Saturday, April 12, 2008

And You Think They Went Nuts Over Some Cartoons

Pope Benedict XVI is sounding at lot more like Urban II. After baptizing a famous Italian Muslim into the Catholic faith on Easter, Pope now plans to call for Islamic terrorists to convert to Christianity. And he will do it at ground zero.

Say what you will about my favorite former Hitler youth, he is no shrinking violet. He may well be buyoed by recent trends that show significant numbers of Muslims in the West converting to Christianity. Whatever may be the case, this today from the Telegraph:

The Pope will pray for the redemption of Islamic terrorists when he visits the site of the September 11 attacks in New York next week.

The pontiff will call for terrorists to convert to Christianity, saying: "Turn to Your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred.

"God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance".

The prayer is likely to further incense the Muslim world, which has already attacked the Pope for publicly converting Magdi Allam, a journalist and one of Italy's most high-profile Muslims, at Easter.

Osama bin Laden accused the Pope of trying to provoke "a new crusade" against Islam.

Aref Ali Nayed, a leading scholar and proponent of peaceful relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Islam, said that there were "genuine questions about the motives, intentions and plans of some of the Pope's advisers on Islam".

He said that religious conversion should not be "made into a triumphalist tool for scoring points".

The Pope's first visit to the United States begins on Tuesday. He will visit Ground Zero on April 20 and the prayer is expected to be the emotional high-point of his tour.

The Pope will also ask for "eternal light and peace to all who died" in the tragedy. His prayer will remember "the heroic first-responders: our firefighters, police officers, emergency service workers… along with all the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy".

Around 3,000 people died in the attacks on the World Trade Centre, including the 19 hijackers. The prayer will also mention the victims "on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania".

The Pope will conclude: "Bring Your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth." He will then sprinkle the crater with holy water and bless the site.

. . . The Pope's itinerary includes a Mass at the baseball stadium, and he will also address the United Nations.

He will visit the White House on the first leg of his trip in Washington DC, although his spokesman said yesterday that he would not attend a state dinner given in his honour.

The Vatican did not offer a reason for his absence.

The Pope will hold talks with President George W Bush, but Cardinal Raffaele Martino, one of the Vatican's most senior prelates, said the Holy See "cannot renounce its own beliefs on this visit, which are a rejection of the [Iraq] war and the constant encouragement of dialogue to resolve differences".

. . . The Vatican has also announced that the Pope will confront the issue of paedophile priests while he is in the United States. Several Catholic organisations have protested that he will not visit Boston, the epicentre of the sex abuse scandal.

One group took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times.

However, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, said that the Pope would address the issue in a speech and that the Church needed "constant purification" over the issue.

Read the entire article. My hat is off to the Pope. He is doing precisely what he should be doing. The West has been subject to a truiumphalist Islam for decades. For the Muslims who are offended by this, I would ask, why must Muslims who convert be considered apostates and sentenced to death? If Islam is the only true religion, why cannot it compete in the world of ideas without using the sword to enforce adherence?

As to the issue of paedophile priests, it was the Pope prior to his acessionion who did much to throw gas on the fire of this nightmare for the American Catholic Church by dismissing the scandal when it first broke. I am glad to hear that he will be addressing it while here.


Joanne said...

Let's hope the Pope doesn't bless America because history shows a blessing from a Pope is pretty much the kiss of death. Sounds strange, but there is plenty of evidence of disaster following the blessing of a Pope.

The Pope antagonizes the followers of Islam; I can't say I blame him - nothing like getting in one's face to make a point. I don't think this Pope is one for backing down. Ugly is as ugly does - we'll see who is the ugliest of them all.

Dinah Lord said...

GW - I think the Pope is proving to be the man to watch in all this.

And weirdly enough, I am actually looking forward to the his visit.

("my favorite former Hitler Youth" hah-hah. I had forgotten about that.)