Healing Process Needed With Muslims

If you can believe it, there will be more security to protect the Pope when he travels to Turkey this week, than what was provided for President Bush when he visited that country, according to the Turkish Foreign Minister this weekend.  The need for such high security follows the Pope’s thoughtless remarks made earlier this year about the Islamic faith. 

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Turkey, a mostly Muslim nation, in a bid to repair the divide with the Orthodox Christian Church.  The eastern branch of the Christian Church has had their share of concerns with the Vatican for many centuries, and much interest around the globe with this trip by the Pope has developed over the months. 

While in Turkey the Pope will also try to undo the damage that he created while traveling in Bavaria this year, where he quoted a long forgotten Byzantine emperor who stated prophet Mohammed was evil and inhuman.  Whatever the larger message that Benedict was trying to convey in that speech was lost due to the blunder in making such a statement.  John Kerry and the Pope both share a love for verbal gaffes.

Prior to becoming Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger mused that Turkey did not belong in the European Union.  His reasoning then, while serving as Foreign Secretary of the Vatican, was that the Turks were not culturally or religiously connected with Europe.  It is little wonder then that the official welcoming delegation for the Pope will be left to the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.

It is hoped however that the man with the red Prada loafers can rise above his previous statements and present a forgiving face to the Turks.  The world is in need of unity and grace, and one can only hope that this week the Pope can rise to the occasion.  The religious wars, in word and deed, which have been fought over the ‘one true religion’, have not made our world more godly or just.  I hope that the Pope can truly find the place and time to speak from his heart about his past statements in an effort to start the healing process with the Islamic faith.
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6 thoughts on “Healing Process Needed With Muslims

  1. Kerr Mudgeon

    I just love kneejerk liberalism. It’s all the Pope’s fault for making this statement or that statement. NOT!

    The real problem is the ridiculous, violent, and murderous reaction of Muslims to what are — in the scheme of things — minor gaffes. It isn’t the Pope who needs to start the healing but the Muslims, who need to apologize for burning churches and killing people in reaction to mere words and to promise never to do it again. Ha, fat chance!

    As for the Orthodox, their chief gripe is the Vatican wanting to allow Catholics to have their own churches, priests, and hierarchs in traditional Orthodox territories. The Orthodox, of course, have them in other Christian territories, but, like many Muslims, don’t believe in reciprocity. Give us our rights is their claim, but don’t expect any from us.

    I’m not an apologist for the Vatican by any means, but, while the Pope may present problems for religious dialogue, the Orthodox and the Muslims are much greater offenders.

  2. Saucy Princess

    Being a Christian, it is important to realize that wounds run very deep. The Crusades were how long ago? Yes, we Christians don’t run around chopping unbelievers heads off anymore but we are slow to realize we are still reaping what our Christian ancestors sowed. AND we are still sowing hate-filled seeds in the form of the words we speak.
    “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” James 3: 8-10

  3. maryt

    Kerr Mudgeon,
    Pay attention to what Saucy Princess says…

    And I’m going to say it: The Pope is a stupid man. He doesn’t care who he insults. What the hell is he going to Turkey for? He certainly isn’t going to talk to the Muslims… And what does he think The Christian Orthodox church is interested in? joining him? Forget it. Stay home Pope Benedict! No one is interested in anything you have to say!!

    Whew! I feel better maryt.

  4. Kerr Mudgeon

    Muslims pursued ‘holy wars’ before the Crusades. As for actions of both sides during the Crusades, they were motivated less by religion than by hope of wealth and land.

    Incidentally, the Muslims ‘won’ the Crusades, and the Ottoman Empire lasted until after WWI. At one point, they came within a hair’s breadth of taking Vienna and starting a march into Europe. How can they continue to hold the Crusades against the West? Good old lack of ‘reciprocity’ once again.

  5. Saucy Princess

    Muslims can continue to hold the Crusades against the West because we also fail to forgive. It’s easy to recite the Lord’s Prayer with reverent voices but where are the reverent hearts when it comes to “forgiving trespasses”? How easy it is to ignore the teachings we as Christians profess as our own when we are angry! Motivation in today’s events has little to do with belief in Christ and ALOT to do with religion as an institution. Religious institutions desire to be top dog. Who wants to claim there are more Catholics or Protestants or Evangelical or….you get the picture. Every denomination wants to be right about sacraments, about church hierarchy, about everything. Our Christian churches bicker about “fundamentals” so much we’ve probably overtaken the pharisees and sadducces in dividing people.

    Who cares who started it? Here’s a different and refreshing look at God’s idea of RECIPROCITY “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28 So it’s time to remember to “turn the other cheek” and forgive “seventy times seven” times. AND if you think God meant to forgive someone exactly 490 times, well…you missed the point.

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