshipper of the true God ?

In addition, just the simple attributes of God and his characteristics in christianity is very much different than Islam. Our God is Love . In the Quran, you don't find the word Love at all. At all !!!!! Ever heard the phrase :" Our God is not their Allah". It is based on simple comparison of the characteristics of God and Allah in the Bible and Quran, Christian tradition and islamic tradition, respectively.

Small heresies begin with small ideas and usually when toleration exercised in the dogmas. The next step is that muslims, Hindos ( I respect Hinduism), Buddists ( I respect Buddism as well ) and all other religions are saved. It might be far now, but it will come one day if such ideas creep into the different churches.

Peace,
Stavro

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« Reply #91 on: March 13, 2004, 09:48:32 PM »

From Nostra Aetate
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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. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

Full document here:  http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.htm

This is a Vatican II thing though, if I am not mistaken before Vatican II the Latins DID use to have the Christian understanding of Islam, not the modern politically correct version.  l
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« Reply #92 on: March 13, 2004, 11:57:01 PM »

Linus, et al, is this the best Orthodoxy has to offer?

What on earth could anything anybody said here make me want to make the swim!? Think about what you write. Think about how things looks to outsiders. Wash the cup, inside and out.

All I have seen here is more internet intransigence. I don't know what you were trying to prove, but thanks, I am even more deeply convicted of my Faith.

As the black boy on South Park once said, "that's it. I'm OUT!"

Huh?

Look at my posts and tell me where I have attacked your faith.

I criticized a couple of the Pope's specific actions (bowing to and kissing the Koran).

Is he above all criticism?

You can rest assured that if an Orthodox patriarch had done the same things, we would be all over him.

I was also critical of ecumenism, but I am critical of that no matter who is involved.

I don't think I offered any attacks on RCism. In fact, if you will look back I even said how I would handle this issue if I were arguing the RC point of view.

I am sorry if you were offended by this thread.

But "Linus, et al" are not responsible for its theme.

I will leave it to you to figure out who is.
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« Reply #93 on: March 14, 2004, 12:12:42 AM »

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Jakub: Too much pharisaism for me

What pharisaism?

The Pope both bows to and kisses the Koran, and those who are critical of that are now "Pharisees?"

What about the author of that Daily Catholic article? He was critical of what the Pope did, too. Is he a Pharisee?

I criticized the ecumenical prayer service at Assisi because the leaders of non-Christian religions were invited and apparently occupied prominent places in the proceedings.

Note that - sadly - an Orthodox cleric of some kind - presumably a patriarch - was involved.

Should my criticism be construed as an attack on the Roman Catholic Church?

It was not such an attack.

It was an attack on what I regard as sappy ecumenism, nothing more.

I know Catholics who would heartily agree with me.
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« Reply #94 on: March 14, 2004, 01:07:44 AM »

Linus,

My Pharisaism comment was not directed to you, it was a general blanket one.

I look at JPII as man, he will be prone to mis-steps just as St. Peter was. His title of Patriarch of the West  & Bishop of Rome does not act as armor.

Now being a RC I suppose my fellow Latins or Greek Catholics will stomp on me a little but thats how I see it.

Don't we get tired of beating a topic to death ?

What will be the out come of this discussion ? It was a mistake.


james

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« Reply #95 on: March 14, 2004, 01:28:09 AM »

Linus:

1) "Trying to excuse something" seems to indicate you think I support it.

2) I don't seriously think *anything* about Assisi since I have not read what went on there! I don't even have the vaguest notions of the proceedings.  All I am calling for is for someone to find the record of the proceedings so we can get to the bottom of it.  You have already painted me as your opponent in this issue but you will be surprised to see my come out against Assisi if I find sycretism occurred.  And syncretism would be if every religion got its chance to teach its doctrines equally.

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« Reply #96 on: March 14, 2004, 02:34:19 AM »

Linus:

1) "Trying to excuse something" seems to indicate you think I support it.

No it doesn't, and I don't.

It simply sounded to me like you were making excuses for Assisi: saying the Pope preached to the pagans, asking whether the pagans actually prayed, etc.

That is not the same thing as supporting it.

If you supported it, you would have said you thought it was a good thing, a good idea, etc.

Quote
2) I don't seriously think *anything* about Assisi since I have not read what went on there! I don't even have the vaguest notions of the proceedings.  All I am calling for is for someone to find the record of the proceedings so we can get to the bottom of it.  You have already painted me as your opponent in this issue but you will be surprised to see my come out against Assisi if I find sycretism occurred.  And syncretism would be if every religion got its chance to teach its doctrines equally.

anastasios

You addressed me by name (by screen name, at least) and offered correctives or contradiction to what I posted.

Maybe that's not opposition, but it sure is close, anyway.

But I think you are right in wanting to know what actually transpired at Assisi in 1986.

I think the impression of syncretism is almost as bad as actual syncretism.
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« Reply #97 on: March 14, 2004, 02:39:18 AM »

Quote
Jakub: I look at JPII as man, he will be prone to mis-steps just as St. Peter was. His title of Patriarch of the West  & Bishop of Rome does not act as armor.

Now being a RC I suppose my fellow Latins or Greek Catholics will stomp on me a little but thats how I see it.

A very reasonable thing to say and no contradiction of RC doctrine.

SamB wrote something similar.

I really did not intend this thread as an attack on the RCC or on Catholics.

I will gladly let it drop.

The Pope made a mistake. Nobody ever said he was perfect.
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« Reply #98 on: March 14, 2004, 03:02:14 AM »

Linus,

Never saw it as a attack against the RCC, but I don't feel comfortable sticking it to a sick individual.

Peace in Christ my brother,

james
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« Reply #99 on: March 14, 2004, 09:41:42 AM »

I wish to apologize to one and all for my tone in my posts.  I responded to bigotry with bigotry which is never right.  I used to find this forum a source for building up my faith in Christ but have found recently that it is more and more causing the Pharisee within me (which is I think within us all) to come to the surface.  With this in mind I will refrain from posting here at least during this season of Lent as I want to be more of the Publican and less the Pharisee.  My remarks should not be taken as an attack against any here, though I'm sure some will interpret them as such, but simply as my own thoughts on my own soul's state at this time.

I wish you all a solemn and recollected Great Lent and a Happy Pascha.

Carpo-Rusyn
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« Reply #100 on: March 14, 2004, 12:24:10 PM »

I cannot believe these posts from those of you sitting at your little computers in your comfortable little American 2004 lives about how you'd die before betraying Christianity.  

I hate to break it to you but the majority of you would crack.  That's basic human nature.  People always crack under torture.  Look at the persecutions of the Church over time, when faced with a life and death choice, most Christians betrayed their faith.  Human beings have a natural instinct to save their lives.  

I pray to God that I'm never in that situation but if I am I pray to God that He'll help me and I know that He'll have mercy on me if I give in.  

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« Reply #101 on: March 14, 2004, 01:33:07 PM »

Jennifer,

I believe many were more concerned with the post-event "spin" than the actual failure of the individual.

anastasios
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« Reply #102 on: March 14, 2004, 03:54:17 PM »

I wasn't referring to the criticism of the Pope because what he did deserves criticism but rather to comments like the following:

"What possible excuse could there be for showing such reverence for that antichrist book?

I would think that dying before doing such things would be laudable and worthy of heaven."

and

"There is a lesson to be learn from the fall of Constantinople and the council of Florence regarding sacrificing faith for temporal security."

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« Reply #103 on: March 14, 2004, 04:20:44 PM »

Jennifer,

OK, gotcha.  You make a good point.

anastasios
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« Reply #104 on: March 14, 2004, 06:41:31 PM »

Note that - sadly - an Orthodox cleric of some kind - presumably a patriarch - was involved.


IIRC, there was a lot more than just one Orthodox cleric who attended both Assisi functions.

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« Reply #105 on: March 14, 2004, 07:17:37 PM »

Check it out. It's the Novus Ordo religion in action...http://www.diocesereport.com/special/assisi2/photo_review.shtml

 Huh
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« Reply #106 on: March 14, 2004, 09:11:46 PM »

Check it out. It's the Novus Ordo religion in action...http://www.diocesereport.com/special/assisi2/photo_review.shtml

 Huh

Look at the pictures and then read the text.  The Tibetan monk gave a speech and not a homily.  The Buddhists were not praying in Church but in a room in a convent.  The Orthodox, Catholics, and Anglicans--all Christians I presume--were praying together.  The other non-monotheistic religions and yes, even the Moslems, were praying (to their respective Gods--I am assuming for courtesy's sake on OC.net that the Moslems don't pray to the same God we do) that religion not be used to excuse violence.

None of this offends me.  I'm not fan of the post-V2 environment for many reasons including the state of the liturgy.  Nevertheless, I'll take willingly some of this Novus Ordo religion if it means praying for peace and praying that one's faith not be used to commit violence upon others (of different religions).

As far as the Moslem God being a demon, this is neither dogma nor doctrine.  I don't worship Allah.  Neither do I kiss the Koran.  Nonetheless I will respect a Moslem's belief if he says that his father is Abraham too (through Ishmael) whether or not Abraham truly is his father.  If in the supposedly unlikely chance that Abraham is their father, however, then the Moslems worship Yahweh too, however imperfectly.

Anybody out there in OC.net land have a problem with praying with Jews?  I don't.  My maternal great-grandfather was a Sephardic Jew.

As far as what the Pope did or did not do . . . I was not there to see it.  All I have to go on are newspaper articles, some less than complimentary descriptions of erstwhile Catholics like the SSPX et. al. who don't have anything nice to say about the Pontiff in the first place, and the occasional uninformed commenter here or there.  No, I don't like knowing that a statue of the Buddha was placed on a Catholic altar even if it was removed appropriately right away by Catholic authorities.  And the kissing the Koran bit . . . still puzzles me, confuses me, and even angers me!

I'm not sure (in charity of course and always with respect) that I always agree with Jennifer.  But her recent comment about this subject is right on!  I only wish that I had made that comment herein and elsewhere!  And Anastasios is also one of the few individuals of late that has taken a moderate and objective look at these admittedly confusing and objectionable incidents.  A little irenicism would not in any way jeopardize one's standings with one's faith and practice.

One thing we all might do well to consider.  Talking is better than war, much better.  I can speak with some experience having been to one of these unpleasant parties in my youth.  So is praying.  It wouldn't hurt to let others pray even in your own household just so long as you can take reasonable steps to ensure that others--including the enemies of your Faith--do not misunderstand your intentions and actions.  Assissi II was sensitive to the problems arising unintentionally from Assissi I.  Both Assissis however were carried out in the tradition of St. Francis who after all loved those "demon-worshipping" Moslems duing an age in which Islam and Christianity were at war with each other.  So you might as well add the Seraphic Father to your complaints about JP-II.

