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VATICAN's INTERFAITH DIALOGUE
#1

Pope urges "authentic" interfaith dialogue

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?

"Religions are for peace and reconciliation -- they should not be interpreted otherwise," said Benedict. (Reuters)

ANKARA — Asserting that Christians and Muslims belong to the same family of souls that believes in one God and trading conciliatory gestures with Turkish officials on his first Apostolic visit to a Muslim country, Pope Benedict XVI called on Tuesday, November 28, for "authentic" inter-faith dialogue.

"The best way forward is via authentic dialogue between Christians and Muslims, based on truth and inspired by a sincere wish to know one another better, respecting differences and recognizing what we have in common," the pontiff said, addressing Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, reported Agence France Presse (AFP).

Starting a four-day visit to secular but largely Muslim Turkey, the pope tried to ease anger over his perceived criticism of Islam in a recent lecture quotes, when he quoted a Byzantine emperor who said Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) brought "things only evil and inhuman."

This time, Pope Benedict quoted 11th-century Pope Gregory VII after a north African Muslim prince "acted with great benevolence towards the Christians under his jurisdiction."

"Pope Gregory spoke of the particular charity that Christians and Muslims owe to one another 'because we believe in one God, albeit in a different manner, and because we praise him and worship him every day as the creator and ruler of the world'," he said.

After laying a wreath at the mausoleum of Turkey's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Pope Benedict had a meeting with Ali Bardakoglu, Turkey's top religious official.

"Religions are for peace and reconciliation -- they should not be interpreted otherwise," he said during a 15-minute public chat with Bardakoglu.

Bardakoglu, who had accused Benedict of harboring "hatred in his heart" for Muslims, also agreed on the necessity of dialogue.

"We too are for dialogue between religions," he said. "But this should have a solid basis."

Bardakoglu slammed the "rising Islamophobia" in the West blaming it on a "mentality that Islam, with its history and origins, contains and encourages violence, that it was spread... by the sword, that Muslims are potentially violent."

In his first visit to a Muslim country, pope Benedict will be the second pope known to have visited a mosque, following John Paul II's trip to the Omeyyades mosque in Damascus.

Euro Turkey


Erdogan said the pontiff backs Turkey's EU membership bid.
Launching a charm offensive over multi fronts, Pope Benedict tried to clear his reputation as an anti-Ankara pope, backing Turkey's bid to join the European Union in a striking reversal of personal opinion.

"I asked the pope for his support on our road to the European Union," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after a 20-minute meeting with the pontiff.

"He told me, 'We want Turkey to be part of the EU'".

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said although the Holy See has "no specific powers" concerning Turkey's EU candidacy, it sees this as "positive" and "encourages... Turkey's integration into Europe on the basis of common values and principles."

Erdogan, who had criticized the pope's anti-Islam remarks and until the last minute was not scheduled to meet him, personally greeted the pontiff as he stepped off his plane at Ankara's Esenboga Airport.

The Turkish premier said he had laid to rest any hard feelings he may have harbored.

"We will always look to the future. We cannot build our future on hate and antagonism.

"I find the pope's visit to 95 percent Muslim Turkey timely and important," he added.

Known as the "anti-Turkish pope", Benedict has said that Ankara's EU membership would be a "a grave error... against the tide of history" when he was still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

Ratzinger, elected pope in April 2005, said Turkey should seek its future in an association of Islamic nations, not with the EU, which has Christian roots.

The EU and Turkey officially kickstarted on Monday, June 12, the long-awaited accession talks, the most important cornerstone of membership process.

Ankara won an EU green light last October to start membership talks, albeit being told they would last at least a decade.

Turkey has been trying to join the European club since the 1960s.

Christian Unity

A main purpose of the pontiff's visit is to meet Patriarch Bartholomew, the head of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, in the latest display of rapprochement between the two estranged branches of Christianity.

The meetings confirm that "Orthodox and Catholics are committed to the goal of unity and diversity... (and) healing the memories of the past which we all carry as a burden," Monsignor Brian Farrell, a member of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity said.

Archbishop Demetrios of America, who represented the Orthodox, hailed "a continuous progress in reconciliation between the two churches."

Both officials, however, agreed that the process would be difficult and take time.

"It will not be easy, it will not be a short dialogue, it will not happen this week or next year," Farrell said.

"It needs a long period of reflection... but I do not doubt we are on a good track."

The two major branches of Christianity split in 1054 over differences in opinion on the power of the papacy.

Unlike the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians lack a single leader and maintain a loose family of national churches, based mostly in Russia, Greece and the Balkans, with diaspora churches scattered around the world.


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#2
The Pope tones down his act in Turkey
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0...ml?cnn=yes

Joseph Ratzinger has never been known for his flexibility. As a university theologian and the Vatican's top doctrinal watchdog, the German prelate consistently stuck to his intellectual guns, sometimes stepping on sensibilities in the process. That unbendable belief in his own truth may have indeed gotten the now Pope Benedict XVI into trouble with his provocative September speech about faith and violence that sparked anger throughout the Muslim world. But the papacy often requires old men to learn new tricks. And so on Tuesday, as he set off on the most delicate mission of his life, the 79-year-old Pontiff was showing a very different side, one that reflects a growing awareness of his new role.

In a rapid-fire, on-board encounter with reporters just before take-off, the Pope said his four-day trip to Ankara, Ephesus and Istanbul was aimed at "dialogue, brotherhood and reconciliation." He then heaped praise on Turkey, which he called a "bridge between cultures," and the Turks, whom he described as an open and peace-loving people. He also seemed to reverse his stance on Turkey's bid to join the European Union. Just two years ago, while Cardinal, he said the country's culture and history left it "in permanent contrast to Europe." On board his Alitalia flight, instead, he was pointing out that modern Turkey was founded on secular ideas of the French Constitution. Later in the day, Vatican officials in fact confirmed that the Holy See would favor Turkey's bid to eventually join the EU if it met all the necessary conditions.

Though Tuesday's tone will no doubt disappoint some of his ardent conservative fans, Benedict was never going to use his first visit to a predominantly Muslim country as a rhetorical Act II to the Regensburg speech. There, in the confines of a German university, he questioned Islam's compatibility with reason, he cited the Koran's references to jihad, and he quoted a Byzantine emperor's rude remarks about Muhammed. In Turkey, if nothing else, Benedict followed the old rule that visiting world leaders don't wag their finger at their host country.

Still, Benedict's two prepared remarks in the Turkish capital — at first blush, at least — seemed so careful as to make one wonder if the famous hardliner was going soft. After years of quietly, and then not-so-quietly, differentiating his approach to inter-faith relations from Pope John Paul II's, the German Pope was sounding a lot like his predecessor. During Benedict's speech alongside Turkey's head of religious affairs Ali Bardakoglu, the Pope cited: "mutual respect and esteem," "human and spiritual unity" and the common heritage of Islam and Christianity as ancestors of Abraham. In marked contrast to the nasty historical quote he'd cited in Regensburg, the Pope referred to a warm 11th century meeting of Pope Gregory VII and a Muslim prince. Still smarting from Regensburg, Bardakoglu told the Pope: "The so-called conviction that the sword is used to expand Islam in the world and growing Islamophobia hurts all Muslims."

Later, in a speech to foreign diplomats in the Turkish capital, Benedict was beginning to sound not only like his predecessor — but like himself. In the John Paul vein, he began a long reflection on war and violence by saying that "true peace needs justice, to correct the economic imbalances and political disturbances which always give rise to tension and threaten every society." This 'root-cause' exploration of conflict is much different than Regensburg's search at the heart of religion for the source of violence. It is also a very different tone than his meeting with German Muslims last year in Cologne, where he implored them to help weed out terrorists from their communities — without any mention of the difficulties facing those same immigrant communities.

Still, Benedict ultimately made clear that he will be tweaking, rather than changing, his fundamental message on inter-faith dialogue. In the speech to diplomats, he called out rather pointedly for religious freedom — using the secular Muslim state of Turkey as an example. The following passage may well wind up being the strongest of the entire voyage: "The fact that the majority of the population of this country is Muslim is a significant element in the life of society, which the State cannot fail to take into account, yet the Turkish Constitution recognizes every citizen's right to freedom of worship and freedom of conscience. The civil authorities of every democratic country are duty bound to guarantee the effective freedom of all believers and to permit them to organize freely the life of their religious communities," the Pope said, reading his remarks in English and coughing occasionally at the end of a long day of encounters. He continued: "Religious liberty is a fundamental expression of human liberty and that the active presence of religion in society is a source of progress and enrichment for all. This assumes, of course, that religions do not seek to exercise direct political power, as that is not their province, and it also assumes that they utterly refuse to sanction recourse to violence as a legitimate expression of religion."

So here, tucked inside a day otherwise focused on reconciliation, may be the first act in the "post-POST-Regensburg" phase of Benedict's papal diplomacy. How clearly can he draw the lines on the question of religious freedom? When will the "frank" public dialogue with Islam recommence? Can he lay out a new vision for a modern secular state — in both the Western and Muslim worlds — that gives due space to faith? And, perhaps just as importantly, can he keep the world's attention? The answers will depend on whether Benedict can strike the right balance between his newfound flexibility and an ancient, iron-clad faith.

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#3
Pope calls for religious exchange
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6192770.stm

The Pope said Turkey was a religious bridge
Pope Benedict XVI has called for an "authentic dialogue" between Christians and Muslims in a speech at Turkey's directorate of religious affairs. He said the exchange must be "based on truth and inspired by a sincere wish to know one another better".

The pontiff was speaking at the start of a four-day visit to Turkey - his first trip to a mainly Muslim country since acceding to the papacy.

The visit has been overshadowed by angry protests by Turkish Muslims.

Tens of thousands of people protested on the streets of Istanbul at the weekend, calling on the Pope to stay away or apologise for comments he made about Islam in a speech in September.

I want to reiterate the solidarity between the cultures. This is our duty.

Pope Benedict XVI


Pope's delicate mission
Trip impact: Have your say
Speaking to an academic audience in Germany, the Pope quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterised Islam as a violent religion.

While the Pope insisted the remarks did not reflect his own views, the speech was widely reported and caused anger across the Islamic world.

