Benedictions: The Pope in America

Benedictions: The Pope in America


Oops, he does it again…

posted by David Gibson

Yet another papal paradox: The Pope who was expected to create such a stir among Catholics after his election has instead found his greatest controversies centering on his relations with Islam. First he met–in secret, until the word leaked out–with the late Italian author and avowed atheist and fierce critic of Islam, Oriana Fallaci. A year later, in September 2006, he delivered his famous Regensburg speech that led to violence by Muslims and a serious rift between the Vatican and the Islamic world.
Now, Benedict himself has baptized an Egyptian-born Muslim–and also a fierce critic of Islam–Magdi Allam. Allam has lived in Italy for years, and is a well-known journalist for an Italian daily. When Benedict baptized Allam at the Easter vigil, it created waves in the Islamic world, and understandably. Allam has said, e.g., that “the root of evil is innate in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual.”
Look, if Benedict wants to make a point, that’s fine. But now comes news of the Vatican trying to back away from Allam and his remarks, much as they tried to do after Regensburg. It wouldn’t take a prophet to predict such an outcome. So how did it happen?



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Waheed Ahmed

posted April 1, 2008 at 11:11 am


Well this is probably another blooper by the vatican.
However as we are all supposed to be free people,everybody should be allowed to make their own choices,however criticising any person or religion should never be allowed as we all follow who and what we believe in.
There is no right and wrong it is a matter of belief,people who openly or otherwise criticise,should be then ready, to be criticised.
Regards. W.A



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Sal

posted April 1, 2008 at 11:39 am


I agree. I don’t think we should play with each other’s feeling. We should respect everybody’s belief and let them practice what they want to.
Peace!!



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Gloria

posted April 1, 2008 at 11:44 am


Smart people think out side the “Box” ,and find a way to have a “Win- Win” situation. Dump people Look for creative ways to be inslting.



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William Ibrahim Muslim

posted April 1, 2008 at 12:33 pm


Bismiallahi ir-Raham ir-Rahim,
As salaamu ‘aliakym warahmatuallahi wabarakatuh.
Insha’Allah, the Roman Catholic church has been at odds with and has actively opposed Islam since the 1100’s and the first Crusade.
It also appears as if this current papacy and Pontiff prefers to “speak first and consider later” and despite all of his posturing about beginning a “dialoge” with Islam, he has personally done everything he can so as to cause more division between all of the Abrahamic faiths (remember the “Prayers for the Conversions of the Jews” during the recent Easter season and services and how this upset the Jewish community…)
Muslims wouild do better to take part in the inter-faith dialoge that has been begun by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia so as to possibly, insha’Allah, reach a common place of worship with those Christians and Jews who actually desire for brotherhood.
Wa’alaikym salaamu warahmatuallahi wabarakatuh.



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Maura

posted April 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm


As a convert to Islam from a Catholic family, I believe the Pope is just expressing the anxiety felt by the leaders of the Catholic Church. Catholics have observed their membership drop drastically in recent years while Muslims enjoy the worldwide stats of being the fasting growing religion. Many of the converts to Islam are Catholics, and this worries the Pope and the Vatican membership staff.
The Pope’s tactics are calculated not only to divide the Catholic community from the Muslim community, but also to intimidate and scare those souls like myself who are “born Catholic” from openly considering a leap of faith. In the end these kind of terror tactics backfire against the abusers. Their followers see the truth and leave their hypocracy for a more stable community.
This is the current intolerant state of affairs that the Pope is only making worse. He’d do better if he instead tried to “be on the same page” with Muslims and other religions. This is accomplished through a basic interfaith understanding of respect for other people’s religious beliefs. There are many lessons in common with God’s same prophets from the Bible that are also taught through the Quran.
Granted the wording and interpretation of many of these lessons may differ between the faiths, but their study serves as a basis for opening the dialogue between the faiths to ultimately understand God’s(Allah’s) intent common to us all. If the Pope took a more scholarly rather than emotional aproach to learning about Islam, he might also find that Islam is a respectable religion that many millions of Muslims have already discovered and embrace.
At the very least his open dialogue would encourage a more peaceful co-existence with the Muslim community, even if he is not completely convinced in the wisdom of Islam. Tolerance of religions is respected and required of Muslims for all of God’s kingdom and His creations. Who are we to judge others for their beliefs? Ultimately it is our Creator who will decide our faith. He alone leads those who truly believe to His ultimate truth and wisdom. Only He knows the true intent of those who seek his mercy and guidance, and only He can grant that smooth and straight path to His blessed world. To humbly believe this is to be a true believer, or Muslim. Our challenge as humans is to “get it right” both in spirit and in deed.



