Long Live the Pope!As everyone knows by now, much ado has been made of an academic speech by the Pope last week in which he quoted Byzantine Emperor Manuel II:
" 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached' ".
The Pope then went on to say:
The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "
Yet many proponents of the so-called "religion of peace" have seen fit to do nothing more than prove the point that the Holy Father was trying to make this week by burning churches in the Holy Land, killing an innocent nun, and burning the Vicar of Jesus Christ in effigy, making such statements as "we will break the cross and spill the wine." Those are fighting words to any truly practicing Catholic and in centuries' past such words would have triggered the launch of the sort of crusade the Muhammedians are so afraid of.
Pope Benedict has said he is sorry that his speech has triggered such a terrible outpouring of violence, but note that he did not say that he was sorry for what he said. He should not be. The Holy Father has shown great courage in dealing with the 800-pound theological gorilla that is invading our thought process every time we rationalize that Muhammedianism is a religion of peace. How many Christians send suicide bombers to major cities? Did Christians send large numbers of suicide bombers to kill innocent civilians in our cities when we do not get our way politically? When Christ is blasphemed, do Christians react with the same vengeance that many of our Muslim counterparts have done to a speech that actually called for inter-religious dialogue?
These are legitimate questions, and Benedict has chosen to raise them. It is right that the spiritual leader of the overwhelming majority of the world's Christians (including yours truly) should be the one to finally speak the truth with boldness.
The Pope believes that we Christians cannot have dialogue with other faiths until the Christian roots of our Western civilization are more fully restored. We can't dialogue with others until we experience a revival of our own faith.
I am proud the Pope said what he did-it is something that needed to be said with the delicate yet bold style with which only he could say it for a very long time. Long Live the Pope!
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI