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september 22, 2006 (0043us)
faith and reason
As 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.
When 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.
Benedict XVI (2)The 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.
The anxiety about reason raised by Benedict XVI in Ratisbon, I am of the opinion 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 and Easterners.

copyright 2006
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24Sep06 43usC1
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,
Yours Sincerely

28Sep06 43usC2
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
No 3/663
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.  In this regard, we would like to clarify to Your Holiness some essential points that Eastern Christians live by and believe in.  More than any 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 both the 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 - as you 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 to 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 right, the full right, to practice his religious rites as he wishes.  There is 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 Middle Ages.
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 rites. 
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
Ignatius IV
Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East

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