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Tahir Abdallah

posted April 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm


The pope is just wasting his time recently the vetican agrees that tha number of muslims world are more that of the catholics so why worried he just trying to show the world some body who for the past years is aginst islam for his daily bread now babtized as a catholic what is so special millions of catholics have converted to islam all the churces in england and others are now mosque lot are now muslim especially the catholica what i will advise the pope to do is to try and follow the the good step of the late pope john paul not concentrating in attacking Islam and also make sure the image of the catholic is restored the way and manner the late pope did by bringing all the catholica back and also bringing peace to the world. the entire world community bothe muslims and christians missed the late pope john paul. The pope should understand that he is just wasting his time Islam as religion has come to stay and it will continue having more convants into it and getting stronger and stronger.



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Jackson

posted April 1, 2008 at 9:19 pm


I was curious about the comment that Pope Benedict had met with the Italian Journalist, Oriana Fallaci. Benedict became Pope in 2005. Ms. Fallaci died in September 2006. She died after a protracted illness so I am not sure how his meeting with her was an insult to Islam. Ms. Fallaci, during her lifetime professed to be an agnostic and was an ardent proponent of women’s rights. She was opposed to opression whether it came in the guise of religion or politics. Who knows what the substance of her meetings were with Pope Benedict, but the fact that they met should not be construed as a great evil or wrong against any particular group. I signed on to Belief Net shortly after September 11, because I realized that my knowledge of the religion of Islam was limited to a reading of the Qu’ran as literature, and stories of colleagues from Iran who belonged to the Ba’hai faith. My religious upbringing was Protestant; I converted to Catholicism my last year at University, and although I consider myself, at best an agnostic; I hold the belief that understanding the religious beliefs of others is very important to human understanding, whether I believe them to be true or not. The tragedy of the three great monotheistic religions is that each (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) hold to the notion that each is absolutely right to the exclusion of all others. But my reason for commenting was in defense of Fallaci, as difficult a woman as she was, I think she had it right most days when it came to injustice and inhumanity. She really disliked arrogance and power masquerading behind any religious faith.



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Mostafa

posted April 1, 2008 at 11:28 pm


As a muslim, I wasn’t offended nor do I pay any attention to what the pope does or says. Islam is here to stay whether the pop likes it or not.
I didn’t care for him since day 1. I always respected John Paul’s 2 views . He was a man of peace and dialog between religions.



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Arnold Collado

posted April 2, 2008 at 3:17 am


Neither christians specifically the Roman Catholics nor any religion in the world is committedly obliged to rule out the paradox of religion.
Every body claims there is ONE GOD! Everybody wants Unity! Everybody wants peace! Everybody wants Love and prosperity.
The irony, these words are left in the dictionary. they are never real not even ideal. From east to west and north to South, you cannot see the real manifestations of these words.
Unless the Religious heads come to gether as one and look back at the elements of Life, they will never see the lights of Truth. They will never be free but be kept of the bondage of falsity that will divide them eternally.
God is a word that divides.
God is a word that is abused to perpetuate their evil desires
God is a word that masks the evil thougths of those who pronounce it
Theyknow the meaning but refuse to understand
They know the meaning but they refuse to accept
Because if they do, their evil desires, their evil thoughts will be unveiled.
Look at the Sun
Feel the power of the air
Look at eh earth
Feel the power of the water
Look at ADAM and Eve, they were your origins
They are the elements of Life
They are the begining
and they will end the turmoils of the world
Unless you look back to where you have been
You will never arrive to the place you want to be



