|september 22, 2006
faith and reason
a result of my entry #0042 my mailbox has filled with harsh or
supercilious Emails, personal reproaches rather than comments. This
following answer is suitable for all of them, I think.
I very promptly told the news of Benedict XVI's statement, made in
Ratisbon, that Islam was blameworthy for its violence and that the
Muslim world had already responded angrily, I only wanted my readers to
be the first to hear it. My entry #0042 was indeed published late on
September 15 night, on the day the pope gave the offending lecture, but
for all that I did have some idea of it. In the daytime a Muslim
brother had told me the event and Islam's first reactions; an English
copy of the offending text was attached to his eMail — News travel very
fast nowadays —. It was a lengthy theologico-philosophic lecture, in
which somebody had underlined the few uncalled-for sentences.
pope's lecture was on the perpetual dualism of faith and reason. I was
aware of this on September 15, but today I take some time to say a few
things about it — because I do not "take the convenient shortcuts the
press usually takes, so I can spare myself the trouble of thinking." I
think, please have no doubts about it, I think, but as far as this
website is concerned, which is just a blog, but not a compendium of
metaphysical thoughts, I've striven to keep level with everybody reads
it. I exceptionally post this additional entry, though, to show those
critical of me that I'm capable of having opinions.
about reason raised by Benedict XVI in Ratisbon, I am of the
that traditional christiandom, whether based on the concepts of Nicea
(325) or those of Rome or those of Jean Calvin, is going to need it
some day (a day inexorably bound to come) in order to repeal some
dogmas like the trinity — the God with three heads (Rev of Arès
23/7) — or the blood — vacuous (or empty) is the blood (Rev of
Arès XXXII/9) —
shed on the cross for the redeeming of the world's sins. Therefore, I
like the state of anxiety for reason in all domains that Benedict XVI
is in, so that his church and other churches may re-read the Scripture
in its real plainness and reinterpret it.
What I find is to be
regretted in Benedict XVI's lecture in Ratisbon is that he gave it as
Professor Joseph Ratzinger — he had indeed been a professor in that
university —, but not as a pope in charge of worldwide
responsabilities. He should have remembered it and refrained from
mentioning in his discussionon of reason another discussion dating back
to 1390 or so, once held between a Muslim scholar and Byzantine emperor
Manuel II, who, they say, had concluded it by, "...God dislikes the
blood (shed by Muhammad, which) is not acting with reason, (so it is)
contrary to God's nature." Had Benedict when preparing his lecture been
innocent of any ulterior motive by selecting this quote? Hadn't he had
the possibility of quoting something similar but concerning the blood
plentifully shed by Christians in History? I don't want to judge
Benedict XVI on mere intent, but I insist that he in Ratisbon was a
perfectly adequate illustration of the straw and the big
log metaphor in the Sermon on the Mount.
No, I never fell into line with the men that throughout Islam have
taken advantage of the pope's statement and prompted Muslims to set
fire to churches and even kill an innocent nun in Somalia. I said
nothing but that Benedict XVI should have thought of the probability of
his lecture bringing about and "justifying" misdeeds by islamist
rioters in view of the awfully strained relations between Westerners
|Post a comment
Hello brother Michel, I personally believe the pope has made a
calculated cry to war to all catholics worldwide. How can a man in his
position with all the PR people and other advisors that he is
surrounded by have not seen the effects his comments would have?
There is no other reason for him as the pope or even as an
ex-University Lecturer to have made such a blaming and provoking
remark. The Bush administration have called their trump card to get the
rest of the christian world to help them destroy the Arab infidel.
I feel so helpless for humanity, all of those innocent people who are
going to suffer because of a timely placed.....cry to war.
God forgive these obsessed men. I am afraid I am not yet capable of
such a great feat,
As I found very interesting the letter from the Greek Orthodox
Patriarch of Antioch on the French entry of your freesoulblog, I
researched about the history of this ancient church and I found the
English version of the letter on their website:
A Message from His Beatitude Ignatius IV (Hazim)
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East
to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
17th September, 2006-09-18
To Your Most Venerable Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Salutations and best wishes for your health:
We have followed with extreme anxiety your statements and the angry
reactions that accompanied them over the course of the last days.
this regard, we would like to clarify to Your Holiness some essential
points that Eastern Christians live by and believe in. More than
others, they have knowledge, experience and understanding of
Christianity and Islam together, for they have been in a state of
coexistence, cooperation and harmony from the beginning of the Islamic
mission until now.
We have established the best of relationships, built on respect for
religions and for everyone's freedom to practice rites as he wishes and
according to his belief in the teachings of his religion and the
principles of his divine law. This springs from the fact that
essential and preeminent relationship between Christianity and Islam,
and the culture of individual coexistence, have sprung from the East,
from this land of sacred religions. Pope John Paul II praised -
know - this coexistence and relationship, which he knew and read about,
and which he observed during his historical visit to Syria. The
accounts of this visit, what was written and what was said about it
have become part of Vatican history and one of the stages of
development that the late Pope desired.
We do not wish to plunge into discussing the relationship of
Christianity to Islam and Islam to Christianity - a relationship filled
with standpoints consecrating coexistence and mutual respect, which we
cannot pass by in these circumstances. Likewise, we do not wish
recall that the longest Surah appearing in the Noble Qur'an speaks with
emphatic respect and appreciation for Christianity.
We, however would like to point out that talking about religion as an
academic subject of research does not rise to the truth that religion is
a doctrine and a faith practiced by believers. Everyone has the
the full right, to practice his religious rites as he wishes.
no room here to consider religion as more of an intellectual topic than
a matter of belief, for discussing it in this way touches the
understanding and belief.
We are hoping that you may take part in raising the essence of
religions from the field of dialogues, intellectual efforts and
citations that have been effaced by time, and that there may be a
complete rapprochement of these doctrinal fixed points of the religions
from a contemporary perspective, and not from the perspective of the
We assert that religion is not so much for the practice of intellectual
and philosophical refinement as it is for living and coexisting
in love, so far as this harmonizes with beliefs, divine laws and
This is what has specially marked the East, which we have lived in from
the beginning of the heavenly messages until now.
We ask for your prayers and we extend to you our best wishes.
Ignatius IV, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East