Don't foget to beat up on the late Mother Teresa too!  She was a Catholic Christian who allowed pagan ceremonies in her house of the dead.  She ensured that those who died under her care were buried according to the religious customs of the deceased.  Some of these ceremonies took place under a Catholic roof.  This surely must make her complicit in the demon worship of the Hindus.  Don't forget, if you consider Moslems to worship a demon God, this is even more so with the Hindus who worship a pantheon of gods/demons.  I understand that they worship thousands of gods.

Jim C.
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« Reply #107 on: March 14, 2004, 11:45:03 PM »

I cannot believe these posts from those of you sitting at your little computers in your comfortable little American 2004 lives about how you'd die before betraying Christianity.  

I hate to break it to you but the majority of you would crack.  That's basic human nature.  People always crack under torture.  Look at the persecutions of the Church over time, when faced with a life and death choice, most Christians betrayed their faith.  Human beings have a natural instinct to save their lives.  

I pray to God that I'm never in that situation but if I am I pray to God that He'll help me and I know that He'll have mercy on me if I give in.  



What does the post above have to do with what is being discussed?

What, no one who has not himself been shot in the head or bludgeoned to death by a Muslim can criticize the Pope for both bowing to and kissing the Koran?

Was the Pope under duress, fearing for his life?

Is that your point?

Or did you mean most of us would have cracked under the pressure of knowing that journalists had their cameras trained upon us?
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« Reply #108 on: March 15, 2004, 03:41:14 AM »

If in the supposedly unlikely chance that Abraham is their father, however, then the Moslems worship Yahweh too, however imperfectly.

There doesn't seem to be any historic continuity in Arab worship between the time of Ishmael and that of Muhammed (though Moslems claim otherwise), so I can only assume that Moslems worship a god fabricated by Muhammed.

John.
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« Reply #109 on: March 15, 2004, 07:37:35 AM »

**Clears throat** Amen jbc.
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« Reply #110 on: March 15, 2004, 02:11:41 PM »

Yes, and I will readily admit that I believe such attendance by Orthodox is WRONG.  I think the point some of us were getting at is that no matter how outrageous whatever the Pope of Rome does RCs are reluctant to say it was wrong.  Whereas if Orthodox bishops do anything out of the norm no one hestitates to say they think it was wrong.  Look at the relationship of the Athonites since the calendar change with te EP for example.
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« Reply #111 on: March 15, 2004, 03:16:08 PM »

Dear Friends:

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Pontificium Consilium pro Dialogo Inter Religiones) or, PCID, is a regular dicastery (Department) of the Roman Curia. It is tasked to foster, and to supervise, relations with members and groups of non-Christian religions as well as with those who are in any way endowed with religious feeling. (Pastor Bonus, 159)

It was  created on May 19, 1964 and elevated to a curial department, with the ranked of a Pontifical Council, on June 28, 1988.

Is it wrong to have such an endeavor? How do you suppose to evangelize non-Christians like the Muslims, Hindus, and the Jews without showing respect for the indigenous beliefs of peoples?

The success of the Catholic Church in Hindu India in converting many to the Christian faith has been largely based on the Church's integration of some Hindu beliefs into the practice of Christianity.

The Catholic Church has evangelization in fement in large Muslim countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Catholic Church is also into Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Tibet, Mongolia, Japan, and China (!) where Shintoism and Buddhism are the principal religions of the region.

This explains the presence of non-Christians in Assissi, who are invited, as a gesture of goodwill for the tolerated presence of Catholics in those countries, to offer a common and communal prayer for World Peace!

Not bad, if you are willing to grasp the meaning and implications of such inter-religious "joint" ceremonies.

AmdG
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« Reply #112 on: March 15, 2004, 03:23:20 PM »

The success of the Catholic Church in Hindu India in converting many to the Christian faith has been largely based on the Church's integration of some Hindu beliefs into the practice of Christianity.

Perhaps in modern times, but I am curious: are you sure it is the integration of Hindu beliefs that is responsible for this, or do you mean the integration of certain Hindu practices?  I would've thought the latter.
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« Reply #113 on: March 15, 2004, 03:35:38 PM »

Dear Friends:

As a corollary to my previous post, have you ever stopped to ponder on this reality that Christianity is a mere 1/3 of all humanity?

The top 4 religions (and 1 non-religion) in the world today are:

(1) Christianity: 2 billion
(2) Islam: 1.3 billion
(3) Hinduism: 900 million
(4) Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 850 million
(5) Buddhism: 360 million

Although Catholicism is more than 50% of all Christendom, it is still outranked by Islam, all sects combined.

Apparently, Buddhism, the least of the 5, and Protestantism combined each have more adherents than Orthodox Christianity.

Let's evangelize the world by any and all means!

AmdG
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« Reply #114 on: March 15, 2004, 03:38:04 PM »

Dear Phil:

More of the latter, i.e., certain Hindu practices, like when Indian Catholics were seen "dancing" during the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta recently.

Thanks for the correction!

AmdG
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« Reply #115 on: March 15, 2004, 05:43:02 PM »

I cannot believe these posts from those of you sitting at your little computers in your comfortable little American 2004 lives about how you'd die before betraying Christianity.  

I hate to break it to you but the majority of you would crack.  That's basic human nature.  People always crack under torture.  Look at the persecutions of the Church over time, when faced with a life and death choice, most Christians betrayed their faith.  Human beings have a natural instinct to save their lives.  

I pray to God that I'm never in that situation but if I am I pray to God that He'll help me and I know that He'll have mercy on me if I give in.  


I don't see anyone saying anything about what they would do in a situation, only what should be done.  Except in the case of ridiculously egotistical people, the two things are not necessarily the same.  To say that it's proper to die before betraying Christianity, or something of the sort is not in any way to say that you personally would die.  Unless you're claiming to be absolutely perfect, the fact that you might or even would do something is no evidence that doing that something would be right.
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« Reply #116 on: March 15, 2004, 06:11:09 PM »

Yes, and I will readily admit that I believe such attendance by Orthodox is WRONG.  I think the point some of us were getting at is that no matter how outrageous whatever the Pope of Rome does RCs are reluctant to say it was wrong.  Whereas if Orthodox bishops do anything out of the norm no one hestitates to say they think it was wrong.  Look at the relationship of the Athonites since the calendar change with te EP for example.  

What are you talking about?  Every RC on this thread has said that what the Pope did was wrong.  He received a tremendous amount of criticism for this from both conservative and trad circles.  I remember this issue being debated to death.  

Some RCs refuse to believe that it's true and given the source that's reasoanble but nobody is "reluctant to say it was wrong."  
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« Reply #117 on: March 15, 2004, 06:39:18 PM »

Dear Friends:
. . .

The success of the Catholic Church in Hindu India in converting many to the Christian faith has been largely based on the Church's integration of some Hindu beliefs into the practice of Christianity.
. . .

AmdG

What specific Hindu beliefs?  I think perhaps it is the integration of Hindu culture into the Catholic faith.  Vatican 2 and related post-Conciliar policies and documents talk about inculturation.  I don't think that the Pope would allow prayers to Vishnu, et. al., in the liturgy.

Jim C.
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« Reply #118 on: March 15, 2004, 06:41:12 PM »

We Orthodox need to recall the "glassiness" of our own house in this regard.  Didn't the late Patriarch Parthenios on a couple of occasions state that we should honor Mohammed as a prophet?  The Pope kissing the Koran was at best an ambiguous act subject to various interpretations, but the Patriarch's statements about Mohammed and Islam were way out of line.
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« Reply #119 on: March 15, 2004, 07:05:36 PM »

Did anyone watch "Patrick" aka St. Patrick on the Hallmark channel ?

He used/adapted some Celtic beliefs with Catholic to evangelize the unruly Irish, nice program.

james
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« Reply #120 on: March 15, 2004, 07:24:17 PM »

What specific Hindu beliefs?  I think perhaps it is the integration of Hindu culture into the Catholic faith.  Vatican 2 and related post-Conciliar policies and documents talk about inculturation.  I don't think that the Pope would allow prayers to Vishnu, et. al., in the liturgy.

Jim C.

Nevermind Amadeus.  I posted my remarks before reading the rest of this thread.  You have already commented on this vis-a-vis other posts.

Thanks,

JBC
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« Reply #121 on: March 15, 2004, 07:44:04 PM »

James, you are correct.  But the athonites (and others) were greatly upset for that and clamored for the immediated deposing of the patriach.  Can't depose an RCC Pope!
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« Reply #122 on: March 15, 2004, 08:14:24 PM »

We Orthodox need to recall the "glassiness" of our own house in this regard.  Didn't the late Patriarch Parthenios on a couple of occasions state that we should honor Mohammed as a prophet?  The Pope kissing the Koran was at best an ambiguous act subject to various interpretations, but the Patriarch's statements about Mohammed and Islam were way out of line.


Amen!

Stephen
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« Reply #123 on: March 15, 2004, 08:27:40 PM »

James, you are correct.  But the athonites (and others) were greatly upset for that and clamored for the immediated deposing of the patriach.  Can't depose an RCC Pope!


Unfortunately, the wise "clamor" of the monks of the Holy Mountain went thoroughly unheeded, and the Patriarch of Alexandria, who made such heretical statements, remained securely in office until the day he died.  What Patriarch Parthenos said was indeed quite heretical and an insult to all the holy martyrs who died and were tortured under the Islamic yoke.  I tend to agree with those Orthodox posters who have said that we Orthodox need to be careful about our own precious glass house before casting rocks at the RC house.  We Orthodox have our own ecumenistic endeavors that we've been involved in.  Even a quick perusal of the photos that Frobie has provided us will reveal the numerous Orthodox hierarchs that were involved in the Assisi event(s).  And my goodness, why are we Orthodox STILL involved with the WCC?  

No...I think we have our own cobwebs to clean up before we start smugly pointing out similar cobwebs in the RCC.

In Christ,
Stephen
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« Reply #124 on: March 15, 2004, 08:34:50 PM »

I think the RCC needs to re-examine the establish norms regarding the Papacy especially with JPII's illness and condition. I do think his condition does effect his thought processes. I would suggest to them take a look on how the East would address a Patriarch with the same illness.

james @ the fork in the road
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« Reply #125 on: March 16, 2004, 11:45:55 AM »

We Orthodox need to recall the "glassiness" of our own house in this regard.  Didn't the late Patriarch Parthenios on a couple of occasions state that we should honor Mohammed as a prophet?  The Pope kissing the Koran was at best an ambiguous act subject to various interpretations, but the Patriarch's statements about Mohammed and Islam were way out of line.