Ali Bardakoglu, the head of Turkey's directorate general for religious affairs, which controls Turkish imams, referred to the controversial speech at the meeting with Pope Benedict.

"Such accusations and attempts can only serve to encourage those who perform wrong-doing on behalf of religion by way of exploitation," he said in a speech.

EU issue

The Pope's visit to Turkey began with a 20-minute meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who greeted him at Ankara airport, despite earlier claims Mr Erdogan would not have time.

LECTURE ROW
Such accusations and attempts can only serve to encourage those who perform wrong-doing on behalf of religion by way of exploitation

Ali Bardakoglu, head of Turkey's directorate general for religious affairs,


Pope stresses Muslim respect

During the meeting, the pontiff gave Turkey support for its bid to enter the European Union, Mr Erdogan said.

Correspondents say that with membership negotiations on a knife-edge, there is extreme sensitivity about the attitude of the Christian West towards Turkey - and the Pope's visit may be a focus for those concerns.

The Pope told the prime minister he wanted to visit Turkey because it was a bridge between religions and cultures.

"I want to reiterate the solidarity between the cultures," he said. "This is our duty."

While in Turkey, Benedict will become only the second pontiff to visit a mosque, and will also meet Islamic and Jewish leaders as well as the heads of Turkey's Christian communities.

Mausoleum visit

Security is extremely tight for the visit, with 15,000 police on guard, snipers in place and a decoy motorcade being used for the duration of the trip.

Turkey says security will be higher than for US President George W Bush's visit in 2004 - but officials insist the Pope will not be in danger.

PAPAL TRIP
28 Nov:
Meets PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Anakara
Visits mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern republic
Meets President Ahmet Necdet Sezer
29 Nov:
Goes to Ephesus to celebrate mass at site where Virgin Mary believed to have died
Goes to Istanbul to meet Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church, for first of series of encounters
1 Dec: Visits Haghia Sophia (6th Century Byzantine church converted into mosque in 1453, then transformed into museum in 1935) and Blue Mosque


Trip covers sensitive ground
The trip was arranged in part so the Pope could meet the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian Church, in Istanbul.

In Ankara, the Pope began his trip with a visit to the hilltop mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Flanked by an escort of ceremonial guards, he laid a wreath of red and white flowers.

In 1981 a Turkish gunman, Ali Agca, wounded Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in a Rome shooting.

Popes Paul VI and John Paul II visited Turkey in 1967 and 1979, respectively.

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#4
Pope on delicate Turkish mission
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6187346.stm

There will be no open-air cruise through Istanbul
Pope Benedict XVI travels to Turkey on Tuesday for what is arguably the most dangerous, delicate and contested visit outside Italy made by any pope in modern times.

Not only is the spiritual head of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics making the first visit of his pontificate to a predominantly Muslim country, but he will also be confronted by hostility from vociferous right-wing Turkish Islamic nationalists, who have already made it clear that he is not a welcome guest.

Benedict is also mindful that Ali Agca, the gunman who tried - and failed - to assassinate his predecessor John Paul II in Rome in 1981, was a Turk.

Agca has written to Benedict from his prison cell (he is now serving a further jail term in Turkey for another unrelated crime) advising the pontiff that he would be wise to postpone or cancel his trip.

Words watched

In a change of plan, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will meet the Pope at Ankara airport on Tuesday. Mr Erdogan had earlier planned not to meet the pontiff, saying he would have to travel to a Nato summit in Latvia.

No matter what he has said in the past, we have to be supremely hospitable

Turkish newspaper Milliyet


Press urges warm welcome

The Pope is aware that he will have to weigh very carefully the impact of every word he pronounces during his four-day stay in Ankara and Istanbul.

A lecture on "Faith and Reason" he gave in September during his last foreign visit - to his native Germany - caused a political furore and widespread offence in the Islamic world.


Benedict quoted a Byzantine emperor, who said that Islam was violent and irrational. Not true, replied his critics, demanding an apology.

Since September the level of invective may have died down, but the Pope's words will not be easily forgotten, despite his claims that he was misunderstood.


The Pope has faced much criticism in Turkey even before his arrival
There will be no triumphant crowds applauding the Pope in his popemobile on this pilgrimage.

In fact there will be no popemobile. He will travel only in motorcades of closed armour-plated limousines protected by a huge security cordon organised by his hosts, the Turkish government.

Reaching out

The Pope's visit to Turkey was originally planned by the Vatican with a view to improving relations with the Orthodox Church.

The spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew, happens to have his headquarters in Istanbul, the now mainly Muslim city which for centuries was known as Constantinople.

An ethnic Greek - but a Turkish citizen - Bartholomew has a minuscule local Christian flock of only about 3,000 people - a mere speck in an ocean of Islamic believers.


The Pope hopes for reconciliation with Patriarch Bartholomew I

But at the same time the Patriarch is also leader of a worldwide group of Christian believers who separated from Rome nearly 1,000 years ago.

The Orthodox are present mainly in Russia, in the Balkans and among a diaspora now scattered around the world.


The meeting between the leaders of the two churches is to be celebrated on 30 November, a feast day of huge importance to the Orthodox - that of their patron, Saint Andrew the Apostle, who brought Christianity to Asia Minor.

It is also of great significance for Pope Benedict. One of the long-term aims of his pontificate, he says, is to try to help heal the wounds of bitter theological disputes which have divided Christendom, some lasting hundreds of years, so that one day the whole Christian family might again be gathered into a united body.

Different world

There are therefore three quite separate aspects to the Pope's visit to Turkey: his official visit to the secular Turkish state; his ongoing unofficial, at times acrimonious, dialogue with the world of Islam; and his formal visit to the headquarters of the Orthodox Church.

When I accompanied Benedict's predecessor John Paul II to Istanbul at the start of his pontificate just over a quarter of a century ago, John Paul did not once utter the word "Islam" in any of his speeches.


Benedict will become only the second pontiff to visit a mosque

But the world has changed a lot since 1979.

The legacy of the defunct Ottoman Empire has receded even further into history; Turkey is knocking at the door of the European Union; Europe is becoming ever more secular; the Christian presence is haemorrhaging away in the war-torn Middle East; and the Roman Catholic Church is now competing vigorously with Islam for converts in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Istanbul, in a last-minute addition to his programme, the Pope will be visiting the city's famous Blue Mosque. It will be only the second time in history that a pope from Rome has entered a Muslim place of worship.

His whole visit will be heavy with religious symbolism. He will also enter Haghia Sophia - which was for 1,000 years the largest church in Christendom, was then converted into a mosque after the fall of Constantinople, and is now a secular building, a museum.

Every phrase the Pope utters during his Turkish visit will be picked over for the light it sheds on his vision of how the separated Churches of Christendom and the Muslim world may coexist and even co-operate in the fast-changing and interconnected world of the 21st Century.



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#5
Preaching to the unconverted
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6194112.stm

  
Pope Benedict XVI has begun his visit to Turkey with a call for dialogue between the world's great religions. The BBC's correspondent in Turkey, Sarah Rainsford, reports on the Pope's first day in the Muslim world.

Ceremonial soldiers in white helmets marched into place beside a red carpet at Ankara airport as Pope Benedict's plane arrived from Rome.


The Pope has said he wants to reach out to the Muslim world
Moments later, the Pope emerged and made his way down the steps for the start of his first visit to a mainly Muslim country.

In a last-minute change to the schedule, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was waiting on the tarmac to meet the pontiff in person. The two men shared a warm handshake, and smiles.

But this was a meeting that nearly did not happen.

The prime minister, whose party has its roots in political Islam, had been accused of snubbing the Pope by insisting until the last minute that he was otherwise engaged at the Nato summit in Latvia.

In the event the paths of the two men crossed at the airport, where they held a brief meeting that was clearly aimed at defusing tensions.

There is still widespread anger in Turkey at the Pope's comments in September, when he linked Islam to violence. Today though, all the talk was of friendship and peace.

"I wanted to come to Turkey, which is a bridge between religions," Pope Benedict told his host. "I believe it's my duty to establish friendly ties and encourage peace."

"As a culture of violence expands around the world - as the world is divided into different camps - we need understanding between cultures more than ever," Mr Erdogan told a group of journalists a few moments later as the Pope sped away to his next appointment in his armoured motorcade.

"So I find it all the more important that the Pope is visiting our country now, a country which is 95% Muslim, secular and democratic."

Public sceptical

There was more ceremonial display at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the general who founded the Turkish republic as a secular state and turned its sights to the West.

The Pope paused for a moment, to lay a wreath of red and white flowers at Ataturk's tomb.

There had been street protests ahead of this visit by Benedict XVI, with some demanding a personal apology from the Pope for his comments about Islam, accusing him of ignorance and insult.

  I don't think many Turks who know about Benedict XVI consider him yet as a friend of Turkey

Nazlan Ertan
Turkish journalist


Pope's sensitive journey  
Security for the visit was tight. More police were deployed in the capital than for the visit of President Bush.

But today only a tiny handful of protesters gathered.

The Pope is clearly trying to mend fences, but not everyone was persuaded.

"He was clearly full of enmity for Turks when he gave that lecture," a protester named Nilufer said.

"Maybe he's only saying these positive things now because he's here in Turkey? Maybe he's afraid of the reaction otherwise. But I don't find him at all convincing."

"I don't think many Turks who know about Benedict XVI consider him yet as a friend of Turkey," explains Nazlan Ertan, a journalist in Ankara.

"That's because the present Pope, when he was a cardinal, said Turkey had no place in a Christian Europe. That came as a great insult."

Call for dialogue

But on that front Prime Minister Erdogan has revealed what appears to be a complete about-face.

He claimed the Pope told him he does now want to see Turkey as part of the EU.


The Pope is an unfamiliar figure to many in Turkey
By evening the focus was back firmly on religion, as the Pope met one of his most vocal critics, the head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate.

In September Ali Bardakoglu accused the Pope of harbouring hatred for Islam.

Now, hosting the head of the Roman Catholic Church in his office, Mr Bardakoglu saluted him as an esteemed religious leader.

But in a statement from the podium he did hint at the Pope's comments about Islam, albeit indirectly.

