There He Goes Again

 

From Reuters:

Pope Francis said on Sunday that equating Islam with violence was wrong and called on Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of terrorism to help dispel the stereotype.

Has anyone of any influence anywhere gone on record “equating Islam with violence?” We all know that there are hundreds of millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. But Pope Francis doesn’t limit his disquisition to this particular strawman, taking us into a relativistic moral world not normally associated with the Catholic church.

“You just can’t say that, just as you can’t say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them (fundamentalists). All religions have these little groups,” he said.

Note that the Pope is here providing balance to his condemnation of ISIS terrorists, implying that all religions have a problem with homicidal adherents, as if sects of Christians or Buddhists are rampaging about beheading all and sundry.

But wait, there’s more.

“They (Muslims) say: ‘No, we are not this, the Koran is a book of peace, it is a prophetic book of peace’.”

Now the Pope leaps from admonishing against “equating Islam with violence” to endorsing the argument that the Quran is “a prophetic book of peace.” Might I suggest that next time Pope Francis wishes to opine on the Muslim holy book, he first pick up a copy for himself? Spanish translations are available.

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  1. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    T-Fiks: I think it needlessly muddies the waters to misinterpret anyone’s criticisms of the current pope’s regular confession of stereotypical leftist talking points as a general hostility to the Roman Catholic Church.

    That’s a fair point, but I don’t think that’s what I’m doing.  Your previous comment raised a rather inflammatory rhetorical question (i.e. “attempting to whitewash the violence inherent in Islam”) which I had already addressed in a previous comment.  Then you implied that the pope’s effort is only half-hearted or cynical (can’t tell which you meant, you merely said he was not “honestly trying”) after I had suggested he was making a rather innocuous point about diversity in order to appeal to empathy.  From that I figured you were really down on the guy and probably not interested in giving him any charitable interpretation.

    • #31
  2. calvincoolidg@gmail.com Inactive
    calvincoolidg@gmail.com
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Joseph Stanko:

    Calvin Coolidg: Maybe the pope should explain how the Vatican denied the events of the Holocaust as well.

    From A Righteous Gentile: Pope Pius XII and the Jews by Rabbi David G. Dalin:

    “During the months that Rome was under German occupation, Pius XII, who secretly instructed Italy’s Catholic clergy “to save human lives by all means,” played an especially significant role in saving thousands of Italian Jews from deportation to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps.  Beginning in October 1943, Pope Pius asked the churches and convents throughout Italy to shelter Jews.  As a result, although Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and the Fascists who remained loyal to him yielded to Hitler’s demand that Italy’s Jews be deported, in churches, monasteries and private homes throughout the country Italian Catholics defied Mussolini’s orders and protected thousands of Jews until the Allied armies arrived.”

    There’s plenty out there to choose from for a perspective on the Vatican and the Holocaust. Both for and against. The fact remains Pius was no saint of the priesthood when it came to favoring Jews over Nazis, although the church did save many. :

    The origins of the first ratlines are connected to various developments in Vatican-Argentine relations before and during World War II.[2] As early as 1942, Monsignor Luigi Maglione contacted Ambassador Llobet, inquiring as to the “willingness of the government of the Argentine Republic to apply its immigration law generously, in order to encourage at the opportune moment European Catholic immigrants to seek the necessary land and capital in our country”.[3] Afterwards, a German priest, Anton Weber, the head of the Rome-based Society of Saint Raphael, traveled to Portugal, continuing to Argentina, to lay the groundwork for future Catholic immigration; this was to be a route which fascist exiles would exploit – without the knowledge of the Catholic Church.[3] According to historian Michael Phayer, “this was the innocent origin of what would become the Vatican ratline”.[3]

    Spain, not Rome, was the “first center of ratline activity that facilitated the escape of Nazi fascists”, although the exodus itself was planned within the Vatican.[4] Charles Lescat, a French member of Action Française (an organization suppressed by Pius XI and rehabilitated by Pius XII), and Pierre Daye, a Belgian with contacts in the Spanish government, were among the primary organizers.[5] Lescat and Daye were the first able to flee Europe, with the help of Argentine cardinal Antonio Caggiano.[5]

    By 1946, there were probably hundreds of war criminals in Spain, and thousands of former Nazis and fascists.[6] According to US Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, Vatican cooperation in turning over asylum-seekers was “negligible”.[6] According to Phayer, Pius XII “preferred to see fascist war criminals on board ships sailing to the New World rather than seeing them rotting in POW camps in zonal Germany”.[7] Unlike the Vatican emigration operation in Italy, centered on Vatican City, the ratlines of Spain, although “fostered by the Vatican” were relatively independent of the hierarchy of the Vatican Emigration Bureau.[8]

    • #32
  3. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Mark Wilson:

    T-Fiks: I think it needlessly muddies the waters to misinterpret anyone’s criticisms of the current pope’s regular confession of stereotypical leftist talking points as a general hostility to the Roman Catholic Church.