I don't think our house is so glassy in this regard.

We don't place all of our ecclesiastical eggs in one basket, and we don't make excuses for patriarchs who betray the faith.

Take your own willingness to mention Parthenios' error, for example. Obviously, you don't view him as sacrosanct or above criticism.

When an Orthodox leader does something like that, it is the Orthodox people who rise up in protest, although perhaps not as much as we should.

If a photo of the EP or the MP or any other Orthodox cleric kissing the Koran appeared tomorrow, I think we Orthodox would be the very first ones calling for his ouster.
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« Reply #126 on: March 16, 2004, 01:11:08 PM »

At the rate the Moslems are increasing in numbers in Italy through immigration and making babies, your statement will likely no longer be true in 50 to 150 years! Grin
This is no laughing matter, it is indeed very sad that Europe sold its heritage with such a cheap price to the muslims.
I wonder whether the efforts of Charles Martel to push back the barbarians in 732 a.d. in the battle of Tours were useless, as his descendents betray their ancestor now so easily.
Quote
Can't depose an RCC Pope
Is this a sure thing Huh

I think the discussion is basically whether the Pope of Rome can sin, is fallable or not. Let us focus on that.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #127 on: March 16, 2004, 01:12:38 PM »

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I would suggest to them take a look on how the East would address a Patriarch with the same illness.
WHat is the illness of Pope John Paul II , and how does it affect his thinking ?
How does the EO church address such cases ?
Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #128 on: March 16, 2004, 01:16:00 PM »

Quote
Unfortunately, the wise "clamor" of the monks of the Holy Mountain went thoroughly unheeded, and the Patriarch of Alexandria, who made such heretical statements, remained securely in office until the day he died.  What Patriarch Parthenos said was indeed quite heretical and an insult to all the holy martyrs who died and were tortured under the Islamic yoke.
Is Patriarch Parthenos the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Alexandria ? When did he held office ? I am Coptic Orthodox, lived a good portion of my life between Alexadria and Cairo in Egypt, never ever heard of such incident which would have received its share of publicity in our Islamic Media. Granted that the Chalcedonian are a very small minority in Egypt, it would still be major news.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #129 on: March 16, 2004, 01:20:53 PM »

Quote
are you sure it is the integration of Hindu beliefs that is responsible for this, or do you mean the integration of certain Hindu practices?
I don't see a problem in intergating a culture into the liturgy , for example. Different languages used in the liturgy in different churches in various countries is a cultural incorporation into the practice.
That is normal and is alright as long as the substance of faith is sound.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #130 on: March 16, 2004, 01:36:51 PM »

jbc wrote:
Quote
Nonetheless I will respect a Moslem's belief if he says that his father is Abraham too (through Ishmael) whether or not Abraham truly is his father.  If in the supposedly unlikely chance that Abraham is their father, however, then the Moslems worship Yahweh too, however imperfectly.
Most of the Arabs are the descendents of Abraham, but there is a disconitunity in their faith. There has been some Arabs who worshipped the God of Abraham, called "Hanifa" or "saba'iens'', but they were infidels in the eyes of Muhamed because they did not accept Islam.
There have been also some Jews and Christians in the Arabic Penninsula, all driven out or killed in the time of Muhamed or Omar, the second Khalif. So Muslims are not the same as Abraham followers.

Again:
1- Muslims don't believe in the Trinity. They refer to christian therefore as thritheists and infidels.
2- Muslims don't believe in the divinity of Christ. Allah , in Islam, sent ISSA (Jesus in arabic) as his messanger and prophet. Allah is not Jesus Christ nor Jehova.
3- How do you deal with 1 John 5:10 and 2 John ?
4- Characteristics of Allah are befitting Jankiz Khan. Is this the same God of Abraham ?

I don't really care much about what Pope John Paul II did,but it is very dangerous to try to excuse him on the basis of a pluralists theory of embracing all faiths.

Peace,
Stavro


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« Reply #131 on: March 16, 2004, 02:53:57 PM »

James, you are correct.  But the athonites (and others) were greatly upset for that and clamored for the immediated deposing of the patriach.  Can't depose an RCC Pope!
Obviously the patriarch wasn't deposed, though.  Is there a current procedure for deposing an Orthodox patriarch (or head of any of the autocephalous churches), short of calling an Ecumenical Council?

James
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« Reply #132 on: March 16, 2004, 04:08:02 PM »

So Muslims are not the same as Abraham followers.

Abraham's followers, then, are Jews or Christians, or both?

Quote
Again:
1- Muslims don't believe in the Trinity. They refer to christian therefore as thritheists and infidels.

Jews don't believe in the Trinity or Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, etc.  Do you believe that Jews worship the same God as the Christians?  I do!

Quote
2- Muslims don't believe in the divinity of Christ. Allah , in Islam, sent ISSA (Jesus in arabic) as his messanger and prophet. Allah is not Jesus Christ nor Jehova.

What I wrote originally is that in courtesy and charity I will accept what a Moslem says when he says that he worships Abraham's God.  I have been told by 2 individual Moslems--both Iranians--that they worship the God that the Jews worship.  Whether Mohammed got his ideas "out of the blue" or from some Nestorian document that also distorts the nature of the Jesus doesn't matter to me at this point.  I must leave that to the scholars.  But I know that at least 2 Moslems walking planet earth have effected a self-fulfilling prophecy by proclaiming their belief in the God of Abraham, the very same God that I worship although my faith, the Trinitarian Faith, is the correct faith or more irenically, the Faith in its Fullness.  By what right do you contradict them, even given the distorted nature of their religion? [i.e., distorted from the Christian POV].  They have proclaimed a belief in Yahweh, even given that their belief in Yahweh, Abraham's God, is very imperfect, distorted, directed toward wrong ends, etc.

Quote
3- How do you deal with 1 John 5:10 and 2 John ?

Let's ensure we are all on equal ground by providing the complete biblical citations:

Quote
1 John 5:10

10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son.

What is there for me to deal with vis-a-vis Moslems?  I don't accept their faith or their heresy if you would prefer that I use the latter term.  Are you aiming this at the cradle Moslem who may not have had the chance to hear the saving message of the Gospel or has been raised in an environment that makes it nearly impossible in human terms to hear the message in a non-confrontational, objective, and unemotional environment?  I assert that he is a captive of his history and society just as you and I are captives to our history and society.

Those of us who are born into Christianity have it easy . . . though we may not boast of it and may not take it for granted.  The Christian life is a life of spiritual and corporeal struggle.  Those who come to Christianity from outside the faith--and this would apply to Moslems to coming this way--have the tougher road to travel.  Just who will God judge the harsher, the infidel who does not make the journey or fails in that journey OR the faithful who neglect the Holy Faith?  And what happens when/if we alienate these infidels by our demeanor towards them?

Oh boy, I bet Moslems will just love hearing me call them infidels!

Quote
2John

1 The Presbyter to the chosen Lady and to her children whom I love in truth--and not only I but also all who know the truth--
2 because of the truth that dwells in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father.
5 But now, Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another.
6 For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, in which you should walk.
7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense.
9 Anyone who is so "progressive" as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him;
11 for whoever greets him shares in his evil works.
12 Although I have much to write to you, I do not intend to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and to speak face to face so that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your chosen sister send you greetings.
[/color]

OK . . . so I perceive this passage is about those who lack the correct faith or doctrine about the Lord.  I recall that this passage is also about the early Gnosticism afflicting the Church.  Does Islam have some origin in Gnosticism?  I'm not a scholar of the period so I'm not sure.  Did the heresy of Nestorianism have something to do with Gnosticism and with Islam?  Perhaps.  I do recall that Islam conquered (NOT converted) a divided Christian community in the 600-700's.  

In any case, Islam does not teach the faith in God correctly.  It is distorted from the Christian POV.  Well then neither does Judaism, rabbinical or temple worshiping kind.  Again, I ask you do the Jews believe in the same God as Christians even without their faith in Jesus Christ?  I believe that they do.  Abraham is their father and Yahweh is their God.

I at least believe that individual Moslems MAY believe in Yahweh . . . perhaps many . . . perhaps most!  A distorted version of Yahweh to be sure . . . but Yahweh, nevertheless, PERHAPS.  I have not taken a personal dogmatic position on Islam.  The RCC does not (yet) demand it of me.  The RCC likely will never demand it of me.  And I seriously doubt that Orthodoxy will either.  But I will be respectful, courteous, and irenic when the occasion arises.  Nevertheless, I will not agree to something that I don't believe in if or when I next get the chance to interact with the Prophet's followers.  

I do say one thing, however.  If Christians go around to Moslems and say to them that they do not believe in the God of Abraham or that they worship a demon god, then they will never get around to converting them.  Conventional wisdom supposedly asserts that it is nearly impossible to convert Muslims.  The strictures of their traditional societies seemingly would support this.  Yet, I don't think that it is impossible--difficult, yes--but if we start accusing them of worshiping a demon god then we will get nowhere with them!

Quote
4- Characteristics of Allah are befitting Jankiz Khan. Is this the same God of Abraham ?

You have me at a disadvantage.  I don't know who Jankiz Khan is?Huh?  Genghis Khan perhaps?

By the way, Yahweh ordered the Children of Israel to slaughter the inhabitants of Caanan.  And there is plenty of slaughter and violence elsewhere in Holy Writ.  The imprecation psalms for example?Huh?  Something about smashing babies heads in . . . .  If Allah and Yahweh are two different deities, there is at least something in common between them--violence--if one were to take an overly simplistic & fundamentalistic view of Holy Writ.

The important thing for me is that the Koran may be inspired Writ for the Moslems but it isn't for me.  I place no faith in it whatsoever.  If there is any Truth in it, then that Truth comes from God and not from any "inspiration" the Prophet Mohammed claims.  No, I don't believe that the Koran descended from Heaven into Mohammed's hands.

Quote
I don't really care much about what Pope John Paul II did,but it is very dangerous to try to excuse him on the basis of a pluralists theory of embracing all faiths.

Well I care!  BTW, do you really think that JP-II worships Allah?  Regarding his kissing the Koran, yes, it troubles me but I want to know the whole story first, not that I would ever kiss the Koran myself.  This doesn't automatically make him an apostate or great sinner in and of itself.  BTW would you or others have objected if he had kissed a Torah scroll?  I wouldn't--after all, it is the first 5 books of the Holy Bible!  Yes, I know that Jews don't kiss scrolls . . . they don't even allow human hands to touch them directly once they are consecrated to use in the synagogue.