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zoubeida

posted April 2, 2008 at 5:50 am


Every day thosands of christians are converting to islam in the west ..pope convert this man in public ..just to look for problem with islam..that all. i think a Priest of any kind of religion should try to ..bring love and peace among human being not hate..,,Pls pope try to make human kind love each other and respect each other religion
The world would be a better place to live



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John Scheidel

posted April 2, 2008 at 10:45 am


Does the typical Muslim necessarily think ill of the person of intellect, who, for the purpose of understanding the allegedly intelligent perspectives of others, indulges in a dialectical dialogue with a critic of Islam? While Muslims generally insist that the world must broaden its mind toward them, they seem to feel that to broaden their own toward the world is tantamount to sin. Guilt by association seems to characterize this mindset. Or maybe paranoia. Thus they may go so far as to condemn the pope as a person of no intellect whatsoever. Those who agree with you are truly intelligent, are they not?



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StHilarious

posted April 3, 2008 at 3:02 am


Magdi Allam has gone from accepting Mohammed’s teachings as infallible to accepting papal teachings as infallible and so leaves reasoning to others. We are commanded to seek Jesus and so will find the truth.



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Anonymous

posted April 3, 2008 at 7:09 am


One Man View / opnion can not change a religion which is embedded very deep. I respect the POPE but he is neither GOD or here to change the rules, so what is this person Allam became a catholic there are people every day who convert from christianity to Islam and vice versa just because teh POPE babtaised him , its a big deal as i guess its Allam way of becomming famous too
All religion quote / un quote were vil



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Abdifatah

posted April 4, 2008 at 11:22 pm


There is nothing alarming about this Magdi Allam guy becoming a Cathloic, afterall he was an atheist before he professed his Catholicism; he can join whatever faith he chooses. And there is nothing strange about the Pope conducting the babtising of this guy as he chose to. But if he he inteionally chose to baptise this guy in the colorful way he did just to tell the Muslims, hey, I gave the inflamatory speech in 2006 and now I’m doing this, then I think anymore of his words should not be taken or respected in the future. He would be a complete betrayal to his predecessor who was opening all these doors and dialogues and this pope comes along and shuts them.



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John Rice

posted April 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm


I have to say this Pope is one of the most provocative Catholics I have ever seen. Someone should put a sock in his mouth so he can shut up.
REMEMBER: Magdi Allam was an atheist prior to this!



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Abdullah

posted April 8, 2008 at 3:28 pm


Assalaam Alaikum, Popes such actions indicate His INFERIORITY COMPLEX w.r.t ISLAM He tries to proof that not only the christains that revert to islam but it is also the Muslims that convert as He provides weightage to such small cheap matters making some bullies popular e.g., Allam.Moreover Muslims should themselves be open minded.Because they follow the religion of truth. yup it hurts if someone say 2+2=5,but they must understand they are doing this becuase God has given them a choice and its a basic right of every human.moreover People must not be biased w.r.t religion as they are normally not w.r.t science and technology. ISLAM is so clear and so truth.Everything is so clear and there has remained no doubt.



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Vin

posted April 20, 2008 at 6:23 pm


I am amazed at the impact the Pope’s visit to Amerca has made. I have never seen or heard of any other religious leader, other than Catholic ones, who have come close to making such an impact. As far as conversions, don’t forget, Catholics do not use coersion to recruit members. We leave that up to the Holy Spirit. Yes, there are many Moslems in the world, but I understand that most of them would rather be otherwise but fear for their lives or the lives of their families if they convert. Moslem nations are so paranoid they don’t allow freedom of religion because they are aware of this. What does that tell you? All I can say is that I feel so lucky to have been born an American and a Catholic. Praise God. What more could anyone want?



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Vin

posted April 20, 2008 at 6:58 pm


To Maura
I just finished reading your post regarding converting to Islam from Catholicism as well as your analysis of what the Pope’s intentions are and what he should do in regard to other religions. You should have learned during your time as a Catholic, that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus, the Son of God, who passed on the responsibility of evangelization to His Apostles so there is no question but that the Pope is required to spread this knowledge to everyone. No one is forced to accept it as those in Moslem countries are forced to accept Islam or perhaps lose their lives. Isn’t that contrary to the free will that God gave us to do what is right? How else can we merit salvation?



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