Mr Bardakoglu spoke of a rise of Islamophobia in the world, and referred to those who link Islam with violence.

"I would like to announce that each member of Islam - a religion of peace - regrets such accusations which are not based on any scientific fact," he said.

"We men of religion should not be slaves of such prejudices."

From the Pope himself, conciliatory messages flowed. He announced that dialogue between faiths cannot be reduced to what he called "an optional extra".

"The best way forward is for authentic dialogue based on truth and inspired by the true wish to know one another better, respecting our differences and recognising what we have in common."

So the tone for this difficult visit has been set. There is no sign of any apology from the Pope, but there is a clear effort to calm tensions and begin to mend relations.

So far, most Turks seem to be accepting that.

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#6
Pope in Historic Visit to Turkey Mosque
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?

The Pope's visit is the second such a visit by Roman Catholic Pontiff to a Muslim worship of place. (Reuters)

ISTANBUL — In a gesture of reconciliation to the Muslim world, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday, November 30, visited Istanbul's Blue Mosque, the second such a visit by the Roman Catholic Pontiff to a Muslim house of worship, and prayed alongside Turkey's Grand Mufti.
"Thank you for this moment of prayer," the Pope told Istanbul's Grand Mufti Mustafa Cagrici after the prayers, reported Reuters.

As he entered the carpeted expanse of the 17th century mosque, the pope took off his shoes and put on what looked like white cloth slippers.

After being told about the mosque's history and architecture by Cagrici, the Pope stood side by side with the Muslim leader for about a minute during performing the prayer.

"The pope's visit and the messages he gave are creating great synergies for the dialogues between the two religions," said Mufti Cagrici.

"We are very happy for the visit," he added after the mosque tour which lasted 20 minutes.

Benedict's visit is the second by a Catholic Roman Pontiff in history after late John Paul who visited a mosque in Damascus in 2001.

The Blue Mosque, known officially as the Sultan Ahmet mosque, opened in 1616 and is the most famous in Turkey.

It got its popular name from the fine blue Iznik tiles in the main prayer room.

The mosque stands in Sultan Ahmet Square in the old centre of Istanbul, opposite the Aya Sofya Mosque, which was once the Christian church Hagia Sophia.

The Pope visited the mosque after a short tour of Aya Sofya.

Gesture

Benedict's mosque visit was a late addition to his schedule meant as a gesture of respect for Islam after he angered Muslims last September by citing quotes by a Byzantine emperor who associated Islam with violence.

The Pope, who will wrap up his four-day visit on Friday, December 1, has already defused much of the tension linked to the predominantly Muslim Turkey by supporting Ankara's bid to join the European Union.

"Your two-day visit to Istanbul has produced an incredibly positive outcome for Turkey. We thank you," Cagrici told the Pope after the mosque tour.

The warm words echoed satisfied comments from Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who welcomed the Pope at Ankara airport on Tuesday, November 28, and heard him clarify his views on Turkey's EU bid.

Earlier, Benedict and the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians prayed together and signed a common declaration -- usually confined to theological issues -- appearing to jointly support Turkish membership if it protected religious liberties.

"We have viewed positively the process that has led to the formation of the European Union," said the statement by Pope Benedict and Patriarch Bartholomewand.

"In every step towards unification, minorities must be protected, with their cultural traditions and the distinguishing features of their religion," it added.

Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, strongly supports Turkey's membership in the EU.

Pope Benedict had won himself a reputation as the "anti-Turkish pope" for saying that Ankara's EU membership would be a "a grave error... against the tide of history" when he was still Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

Ratzinger, elected pope in April 2005, said Turkey should seek its future in an association of Islamic nations, not with the EU, which has Christian roots.

Ankarawon an EU green light last October to start membership talks, albeit being told they would last at least a decade.

In a seemingly another goodwill gesture to Muslim but largely secular Turkey, the Vatican said Sunday it does not object to Ankara's accession into the EU bloc.


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#7
DOHA INTERFAITH DIALOGUE CENTRE LAUNCHED

Mohammad Sabrah
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1178723977189&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout


DOHA — An international center for inter-faith dialogue was unveiled in the Qatari capital Doha on Wednesday, May 9, to foster better understanding among the world's three monotheistic religions.
"The Doha International Center for Inter-faith Dialogue is a practical implementation of the recommendations of the annual Doha inter-faith conferences in the past five years," Dr Aisha Al Mannai, the conference chair, told IslamOnline.net.

"The center will seek contacts with all world countries and will draw up plans for future steps," she said.

The center's basic structure will include a five-member board of directors from Qatar and a seven-member international advisory board.

The board of directors will be chaired by Dr. Ibrahim Saleh Al-Nuaimi, former president of Qatar University.

The advisory board comprises three Muslims, three Christians and a Jewish rabbi.

The center, headquartered in Doha, will be financed by the Qatar government but will function as an independent entity.

The advisory board will meet twice a year to provide advices and look into various issues related to inter-faith dialogue and the annual Doha conference.

"The center will seek contacts with all world countries to benefit from previous experiences and to draw up plans for future steps," Mannai, dean of the College of Shariah and Islamic Studies at Qatar University, told IOL.

Dialogue

The launch of the new center crowned the conclusion of the fifth Doha inter-faith dialogue conference.

The conference condemned any insults against religious sanctities and symbols.

It called for disseminating human values and promoting dialogue and understanding among followers of the different faiths.

Attendees called on religious leaders to seek dialogue and urged social, educational and media policies to avoid stereotypes which feed phobias and hostilities between faiths.

The three-day conference, which opened on May 6, was attended by about 150 delegates representing Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

During last year's conference, 13 rabbis were among the delegates who debated topics such as the blasphemous Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).

The United Nations top human rights body adopted a resolution late on Friday, March 30, condemning "defamation" of religion and stressing that press freedom had its limits, in a reference to the publication of offensive cartoons.




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#8
THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Anthony Whitehouse

Over the course of the last few months we have seen a large number of submissions -- position papers, think-pieces and articles -- on ATCA about the risks facing humanity, business and the individual. Risks implicitly imply challenges. And I guess since such challenges make demands on our resources and resourcefulness its necessary to scan the horizon, see what's coming and what risks we are facing so we can prepare for them.

Nonetheless (and at the risk of stirring the pot) I would suggest the greatest challenge facing humanity is not really a logistical, environmental or resource problem; it is actually a spiritual and metaphysical challenge. The reason I say this is that the divines who have graced our planet have all demonstrated their dominion over so many challenges which most of us would find totally daunting. They have walked on water, fed multitudes, survived fiery furnaces, poisoning, calmed ravenous wolves and seen off troublesome potentates, blinded whole armies and, on occasion moved Time backwards.

What is odd about these divines is that they rarely considered the risks they were taking. They were more concerned about challenging the material status quo, despite their reticence to do so on some occasions. But having developed their spiritual understanding they were able to cope with those challenges. Ergo: the spiritual understanding was crucial to the resolution of the issues facing them, the challenge itself was irrelevant. It for this reason the development of spiritual understanding obviously has great merit especially in what appears to be today's high risk environment.

The great challenge for the 21st Century must lie in capturing the understanding of the spiritual power these divines possessed so that it is not only intelligible but available to all to demonstrate. Such an achievement would have great consequences for humankind because it would break the fetters of materiality and demonstrate the freedom that does come from such spiritual understanding.

There is also a mantra, in conventional religious circles, which requires all those who, for one reason or another, are caught up in unenlightened behaviour to change their ways before they can find redemption. Which is fine if you have had the benefit of a good religious education and have enough time on your hands to further your religiosity. But how can this requirement really seem reasonable for a child borne of abusive parents, addicted to drugs who can neither read nor write? Based on such conditions it would appear such a person is totally outside any hope of redemption whereas it is obviously manifestly unjust that life exists with certain built-in disadvantages. Unfortunately religion or religious thought has to deal with this uncomfortable dilemma. Can one really formulate the process of spiritual existence and spiritual understanding, the mastery of the affairs temporal and the dominion which it entails, in such a way that not only can the illiterate grasp it but everyone can benefit from it and understand the utility of it? After all the science of mathematics can be appreciated by the unversed even if they cannot aspire to calculus. In this regard, the Holistic Quantum Relativity project is an interesting endeavour.

If I contend for this necessity it is because I am far from convinced that many really see the utility of spirituality at all, which is the crying shame of the 21st century currently bowing before so many material gods -- consumption and production. Great societal and cultural advances have often followed spiritual enlightenment and progress. The epoch of St Francis of Assisi was followed by the Renaissance. In the 1870s another great soul wrote, "There is no life, substance or intelligence in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation." And although the world knew it not at the time such an enlightened pronouncement must have lifted human thought to a point where Einstein was able to conceive of the theory of relativity and all that went with it. Spirituality is necessary for human progress and inexorably tied up with it.

If Spirituality is ignored it is simply because we are so often mesmerised by the three-dimensional or material elements of a problem. Confronted with the red sea our first reaction is "Where are we ever going to find the boats to cross it?". Our spiritual treasures are so poor that we just could never envisage the sort of solution one divine experienced. Conventional human wisdom just does not give any credence to the notion that if you can deal with the anxiety, fear and foreboding accompanying such events a solution does in fact present itself.

Spiritual ignorance it is not a religious challenge but more of an educational challenge. It is the challenge to make a discipline intelligible and understandable which is essentially the role of an educator. One of the ironies of this challenge is that those best suited to take on this role, ie, those of sufficient spiritual stature to have a good understanding of the didactic process, is that their humility gets in the way. Great spiritual attainments are only attained at the cost of great humility. And great humility naturally makes one reticent to then hold oneself out as an authority on the issue, which of course is exactly what is required. The founder of the Christian religion often emphasized that those he healed should keep quite about it and get on with their lives.

The great divines did not move people just by the spoken or written word. It was their lives which changed people. In so many cases within a few generations of their deaths the perfume of their example had dissipated to the point where their spiritual legacy was lost even though their intellectual legacy remained. Spiritual healing was very much part of the early Christian church's mission for the first three hundred years of its existence but this facet of Christianity dissipated thereafter. It found expression later in the lives of certain saints such as St Francis of Assisi. John Wesley the founder of the Methodist movement also effected healing. And more recently Padre Pio who passed on in 1968 was credited with healing. It was obviously their spiritual understanding which brought about such changes not their scholastic prowess.