Regarding your statement of a pluralists theory of embracing all faiths--  If by this statement you mean irenicism, then I support JP-II without qualification.  This has to do with removing religion as an excuse for violence.  If you mean saying that "all faiths are equal and true" then this would be slanderous of JP-II or of me.  But I don't necessarily believe that you mean this latter thing.  Care to explain what you mean?
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« Reply #133 on: March 16, 2004, 05:20:23 PM »

Peace jbc,

Quote
Abraham's followers, then, are Jews or Christians, or both?
As far as faith goes, it would be the Christians. As far as biological sons, mainly the Jews and Arabs, who became muslims. I showed that the muslims are not worshipping the same God as Abraham was worshipping.
In fact, before Islam, they were divided among Pagan worshippers, Christians, Jews. Clearly all these groups have no relation to the faith of Muhamed.

Quote
Do you believe that Jews worship the same God as the Christians?
NO, I don't.
Quote
What I wrote originally is that in courtesy and charity I will accept what a Moslem says when he says that he worships Abraham's God.
Thanks for clarifying, I thought this is a dogma in the church or so.
Quote
Are you aiming this at the cradle Moslem who may not have had the chance to hear the saving message of the Gospel or has been raised in an environment that makes it nearly impossible in human terms to hear the message in a non-confrontational, objective, and unemotional environment?
You have a point and I have no way of knowing how God will punish muslims. But this has little to do with our discussion as we are discussing the faith of muslims and how it related to christians. IMO, they don't worship the same God, and this is enough for me.
Without opening another subject, muslims are also not saved. I believe that everybody gets the message and gets to hear the Gospel. being captive to one's environment or else is not an excuse.
Many muslims, about 6 millions in Africa alone, according to AL-Jazeera network, are converting to christianity. Islam, when you get to read more about it, is a brutal, violent and unhuman religion, and anybody who really cares for the truth will reject it, and search for the real God. I am sure God will lead the way of this person seeking after Him to embrace christianity.

Quote
They have proclaimed a belief in Yehwa, even given that their belief in Yahweh, Abraham's God, is very imperfect, distorted, directed toward wrong ends, etc.
No, they don't. Ask any muslim clergy whether he believes in Yahewa, and he will rely with a simple no. Would you also assume that those who don't follow any religion, yet worship the unknown God, are worshippers of Yehwa?
Quote
Those of us who are born into Christianity have it easy
Yes, it is a great gift. But, it is by far easy in the West, I would not call the life of christians in Islamic countries as easy, at all. You have to live in Turkey, Egypt,Iran or Yemen as a christian to know how difficult it is to be christian.
It is the christianity in which the Cross is carried each and every day.
Quote
Those who come to Christianity from outside the faith--and this would apply to Moslems to coming this way--have the tougher road to travel.
I agree, I would add that muslims in particular have a very hard road if they convert to christianity. But we are not talking about converts right now, we talk about the muslims as practicing it and believing in Islam.
Quote
Just who will God judge the harsher, the infidel who does not make the journey or fails in that journey OR the faithful who neglect the Holy Faith?  And what happens when/if we alienate these infidels by our demeanor towards them?
Two points:
-God will judge those who neglected his gift harsher.
-I am not advocating mistreatment of the unbelievers.
But if you imply that we should appease them, then I strongly disagree. Away from the Pope's incident, would it not be easier if the martyrs did not die for the faith or offered incense to the idols, kissed their statues and confessed that they respect the Pagan worshippers faith ?
Love the unbelievers, but don't compromise the faith.

Quote
I recall that this passage is also about the early Gnosticism afflicting the Church.  Does Islam have some origin in Gnosticism
And it can be applied to anybody who does not confess the incarnation or the divinity of Christ, among them muslims, buddists, JW,.....
Quote
I do recall that Islam conquered (NOT converted) a divided Christian community in the 600-700's.  
Yes, it conquered a deeply divided christian Byzantine Empire. It was one of these incidents in history where all the circumstances were lining up to help the Muslims.
Quote
Did the heresy of Nestorianism have something to do with Gnosticism and with Islam?
Issa (Jesus) in Islam is a figure which is not easily described. It is more befitting the Arian heresy, but sometimes some Nestorian effects come into play, where he is clearly divine and then merely human. I explained in a post before in another thread the origin of Islam and its relation to christian heresies in more details.
Quote
If Christians go around to Moslems and say to them that they do not believe in the God of Abraham or that they worship a demon god, then they will never get around to converting them.  Conventional wisdom supposedly asserts that it is nearly impossible to convert Muslims.  
I agree with you, ridiculing somebody's belief is not the way to convert him. Explaining christianity to them and the fact that we are not polytheists will help them listen to you. Muslim clergy and media tarnish the image of christianity without giving an equal chance to christians to respond and defend christianity in the Muslim countries.

My concern is more the other christians who don't study Islam and they just believe whatever is presented in the media. (I don't mean you specifically, this is in a general sense). The liberal media wants this big group hug, and we should refuse to do so.
Quote
.  But I will be respectful, courteous, and irenic when the occasion arises.  Nevertheless, I will not agree to something that I don't believe in if or when I next get the chance to interact with the Prophet's followers
Very wise approach.
Quote
BTW, do you really think that JP-II worships Allah?
Of course not. I didn't give any opinion about the Pope kissing the Quran, and I just entered the discussion when I found something wrong about Islam.
Quote
Regarding his kissing the Koran, yes, it troubles me but I want to know the whole story first, not that I would ever kiss the Koran myself
Well, I think the problem is not with this single act, whether it is out of courtesy or for any other reason. I think this topic from the beginning was pointing towards discussing Pope's Infallability doctrine and other Papacy claims like the doctrinal development and so on.
Because if you are uneasy with the picture, you would have to reconsider such dogmas.
Quote
You have me at a disadvantage.  I don't know who Jankiz Khan is?Huh?  Genghis Khan perhaps?
I spelled it as I pronounce it, so please excuse my English. It is Genghis Khan, the famous Mongul leader.
Quote
If Allah and Yahweh are two different deities, there is at least something in common between them--violence--if one were to take an overly simplistic & fundamentalistic view of Holy Writ.
You don't have to take an oversimplistic view. Compare the circumstances, the orders and the reasons why the masacres were undertaken in both cases, and come to an educated conclusion.
Did Judaism spread with the sword ? Did christianity take the way of wars to spread christianity ? Never. Even the Crusades were not christian wars, they took the Cross as a cover.
In the Quran, it is a clear order to kill the christians, Jews and all other non-muslim wherever they are, unless they pay a tribute.
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If by this statement you mean irenicism, then I support JP-II without qualification.

We are told to live in peace with all unbelievers, but without compromising the faith. I didn;t mean to make any slanderous comments about Pope John Paul II or the catholic church. I just wanted to make sure that Islam is understood correctly.
 As I told you, I am not praticularly interested in this incident as much as in the dogmas of Pope Infallability, which would be exposed if he acted in a wrong way in any incident concerning the faith.

Sorry for the long post.
Peace,
Stavro

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« Reply #134 on: March 16, 2004, 06:29:13 PM »

Is Patriarch Parthenos the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Alexandria ? When did he held office ? I am Coptic Orthodox, lived a good portion of my life between Alexadria and Cairo in Egypt, never ever heard of such incident which would have received its share of publicity in our Islamic Media. Granted that the Chalcedonian are a very small minority in Egypt, it would still be major news.


Yes, I was referring to the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria (sorry for not clarifying this earlier).  Go to the following links for online references to the shameful remarks of this Patriarch for a preliminary look:

http://holyorthodoxy.tripod.com/patriarchletter.html

http://www.zipcon.net/OCW/2001/ocw_1508.html

If this is not satisfactory, then let me know and I will dig out the exact reference wherein Parthenios is said to have claimed these things--because I have this reference in a couple of books at home.  What this Patriarch said was indeed downright shameful.  I know we say that we Orthodox can speak out against our hierarchs who do such things, and I suppose that such hierarchs could (at least in theory) be deposed.  However, as James has said, Parthenios concluded his life peacefully and without consequence, uninterruptedly occupying the (Chalcedonian) See of Alexandria.  Sure, the Monks of the Holy Mountain vigorously protested; but, nothing was done.  Sadly to say, as usual, their voices went unheeded.  So, in practice, I really don't see the difference (from a practical POV) between modern Orthodox practice and Roman practice on this account (although the theories may differ).  We Orthodox say a hierarch can be deposed for heresy; but, what good is this possibility or potential if this option is not actually exercised when a heretic occupies a see?

Now surely, I don't condone or defend the Pope of Rome kissing the Quran.  IMO, it was a shameful act.  I think, however, before we "bust the RC's chops" about alleged complacency WRT a Quran-kissing-Pope, we need to come to terms with our own complacency regarding a now-deceased Mohammed-venerating-Patriarch.  In both cases, a clamor was raised by conservative voices within each community; however, the respective hierarch retain(s/ed) office--without a single inquiry.

Also, I conclude by reiterating the fact that whatever the Assisi events involved (Frobie provided some "interesting" photos), our Orthodox hierarchs were right there sitting at the same campfire.  So IF AND ONLY IF Assisi was a big ecumenical "kumbaya," then again, we Orthodox are not in a position to criticize the RCC without first addressing the fact that a goodly amount of Orthodox hierarchs attended both festivities, and still occupy their sees without incident.

In Christ,
Stephen
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« Reply #135 on: March 16, 2004, 07:59:38 PM »

Reply to Stavro's latest comments:

First of all, Stavro, your post was not too long and your replies were excellent in their content and ideas.  No, we are not going to agree on all of this but I would like to comment on some of your statements.

Even given the problematic origins of Islam, I still opine that at least some Moslems consider themselves to be Abraham's children and consider themselves to worship Abraham's God.  They have essentially made their own self-fulfilling prophesy.  Yes their worship is distorted . . . highly so.  I have just started to read Serge Trifkovic's The Sword of the Prophet: Islam--History, theology, Imact on the World which is published by Regina Orthodox Press.  I am currently reading the first chapter on the origins of the Arabic peoples.  The author states that "Mohammad was born into a pagan society but by the end of the 6th Century it was different from the paganism as commonly understood in its proto-monotheistic tendencies."  The author also reports some of the information that you had posted earlier.  He goes into the pagan origins of the name "Allah" or "al-ilah" the dominant deity--the moon god--among the pagan Arabs.  So I do agree with you (I think?Huh) regarding the origin of much of Mohammad's thoughts about God and religion.  But I perceive in the author's claims thus far in only an early reading of his book a more nuanced view of Islam than yours.  And by nuanced I am not asserting that you are absolutely wrong on all counts!  When I finish reading the book, perhaps I'll post a short review.  I have skimmed other parts of Trifkovic's book.  He is definitely NOT pro-Moslem!  Thus far, the book seems to be very well written.

