Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Just a kiss.
The Koran and Assisi.
This image of Pope John Paul II is one of the chief images that send traditional Catholics, as well as sedavacantists way over the edge. There are albums full of other images from around the world and the Assisi interfaith gathering to add fuel to the fire. They will not be very happy with Pope Benedict XVI today either.
What is the problem? I don't know why JPII kissed a holy book of another faith, one that is anti-Christian in nature. This brilliant man knew what he was doing...did he not? No, I do not think he realized that many traditional Catholics would be deeply scandalized. Seeing him thus appeared to contradict everything his predecessors - Pius XII and beyond, ever said about false ecumenism and pan-religious endorsements. Pius IX, Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII all warned against much of what we witness today. It generates confusion, division as well as mistrust amongst Catholics.
Today Pope Benedict endorsed interfaith prayer, as well as the Assisi conference. Cautioning against relativism and abuse of course, yet how does one control that? Especially in the trickle down effect that insinuates itself in more or less dissident parishes, such as St. Joan of Arc, St. Francis Cabrini, or Pax Christi? The clarity of the faith of old is obscured by vague notions of ecumenism and relativism. (Check out the "trickle down" effect on Rorate Coeli - it's an example of interreligious celebration that could only have precedence in the Assisi event - a black dead chicken was placed upon the altar of sacrifice in the cathedral.)
Pope Benedict had this to say regarding the Assisi conference today,
"In his message, Pope Benedict said Pope John Paul II had correctly perceived the value of having leaders of different faiths gather to send a message that true religion builds bridges and has nothing to do with violence. (Trads only consider 'true religion' to be the Roman Catholic faith.) His invitation for a choral witness to peace served to clarify, without any possibility of misunderstanding, that religion can only be a source of peace," he said. (Assisi caused enormous misunderstandings.)
The 1986 meeting and those that followed have also highlighted the importance of prayer in changing human hearts and helping to clear the often difficult path to peace, the pope said."We need this 'education to peace' more than ever, especially looking at the new generations," the pope said."Many young people in areas of the world marked by conflict are educated in sentiments of hatred and vengeance, in ideological contexts that cultivate the seeds of ancient animosities and prepare hearts for future violence," he said.
The pope addressed bluntly the accusation, aired in some conservative church circles, that the Assisi meeting represented an injudicious blending of different faith elements and prayer expressions. (Gosh! There was a lot of abuse going on there right under the Pope's eyes - the impression is what it was.) He noted that 20 years ago Pope John Paul emphasized that the religious leaders had not come together to seek a religious consensus or "negotiate" their faith convictions.
Pope Benedict said the policy chosen in 1986, which continues today, is for the various religions to pray in their own distinct way even as they gather to witness in the same place. (Many trads often say, "Pray to whom? Some of the gods of gentiles are demons.") In this way, confusion is avoided, he said. "The convergence of diverse representatives should not give the impression of a concession to that relativism which negates the very meaning of truth and the possibility of taking it in," he said. (Yet confusion is what was generated.)
The pope also offered a historical perspective on the 20 years that have followed the first interreligious prayer meeting. He said the fall of European communism and the promise of a more cooperative globalized economy generated hope for a new era of peace."Unfortunately, this dream of peace did not come true. On the contrary, the third millennium opened with scenarios of terrorism and violence that show no sign of dissolving," he said." [snip: CNS]
Trads are not going to be very happy with the Holy Father today, even if he's wearing the same hat Pius IX wore. (It made it's debut today. Pretty cool, huh?)