The educational process of any discipline requires not only perusing of textbooks but face to face sessions with professors and exponents of the discipline. No divines have left us more than a written testimony of their understanding. There are any number of theologians who will go on record with their scholastic views but unfortunately the intellectual does not necessarily induce the spiritual, otherwise the campuses of our universities would be littered with graduates walking on water rather than rowing on it!

In today's internet age there has to be room for capturing and disseminating the testimony of spiritual understanding in such a way that all have access to its promise and rationale. Such testimony has to be the way to improving spiritual education. It is not just a question of imparting a particular theology but providing the spiritual impetus which gets rid of the fear, anxiety, hatred, misunderstanding, expectation of disaster, prejudice, arrogance, self-righteousness, meanness, poverty, crime and lassitude which affects humanity. Concrete testimony of such dominion is required, not just the written arguments. As far as possible such a space has to be non-denominational and undogmatic otherwise it will exclude rather than include. That is not to say that the testifiers will not be of a particular denomination but the proofs they provide of their understanding will necessarily speak for themselves.

If I make this plea to stay away from a scholastic approach it is because another irony of the divines who have provided so much spiritual impetus to humankind is that they have not been borne of theological seminaries. This was especially the case for St Francis of Assisi. Great scholastic achievement does not translate into spiritual competence. Being able to quote an obscure 14th century Cypriot monk does not necessarily mean you can meet the challenge of approaching a drunk crumpled in the street and demonstrate to him that life is actually worth living.

Hopefully these words will inspire re-examination of our educational and training priorities at all levels.

Respectfully


Anthony Whitehouse

[
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges
through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment ; radical poverty and microfinance ; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism ; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk ; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians ; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations ; 1,000 Heads of NGOs ; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence ; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers ; as well as 250 Editors -in -Chief of major media.

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Reply
#9
BENEDICT XVI’s EGYPTIAN ASSASSIN
Khalid Jan
http://www.icssa.org/article_detail_parse.php?a_id=1201&rel=1043,828


To advance reconciliation between Jews and Roman Catholics, Pope John Paul II promised to allow scholars to examine Vatican’s secret archives for its possible connection to the holocaust. One of the first scholars given permission to examine these archives is Prof. David I. Kertzer. His findings are published in his book “THE POPES AGAINST THE JEWS: VATICAN’S ROLE IN THE RISE OF MODERN ANTI-SEMITISM.” In one of the chapters, Prof. Kertzer conducts a detailed analysis of more than 36 anti-Judaism and anti-Jewish articles written by the Jesuits. These articles, in time, became the foundation of modern anti-Semitism, and a catalyst to the holocaust.



To keep alive the Papal tradition of hate for non-Roman Catholic religions, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, right after becoming Pope Benedict XVI, selected handful of elite Jesuits as his “special papal troops” to combat the rise of Islam in Europe.[1] The chief amongst them is one Egyptian Coptic Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir. His articles and interviews are spread all over Catholic-centric news portals. This paper briefly explores the history of Jesuits, their role as “papal shock troops,” and a critical analysis of Father Samir’s anti-Islam, anti-Muslim writings.



St. Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish Basque nobleman; born probably in 1491 at Loyola, Spain.[2] A soldier by profession; his military career ended due to injuries to both of his legs.[3] During the course of his recovery, he spent his time studying the life of Jesus and saints. Eventually, he decided to devote his remaining life to Jesus.[4] His immediate plan of action was to convert Muslims to Roman Catholicism.[5] His life history, However, provides no evidence if he ever succeeded in his mission.



Sometime between 1524 and 1534, Loyola and six of his friends vowed to practice poverty and celibacy. This group, in its infancy state, was named “The Company of Jesus” by Loyola. The organization was officially recognized and renamed “The Society of Jesus” by Pope Paul III in 1540. After rigorous training and acceptance, those who joined the society were called Jesuits - this title was never used by Loyola during his lifetime, but was later adopted by his followers after his death. The term actually means “one who frequently uses the name of Jesus.”[6] They are considered “crème of the Roman Catholic” society. The establishment of the Society by Loyola was not meant to combat Protestantism, but to build an institution for “Papal militarism.” Anti-Protestant movement was later staged by the Jesuits.[7]



Although “The society of Jesus” is a single unified entity spread through out the world, its members, the Jesuits, have diversified beliefs, views and practices. Theoretically, it is mandatory upon all Jesuits to be the “loyal defenders of the Papacy.”[8] There are some who genuinely follow footsteps of Loyola. Then there are others who have sincerely dedicated their lives to the well-being of the poor and needy around the world.[9]



The academic Jesuits may have secular or un-orthodox views of the Vatican’s official teachings.[10] The Political minded Jesuits may use unlawful means to achieve their goals.[11] The Former Superior General of the “Society of Jesus,” Father Pedro Arrupe said in a speech: “an attitude not simply of refusal but of counterattack against injustice; a decision to work with others toward the dismantling of unjust social structures so that the weak, the oppressed, the marginalized of this world may be set free.”[12] In their early history, some Jesuits even “suggested military invasions of Mecca, Angola, and the great Chinese empire itself.”[13]



Father Pedro Arrupe, selected superior general of the “Society of Jesus” in 1965, “sent a twelve-page letter to American Jesuits, accusing them of failing to do enough for the Negro: ‘The racial crisis involves, before all else,’ wrote Arrupe, ‘a direct challenge to our sincerity in professing a Christian concept of man.’”[14] Was Father Arrupe’s letter in response to racist attitude amongst American Jesuits towards African Americans because numerically, most belong to the Protestant denominations? Pope Benedict XVI on his 2007 Latin American tour acknowledged that “historically African-American communities have been marginalized by the Roman Catholic church.”[15]



Jesuit missionaries together with a group of Roman Catholic terrorists, in 1586, plotted to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England, and install Roman Catholic Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. Assassins were selected by Jesuit John Ballard.[16] Through a network of spies, Queen’s secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham uncovered the plot. In September 1586, conspirators were arrested, and brutally executed.[17] Elizabeth I, in a letter she sent to King James VI of Scotland in October 1586 wrote: “I thank God that you beware so soon of Jesuits, that have been the source of all these treacheries in this realm, and will spread like an evil weed if at the first they be not weeded out.”[18] History refers to this assassination plot as the “Babington Plot,” named after its chief conspirator Anthony Babington, a secretly raised Roman Catholic.[19]



In addition to the usual three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience,[20] elite Jesuits take the fourth vow of special loyalty to the Pope. Amongst this “fourth vow” group are Jesuits who are assigned to “high-level” missions by the Pope.[21] Any Jesuit who dare oppose the Pope or “Vaticanized Christianity” is harassed, censured or faces possible expulsion from the society.



Three fairly recent cases of censorships are Father Jon Sobrino,[22] late Danish Jesuit professor Father Jacques Dupius, and Rev. Roger Haight. Father Sobrino was censored for his insufficient emphasis on the divinity of Christ in his writings. Father Dupuis was interrogated and publicly rebuked by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for ambiguities in his academic paper “Christian theology of religious pluralism.” The impact of such harsh treatment landed Father Dupius in a “Rome hospital with a perforated duodenal ulcer.”[23] Rev. Haight was barred from teaching by then-Cardinal Ratzinger because of his views that non-Christians can get to heaven without the help of Jesus.[24]



In 1850, a group of Jesuits founded a bi-weekly periodical “La Civiltà Cattolica.”[25] The editors were the Italian members of the Jesuit order. It is not an official Vatican publication, but all articles were, and still are pre-approved by the Vatican’s Secretary of State.[26]



In December 1880, the Jesuit run periodical printed a series of anti-Judaism, anti-Jewish articles. One of its founders, Father Giuseppe Oreglia di Santo Stefano was the main architect behind these anti-Semitic writings. The focus of Jesuits’ propaganda was that Jews cannot be trusted, they can only be Jews and never loyal European citizens, their book, the Talmud teaches hate against all non-Jews, they hate Christianity and are hostile to society; government should introduce laws against them because they are a wicked race; Judaism’s wars against Christian nations is a direct result of Jewish religion; Jews are taking over the world; they are after money; Jews could never integrate into any society and they form a foreign nation within a nation; Jews’ “nationality is not in the soil where he is born, nor in the language that he speaks, but in his seed.”[27]



A special institution called “HOUSE OF CATECHUMENS” was established by the Vatican in 1548 for forced conversion to Catholicism.[28] When the Papacy was restored in 1823, Pope Leo XII “ordered the Jews back into their Ghettos.”[29] Those Jews who desired to be free, left the ghettos went straight to the “HOUSE OF CATECHUMENS” to be baptized. They gave up their language, abandoned their traditional dress, adopted Christian names, and modified religious practices so they can be “integrated into the larger community.”[30]



The Jesuits of 1880s, after successfully laying the foundation for anti-Judaism, and its ugly form, anti-Semitism left behind an ideology of hate for non-Roman Catholic religions. The leading Jesuit inheritor of this ideology, in our times, is Father Samir Khalil Samir.



He is an Egyptian; teaches comparative religion and history of Arab culture at St. Joseph’s University in Lebanon[31] and Jesuit run Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome.[32] He is the unofficial voice of Benedict XVI.[33] His assigned mission: to spread disinformation about Islam through Catholic-centric news portals: “Benedict XVI knows him and highly respects him. In September of 2005, the Pope held a closed-door seminar at Castel Gandolfo with Father Samir [sic] and other scholars of Islam, on the concept of God in the Qur’an.”[34]



As an elite Papal propagandist, Father Samir is commissioned to give an Islamic face to every affair that originates in the Muslim world, advocate de-Muslimization, and de-Islamization in Europe. To achieve his Nazi-modeled objectives, he misquotes history, truncates Qur’anic passages, makes unverifiable claims, talks about importance of context but disregards it himself, and leans on Orientalists' interpretation of the Qur’an. The “Catholic News Agency” refers to him as “one of the Church’s leading experts on Islam.”[35] A remarkable parallelism is found in the writings of Father Samir, and racist Jesuits of 1880s. The only notable difference is that Judaism and Jews are replaced with Islam and Muslims. Is this a coincidence?