A few comments on selected portions of your latest post:

I still maintain that the Jews worship Yahweh as we do even though their knowledge of Yahweh, as Christianity has witnessed to Him, is incomplete or just plain wrong if you prefer.

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Without opening another subject, muslims are also not saved. I believe that everybody gets the message and gets to hear the Gospel. being captive to one's environment or else is not an excuse.

If by this you mean that one must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God, then I agree.  I do not believe in any form of apocatastasis in its ancient understanding or in the understanding of modern day religious indifferentism.  Regarding excuses or lack thereof, only God Himself will know the ultimate disposition of the individual Soul, not man, thankfully!  Personally, I couldn't handle the knowledge of another one's fate.  My spiritual struggle is all that I can handle as it is!  Even this fails me without His unmerited Grace.

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Many muslims, about 6 millions in Africa alone, according to AL-Jazeera network, are converting to christianity. Islam, when you get to read more about it, is a brutal, violent and unhuman religion, and anybody who really cares for the truth will reject it, and search for the real God. I am sure God will lead the way of this person seeking after Him to embrace christianity.

Yes, I read the post somewhere on OC.net about the 6 million.  I agree with you about Islam's brutality.  Christianity has been brutal too, although I recognize that this brutality did not come from Jesus--but from our history as being grafted onto the tree of Jesse (remember the semitic understanding of the God who gave them Caanan?) and due to our own fallen human natures.  I sometime wonder how we all didn't end up believing in Calvinism when one examines human behavior over history.

I have not ever talked with an Imam, etc. about his belief in Allah; merely a couple of Moslem "laymen" who lived in the U.S. and spoke English.  I must therefore defer to you on this.

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Yes, it is a great gift. But, it is by far easy in the West, I would not call the life of christians in Islamic countries as easy, at all. You have to live in Turkey, Egypt,Iran or Yemen as a christian to know how difficult it is to be christian. It is the christianity in which the Cross is carried each and every day.

I was talking principally about the West though not exclusively.  Furthermore I was not talking about the struggle to lead a Christian life, whether a life in the materialist,  sex, and consumerism obsessed West or in the areas of the world where Christianity is suppressed, oppressed, and persecuted.  This includes the Middle East but also China, Vietnam, Cuba, India, etc.  By "easy" I was referring to the movement toward God as Christianity proclaims Him.  The movement of a non-Christian to God is quite a different journey from the movement of a cradle Christian who is supposed at least to have some familiarity with and commitment to God.  And Moslems have quite an arduous journey to make given their/our mutual histories, and the inhibitions of their culture.

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-I am not advocating mistreatment of the unbelievers

No, of course not.  I never thought that you were advocating this.

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But if you imply that we should appease them, then I strongly disagree.

We are not in disagreement here.  Irenicism and talking is NOT appeasement, at least not necessarily so.  In fact, there is a publication recently released by the Vatican that strongly condemns the oppression of Christians in the Moslem world.  So I don't think that the Pope is into appeasement.  He is trying to deal with them and we can agree or disagree to varying extents regarding the success of this "management problem."  If I can find the publication on the web again, I will post the link.

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Away from the Pope's incident, would it not be easier if the martyrs did not die for the faith or offered incense to the idols, kissed their statues and confessed that they respect the Pagan worshippers faith ?
Love the unbelievers, but don't compromise the faith.

Again, I perceive that we are in agreement here.  I would say one thing, however, is that one has to explain what "respect" means.  In the U.S., for example, the ideology of freedom of religion is sacrosanct and necessary in our society.  I would add to this is that I believe in "market principles" when it comes to evangelization in the U.S.  So I guess that I have to "respect" Islam in America but I don't have to like it, approve of it, follow it, trust it, appease it, or support it.  Futhermore, I would say that it is imcumbent then to evangelize for the Faith through apologetics, catechesis, social action, etc.  As far as martyrdom, I would hope that one may at least attempt to avoid it unless absolutely necessary.  The Moslems seem to encourage it among their believers with wild abandon.  Something is wrong here!

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My concern is more the other christians who don't study Islam and they just believe whatever is presented in the media. (I don't mean you specifically, this is in a general sense). The liberal media wants this big group hug, and we should refuse to do so.

Marvel of marvels!  We agree again.  That is why I try to read widely though hopefully not too superficially.  If I had the time or temperament I would like to learn Arabic and Aramaic and study the semitic cultures of the Middle East in detail and up front.  Speaking of Allah, the aforementioned book states that the word itself comes from the Aramaic.  If we get started talking about the liberal media, our conversation will inevitably degenerate when I descend to "sailor language" and call the media those no good sons of $%^&*@#! Grin

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You don't have to take an oversimplistic view. Compare the circumstances, the orders and the reasons why the masacres were undertaken in both cases, and come to an educated conclusion.
Did Judaism spread with the sword ? Did christianity take the way of wars to spread christianity ? Never. Even the Crusades were not christian wars, they took the Cross as a cover.
In the Quran, it is a clear order to kill the christians, Jews and all other non-muslim wherever they are, unless they pay a tribute.

I'm not sure there is total agreement between us here.  Then again I'm not sure there is that much disagreement either!  Judaism never really spread except among itself--i.e., building babies.  Yes, they did take "wives" among the pagan tribes, to God's displeasure because it led them into idolatry and child sacrifice.  But Judaism has never been a proseltyzing religion.  One also should recognize that the semitic tribes were very barbaric and violent whether they were Hebrews or Arabs.  And all too frequently this is how they looked upon their God.  I'm not a biblical scholar--I distrust much of modern bible scholarship even though I do not reject it out of hand--but I believe God talks to people in terms that they can understand just as a mom or a dad talks to a young son or daughter in child-like and child-understanding terms.  Could Islam ever be tamed say in the U.S.?  Frankly, I don't know one way or the other.

One thing that troubles me about our criticism of militant Islam, we are a people that brought the world the holocaust of WWII, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, etc. [pick your favorite issue]!  And now 37+ million abortions in the U.S. alone!   I am willing to oppose Islam for the sake of my faith and the sake of the West, but I get kinda uncomfortable when I reflect upon the violent history of the West!  No, this is not a matter of guilt but of perspective.

Regarding the Crusades, that is another topic which we might disagree on or partially agree/disagree on.  The Crusades' history is very complex and is currently subject to a great deal of revisionism, much of which I must admit that I might agree with.  Another reading area to add to my list of "To be read."  Sorry to annoy Bro. Max (where has he been lately?) but my knowledge of the Crusades pretty much comes from Will and Ariel Durant (and some other books).  As you may know, I'm not a fan of the Durants.

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We are told to live in peace with all unbelievers, but without compromising the faith. I didn;t mean to make any slanderous comments about Pope John Paul II or the catholic church. I just wanted to make sure that Islam is understood correctly.

I regretted making my statement almost immediately after I posted it.  Thanks to our "overseers" who took away our edit capabilities I couldn't revise it subsequently.  [Actually, thanks to those who abused the privilege of having an edit capability!]  I did not intend to accuse you of slander, merely to ask you to clarify your statement.   I agree with you that Islam is dangerous.  

I do not really know one way or the other in the long term whether of not the West can live in peace with Islam.  I don't intend to open up the subject of the Crusades again but I am (partially) convinced that the Crusades, as problematic as they were, kept Western Europe ultimately from going Moslem.  No, I can't prove it.  But the Western European incursion into the Middle East caused the Moslems kingdoms to lose a lot of energy otherwise available for conquest.  The purposes were not totally aggressive even if the tactics were.  Islam was becoming ascendent while the West was relatively backwards.  And the Byzantine East was caught in the middle!

Ultimately, the Crusades were not successful as best as I can tell, at least for Byzantium and for Christians in the Middle East.  Islam eventually took Constantinople which never really recovered from 1204.  Even without 1204 I'm not all that sure that Constantinople would have prevailed anyway.  No! I'm not justifying the 4th Crusade's sack of the city!!!!!  Islam was on a steam roller for several centuries.  I don't even think that a united West could have prevented the fall of Constantinople, but I can't prove this.  I don't think the West at its stage of history could unite in the first place, even under the Papacy as a central unifying organization.  This period of history did demonstrate, however, that Islam was very powerful & dangerous to the West and united as a result of the Crusades.  And Islam at least in the terrorist sense is uniting again and may become very powerful in its own unique way in the 21st Century.

The timing is also becoming bad for the West.  The West is rapidly de-Christianizing IMHO.  You might recall that the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah rejected Yahweh and fell subsequently to the Assyrians and Babylonians respectively.  There is a lesson in here "somewhere" for the West.

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As I told you, I am not praticularly interested in this incident as much as in the dogmas of Pope Infallability, which would be exposed if he acted in a wrong way in any incident concerning the faith.

I don't want to open up another can of worms, but the dogma of Papal Infallibility really has nothing to do with Koran kissing!  But perhaps we should leave this "issue" for a resounding cat fight to be fought on OC.net for another day.  Meow!

It is now my turn to apologize for a long and prolix post.  I must say again, however, that I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion with you and even the discussion in the entire thread on this topic.

I wish you a holy and miserable Great Lent!

Jim C.





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« Reply #136 on: March 16, 2004, 11:43:25 PM »


I wish you a holy and miserable Great Lent!

Jim C.


One of our esteemed posters expressed some confusion regarding this statement.  Lest anyone misconstrue my intentions, I got this from an Anglican friend of mine.  Although we should be joyful on the outside during the Great Fast, there is nothing wrong with being miserable on the inside--in my case very, very hungry--for the sake of our souls!

Jim C.
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« Reply #137 on: March 17, 2004, 10:56:46 AM »

Mor,

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The Pope is the supreme legislative authority in the Roman Catholic Church.  Everyone has recourse to him, but he answers only to God, not to a Synod of Bishops or anything like that.  You can't force him to retire, much less depose him.  Catholics are free to correct me, but that's how I understand the situation, and I don't recall reading anything in the CIC regarding deposition of a Pope, forced retirement, etc.

As far as I understand, this is correct.  Which makes for some interesting questions (and perhaps, logically required answers).

- Pope is infallible, but only "ex cathedra"
- Pope holds universal and immediate juristiction (source of all ecclessiastical authority)
- Pope is judged by no other than God; which means no body can legally depose or otherwise sentence a Pope.

This has an interesting, round about consequence - in effect, I think one would have to conclude this has the practical consequence of making the Pope either infallible in all that he says or does, OR believe that he must be obeyed in falsehood, but this obedience will be blameless on the part of those who fall in and follow (since their obedience, even to an obvious heretic, is more precious than anything else.)

I know men like Robert Bellarmine (a  saint and doctor by RC lights) theorized on the possibility of a Pope apostacizing and thus vacating his office, but such a thought means little when no one could actually judge said offender.

