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Sejs wrote:

Hi Mike,

  • Do you think the Pope in his recent address said too much or not enough?

I think he did not say enough. Since he decided to make a statement, he should have told them off while he was at it.

  • What was the Rome Airport bombing?
  • What was Pan Am 103?
  • What was the Twin Towers attack in New York?

Murder is what these obscenities were, and are, to this day. Radical Islam tenets bespeak that even unspeakable violence in the name of furthering the teachings of Islam is acceptable.

  • How did any of these acts further the cause of Islam?

Perhaps this is what the Holy Father should have said, along with the text he quoted. I was very impressed by that. There must be an incredible amount of information available on Catholicism.


  { Did Pope [Benedict] in his recent address say too much or not enough on Islamic terrorist? }

Mike replied:

Hi Sejs,

Thanks for the comment and question. I'm sure others are interested in what we think as well.

My personal take on the issue is as follows.

The Pope is being threatened by radical Islamics for the very thing he was trying to condemn:

Faith conversion by force.

The theology in this type of Islam is totally different than that of Christianity.

In Christianity there is a loving, Heavenly Father and a loving, incarnate Son, Jesus.  Jesus obeys the Father, not out of force but, because it pleases His Heavenly Father.

The same is true in Judaism, the loving Heavenly Father loves and will always love his Jewish people. Likewise, true Jews love the eternal Father not because they are forced to but because they wish to:

  • worship him,
  • give thanks to him, and
  • ask for petitions

to their Heavenly Father.

What I wish my Jewish brothers and sisters would see is that being Roman Catholic is nothing less than being a fulfilled Jew. We have Passover too, every day of the year!

In contrast, in Islam and radical Islam, there is a [Master/Slave] [relationship/theology] between Allah and the worshipper.

There is a saying I've heard from a Catholic apologist friend of mine, Scott Hahn:

You become like the one you worship.

So the worshippers of Allah wish to force others, as Allah forces his worshippers. The result:

Radical Islam worshippers wish to force all Christians, the Pope included, to be Muslim; whether they want to worship Allah or not.

Muslim worshippers who don't fall into this type of Islam, should look into what the Catholic Church teaches. If you study and read up on what the Catholic Faith is about and, afterward, believe Jesus is not God but a phony, you are free to go on worshipping Allah. We would say it is your choice.

In Christianity, including Catholic Christianity, no one will force you to be a Christian. If you are interested in learning more about what we believe, as Catholics, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Now to answer your question:

  • Do you think the Pope in his recent address said too much or not enough?

He could have said more, but was trying to be prudent.

I do know this is a very smart scholarly pope. Many of the writings of JP II, I'm sure were done with the assistance of Pope Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Ratzinger.

I also sense that he wants very much to carry on the ecumenical gains made by John Paul II. That said: I believe he would never say anything that would hurt TRUE ecumenical dialogue between different faiths.

Hope this answers your question.

If someone wishes to read Our Holy Fathers Lecture at the University of Regensburg they can find it here.


P.S. A colleague brought a column written by Jeff Jacoby titled "Muslim violence" to my attention. Jeff made the following solid comments:

In his lecture, Benedict quoted the late Byzantine emperor Manuel II, who had condemned Islam's militancy with these words: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

In the ensuing uproar, British Muslims demonstrated outside Westminster Cathedral with signs reading "Pope go to Hell" and "Islam will conquer Rome," while the head of the Society of Muslim Lawyers declared that the pope must be "subject to capital punishment." In Iraq, the radical Mujahideen's Army vowed to "smash the crosses in the house of the dog from Rome" and the Mujahideen Shura Council swore to ``continue our jihad and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks." Arsonists in the West Bank set churches on fire, and a group calling itself ``The Sword of Islam" issued a warning: ``If the pope does not appear on TV and apologize for his comments, we will blow up all of Gaza's churches."

In fact, the pope did apologize, more than once. Whether the studied frenzy will now subside remains to be seen. But it's only a matter of time until the next one erupts.

This time it was a 14th-century quote from a Byzantine ruler that set off — or rather, was exploited by Islamist firebrands to ignite — the international demonstrations, death threats, and violence. Earlier this year it was cartoons about Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. Last year it was a Newsweek report, later debunked, that a Koran had been desecrated by a US interrogator in Guantanamo. Before that it was Jerry Falwell's comment on "60 Minutes" that Mohammed was a "terrorist." Back in 1989 it was the publication of Salman Rushdie's satirical novel, "The Satanic Verses."

In every case, the pretext for the Muslim rage was the claim that Islam had been insulted. Freedom of speech was irrelevant: While the rioters and those inciting them routinely insult Christianity, Judaism, and other religions, they demand that no one be allowed to denigrate Islam or its prophet. It is a staggering double standard, and too many in the West seem willing to go along with it. Witness the editorials in US newspapers this week scolding the pope for his speech. Recall the State Department's condemnation of the Danish cartoons last winter.

Of course nobody's faith should be gratuitously affronted. But the real insult to Islam is not a line from a papal speech or a cartoon about Mohammed. It is the violence, terror, and bloodshed that Islamist fanatics unleash in the name of their religion — and the unwillingness of most of the world's Muslims to say or do anything to stop them.

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