MUHAMMAD, QUR’AN, ISLAM & MUSLIMS

IN THE EYES OF JESUIT FATHER KHALIL SAMIR KHALIL



MUHAMMAD



“Muhammad had no money and he tried to win favor with three rich Jewish tribes that lived in the town…began military expeditions because it was the only way to earn living…Muhammad Islamized pagan rituals”[36]
“When Mohammed was confronted with the heathens of Mecca, he simply withdrew from them and went to Medina. Then he returned to Mecca, this time armed. But before he attacked the heathens [sic], he asked them three times whether they wanted to convert to Islam. Only after they had replied three times in the negative did he attack them. With this, he gave Islam clear rules for the conduct of war.”[37]
“Violence is in the Koran and in Mohammed's life, and whoever says the contrary has not read the Koran or knows Mohammed.”[38]


When it comes to Islam as a whole, Father Samir’s perception of “Christian ethics” simply evaporate.[39] The above Statements clearly exhibit his deliberate distortion of facts and disregard for historical accuracy. Instead of providing lengthy rebuttals to his manufactured lies, following sources adequately expose his “Vaticanized” forgeries: THE QUR’AN A BIOGRAPHY, BRUCE LAWRENCE, 37-49; MUHAMMAD A PROPHET OF OUR TIMES, KAREN ARMSTRONG, 89-108; MUHAMMAD A PROPHET FOR ALL HUMANITY, MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN, 176-182.



In his desperate attempt to discredit Muhammad’s call to pure monotheism, Father Samir accuses him of “Islamizing pagan rituals.” He gives no evidence of which “pagan rituals” Muhammad Islamized. On the other hand, Christianity, in its first 300 years adopted many rituals of Roman paganism prevalent at the time: “Millions of pagans suddenly entered the church, and some of their customs inevitably crept into the liturgy: the use of the kiss as a sign of reverence for holy objects, the practice of Genuflection, devotion to relics, and the use of candles, incense and other ceremonial features derived from the imperial court.”[40] The challenge for Father Samir now is to trace, with historical accuracy, present day rituals formulated by the Roman Catholic Church directly to Jesus?



QUR’AN



“Secularity must be, above all, affirmed in the interpretation of the Koran.”[41]
“There can be no reticence when it comes to saying that in Islam there are the makings of violence in the Koran, alongside the makings of peace. It must also be said in no uncertain terms that the makings of violence have been developed more than those of peace.”[42]
“Reinterpretation is necessary also because the Koran is full of internal contradictions which have always been evident, due to the varying circumstances of the ‘revelations.’ It is for this very reason that Muslim theology developed the science of the "revelation circumstances" (asbâb al-tanzîl) which is by now often forgotten or neglected.”[43]
“The condemnation of the actions of the people of Sodoma is unremitting. For example, Koran 29 (The Spider), 28-29: “And when Lot said to his people: Most surely you are guilty of an indecency which none of the nations has ever done before you; you lust after males.”[44]


Who is to reinterpret the Qur’an ‘secularly?’ Who decides and who accepts it? Should the task be handed to the Jesuits, “atheist Muslims,” or some “EU Commission?” Just because some people, proclaiming to be Muslims act against the teachings of the Qur’an, doesn’t imply that the Qur’an needs “radical interpretation.” In Europe, “over 10% of female mortality and around 25% of male mortality in the 15–29 age groups is related to hazardous alcohol consumption.”[45] If Father Samir’s “Vaticanized logic” is applied in finding a solution to this social malaise, Europe is left with only two options: either completely ban alcohol, or radically change laws pertaining to its consumption.



Football violence and racism in Europe is a direct result of the matches held all over Europe.[46] In one of the matches in France, a Police officer shot and killed a fan because he was going to kill another fan that was Jewish. The racist and right-wing fans hurled insults “dirty Jew, dirty Negro, Death to the Jew, Jews to the ovens” when Paris team was defeated by a team from Tel Aviv.[47] Reason, therefore, dictates that football should be banned in Europe.



The late Pope John Paul II, in his speech at CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy on JULY 20, 2003 said that the “Christian faith has shaped the culture of Europe.” Professor Philip Jenkins in June 2007 issue of Foreign Policy writes: “For all we hear about Islam, Europe remains a stronger Christian fortress than people realize. What’s more, it is showing little sign of giving ground to Islam or any other faith for that matter.” Cardinal Karl Lehmann, head of the German Conference of Bishops said in a speech on June 22, 2007: “The deep cultural connection between Christianity and our legal state, that goes back to the Middle Ages and before, cannot simply be ignored.”[48] Unless the European nations openly and collectively declare Europe to be a non-Christian continent, “social terrorism” and racism influenced by football remains a Christian-centric phenomenon.



Father Samir claims that the Qur’an contains many “internal contradictions” and therefore requires “reinterpretation.” There is a logical inconsistency in his statement: If the book contains “internal contradictions,” why bother reinterpreting it? Leaving the so called “contradictions” as is in the Qur’an would make the Bible look like the “inerrant Word of God,” and the Qur’an, “tales of the ancients.”



In item 4 above, Father Samir truncates verses 28-29 of chapter 29 of the Qur’an. He inherits this habit from his master, the Pope. In the “THE NEW CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH” – heart of the Catholic teachings, a significant portion of verses 16-17 of chapter 19 of the Gospel of Mathew are expunged.[49] This new “CATECHISM” was produced under the direct supervision of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and approved by Pope John Paul II.



In his book “Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions,” then-Cardinal Ratzinger on page 55, expunges from verses 19-20 [sic] of chapter 28 of the Gospel of Matthew the central doctrine of Christianity, the Trinity, and replaces it by dots. This is coming from a man who once acted as guardian of the Roman Catholic doctrines. This book is published by Jesuit run Ignatius Press, Ft. Collins, Colorado.



When a scriptural passage is truncated, expunged or altered, its meaning radically changes. For example, there is a difference of 20 words between the actual Biblical passage, and the passage present in the “NEW CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.” This scriptural corruption, Father Samir, his few elite fellow Jesuits and the Pope are desperately seeking to introduce into their version of a “Vatcanized Qur’an.”[50]



This brings into light the level of “scholarship” Father Samir, and his master holds. His predecessors used to truncate passages of the Talmud to demonize Jews. What academic integrity he now posses to be called a “leading expert on Islam?” In the words of Encyclopedia of Ethics, “honesty is a central concept to ETHICS as the foundation for moral life.”[51]



ISLAM



“Islam has become an “anti-divine, anti-human” ideology, which seeks only power.”[52]
“Islam can also be violent, because faith is mingled with politics, including in the Sacred Book. To say that Islam is a religion of peace means not having gone full depth in considerations on whether violence is legitimized or not.”[53]
“It is time for Europe to understand that religious law cannot prevail over civil law and that, above every form of tolerance, there is a country’s constitution. If this does not happen, Islam will be given carte blanche to colonize our customs.”[54]
“Today we often see how some wish to spread Islam through means that are not always peaceful. At time, it was even by war.”[55]
“Tariq Ramadan [sic] says that Muslims in Europe want to become European Muslims but for this to happen European society must recognize Muslims and give them the necessary space to express ourselves. In practical terms this means converting Europe’s social and legal systems in order to facilitate converting people. It means Islamizing institutions on the premise that since Europe no longer has a soul but only technology, Islam is the only religion that can fill the void.”[56]


Father Samir’s master recognizes the “erosion of the Catholic faith - and rise of Islam - in Europe.”[57] Historically, erosion of Roman Catholicism began the day early “Church Fathers” abandoned the message of Jesus Christ, and adopted the Aristotelian concepts of “Faith and Reason.”[58] This was done to explain puzzling Christian doctrines to philosophers and those of critical minds.[59] These philosophical concepts were declared “eternally valid” by the Pope in 1879.



In the “NEW CATECHISM OF THE CATHOILIC CHURCH,” this pagan concept is now attributed to God.”[60] In a world full of conflicts, misery and poverty, “Faith and Reason” provides no solutions for dying humanity other than futile philosophical exercises within the walls of Vatican. What the world needs is not Aristotle, but GOD CONSCIOUSNESS, GOODNESS AND JUSTICE.



“See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.”(Colossians 2:8 RSV Bible)



Father Samir’s statement that “Islam has become anti-divine, anti-human” clearly demonstrates his irrationality and ignorance. Between July 2004 and June 2005, 4,000 Germans embraced Islam?[61] Is this phenomenon a fruit of an “anti-divine” religion? If Roman Catholicism is the “only pro-divine, pro-human” religion, then for what reasons the most “intelligent papal troops” are in constant decline – 1% per year?[62] In 1990, Jesuits numbered 23,870,[63] 20,408 in 2002,[64] 20,170 in 2003,[65] 19,850 in 2004,[66] and 19,564 in 2005.[67] The “Spiritual Exercises” prescribed by Loyola couldn’t even help 25 Jesuits who were “credibly accused” of sexually molesting young boys in the “Oregon Province” – A JESUIT COMMUNITY.[68]



The well crafted 17th century Jesuit missionary propaganda coupled with their zeal to die for their faith, and “WIN SOULS FOR CHRIST” traveled to the farthest corners of the world. When Jesuits reached Goa, India under the Portuguese and Spanish protection, they smashed idols, mocked local customs and called natives of low intelligence. In New France – Québec, they called the First Nations tribes as “barbarians and savages.”[69]



Wherever Jesuits went, their goal was to find people unschooled and weak of faith; brainwash them until they got baptized. These new zealots were sent to their communities to persuade others to get baptized. At times, there were reprisals: Jesuits were killed, sometimes violently. This forceful conversion had a two-fold purpose: first to conquer the land and people for the Church; second, to “attain martyrdom.”[70]



Suicidal circumstances are deliberately created by Jesuits primarily to protect Papacy in times of crisis – a golden opportunity to enter into “martyrdom hall of fame.” Early church “leaders like Tertullian urged their followers not simply to endure martyrdom but to seek it out.”[71] For this very reason, the “low grade” Jesuits are sent to the most volatile and war-torn regions of the world to “die for God,” and the elite ones are kept behind to grease the papal propaganda machine.[72]: “More than 300 Jesuits died during the twentieth century for love of God and their fellow human beings. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) declared that the excellence of martyrdom was rooted in the degree of identification with Jesus Christ which motivated a person to give his life for others. For this reason martyrdom is esteemed by the Church as a unique gift and the supreme proof of love. Pope John Paul II has beatified and canonized more martyrs than any other pope. He even amplified the very concept of martyrdom, extending it to people who performed a heroic charitable act.”[73]



Through the education system, Jesuits infiltrate governments; take control of schools where young minds are indoctrinated.[74] In June 2007, Jesuit Refugee Service opened a technical school in Heart, Afghanistan.[75] Why Jesuits, and not one of many non-religious organizations that can probably run a school much more ethically than them?[76] This is a long term strategic operation intended to produce secularized elite infused with “Vaticanized” mindset.