This is why I am somewhat confused when Roman Catholics (whether more or less obedient "conservative" types, or more controversial "traditionalist" types who still recognize John Paul II, like the SSPX) say things like "oh, well it's not ex-cathedra".  In reality, does that have any practical consequence, that distinction?  If I remember what my TAN books reprint of Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma said correctly, even Papal teachings which do not directly invoke the full excercise of Papal authority (the charism of "infallibility" thus being invoked) such teachings cannot be dissented from - they are to be received with docile assent, both internal and exterior.  Roman Catholics, both traditionalist or otherwise "conservative", should keep in mind that the "it's not ex-cathedra" line of reasoning is also a favourite of their more flakey liberals (for example, they'll use this line of reasoning to ignore Papal documents like Humanae Vitae.)

The matter of John Paul II kissing the Koran or otherwise doing strange things like this, obviously doesn't fit within the realm of "magisterial teaching" as Catholicism understands it.  However, it is related, since the issue of ecclessial discipline is very much tied to the matter of authority, which in turn relates to "the magisterium."  Also, being the "supreme teacher" in the RCC, I think it's fair to ask whether the mindset from which strange acts like this flow, is the same mindset involved in this Pope's religious teaching in general.

Fr.Johannes Dormann has written an interesting series, titled Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assisi.  They're not the easiest books to read (can come off as being very dry), but I think they make it fairly easy to discern that strange/scandalous things (like the example that started this thread) in the Pontificate of John Paul II do not simply come out of a vacuum, but are very much manifestations of his mindset in general.

Seraphim
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« Reply #138 on: March 17, 2004, 11:02:33 AM »

James2,

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There are precedents for the deposition of a pope.  The last time it happened was at the Council of Constance, which ended the Great Western Schism early in the 15th century.

The examples you've provided here certainly give precedent within the post schism, Latin tradition for such a deposition.  However, I think such a line of argument would have to assume something that is not the case - namely, that the RCC's history since the schism (and certainly before hand) is a consistant one, that has not being continually undergoing essential evolution/change in doctrinal positions.

The RCC of the Council of Constance, simply doesn't exist anymore - the Popes have now firmly cemented their claims to power, and elaborated them in ways that did not exist back then.  Today's "truth" is not "yesterdays".  Hence, the essentially "modernistic" nature of Roman Catholicism.  It wasn't Vatican II which transformed Catholicism into an ever evolving, dialectical "becoming"; that's a long term problem, which is perhaps the essence of what drove a wedge between Rome (and it's adherants) and the Orthodox Churches in the first place.

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« Reply #139 on: March 17, 2004, 11:12:22 AM »

Carpo,

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So he kissed the Koran.  Big deal!  We don't need to justify it. The EP used to be appointed by the Sultan.

Ok...and this comparable to the curious deeds of a certain free Roman Catholic ecclesiastical leader in what compelling ways?

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Remember you guys wanted the turban not the mitre.

Mmmm, I think given the option, the Orthodox would undoubtedly have chosen neither.

The price of receiving assistance from the "magnanimous" Popes apostacy - and even those who were willing to sell their souls for temporal "salvation" were to find out they help they did receive was never of such consequence as to prevent the ascendency of the Mohammedans in the east.

The famous saying, I as I recall hearing it was "better the turban than the mitre" - it was the lesser of two evils.  Though martyred, and treated as second class citizens in their own lands, the Orthodox were able to remain just that - Orthodox.

Seraphim

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« Reply #140 on: March 18, 2004, 12:54:19 AM »

Peace JBC,
I enjoyed reading your post very much, and I think we agree on most of the issues which were the subject of our posts. My following comments are just some reflections, without disagreements, on some points:

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The Sword of the Prophet: Islam--History, theology, Imact on the World which is published by Regina Orthodox Press.  I am currently reading the first chapter on the origins of the Arabic peoples.  The author states that "Mohammad was born into a pagan society but by the end of the 6th Century it was different from the paganism as commonly understood in its proto-monotheistic tendencies."
That is what is universally perceived. However, the sources for this statement are from Islamic sources,and Western scholars usually rely on islamic sources as authoritive without further invistigating the issue from other sources.

It is a complicated issue. Many arabic books written by muslims, who during their research apostated, make a strong link between Muhamed and Christian Heresies. In any case, it is a good point of research but of little importance to the current state of affairs.

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In the U.S., for example, the ideology of freedom of religion is sacrosanct and necessary in our society.  I would add to this is that I believe in "market principles" when it comes to evangelization in the U.S.  So I guess that I have to "respect" Islam in America

I agree on the concept. But for every rule, there is an exception. Islam, by nature, is very different. Islam exists as a religion and a state, and it has been exercised as such since Muhamed's time till the fall of the Ottman Empire.
In addition, Muslims themselves do not reciprocate the same courtesy to the other religions; meaning, that once they are in power, they will oppress the other religions as much as they can. They never did otherwise. We tend to assume that history does not repeat itself, because we are far so civilized than to allow such thing.
Well, under Islam, you don't have a choice. We are judging Islam by our own measures, by christian values and civilized world standards. Do you find any islamic state that is civilized ?
I fear the islamisation of the West. Muslims make babies at rates nobody can keep up with, and they will use democracy to end democracy.
I have been laughed at many times when I talked to American friends about it. They can't perceive it that a free country like the USA for example can be a dictatorship. They overlook the fact that muslims' first allegiance is to Islam, not to the state they are citizens of. If this happens, then we need a divine intervention because Islam erradicates the very character of the country. Look at Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey (yes, former Byzantine Empire) which were once a flourishing christian culture.
Can point out a state having a population of muslims, in which muslims are not reason of trouble ?

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And now 37+ million abortions in the U.S. alone!
As great as the USA is, I don't regard it as a christian country. I am not sure that there is something like a christian country or a definition for that, as politics has nothing to do with christianity.

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Thanks to our "overseers" who took away our edit capabilities I couldn't revise it subsequently.  [Actually, thanks to those who abused the privilege of having an edit capability!]
Yeah, I missed this "edit privilages" during some other discussions in another section.

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don't intend to open up the subject of the Crusades again but I am (partially) convinced that the Crusades, as problematic as they were, kept Western Europe ultimately from going Moslem.  No, I can't prove it.  But the Western European incursion into the Middle East caused the Moslems kingdoms to lose a lot of energy otherwise available for conquest.  The purposes were not totally aggressive even if the tactics were.  Islam was becoming ascendent while the West was relatively backwards.  And the Byzantine East was caught in the middle!
It is a good point, which I never realized before. At the time of the crusades beginning, the islamic world was in a state of disarray. Abassians in Baghdad were very weak, Fatimites in Cairo were also becoming weak, and it was a good time to strike "from a politicial point of view" and erase Islam.
However, I am not sure Europe was also powerful, or at least united.

The problem is that they took the Cross as their symbol and they raised a religious war, thus tarnishing the Sign of the Cross with such claims. Maybe that is why they failed.

As far as Islam and Europe, the closest Islam went to capture Europe was in 732 a.d.. Charles Martel emerged as an unexpected hero in the Battle of Tours. I personally believe God intervened here. Outnumbered against a very powerful enemy, Europe was at stake as CHarles Martel was the last stronghold of the christian World. He scored an unexpected victory.
I am surprised that there are no movies to glorify this man who had an gigantic influence on civilization.....

Whether the world will unite again against Islam, I don't know. In any case, for some reason, Evil is almost always the winner.

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The timing is also becoming bad for the West.  The West is rapidly de-Christianizing IMHO.  You might recall that the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah rejected Yahweh and fell subsequently to the Assyrians and Babylonians respectively.  There is a lesson in here "somewhere" for the West.
Totally agree. Islam would be a very lucky heir, and a very cruel one too, to a civilization Islam contributed nothing to. Actually, this is the view muslims hold. God made the West flourish so much, in order to strike the infidels (the West) down and give it to Muslims. The strategy is to immigrate, keep a low profile, make babies, make babies, make babies, and then, make babies, give birth to babies, form babies and be a majority.

Away from Islam, I think the apostacy in the West has its roots partially in the so-called "Reformation". Let us leave it at this, without investigating more.

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Ultimately, the Crusades were not successful as best as I can tell, at least for Byzantium and for Christians in the Middle East.
I agree. In fact, the last crusades were targeted at Egypt. I think it was Luis IX, King of France who invaded North Egypt. He committed masacres against christians as well as muslims, thus affirming the belief the Copts realized many years before that it does not really differ under which occupation they would live. Note that between Chalcedon and the Islamic Conquest, it was not a rosy picture in Egypt and in Syria as well.

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I don't want to open up another can of worms, but the dogma of Papal Infallibility really has nothing to do with Koran kissing!  But perhaps we should leave this "issue" for a resounding cat fight to be fought on OC.net for another day.  Meow!
Meow Meow !! I wasn't actually gonna discuss it, I just wanted to hint at it as it is for me the reason of disagreement between Orthodox and Catholics. The other dogmatic differences, like the Filioque, Purgatory, Immaculate Conception are more or less Papal doctrines, according to the Doctrinal Development Theory. Once the basis of their acceptance is reviewed,namely Papal Infallability, everything else will "or might" fall in place.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #141 on: March 18, 2004, 06:47:24 PM »


. . .

It is a complicated issue. Many arabic books written by muslims, who during their research apostated, make a strong link between Muhamed and Christian Heresies. In any case, it is a good point of research but of little importance to the current state of affairs.

I agree on the concept. But for every rule, there is an exception. Islam, by nature, is very different. Islam exists as a religion and a state, and it has been exercised as such since Muhamed's time till the fall of the Ottman Empire.

The author of the book cited Ibn Warraq, author of The Quest for the Historical Muhammad for the statements that I posted.  Ibn Warraq is (now) an atheist and rejects Islam as dangerous, among other things.  His books are on my "to be read list" . . . way, way down on a long, long list!  Oh, my!



Quote
In addition, Muslims themselves do not reciprocate the same courtesy to the other religions; meaning, that once they are in power, they will oppress the other religions as much as they can. . . .


Please understand that when I said "respect" I did not mean "respect & trust."  I don't trust them.  I'm not a trusting sort of guy by nature!

Quote
I fear the islamisation of the West. Muslims make babies at rates nobody can keep up with, and they will use democracy to end democracy.  

I have been laughed at many times when I talked to American friends about it. They can't perceive it that a free country like the USA for example can be a dictatorship. They overlook the fact that muslims' first allegiance is to Islam, not to the state they are citizens of.

I can assure you that I am NOT laughing!  I also read in a past issue of the National Catholic Register a statement made by an Italian Curial Cardinal urging Italians to make babies and to allow immigration only from Catholic countries.  Italy has experienced an explosive growth in its Moslem population through immigration.  His comments were vigorously condemned in the secular press.  The fools!

