Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Catholicism responds to Islam

Saw this post over at Blonde Sagacity (awesome blog, and a beautiful Philly gal to boot) and I had to expound a bit on it. Seems Ratzinger (current Pope for the non-catholics) has grown some balls on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church and has decided to stand up to Islam. Here's the article. Now you have to think about this for a minute, this is potentially a dangerous stance for 2 reasons.
  1. Catholics in muslim countries will get even worse treatment then they currently do. Islam can not and does not brook any disagreements, especially in their countries.
  2. This raises the specter of direct attacks against the Church and it's branches whereever they may be.
Now for those who read the article you might be tempted to say "that's not the Pope standing up, that's a few priests". You would be right on the literal but not the figurative. For one thing this quote.
“Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It’s our duty to protect ourselves.” Thus spoke Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Vatican’s supreme court, referring to Muslims.
A statement such as this would not of been said without the Pope deciding it needed to be said. The reason that it was done this way, rather then directly by the Pope, is in my opinion due to a mix of worry over reasons 1 and 2. The RCC is very politically savvy and this gives the Pope a chance to backstep if the reaction by Islam is anywhere near the level of the Mohammed Cartoons. Now the RCC is still a very large ship and it turns very slowly, so statements like the above just didn't start, even in light of current developments. They actually started under the last Pope.

Rumblings of this could be heard already in John Paul II’s time. For example, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican equivalent of foreign minister, noted in late 2003 that “There are too many majority Muslim countries where non-Muslims are second-class citizens.” Tauran pushed for reciprocity: “Just as Muslims can build their houses of prayer anywhere in the world, the faithful of other religions should be able to do so as well.”

I've heard it said and read, that we need to understand that Islam, as one of the youngest global religions is still in it's infancy and is no more barbaric then the RCC was 600 years ago. Personally, I feel that is a straw man arguement. The world was much less civilized 600 years ago, both it and the RCC advanced in culture and in behavior. Islam has not advanced since the days of Saladin.
The real test will be what the RCC does when Islam responds. Even though I am a "recovering catholic" I think that it's important that the organizations of civilization stand up to the barbaric international jihadist movement.
I like the direction the Catholics are going. They are turning into the most progressive religion. They are actually embracing science (evolution, and an ancient earth...though they want scientists to back off abiogenesis studies).

Now if they could only start like condoms.
The RCC is very very smart, but they move slow. You will see more and more people in authority in the RCC come out against Islam without the Pope every saying anything. The idea is to take the temperature of the responses and gradually make the move. Look here to see what the Archbishop in Sydney said.
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