    That’s a fair point, but I don’t think that’s what I’m doing. Your previous comment raised a rather inflammatory rhetorical question (i.e. “attempting to whitewash the violence inherent in Islam”) which I had already addressed in a previous comment. Then you implied that the pope’s effort is only half-hearted or cynical (can’t tell which you meant, you merely said he was not “honestly trying”) after I had suggested he was making a rather innocuous point about diversity in order to appeal to empathy. From that I figured you were really down on the guy and probably not interested in giving him any charitable interpretation.

    I don’t think that’s what you are doing. I should have made that clear, but I’m not that good at manipulating multiple quotes. There was a comment or two which seemed to reveal a strong animus towards the Roman Catholic Church throughout history and a reply to that post which seemed to tar all those with criticism of the current pope with the same anti-church brush.

    Cleaning up that tar was the motive behind my most-recent post.

    • #33
  4. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    …and I don’t really think the Pope’s efforts are half-hearted. I just think he is willing to throw some of his fundamentalist brothers-in-Christ under the bus in a futile attempt to earn the goodwill of some Muslims.

    • #34
  5. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    T-Fiks:…and I don’t really think the Pope’s efforts are half-hearted. I just think he is willing to throw some of his fundamentalist brothers-in-Christ under the bus in a futile attempt to earn the goodwill of some Muslims.

    What I read is the pope made the following analogy:

    Just as not all X are Y, likewise not all A are B.

    And you took his meaning to be “Y and B are equivalent”.

    • #35
  6. Davematheny3000@yahoo.com Moderator
    Davematheny3000@yahoo.com
    @PainterJean
    Joseph Stanko

    Mark Wilson: I can see you’re determined to interpret his remarks in the worst possible light.

    That is standard operating procedure for many posters on Ricochet.

    I can tell you, in all sincerity, that I want to like this Pope and would like to interpret any and all of his comments without a bias against him. I’m not a cafeteria-Catholic, nor a rad-trad, but an orthodox and faithful Catholic who has come to wish her Pope was more careful in his words. I was a big fan of his predecessor — maybe that’s part of the problem, as Pope Benedict was always very precise, concise, clear, and measured. However, if Pope Francis says stuff that has me scratching my head at best, or questioning his judgment at worst, I don’t think that I have resorted to merely going along with a “standard operating procedure”, but am honestly expressing what my concerns are. Do me the honor of allowing that I am expressing my own concerns and criticisms as I see them, and not merely indulging in disagreeing with what he is saying for the sake of disagreement.

    • #36
  7. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Mark Wilson:

    T-Fiks:…and I don’t really think the Pope’s efforts are half-hearted. I just think he is willing to throw some of his fundamentalist brothers-in-Christ under the bus in a futile attempt to earn the goodwill of some Muslims.

    What I read is the pope made the following analogy:

    Just as not all X are Y, likewise not all A are B.

    And you took his meaning to be “Y and B are equivalent”.

    If he didn’t see relevant similarities between Y and B, then his analogy would be pointless.

    If Pope Francis does not think that fundamentalists, in some significant way, relate to all Christians in the same way that Jihadis relate to Islam, what possible purpose is there for his analogy? If the fundamentalists’ relationship is merely one of a benign subset within a larger set, as your generous interpretation seems to assert, why didn’t he use Presbyterians or Tridentine Mass Catholics?

    I may be accused of assigning the worst possible interpretation to most of Francis’ public statements, but willfully avoiding the most plausible interpretations of those statements would require that I suspend whatever powers of reason that I have.

    • #37
  8. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    T-Fiks: why didn’t he use Presbyterians or Tridentine Mass Catholics?

    Because those are extremely specific and possibly too obscure for a Muslim to understand.  Instead he went with the broadest possible statement, saying first “Christians” (the broadest identifiable group he belongs to) and then “all religions”.  For all you know, when he said fundamentalists he meant the Christian Identity movement.  It is you who decided he was targeting Baptists.

    • #38
  9. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Mark Wilson:

    T-Fiks: why didn’t he use Presbyterians or Tridentine Mass Catholics?

    Because those are extremely specific and possibly too obscure for a Muslim to understand. Instead he went with the broadest possible statement, saying first “Christians” (the broadest identifiable group he belongs to) and then “all religions”. For all you know, when he said fundamentalists he meant the Christian Identity movement. It is you who decided he was targeting Baptists.