Regarding the Crusades . . . yes, the West was divided and never truly united even under a strong Medieval Papacy.

Quote
As far as Islam and Europe, the closest Islam went to capture Europe was in 732 a.d.. Charles Martel emerged as an unexpected hero in the Battle of Tours. I personally believe God intervened here. Outnumbered against a very powerful enemy, Europe was at stake as CHarles Martel was the last stronghold of the christian World. He scored an unexpected victory.

Yes, I tend to agree about the Divine intervention at Tours.  Catholics have also considered the Battle of Lepanto the result of Divine intervention through Our Lady of the Rosary.  The Catholic coalition of forces were quarrelsome and barely united.

However, the last time Islam came closest to capturing Europe (possibly) was in the 1680's.  A coalition of forces led by King (St.) Stephen of Hungary stopped the Turks at the gates of Vienna.

Quote
I am surprised that there are no movies to glorify this man who had an gigantic influence on civilization.....

That's because the modern world is interested in sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll!!!!

Warmest regards,

Jim C.



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« Reply #142 on: March 18, 2004, 08:22:14 PM »


. . .

I also read in a past issue of the National Catholic Register a statement made by an Italian Curial Cardinal urging Italians to make babies and to allow immigration only from Catholic countries.  Italy has experienced an explosive growth in its Moslem population through immigration.  His comments were vigorously condemned in the secular press.  The fools!

Actually he didn't say "make babies."  Please excuse the error.  Nonetheless, Italy's average no. of children per family is 1.2 or 1.3, below replacement level so I guess they should be making the bambinos!

Jim C.

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« Reply #143 on: March 19, 2004, 02:14:33 PM »

JBC wrote:

"Catholics have also considered the Battle of Lepanto the result of Divine intervention through Our Lady of the Rosary.  The Catholic coalition of forces were quarrelsome and barely united."

That is interesting....do you have any links for further readings ?
I have been searching for a good, detailed book on the Battle of Tours for a looooooooong time now, and could not find....any suggestions ?
Thank you in advance.

and I hope Italy will start making Bambinos ..... it is a charming country, and being the soccer fan that I am, I wish they bring more Baggios, Del Pieros, Fieris to the delight of soccer fans.  

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #144 on: March 19, 2004, 04:11:34 PM »


That is interesting....do you have any links for further readings ?
I have been searching for a good, detailed book on the Battle of Tours for a looooooooong time now, and could not find....any suggestions ?
Thank you in advance.

No, unfortunately, I don't have much.  Tan Books publishes a biography of Pope St. Pius V and has a brief account of the Battle of Lepanto:

Robin Anderson, St. Pius V: His Life, Times and Miracles

There is also a secular history of various battles throughout Western history:

Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, New York, Doubleday, cy2001.

I have not (yet) read this book but Lepanto is one of the battles discussed.


There is always the on-line Catholic Encyclopedia:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

It has articles on "Lepanto" &  "Charles Martel" but not a whole lot of detail on Tours.  I believe the actual battle that turned back the Moors was the Battle of Poitiers.

I too would desire to read a lengthy account of Tours/Poitiers and Lepanto.  Lepanto was not the big victory that most people proclaim.  The Turkish fleet was still very powerful and in a subsequent year came out to challenge the Christian fleet but the challenge was not taken up.

Jim C.


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« Reply #145 on: March 20, 2004, 12:07:34 AM »

Thank you, JBC.

I still wonder about the fate of the whole World if it wasn't for Charles Martel incredible victory. I don't believe in military or political saints, and I don't think he was a saint, but a man of greatest influence on history of mankind.

Maybe "brother" Mel Gibson should entertain the thought of producing a movie about The Battle of Tours/Poitiers.

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #146 on: March 20, 2004, 12:40:17 AM »


Maybe "brother" Mel Gibson should entertain the thought of producing a movie about The Battle of Tours/Poitiers.

Funny that you have mentioned this!  In my latest National Catholic Register, some Catholic group has publically called for Mel to make a movie of St. Francis of Assissi.  I'm not one for commercializing religion and religious subjects, but if the Passion can spin off some decent films on religious subjects--not that trash that passes for religious films on commercial TV (like that Judas "joke")--then maybe it would be a good thing.

Too early to tell yet if this would be a good idea.  I too wouldn't mind a rousing "war flick" about the rescue of European Civilization.  Also a movie about the "Battle of Vienna" in the 1680's would be good too.  Might anger the Turks though!  Good!


Jim C.
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« Reply #147 on: March 20, 2004, 02:38:04 AM »

If religious movies are directed under christian historian or at least fair secular scholars revision and without any extra flavor like the 50's and 60's screen hits, I think it will be great. It is at least benefitting for the spirit and it gives a great account of the true christianity.

I remember a movie about St.Paul and St.Peter, which I watched back home on smuggled tapes but I can;t seem to find it anywhere. It was a good movie.
How great would be for christians, evangelizers specially, to see the "passion" and love this great Saint had for the Lord Christ.

What about the life of St.George ?

And there are other great accounts in the history of the Churches in the East, which is not known to the West because of lack of publicity.

I don't see why the christian movies won't continue. It had made a great profit, so at least financially, it is feasible.

If it angers muslims, then the following quote by St.John Chrysostom is right on target :" Sick people are injured by healthy food".

Peace,
Stavro
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« Reply #148 on: March 20, 2004, 03:11:36 AM »

Speaking of Allah, the aforementioned book states that the word itself comes from the Aramaic.  

Yes, that is one theory.  It is distinct from the argument that 'Allah' is a contraction of 'the God'.  Rather, it is an Arabised form of God's proper name in Aramaic.

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« Reply #149 on: March 20, 2004, 03:44:45 AM »

The different Semitic names also share the same root, the letters 'alef', 'lam', and 'ha'--all consonants, in conformity with Semitic alphabetical systems that do not rest on vowels.  They are the same.

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« Reply #150 on: March 22, 2004, 08:22:21 PM »

Starvo,

The movie you referenced is "Peter & Paul", Anthony Hopkins play a excellent St. Paul, I taped it from TV it played on CBS I think. I watch it and Jesus of Nazareth during Lent every year.

If you need help locating it let me know.


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« Reply #151 on: March 23, 2004, 11:23:53 AM »

Here is an interesting article, written from the Roman Catholic perspective, on the Assisi prayer meetings.
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« Reply #152 on: March 23, 2004, 11:35:10 AM »

The following is an excerpt from the article above.

Quote
A "Loyal Son" Protests

Can a loyal Catholic ever criticize the Pope? Can it ever be his duty to voice such criticism publicly? These agonizing questions have been presenting themselves increasingly in recent years to a good number of Catholics who, like myself, do not consider themselves in any way dissenters. We accept all the authentic teachings of the Magisterium, including those since Vatican Council II, but feel deeply troubled by the policy and practice of the present pontiff in regard to non-Christian religions.

As a priest who teaches theology at a pontifical university, I am dismayed at the January 24 inter-religious peace gathering in Assisi. It is well-known that before the first such gathering in 1986 (which played no small part in provoking the rupture between Archbishop Lefebvre and the Holy See in 1988), a number of cardinals privately warned John Paul II of the imprudence of such an innovation - utterly unheard of in 2,000 years of Church history. Their concern was shared by thousands of faithful priests, religious and Catholic laity. Perhaps if we had publicly voiced that concern, instead of remaining silent out of fear and human respect, His Holiness might have felt the need for greater restraint in the next millennium.

Despite certain precautionary nuances against syncretism (the Assisi meetings were officially described as not being a case of "coming to pray together," but as "coming together to pray"), the practical effect in the minds of millions of observers worldwide can only have been to create or reinforce the impression that the Roman Catholic Church now endorses what Pope Pius XI described as "the view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy." But while vast numbers of Catholics now see nothing much wrong with that view, Pius XI declared that those who support and promote it are "lapsing gradually into naturalism and atheism" and therefore are "totally falling away from the religion revealed by God" (cf. Mortalium Animos, 1928).

What other impression than a verdict of "more-or-less-good-and-praiseworthy" is left when the Roman pontiff invites Jewish, Islamic, pantheistic and polytheistic religious leaders to come and practice their respective forms of worship inside Catholic churches and religious houses, offering to each group space and facilities for that purpose? How does such an invitation escape the charge of formal cooperation in the objectively sinful practice of pagan worship? How will it in any way help to persuade those invited non-Christians, and their millions of followers, that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour?

Is Assisi really justified by Vatican II's cautious recognition in Nostra Aetate that non-Christian religions "often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men" or by its call for "prudent...discussion and collaboration with members of other religions"? Are such gatherings (not to mention such unheard-of gestures as the Pope's public kissing of the Koran on May 14, 1999) apt to give any practical reflection to the Catholic truth that the "belief" of non-Christians is not the theological virtue of faith - recently confirmed as definitive by John Paul II in Dominus Jesus?

I offer these comments, not in a spirit of defiance, but as a loyal son of the Holy Father who prays for him daily, who assents to all his formal teachings as Vicar of Christ, but who also grieves for the scandal and confusion caused by radically innovative practices which do not seem to reflect those teachings.

Fr. Brian W Harrison, O.S., S.T.D.
Ponce, Puerto Rico

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« Reply #153 on: March 23, 2004, 12:35:02 PM »

Dear Linus:

Not to diminish the value of Fr. Harrison's view on the subject, he is just but one of the many Roman Catholics who thinks that Pope John Paul II went overboard by "kissing" the Koran.

However, I sincerely doubt that the good priest-professor's view represents "the Roman Catholic perspective."

Amado

(BTW, Fr. Brian W. Harrison is a convert from Protestantism, whose story is one of those featured in CHN International hosted by Marcus Grodi, another convert. Both are a good addition, though!)
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« Reply #154 on: March 23, 2004, 01:43:17 PM »

Maybe I should have said a Roman Catholic perspective rather than the Roman Catholic perspective.

Are you saying that most Roman Catholics view favorably the Pope's kissing the Koran and/or the prayer meetings with pagans at Assisi?

That would be a disappointing thing to learn.

Actually, Fr. Harrison did not write the whole article. That excerpt from him was a quote from the article. The article itself is a lot longer and more thorough.
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« Reply #155 on: March 23, 2004, 02:36:22 PM »

Dear Linus:

No, I am not saying that most Roman Catholics view favorably the Pope's kissing the Koran and/or the prayer meetings with pagans at Assisi.

It just that Catholics in general are not THAT alarmed about the Pope's showing respect for all religious beliefs. After all, this is the thrust of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the "orther" hallmark of Pope John Paul II"s pontificate aside from ecumenical dialogue with other Chrisitans, most especially with the Orthodox!