One of the classic examples of this “Jesuit intrigue” is the highly politicized staged drama of Afghan “Christian convert” Abdul Rahman in 2006. Mr. Rahman arrived in Germany on February 19, 2000 to seek asylum. His request was rejected by the German authorities on April 21, 2000. He then moved to Belgium where he applied for asylum under a different name in August 2000. His application was also rejected by the Belgium authorities on December 20, 2000.[77]



His German file portrays Mr. Rahman as “emotionally disturbed, a man driven by his psychoses and paranoia, made confused impressions, gave unsubstantiated, contradictory and unbelievable statements.” According to doctors at the Christian Memorial Hospital in Sialkot, Pakistan, Mr. Rahman suffered from “pathological jealousy and pathological perception disorders” for which he was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.[78] This hospital is run by American Presbyterian missionaries. Mr. Rahman was baptized in 1990/91, while working for a “Catholic” NGO in Pakistan.[79]



When Belgian government decided to deport Afghans, Mr. Rahman voluntarily returned to his family in Kabul on January 22, 2003. A man who sacrificed his family, religion, and tribal roots for the sake of Jesus was unable to find a safe refuge amongst his fellow Christians in Greece, Germany and Belgium. When Mr. Rahman arrived in Italy on March 29, 2006, rather than spending few moments of his first night in Church, he “enjoyed pizza, loads of espresso and then went to shave.”[80]



In support of Mr. Rahman, Father Samir, in his article dated March 29, 2006 published on “asianews.it” unleashed his wrath against Islam: “The ordeal of Abdul Rahman of Afghanistan is shared by many converts from Islam and poses the problem of Islam's systematic violation of human rights… Fundamentalist violence that currently characterizes the Muslim world brings many to ask themselves: can such a violent religion truly come from God?” Jesuit Father Giuseppe De Rosa in issue 3680 of La Civiltà Cattolica dated October 18, 2003 writes: “In reality, for almost a thousand years Europe was under constant threat from Islam, which twice put its survival in serious danger. Thus, in all of its history, Islam has shown a warlike face and a conquering spirit for the glory of Allah.”



The pagan Roman emperor Constantine turned Christian, who face-lifted Christianity, “had his eldest son Crispus and his wife Fausta killed after the Council of Nicea. Why? No one knows.”[81] He ordered Jews to be “burned alive” if they opposed “conversion from Judaism to Christianity.”[82] In 1916, German-born Father Hans Schmidt, a Roman Catholic priest was executed in New York, United States for cutting the throat, and then dismembering the body of his secretly pregnant wife Anna Aumuller.[83]

In December 2006, the United Nations-backed war crimes court convicted Roman Catholic priest Father Athanase Seromba for taking part in Rwanda's “1994 genocide by ordering militiamen to set fire to a church and then bulldoze it while 2,000 people seeking safety were huddled inside.”[84] A Jury convicted Rev. Gerald Robinson, a Roman Catholic priest for killing a nun in 1980.[85]



A Chilean court charged Father Molina, a Roman Catholic priest for covering up murder of 26 political prisoners during the brutal military regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.[86] A 69 year old Roman Catholic priest is handed life sentence in Argentina: Christian Von Wernich is charged with participating in 7 murders, 42 kidnappings, and 31 cases of torture during the dictatorship period from 1976-1983.[87] A Roman Catholic Mexican priest Rev. Dagoberto Valle Arriga was sentenced to 55 years in prison for killing his son he did not want his superiors to discover.[88] A Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty to have smashed a wine bottle on Church soloist at his Las Vegas Parish.[89]



Is it now fair and “RATIONAL” to condemn Roman Catholicism or Romanized Christianity for the above mentioned acts of murder and brutality? The answer is found by simply substituting Islam with Roman Catholicism in the following statement by Father Samir’s master, Benedict XVI: “Yet even Islam, with all the greatness it represents, is always in danger of losing balance. Letting violence have a place and letting religion slide away into mere outward observance and ritualism.”[90] Indeed, when faith becomes void of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS, reason demands exit into the realm of disbelief, fanaticism and bestiality.





MUSLIMS AND INTEGRATION



“If they live in Italy and if they integrate in Italy, they should be able to say “I am Italian” and not just because they are able to have a passport or they are standing on Italian soil.”[91]
“Islam must be helped to separate religion and politics. And the West can do that, curbing all those Islamic fundamentalist requests being made in Europe on the question of head coverings, halal (acceptable) meat, freedom of Islamic teaching and freedom of mosques.”[92]
“Let's take the notorious headscarf. More and more Muslim women in Germany are wearing it, and this frightens or angers Germans, although they do not address the topic directly and matter-of-factly. Yet this has nothing to do with assimilation or with an attack on religious liberties. Nowhere in the Koran is there any clear mention of a duty to cover the head. Only 30 years ago, most Muslim women all over the world did not wear a headscarf. Real faith requires no visible symbols. In this case, however, we're not talking about real faith, but about fundamentalist repression..”[93]
“Multiculturalist ideology, i.e. the blind tolerance of any culture or tradition, is destroying Europe and standing in the way of any positive development of Islam. Such ideology has been condemned by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali intellectual and parliamentarian who, having received death threats from Muslims for her defense of women’s rights and tired of European multiculturalism, left Holland to go work in the United States at the American Enterprise Institute. She accused Holland of excessive acquiescence, of encouraging the immobility of Muslim communities and even of letting itself be conquered by Islam and Islamic law.”[94]
“Actually a young Muslim, today, will find himself alone in this dilemma: either be an atheist Westerner or be a Muslim who rejects the West. Instead a third way is also possible: become Christian.”[95]


Just like his Jesuit elders, Father Samir is well on his way of sowing the seeds of a second Eurocentric Holocaust. His statements 1, 2 & 3 above clearly point towards this direction. Politicians in Europe are listening to him. Soren Krarup, a retired Lutheran priest and Danish Member of Parliament compared Hijab to “totalitarian symbols we know from the Nazis and Communism.”[96] Britain’s Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer “will tell head-teachers common sense decisions stopping Muslim pupils wearing Islamic dress would not breach human rights.”[97] On September 11, 07, a Belgian far-right party Vlaams Belang held a rally against “the Islamization of Europe.”[98]



As for the “Somali intellectual,” surprisingly, Father Samir overlooked that “she lied about her name, age and how she came to the Netherlands” on her asylum application.[99] She was already in the Netherlands and was under no compulsion to give false information to the authorities. By generally accepted rules of ethics and morality, “good and virtuous people simply don’t lie”.[100]



Father Samir, on behalf of his “European Masters,” is pushing for a unique Muslim-specific “integration/assimilation” model in Europe. As a Jesuit, he ought to be aware that the concept of “integration” has yet to be accurately defined. It exists as a term, and not a functional policy.[101] Father Samir’s racist model is precisely in line with the horrors which took place at the “HOUSE OF CATECHUMENS.” Young Muslims with social or ideological problems in Europe, can now walk into Father Samir’s 21st century “HOUSE OF CATECHUMENS,” get baptized; their physical attributes mysteriously changing to blonde hair, blue eyed white men: racism and social marginalization simply evaporates overnight.



Decisions to spread hatred of Islam and Muslims in Europe are made at the Vatican. Planning and execution with military precision is done within the four walls of the “Society of Jesus” in Rome. If in future, Muslims are slaughtered in the streets of Europe, forewarned is THE HUMANITY that the architects of this massacre are none other than Pope Benedict XVI and his elite group of Jesuit commanders - including his chief assassin, Jesuit Father Khalil Samir Khalil.




POPE BENEDICT XVI HIS COMPANIONS AND THEIR DECEPTIONS
Khalid Jan
http://www.icssa.org/article_detail_parse.php?a_id=1043&rel=828

Humanity is currently passing through an extremely turbulent time. Fear and artificial circumstances are created by people in power to plunge humanity into chaos and suffering. On the global stage, Muhammad (saw), the Qur’an and Islam are presented as the root cause of every perceivable conflict humans suffer from.
From commoner on the street, to the Pope on pulpit, both are eager to become popular overnight by evilizing Islam in any manner possible. Journalists and writers, totally unfamiliar with the Qur’an and Islam, are routinely writing articles and editorials on a subject of which they know nothing about.

This paper examines the Pope’s September 12, 2006 lecture in Regensburg, Germany, and his early writings when he was a Cardinal. In addition, anti-Qur’an and anti-Islam speeches and writings by few of his Jesuit companions, are also introduced to show how united their struggle is to, by any means, secularize the Qur’an and Islam.

The Roman Catholics in general, are a kind, loving, humble and generous people. Contents of this paper are in no way intended to hurt the religious feelings or convictions of any one of them.

“The current Pope has personally endorsed a document called "Dominus Iesus", published in August 2000, by Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It has been ratified and confirmed by Pope John Paul II "with sure knowledge and by his apostolic authority." This document states that people outside of Christianity are "gravely deficient" in their relationship to God, and that non-Catholic Christian communities had ‘defects’.” (http://www.important.ca/christian_relations.html)

“We do indeed know how thy heart is distressed at what they say.” [Qur’an 15:97]

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

- Sir Winston Churchill


“In the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it's an eternal word. It's not Mohammed's word. It's there for eternity the way it is. There's no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it."


