Saturday, 16 September 2006

Anti-Papal Persecution

I wonder how many of the protestors above actually read Pope Benedict's erudite lecture in Regensburg? How many of them realise that, as The Times leader points out, the real target of the address were Western materialists?

None of them, of course - they have been fired up by militant fundamentalists who try to equate the opinion of Manuel II Paleologus, quoted by the Holy Father in an academic context, with official Vatican policy. And, it must be said, the Western media hasn't exactly helped either, with the usual references to the crusades and Inquisition - though it is, I suppose, refreshing to see the Holy Father in the headlines and even on the front page of The Sun.

Ruth Gledhill in today's Times says:
The tragedy of the episode is that the Pope was arguing against the idea that violence can be justified in any religion. He was making the case for the compatibility of reason with religion at a time when fundamentalism is gaining terrifying ground across the religious spectrum. The irony is that the Islamic response illustrates how desperately the world needs to hear his message.
We pray that today's saint, Cornelius, Pope, martyr and scapegoat*, will intercede for the Holy Father and give him strength.

* Pope Cornelius was imprisoned after the Christians were blamed for the Roman plague epidemic of 252. He died from the harshness of his treatment.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Father,
Your leading question is the same one I've been thinking of myself. It appears from news reports and online hearsay that the people most ired are offended not by the Pope's words, but by the words of emperor Manuel II Paleologus.

1:41 pm  

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