To me, at least,  the interreligious gathering at Assisi for prayers for world peace is a non-issue and the event bodes well for religious tolerance.  

I like to think that the evangelization efforts of the Catholic Church in Muslim Indonesia and sub-Saharan Africa are in a great way aided by our adherence to the peaceful accommodation of local religious customs and beliefs, and not the coercive way, as practised in the olden days, of preaching the Gospels.

I could be wrong but the success of the Catholic Church in traditionally Muslim countries speaks volumes.

Amado
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« Reply #156 on: March 24, 2004, 12:10:24 AM »

Dear Linus:

No, I am not saying that most Roman Catholics view favorably the Pope's kissing the Koran and/or the prayer meetings with pagans at Assisi.

It just that Catholics in general are not THAT alarmed about the Pope's showing respect for all religious beliefs. After all, this is the thrust of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the "orther" hallmark of Pope John Paul II"s pontificate aside from ecumenical dialogue with other Chrisitans, most especially with the Orthodox!

To me, at least,  the interreligious gathering at Assisi for prayers for world peace is a non-issue and the event bodes well for religious tolerance.  

I like to think that the evangelization efforts of the Catholic Church in Muslim Indonesia and sub-Saharan Africa are in a great way aided by our adherence to the peaceful accommodation of local religious customs and beliefs, and not the coercive way, as practised in the olden days, of preaching the Gospels.

I could be wrong but the success of the Catholic Church in traditionally Muslim countries speaks volumes.

Amado

Are apparent evangelistic successes worth any price, even the betrayal of the Apostolic Tradition and - from the Roman Catholic perspective - the betrayal of the statements and policies of previous popes?

Tolerance in religion means not harming others although we disagree with them.

It does not mean promoting their beliefs, providing a platform for them, and making it appear as if Christianity were just one more religious alternative among other valid choices.
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« Reply #157 on: March 24, 2004, 08:40:34 AM »

The man kissed a book that denies that Jesus is the Son of God and then does not publicly repent or ask for the forgiveness of his flock.

Disgusting.



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« Reply #158 on: March 24, 2004, 11:17:16 AM »

The man kissed a book that denies that Jesus is the Son of God and then does not publicly repent or ask for the forgiveness of his flock.

Disgusting.

Apparently that is just the tip of the ecumenical iceberg, Tom.

Pope John Paul II is also supposed to have done the following:

  • recited psalms with Jews while visiting the synagogue of Rome (April 13, 1986)
  • invited Catholics and Jews to prepare together for the coming of the Messiah (June 24, 1986)
  • engaged in dialogues with the high priests and witch doctors of Voodoo (February 4, 1993)
  • took part in Animist rites in the “Sacred Forest” in Togo (August 8, 1985)
  • had the sacred Tilac put on his forehead by a priestess of Shiva in Bombay (February 2, 1986)
  • and invited representatives of the “main religions” to Assisi to pray for peace (October 27, 1986, and January 24, 2002).
Here is another excerpt from the article at the link I posted above:

Quote
For example, during prayer with an African Animist on August 8, 1985, John Paul writes: "The prayer meeting in the sanctuary at Lake Togo was particularly striking. There I prayed for the first time with animists." In 1986, in New Delhi, India, John Paul stated: "Collaboration between all religions is necessary for the good of mankind. Today, as Hindus, Buddhists, Jansenists, and Christians, we unite to proclaim the truth about man" (La Croix, Feb 4, 1986). In his 1991 encyclical Centissimus Annus (60, 3), John Paul states: "I am convinced that the various religions, now and in the future, will have a preeminent role in preserving peace and in building a society worthy of man." In 62, 3 he writes: "...the Church will be faithful in making man's way her own." On April 19, 1998, during the homily of a con-celebrated Mass, in front of Indian women offering incense and flowers, John Paul said: "We would like to listen to what the spirit is saying to the Churches, so that they can proclaim Christ in the context of Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism and all those ways of thinking and living which were already rooted in Asia before the preaching of the Gospel arrived there" (L' Osservatore Romano, April 22, 1998). At the same meeting, John Paul stated: "Gandhi taught us that if all men and women, whatever the differences among them, embrace the truth, in the respect and dignity unique to every human being, a New World Order, a civilization of love can be attained." On January 21, 1995, in a meeting with Buddhists, John Paul stated: "This meeting signified togetherness. We are together; it is necessary to be together; not to be together is dangerous" (Man of the Millennium, p. 149). On November 17, 1999, in his general audience, John Paul stated: "It was important to reaffirm the lively desire of the Church for a fruitful dialogue among the believers of all religions" (The Catholic World Report, "Dialogue and evangelization," Jan. 2000, p. 9) (emphasis mine). "I love all religions...If people become better Hindus, better Moslems, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there. They come closer and closer to God..." (Interview with Mother Teresa, 1989). In February 2000, John Paul stated: "May Saint John the Baptist protect Islam" (General Audience Address, May 5, 1999).

Note that last quote especially.

Quote
Pope John Paul II: "May Saint John the Baptist protect Islam."

If it is accurate, what can such a prayer possibly mean but betrayal?

May God destroy Islam and bring those deceived by it to Christ.

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« Reply #159 on: March 24, 2004, 11:42:49 AM »

"Whether we are Christians, Moslems or Jews, we are children of God and our efforts as peacemakers will be blessed and rewarded by the one God whom we share as common Creator." (Remarks by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew "New Leadership and the Promise of Peace," October 15, 2000).

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8072.asp

There is also an upcoming "Interfaith Conference of the Three Monotheistic Religions" at the EP.

http://www.oca.org/pages/news/news.asp?ID=563
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« Reply #160 on: March 24, 2004, 12:43:00 PM »

"Whether we are Christians, Moslems or Jews, we are children of God and our efforts as peacemakers will be blessed and rewarded by the one God whom we share as common Creator." (Remarks by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew "New Leadership and the Promise of Peace," October 15, 2000).

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8072.asp

There is also an upcoming "Interfaith Conference of the Three Monotheistic Religions" at the EP.

http://www.oca.org/pages/news/news.asp?ID=563

Certainly the EP is not above criticism.

I found the first article somewhat troubling, although it did not really contain the sort of blatantly pluralistic remarks attributed to JPII.

This one was particularly bothersome, however:

Quote
Patriarch Bartholomew: "... upon all men and women of all ages, religions, races, creeds, and nations of our planet Earth peace and goodwill, beseeching our great and loving God that He grant to all of us the wisdom to truly see one another as we have been created, namely as brothers, sisters, and children of the Lord." (The Orthodox Observer July-August, 2001, p.9).

The second article spoke of a meeting between SCOBA and SCOOCH,  bishops of Non-Chalcedonian groups comprising the latter.

Genuine dialogue with other Christians, minus doctrinal compromise, is a good thing, a thing I don't think any Orthodox Christian would criticize.

In the real world even dialogue with non-Christians is sometimes necessary in order to avoid intolerance, conflict, and violence.

But there is a world of difference between dialogue and fraternization, between communication and prostitution, between refraining from spitting on the Koran and bowing to and kissing it.
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« Reply #161 on: March 24, 2004, 02:03:20 PM »

There is also an upcoming "Interfaith Conference of the Three Monotheistic Religions" at the EP.

http://www.oca.org/pages/news/news.asp?ID=563

What, not the Zoroastrians??
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« Reply #162 on: March 24, 2004, 04:36:33 PM »

Do Zoroastrians count as monotheists are diotheists?  They believe that Ahura Mazda will triumph but that evil is the creation of  Angrha Mainyu, thus raising the status of their evil one to co-creator with their lord.  It seems they are diotheists to me.

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« Reply #163 on: March 24, 2004, 05:12:22 PM »

Do Zoroastrians count as monotheists are diotheists?  They believe that Ahura Mazda will triumph but that evil is the creation of  Angrha Mainyu, thus raising the status of their evil one to co-creator with their lord.  It seems they are diotheists to me.

Well, then we are diothiests too. Think of Angrha Mainyu as more like Satan or the serpent in the garden; he isn't a god.
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« Reply #164 on: March 24, 2004, 05:18:00 PM »

I would call them monotheists.  One God with an enemy who is powerful but not as powerful as He is and who He will destroy at the end of time.  Seems to me a lot like Christianity and Judaism.
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« Reply #165 on: March 24, 2004, 05:37:14 PM »

What, not the Zoroastrians??


I may be wrong, but I think Keble was being facetious.
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« Reply #166 on: March 24, 2004, 05:47:41 PM »

I may be wrong, but I think Keble was being facetious.

Only sort of.  Grin
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« Reply #167 on: March 27, 2004, 07:02:44 AM »

Linus,

   Did you get those other "attributions" from the 101 heresies of John Paul II? If so, not really a credible source.
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« Reply #168 on: March 29, 2004, 10:57:03 AM »

Linus,

   Did you get those other "attributions" from the 101 heresies of John Paul II? If so, not really a credible source.

No, I did not. I guess that is the title of a book. Anyway, I've never heard of it.

If you are speaking of the Pope's questionable ecumenical activities, I would be glad to see some credible evidence that shows he did none of those things.

If you are speaking of the quotes from JPII, those came from the article by Robert Sungenis at the link I posted.

If you or anyone else thinks that my purpose in starting this thread was to attack JPII and/or the papacy, you're way off base. I respect the papal office, even if I am critical of some of JPII's actions as its present occupant.

When I started this thread I was hoping someone would provide a good explanation of these things. I was also hoping someone could show me how RCs can be critical of the actions of a specific pope without rejecting the papacy itself as a divine institution.

The responses have been as predictably defensive as they have been disappointing.

What happens when the RCC is subjected to a really bad egg as pope, like another Alexander Borgia?

Will everyone still be making excuses for him?
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« Reply #169 on: March 29, 2004, 01:02:02 PM »


When I started this thread I was hoping someone would provide a good explanation of these things. I was also hoping someone could show me how RCs can be critical of the actions of a specific pope without rejecting the papacy itself as a divine institution.

The responses have been as predictably defensive as they have been disappointing.

What happens when the RCC is subjected to a really bad egg as pope, like another Alexander Borgia?

Will everyone still be making excuses for him?

As (yet) a Baptist inquirer, I would like some good answers to this as well.

So far, I've read WTTE that "it's no big deal" or that "it wasn't ex cathedra".  Like Linus, I don't find those answers convincing.  For can a pope really make such syncretic comments and perform such blasphemous gestures and it have no bearing on his fitness to be the "successor of St. Peter"?  There have been anti-Popes in the past, why is JPII not considered one for suc statements and actions?

(And out of curiosity, just how many "ex cathedra" statements have been made in the past and where are these pronouncements officially listed?)
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"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
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