    If the Christian Identity movement can even be included therein, it makes up an infinitesimal portion of American fundamentalism. If Francis was referring to them alone when he used “fundamentalists,” he’s guilty of incredibly sloppy language for a man in his position.

    He explicitly targeted fundamentalists. We should take him at his word and not arbitrarily except large segments from the larger group he blithely condemned. Doing so strikes me as an attempt to save a misguided man from the consequences of his misguided statements.

    • #39
  10. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    T-Fiks:If the Christian Identity movement can even be included therein, it makes up an infinitesimal portion of American fundamentalism. If Francis was referring to them alone when he used “fundamentalists,” he’s guilty of incredibly sloppy language for a man in his position.

    He explicitly targeted fundamentalists. We should take him at his word and not arbitrarily except large segments from the larger group he blithely condemned. Doing so strikes me as an attempt to save a misguided man from the consequences of his misguided statements.

    Beware the No True Scotsman fallacy.  And ISIS is also an “infinitesimal portion” of Islam, isn’t it?  Note that he’s also encouraging Islamic leaders to treat ISIS as such.  It’s an appeal to their better angels.

    To me it’s obvious he’s talking about a particularly evil type of fundamentalist, not all fundamentalists.  Or you’d have to believe the pope thinks Baptists and Hasidic Jews are as morally corrupt as ISIS.  It’s absurd on its face.

    • #40
  11. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Mark Wilson:

    T-Fiks:If the Christian Identity movement can even be included therein, it makes up an infinitesimal portion of American fundamentalism. If Francis was referring to them alone when he used “fundamentalists,” he’s guilty of incredibly sloppy language for a man in his position.

    He explicitly targeted fundamentalists. We should take him at his word and not arbitrarily except large segments from the larger group he blithely condemned. Doing so strikes me as an attempt to save a misguided man from the consequences of his misguided statements.

    Beware the No True Scotsman fallacy. And ISIS is also an “infinitesimal portion” of Islam, isn’t it? Note that he’s also encouraging Islamic leaders to treat ISIS as such. It’s an appeal to their better angels.

    To me it’s obvious he’s talking about a particularly evil type of fundamentalist, not all fundamentalists. Or you’d have to believe the pope thinks Baptists and Hasidic Jews are as morally corrupt as ISIS. It’s absurd on its face.

    Tell that to all the people who are cheering him on from the leftcropped pope

    • #41
  12. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    T-Fiks: Tell that to all the people who are cheering him on from the left

    Like I said, absurd on its face.

    • #42
  13. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Mark Wilson:

    T-Fiks: Tell that to all the people who are cheering him on from the left

    Like I said, absurd on its face.

    Unfortunately, perception has become reality. A 21st-century pontiff should probably understand that.

    An awful lot of what Pope Francis has said can be parsed in a way that isn’t dismissive of traditional beliefs, but it shouldn’t take the intellect of an Aquinas or Maimonides to hear what he says as anything but a rebuke of vast numbers of his fellow Christians.

    • #43
  14. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    T-Fiks: An awful lot of what Pope Francis has said can be parsed in a way that isn’t dismissive of traditional beliefs, but it shouldn’t take the intellect of an Aquinas or Maimonides to hear what he says as anything but a rebuke of vast numbers of his fellow Christians.

    I think that’s only a problem for leftists determined to impugn Christians, and for victimized Christians eager to take offense at a perceived “rebuke” that wasn’t.  Here’s what he said just last year:

    Divisions among us, but also divisions among the communities: evangelical Christians, orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, but why divided? We must try to bring about unity.

    • #44
  15. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Ideas like Christian unity are easy to advocate in L’Osservatore Romano, but a little harder to promote when trying to ingratiate oneself with the enemies of Christianity.

    I don’t think Francis realizes just how difficult it is for many of us in the west who are fighting what seems like a twilight struggle against forces that would destroy the traditional family, enlarge the state, and restrict the role of religion in daily life.

    Whether he intends it or not and whether people interpret his words honestly or not, I believe the effect of Francis’ actual words will be diminished unity among Christians and strengthened hostility to Christians.

    • #45
  16. Davematheny3000@yahoo.com Moderator
    Davematheny3000@yahoo.com
    @PainterJean

    Whether he intends it or not and whether people interpret his words honestly or not, I believe the effect of Francis’ actual words will be diminished unity among Christians and strengthened hostility to Christians.

