Tag Archives: Pope Benedict

Handling of Child abuse cases may have led to Ireland closing embassy at the Vatican

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image of a Celtic CrossIreland announced on Thursday that is was closing its embassy at the Vatican – headquarters of the Catholic Church – due to economic reasons. However some believe it was the result of strained relations between the majority Catholic Ireland and the Church over a bad report about the handling of child abuse cases involving the Church.
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Pope knows Nazis but doesn’t know what atheism is

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Pope Benedict XVI is visiting the United Kingdom this week. It is the first state visit of a Pope to the UK since 1982. Not only is there the issue of clerical child abuse to deal with but Benedict stepped in the crap by suggesting that the Nazis and Hitler were atheists. Obviously he knows about Nazis having been in the Hitler Youth but he doesn’t know his history very well.

The Pope said on 9/16 in front of Queen Elizabeth II:

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate.

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI Palace of Holyroodhouse – Edinburgh Thursday, 16 September 2010

Jaw drops on floor….

Even a middle school student of history KNOWS that Hitler and the Nazis were NEVER atheist or anti-theist. NEVER were.

Religious conservatives like Pope Benedict like to rewrite history and attempt to associate Hitler with atheism since it fits their narrative. In fact Hitler was another in a long line of Catholic fascists in history – the same religion that gave us the Spanish Inquisition.

All one has to do is read what Hitler wrote and said during his time:

“I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.”

Adolf Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936

And that is just one of many quotes proving the Pope’s comments were ignorant.

Evan Harris in The Guardian wrote:

Secularism is unfairly characterised and attacked by religious leaders as a way of seeking to protect their privileges.

Secularism is not atheism (lack of belief in God) and nor is it humanism (a nonreligious belief system). It is a political movement seeking specific policy end-points. Many secularists are religious and many religious people – recognising the value of keeping government and religion separate – are secular.

A secularist manifesto

The Catholic Church has been good at collaborating in order to preserve their power and privilege. The Church did that with the Nazis when they signed The Reichskonkordat

This agreement did some of the following:

* Unhindered correspondence between the Holy See and German Catholics. (Article 4)
* The right of the church to collect church taxes. (Article 13)
* The oath of allegiance of the bishops: “Ich schwöre und verspreche, die verfassungsmässig gebildete Regierung zu achten und von meinem Klerus achten zu lassen” (English: I swear and vow to honor the constitutional government and to make my clergy honor it; Article 16)
* State services to the church can be abolished only in mutual agreement. (Article 18)
* Catholic religion is taught in school (article 21) and teachers for Catholic religion can be employed only with the approval of the bishop (article 22).
* Protection of Catholic organizations and freedom of religious practice. (Article 31)
* Clerics may not be members of or be active for political parties. (Article 32)

A secret annex relieved clerics from military duty in the case that mandatory military service should be reinstated.

There is some feeling that the Pope slandered secularism and atheism to distract from the clerical child abuse issue in the media. That could be a reason he made such a stupid statement about Nazi history.

Really? The Pope is the US?

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Really?

The Pope came to the US? Really?

President Bush met him at the airport, really?

The guy got a 21-gun salute – really?

They had the US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum play for the Pope – really?

Had a state dinner too – really?

CNN became the Catholic News Network for the day – really?

They even showed a Mass live.

The Pope is against the death penalty and the war – Really?

But regular citizens who hold those views are called traitors….

Really?

Defending the Pope?

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You may want to print and frame this post after you read it. Why?

Because I am about to defend the Pope in his row with Muslims over a speech he gave last week when he quoted a medieval text which had some sharp words about Islam.

Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech at the University of Regensburg, entitled Faith, Reason and the University: Memories and Reflections. He did quote the medieval ruler Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus who did describe Islam in less than flattering terms.

What outraged Muslims and others failed to note is the context the quote was used. Like most leaders of the world, the Pope released a text copy of the speech to the press. Here is the offending part:

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read… of part of the dialogue carried on – perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara – by the erudite Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.

In the seventh conversation…the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God,” he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats.”

Key excerpts: The Pope’s speech

Back in medieval times Islam and Christianity tried to convert each other by the sword so maybe the Pope’s mistake is he didn’t mention that fact.

Another blog, by Russell Shaw, pointed out Christians forced other cultures to convert.

After reading Pope Benedict’s apology, I then thought of the predominantly Catholic conquistadors who forcefully invaded the Americas five centuries ago. On horseback, subjugating and plundering the great cultures of the time by means of swords, guns, and perhaps unintentionally- germs as well.

That’s Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of the Incas, at the top of this post.

After the conquests of the Mayas, Incas, Aztecs and so many other wonderous cultures, the priests did the conversions to the church of the time. And while the priests did not carry swords, their actions were facilitated by those who did.

Sadly, a similar process was repeated in North America. Primarily Protestant Europeans came here, stole the land from the Native Americans, subjugated and in some cases destroyed their cultures. And while the missionaries did not carry swords, the ones who paved the way carried swords, guns, and germs. Don’t even get me started on the slave dealers, and slave owners.

Pope Benedict, Now Who Converted Who “By The Sword?”

The point I’m trying to make is that in context of his speech, the Pope was correct in what he was saying “the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable.” Islam shouldn’t get a free pass now. In fact it seems Islam hasn’t give up its violent ways in keeping its faith – noting the churches burned in the West Bank and a nun was murdered in Somalia.

Not that I give the Pope a free pass either even if I don’t agree with the outrage in the Muslim world. I have a problem with this bit of his speech:

In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures.

Well, no that isn’t true. To do so would be to elevate religion where it doesn’t deserve to be. It also seems even trying to discuss the history of religion causes a block on a dialogue of cultures.

The time of religion has passed and when people finally come to that conclusion we will all be better off.