Author Topic: Can Someone Explain This?  (Read 31012 times)

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Offline Linus7

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Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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?

Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2004, 03:23:23 PM »
Furthermore, how do we know this isn't an example of Adobe Photoshop magic?

Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2004, 03:40:40 PM »
Argh, you guys posted while I was writing my post!
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

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Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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 :)

Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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 :)

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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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2004, 04:01:59 PM »
Some things are not worthy of respect.

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Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

Offline Jakub

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.)

Offline lellimore

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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?

Offline Jakub

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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 :)

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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Offline The Caffeinator

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

Offline lellimore

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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?

Offline prodromos

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

Offline ambrosemzv

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline ambrosemzv

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.  ;)
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.  ;)

Really?

Is that true?

Is there no way?
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Frobie

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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".
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

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Offline Linus7

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline James2

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.

James

Offline Amadeus

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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! ;)

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

Amado

Offline carpo-rusyn

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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.   ;D  

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.

Carpo-Rusyn

Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« 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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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re:Can Someone Explain This?
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2004, 06:49:31 PM »
Posted by Mor Ephrem:Wrong! ;)

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

Amado

I knew that!  :D
"Do not tempt the Mor thy Mod."

Mor no longer posts on OCNet.  He follows threads, posts his responses daily, occasionally starts threads, and responds to private messages when and as he wants.  But he really isn't around anymore.