    I’ll second that……. He’s not going to win any friends among Baptists, Pentecostals,  and other fundamentalist groups with those comments, and that adds up to a large number of Christians. Not that they had any love for the Catholic Church before this, mind you, but it does make the relationship less, not more, receptive to unity.  And it gives those on the Left who hate fundamentalists more ammunition — see, even the Pope thinksthose people are crazy and dangerous!

    • #46
  17. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    T-Fiks: Ideas like Christian unity are easy to advocate in L’Osservatore Romano, but a little harder to promote when trying to ingratiate oneself with the enemies of Christianity.

    This seems like a whole other angle on the story.  I don’t want to misinterpret what you’re saying here, but this sounds very harsh.  Are you saying you think the people he is talking to, the Muslim leaders, are enemies of Christianity?  And that what he’s doing is trying to ingratiate himself to them, rather than convince them to condemn ISIS?  Please let me know if I am reading your comment wrong.

    • #47
  18. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Mark Wilson:

    T-Fiks: Ideas like Christian unity are easy to advocate in L’Osservatore Romano, but a little harder to promote when trying to ingratiate oneself with the enemies of Christianity.

    This seems like a whole other angle on the story. I don’t want to misinterpret what you’re saying here, but this sounds very harsh. Are you saying you think the people he is talking to, the Muslim leaders, are enemies of Christianity? And that what he’s doing is trying to ingratiate himself to them, rather than convince them to condemn ISIS? Please let me know if I am reading your comment wrong.

    I will give your interpretation an “A-.” My only quibble is with your “rather than:” I think he was attempting to ingratiate himself AND get Muslim leaders to condemn ISIS.

    Now, allow me to slide the rest of my chips onto the table:

    Call me harsh if you choose to, but I think that Jorge Bergoglio has gotten to where he is in no small part because of his ability to ingratiate himself with lots of people who reject what the Roman Catholic Church has traditionally stood for. A problem for him now is that his visibility has revealed some contradictions.

    His profound support for some of those aspects of the Christ’s gospel that appeal to orthodox Catholics may have hitherto obscured his rejection of many other values and beliefs they hold dear. His visibility is now making those conflicts easier to see.

    A couple of parish priests that I know seem to be working harder and harder to rationalize some of his more provocative statements. I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.

    As a postscript, I also think that Painter Jean may be wrong about many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians’ attitude towards the Catholic Church. For a minority of them, their doctrinal disagreements have created a genuine animus towards Catholicism; but for most, there is a warm sense of Christian brotherhood. These protestants are very grateful for what has been, at least through the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict, such a large and outspoken ally in the contemporary culture war.

    • #48
  19. Davematheny3000@yahoo.com Moderator
    Davematheny3000@yahoo.com
    @PainterJean

    As a postscript, I also think that Painter Jean may be wrong about many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians’ attitude towards the Catholic Church. For a minority of them, their doctrinal disagreements have created a genuine animus towards Catholicism; but for most, there is a warm sense of Christian brotherhood.

    I hope I’m wrong. I do know that many fundamentalists don’t think Catholics are even Christians — it’s not an uncommon sentiment and is to be found even in some fairly mainstream Evangelical circles. Heaven knows I have certainly run across more than a few spittle-flecked, hate-filled Baptists who have ranted on and on against Catholicism.

    • #49
  20. T-Fiks Member
    T-Fiks
    @TFiks

    Painter Jean:As a postscript, I also think that Painter Jean may be wrong about many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians’ attitude towards the Catholic Church. For a minority of them, their doctrinal disagreements have created a genuine animus towards Catholicism; but for most, there is a warm sense of Christian brotherhood.

    I hope I’m wrong. I do know that many fundamentalists don’t think Catholics are even Christians — it’s not an uncommon sentiment and is to be found even in some fairly mainstream Evangelical circles. Heaven knows I have certainly run across more than a few spittle-flecked, hate-filled Baptists who have ranted on and on against Catholicism.

    Me too, Painter, but I think they’re a dying breed. Sixty years ago, WASPS could afford to be snobby about who their friends were. Now, they’re happy with whoever will sit with them at the lunch table.

    • #50
  21. Davematheny3000@yahoo.com Moderator
    Davematheny3000@yahoo.com
    @PainterJean

    Me too, Painter, but I think they’re a dying breed. Sixty years ago, WASPS could afford to be snobby about who their friends were. Now, they’re happy with whoever will sit with them at the lunch table.

    You’re probably right — I certainly hope so. But to relate this to the main post: even though I have had unpleasant experiences with Christian fundamentalists, I have never feared that they would inclined to lop off my head. I don’t think the Pope saying to Muslim leaders, in effect, “we have our fundamentalists too” was either wise or charitable.

    • #51
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