The above statement is attributed to the current Pope. It was made by the Pope’s former student and friend Father Joseph Fessio, a Jesuit and professor of theology at Ave Maria University, on the ‘Hugh Hewitt Show’[1] which aired on January 5, 2006. In September of 2005, a secret seminar at Castelgandolfo in Italy was presided over by the Pope. The subject matter discussed was “The Islamic Concept of God and its consequences for a secular society.”[2] This and many more statements were made by the Pope, in the presence of Father Fessio.[3] On January 21, 2006, Father Fessio made a clarification of his interview in letters to the editor of Washington Times as follows: “I made a serious error in precision when I said that the Koran "cannot be adapted or applied" and that there is "no possibility of adapting or interpreting it." This is certainly not what the Holy Father said. Of course the Koran can be and has been interpreted and applied. I was making a (too) crude summary of the distinction that the Holy Father did make between the inner dynamism of the Koran as a divine text delivered as such to Mohammed, and that of the Bible, which is both the Word of God and the words of men inspired by God, within a community that contains divinely appointed authorized interpreters (the bishops in communion with the pope).”[4] This letter of clarification was in response to Diana West’s January 20, 2006 editorial in Washington Times ‘Silence that speaks volumes.’ She made few observations of Father Fessio’s statement, including the following: “But this is one bombshell that has yet to explode because no one wants to touch it.”[5] In any case, credit must be given to the Pope for his courage for making a statement of truth.

In 1996, Father Fessio published a book titled ‘Salt of the Earth’ by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The ABC Radio National’s presenter Stephen Crittenden, while interviewing Father Fessio on the 20th of September 2006, quoted a short passage from ‘Salt of the Earth:’ “The Qur'an is a total religious law, which regulates the whole of political and social life and insists that the whole order of life be Islamic. Sharia shapes society from beginning to end…Islam has a total organization of life that is completely different from ours; it embraces simply everything…There is a very marked subordination of woman to man; there is a very tightly knit criminal law, indeed a law regulating all areas of life, that is opposed to our modern ideas about society. One has to have a clear understanding that it is not simply a denomination that can be included in the free realm of a pluralistic society.”[6] This passage is one of the missing links which connects to his September 12, 2006 Regensburg ‘shock treatment’ lecture.

Let’s go over a segment of the transcript of that radio interview between Father Fessio and Hugh Hewitt:

“HH: Father Fessio, before the break, you were telling us that after the presentation at Castel Gandolfo by two scholars of Islam this summer with Benedict in attendance, as well as his former students, for the first time in your memory, the Pope did not allow his students to first comment and reserve comment, but in fact, went first. Why, and what did he say?”[7]

“JF: Well, the thesis that was proposed by this scholar was that Islam can enter into the modern world if the Koran is reinterpreted by taking the specific legislation, and going back to the principles, and then adapting it to our times, especially with the dignity that we ascribe to women, which has come through Christianity, of course. And immediately, the Holy Father, in his beautiful calm but clear way, said well, there's a fundamental problem with that, because he said in the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it's an eternal word. It's not Mohammed's word. It's there for eternity the way it is. There's no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it, whereas in Christianity, and Judaism, the dynamism's completely different, that God has worked through His creatures. And so, it is not just the word of God, it's the word of Isaiah, not just the word of God, but the word of Mark. He's used His human creatures, and inspired them to speak His word to the world, and therefore by establishing a Church in which he gives authority to His followers to carry on the tradition and interpret it, there's an inner logic to the Christian Bible, which permits it and requires it to be adapted and applied to new situations. I was...I mean, Hugh, I wish I could say it as clearly and as beautifully as he did, but that's why he's Pope and I'm not, okay? That's one of the reasons. One of others, but his seeing that distinction when the Koran, which is seen as something dropped out of Heaven, which cannot be adapted or applied, even, and the Bible, which is a word of God that comes through a human community, it was stunning.”[8]

The interview clearly reveals Father Fessio’s anti-Qur’an, anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiments. He says, “…there were more Muslims born in France than people of traditional French background….” Aren’t ‘Muslims born in France’ human? Why, a ‘man of God’ would go to such an extent of making distinction between the Children of Adam and Eve? Further, he says, “Muslims, many of them, perhaps a majority of them are serious about their faith. They're devout. But they have a religion whose principle is based on God's word, not in the words of men, but God's word delivered directly to Mohammed, which can't be interpreted, can't be changed, can't be adapted. And that word is to conquer the word, or render everyone subject to the one true religion, which is Islam. I mean, it is not a religion of stasis or peace.”[9] These are the words of a ‘student and friend’ of Pope Benedict XVI, a Provost ‘appointed by the Holy See.’[10]

Before embarking on his mission to ‘Biblicize’ the Qur’an, and ‘Catholicize’ Islam, it would be of benefit to Father Fessio to go over the very basics of his own religion, as it stands today. In the summer of 2005, Pope Benedict XVI wrote an encyclical[11] ‘Deus Caritas Est’ which means ‘God is Love.’ This encyclical is derived from various Latin words, including the word ‘Eros.’[12] This word in Greek has romantic and sexual connotation. The term erotic is also derived from ‘Eros:’[13] “The nation's largest Catholic archdiocese, run by Roger Cardinal Mahoney, has covered current hymnals with an adhesive sticker, hiding the sexual and demonic artwork recently exposed in the feature film documentary ‘Rape of the Soul’.”[14]

A functional society cannot exist in a harmonious way unless a level of fear is introduced by the authorities. For example, taxes are paid within due date for fear of getting penalized; a vehicle is not driven without a valid license, insurance and registration for fear of getting caught by the police; laws of the land are obeyed for fear of being pursued by various government agencies. At certain times, authorities even create artificial fear to psychologically control the masses.

If, as the Pope is suggesting, ‘God is Love,’ then the door becomes wide open for self-gratification, immorality and sin. When a thief steals, a killers kills, a robber robs, a rapist rapes, and if they happen to be believers in ‘God is Love’ doctrine, they have then no fear of God. This fear, in actuality, reminds the person that acts of brutality and violence ignites God’s anger, and that Hell fire can be his or her abode after death. This flawed doctrine of ‘God is Love’ infected the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy which then channeled down to the masses through the clergy. Because of this very doctrine, little children were sexually molested, robbed of their innocence by priests in the dark dungeons of Churches around the world. Nuns made pregnant by Godless priests were forced to have abortions.[15] The “ROMAN CATHOLIC priests in the United States are dying from Aids at least four times as fast as the general population, largely as a result of homosexual contact that the church hierarchy has anxiously sought to hush up, according to an extensive study published in the Kansas City Star.”[16] Sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church was so rampant that in a 1962 document, Vatican told bishops ‘to cover up sex abuse’ scandals.[17] Spiritual, mental and physical corruption is the end result when ‘Fear of God’ gets replaced by ‘God is Love.’ How beautifully the Bible describes this Fear of God: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”[18]

Is Father Fessio aware that children, young girls and disadvantaged women are being smuggled from eastern European and third world countries for sexual exploitation into the Western European nations, such as Italy and Spain?[19] In the land of John Paul II, Poland, an annual ‘Eroticon’[20] festival takes place. One of the main attractions of this festival is when women break ‘sexual record’ by having intimate relationship with men one after the other in front of a live audience. Poland is 80%, Spain 83% and Italy 97% Roman Catholic. If Islam ‘is not a religion of peace,’ as Father Fessio suggests, then where is that ‘dignity which Christianity ascribes to women’ when “350,000 men from Germany travel to Asia, Africa...to avail themselves of the services of prostitutes or to purchase a wife.”[21]

The Pope and Father Fessio are worried about the depopulation of Christians in the West.[22] To resolve the problem of depopulation in the West, they should go after the greedy corporations, immoral politicians, and the mass media outlets that are pushing their agenda for an ‘alternative life style’, ‘Pet Parenting,’ ‘non-religious sub-culture’, and so forth. Christian babies are not going to grow on trees unless these immoral ideologies are trampled by the Pope in Saint Peter’s Square. Hence, neither the Pope nor Father Fessio has any good reason to blame Islam or its teachings for the depopulation of ‘traditional’ people in the West.

The Spiritual death to Catholicism and countless of its followers did not occur suddenly, but through centuries of evils taking root within the Roman Catholic Church, and its extensions throughout the world. The dark cloud that hangs over the Roman Catholic Church is not going to disappear overnight. It will continue to thicken accumulating more electrostatic charge which may, one day, release its anger by pulling the plug on the ‘Throne of St. Peter.’ The cries and wailing of those little children who were raped, abused and sexually molested by the Roman Catholic priests are capable of tearing the seven firmaments of the heavens above. If the sin of Adam is a hereditary stain which is passed onto every child who comes into this world,[23] then, most definitely, sins of the disgraced priests must also pass onto to the Roman Catholic Church and its extensions: where are the Roman soldiers who are needed once again to nail another innocent man onto the ‘Cross’ for the sins of the rotten lot of the ‘Holy Roman Catholic Church?’

In Father Fessio’s interview, he refers to two so called ‘scholars,’ one ‘Pakistani Muslim Scholar Rashan’[24] who thinks that ‘Islam can enter into dialogue with modernity, but only if it radically reinterprets the Koran…’ and the other ‘Egyptian born Coptic Catholic’ – a Jesuit named Father Samir Khalil Samir who had a book with him containing ‘100 Questions on Islam’ by ‘key Islamic leaders’ who aim to conquer Europe. Any Muslim, who has the correct Islamic belief and sound understanding of its teachings, would never think in such an irrational manner of ‘conquering Europe.’ Muslims in the West can’t even organize their own ‘ghettoized’ institutions leave aside the prospect of even running a single functional government somewhere in Europe. The majority of Western Muslims desire to live peacefully with their fellow citizens. As the Qur’an says: “People, We created you all from a single man and a single woman, and made you into races and tribes so that you should recognize one another. In God’s eyes, the most honored of you are the ones most mindful of Him: God is all knowing, all aware.”[25]

The Pope and his companions are using the cold war doctrine of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The secularist and the hardcore reformists some with PhD titles glued to their names calling themselves ‘scholars of Islam,’ are frequent guests at Castlegandolfo, such as Father Christian Troll, a Jesuit, who is heavily influenced by late Professor Fazlur Rahman.[26] The Pope, Father Fessio, Father Troll, Father Samir, and Cardinal Pell are working tirelessly to completely reshape the teachings and understanding of the Qur’an, and subsequently Islam – but on whose behalf?

