“Let us together ask here today for the grace of rediscovering the attraction of following Jesus, of imitating him, of not seeking anyone else but him and his humble love,” the pope said Feb. 5 during Mass at Zayed Sports City, a stadium in Abu Dhabi.
“For here is the meaning of our life: in communion with him and in our love for others,” he added. - CNAI wrote the following on Facebook:
This is amazing. As an American Catholic I am always tempted to be self-reverential regarding the Church and the faith, completely forgetting that there is an entire world of Roman Catholics from many disparate nations for whom the Holy Father is a sign of unity. These events help us step out of our narrow understanding of the faith. The joy of the Catholics living and working on the Arabian Peninsula, far away from their homelands is truly edifying, if not humbling. Viva il papa! - TN
I got a little flack, some Catholics are upset about the Pope signing a document on “Fratellanza Umana per la Pace Mondiale e la convivenza comune… Human Fraternity for world peace and living together” with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahamad al-Tayyib. A dispute has once again arisen over something the document says: "The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom."
Not a problem for me. As I replied to a priest who commented on my post:
I didn't need a footnote for that statement, I'm not highly educated but I do appreciate Thomist thought on the will of God - such a complex, mystery. The whole teaching on 'the distinction of antecedent (inefficacious) will from consequent (efficacious) will' seems to me to help our understanding; but like I said, I'm not well educated. Nevertheless, I at the very least see the good in this, and if I had a shred of doubt, I would in charity at least understand the statement in the sense of God's 'permissive will'. Humanity is in the hand of God, in Him we live and move and have our being. Nothing exists outside His will. The beauty of the Holy Father's pilgrimage is to strengthen our brother and sister Catholics in Muslim territory. To read their comments and joy is a consolation for all Catholics. TN
Fr. responded saying that the problem was he didn't say 'permissive will'.
Looks like people will add this to the dubia, or list of questions they want the Pope to answer or clarify.
Another FB friend, Fr. Stephanos Pedrano posted something I would have thought most people understood by now:
On God's will and plan of salvation for those who are not Christian
"But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place among these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Savior wills that all men be saved."
[From paragraph 16 of the dogmatic constitution "Lumen gentium"]
Of course, many now doubt Vatican II as much as they doubt Pope Francis.
I am with the Pope and with the thousands who welcomed him in the UAE, especially those Christians who joyfully are quoted in the news:
“The pope has made pleas for ending the Yemen war, greater tolerance and more,” said Lina Ghattas, a 48-year-old Egyptian who had traveled from Bahrain.I'm just an ordinary Catholic like those people who welcomed the Holy Father, I'm not a theologian or a scholar, I believe in God - I hope in God. I'm older now, I see myself very close to the end - I'm in my 'end times' and I rejoice to see the Pope walking in peace among the 'Mohammedans'. The Holy Father brought Christ to the UAE, to strengthen the faith of believers, in peace. He walked in peace through the midst of them. God's wonders never cease. Viva il papa!
“I am not sure what will change: time will tell - hope, hope,” she said. - Reuters
"Neither arguments or disagreements."
“We Christians try to implement the order Saint Francis gave at his time to his brothers and to 'live spiritually among the Muslims ... not to engage in arguments and (simply) to acknowledge that (we) are Christians.'” - Bishop Hinder