Stephen Crittenden, during his interview, asked Father Fessio if “the Christian Church regard Muhammad of Mecca as a Prophet of God?” To this, Father Fessio responds “We must believe, as Christians, that Muhammad is not a prophet, and that therefore whatever comes from Muhammad is either coming from his own imagination or his own reflection, or from borrowings.” Stephan Crittenden then asks Father Fessio “It’s not a true revelation?” Father Fessio responds “No. It’s coming from the evil one I mean those are the only sources there can be from the Christian of view.”[27] According to Young People's Bible Dictionary “Other names or expressions for Satan are devil, John 8:44; the evil one, Matt. 13:19”[28] So, in Father Fessio’s view, ‘whatever comes from Muhammad’ is from Satan. Little does he know that in two short verses, the Qur’an refutes him: “No evil ones have brought down this (Revelation)”[29] and “Nor is it the word of an evil spirit accursed?”[30] Due to his misperceived assertions, Father Fessio unfolded one of many miraculous features of the Qur’an. One such is ‘coherent and argumentative precision in refuting its critics.’

Further, in his interview with Hugh Hewitt, Father Fessio says “…Islam is stuck. It’s stuck with a text that cannot be adapted, or even be interpreted properly.” This statement directly contradicts what he said in his January 21, 2006 clarification letter to the Washington Times. Moreover, Father Fessio in support of secularism says “I mean Jesus is the one who says 'Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God'. Muhammad didn't say that.”[31] This saying of Jesus should be in reverse order: God first and Caesar second. Else the only meaning that can be extracted from this passage is that the masses should submit to authority first, and then to God. What if the authority is Godless and prevents people from submitting to God? A classic example is Stanislaw Wielgus who resigned “minutes before his inauguration as Archbishop of Warsaw” because of his communist-era collaboration with the secret police. “Historians estimate that up to 15% of Polish clergy agreed to inform on their colleagues in the communist era.”[32] Concerning Muhammad, he appeared with his Prophetic mission in Arabia centuries after Caesar to call Humanity back to Monotheism. In one of the verses of the Qur’an, God says “You, who believe, obey God and the Messenger, and those in authority among you.”[33] Here, God comes first, then His Messenger second, and authority – i.e. modern Caesar – third. How beautifully the Qur’an corrected the above New Testament passage attributed to Jesus.

In fact, at present, it is Christianity and the Western civilization[34] that is ‘stuck,’ frozen in time, and dying. Christianity adapted to modernity, and changed the very essence of the teachings of Jesus Christ. They embraced the corrupt, unethical, and dehumanized code of life put forward by the Godless politicians, self-centered Darwinist, disoriented philosophers, and confused atheists in order to put the Church on a ‘politically correct’ secularized path. The materialistic ways of life have destroyed the lives of a great number of citizens of the Western world. Compared to the so called ‘developing’ or the ‘Third World’ countries, people in the West are generally well off and can easily acquire the material goods they desire, and yet, “stress is epidemic in the western world,”[35] and “During 1990-1994, a total of 154,444 persons committed suicide in the United States,”[36] and “Europe has the world's highest suicide rate and cases are rising among young people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).”[37] For the past 2,000 years, what has the Roman Catholic Church done for the dying humanity which Islam couldn’t do in 1,400 years? By secularizing Islam, will the killings, forced prostitution, abuse of women, drug trafficking, suicide, and many more social ills in the West disappear?

The Roman Catholic Church, since its inception, deprived good-hearted Christians of belief in One True God. It wrapped the True Monotheism taught by Abraham, Moses and Jesus in Greek and Roman mythologies.[38] The ‘Vicar of Christ’ became one of the richest people on earth.[39] Ordinary working class people barely making ends meet,[40] on top of paying generous tribute to ‘Caesar,’ had to channel ‘Peter's Pence’ to the Pope for his expanded luxurious lifestyle. Moreover, in the bygone era “The cardinals’ wealth was enormous. In addition to the gifts from European monarchs, the cardinals were directly connected to that elaborate system which sucked gold from all over Europe. Half of the revenue of the Holy See was theirs by right – half of the Peter’s Pence, half the income from taxes, from gifts. At every election the pope, by custom, gave each cardinal handsome gifts in specie.”[41] This trend continues even today.[42] Alas, how far away have they gone from the teachings of Jesus. A man sent by God 2,000 years ago to teach humanity the ‘Art of Living.’ To resist the material things of this life so the heart can directly connect with God. Jesus had no palace, no cardinals, no Bishops, no Jesuits, and no priests, not even a decent refuge to cover his head: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”[43] Such beautiful words, full of wisdom and spiritual heights from the lips of beloved Jesus can only touch the hearts of those who are truly God conscious.

The Jesuit order, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, is an intellectual, missionary and propaganda arm of the Roman Catholic Church.[44] Through their educational and academic institutions, they penetrate into diverse social, cultural and religious circles where they intellectually and psychologically condition people for an alternate subculture based on directives given by the Church or governments.[45] Jesuits are the ones who work on top, and then let their social-programming flow down through ‘pre-designated channels’ for implementation. They “were expelled from Portugal (1759), France (1764), Spain (1767), Naples (1767), and Russia (1820).”[46] Their expulsion was based on nothing but accumulation of worldly riches and corruption.[47] “Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus discovered archival notes that indicate that long dead Jesuit, John Leary, had been involved in the sexual abuse of boys and young men sometime during his tenure at Gonzaga University, where he served as president from 1961 to 1969.”[48]

According to father Fessio, “…Christians in the United States are the ones who will be able to save not just Christianity, but Western civilization….”[49] These words of hopelessness are coming from the mouth of a Jesuit, a student and close friend of the Pope. What is the reason for asking America to save Christianity and the ‘Western Civilization?’ Who actually is endangering Father Fessio’s Christian civilization that he is desperately in need of America’s Evangelical Christians - who themselves are in the graveyard of the spiritually dead: “O you of little faith.”[50] In 1998, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger warned Roman Catholics not to read Anthony de Mello’s books, an Indian Jesuit priest. Partly because he felt ‘the moral corruption’ at the heart of the Catholic Church, and therefore he added some ‘eastern wisdom’ into his books to fill spiritual vacuum absent from Church’s teachings.[51]

Robert of Geneva was Archbishop of Cambrai in 1368, and cardinal in 1371. “He was recognized by France (his protector), Scotland (France’s ally), Spain, and Naples. Several German states also recognized him.”[52] He butchered more than 4000 citizens of Cesena – a city in Northern Italy. He was referred to as ‘the Butcher of Cesena.’ The amazing aspect of this sad episode in history is the people he butchered were Christians. Was this ‘Butcher of Cesena inspired by this Biblical passage: “Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children.”[53] Following the footprints of Robert of Geneva, Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney is well on his way to create global fear of Islam and hatred of Muslims in the West.

In his speech at Naples, Florida, Cardinal Pell made following comments about the Qur’an and Islam: “On the other hand one or two people I met, who had lived in Pakistan and suffered there, claimed to me that the Koran legitimized the killings of non-Muslims. In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages. Islam is not a tolerant religion.”[54] The ending of his speech is enough to open the gates of anti-Muslim sentiments in the West. The fallacies in his comments are quite apparent.

His speech is nothing but distractive propaganda. A tool frequently used to divert the attention of the masses from the real issues. As of 2006, “The total number of accusations against Catholic clergy in the United States now stands at more than 12,000 since 1950.”[55] Roughly 83% of America is Christian.[56] According to FBI, “An estimated 16,692 persons were murdered nationwide in 2005, an increase of 3.4 percent from the 2004 figure.”[57] Every year, around 55,000 young Europeans die due to alcohol consumption.[58] Who distills, manufactures, sells, exports and serves alcohol in Europe? Who manufactures, distributes and exports guns and ammunition in the West?

On Archdiocese of Sydney’s website, nowhere is it mentioned that Cardinal Pell has any academic credentials either in the Arabic language or in the exegesis of the Qur’an from a reputed academic institution. Therefore, he has no authority to publicly make statements about the Qur’an based on his reading of ‘50 or 60 or 70 pages’ of an English translation. He committed a logical fallacy called ‘unsupported claims.’ The Qur’an is in the Arabic language. No rendering of its meaning is considered the Qur’an. As a result, he commits another fallacy known as ‘false analogy.’ Many chapters and verses of the Qur’an have context which is called in Arabic ‘Asbâb un-Nuzûl’ or ‘Reasons and Occasions of Revelation.’ This contextual information is found in many books of Traditions of the Prophet.

“On Feb. 9, 1950, Joseph R. McCarthy, an obscure Republican senator from Wisconsin, uttered the words that would make him the symbol for an age. ''I have in my hand,'' he said, ''a list of 205 Communists that were made known to the Secretary of State and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy of the State Department. McCarthy had no such list. He knew nothing about Communists in the federal government or anywhere else. But to millions of Americans he provided a simple explanation for Communism's growing strength around the world.”[59] After 56 years, Cardinal George Pell lands in Florida, approaches the podium, and gives a talk on a subject of which he knows nothing about.

In light of the arguments presented above, it is clear that Cardinal Pell made his anti-Qur’an, anti-Islam speech firstly to provoke Muslims, and secondly, to use it as propaganda to divert the attention from the horrible sexual crimes committed by Roman Catholic priests. Without any reservations, he can be safely called a deceiver: “These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness.” [60]

If speeches made by the Pope and Cardinal Pell coupled together with interviews given by Father Fessio are seen from a timeline perspective, their public addresses connect in perfect harmony. 1.) Secret meeting at Castel Gandolfo, September 2, 2005. 2.) Father Fessio’s radio interview on January 5, 2006. 3.) Cardinal Pell’s speech on February 4, 2006 at Naples, Florida. 4.) Pope’s lecture on September 12, 2006 in Germany. Are these sequential events a chance, a coincidence? No, they are part of the plan to spread misconceptions about the Qur’an, create fear of Islam, and to make an unknown Pope popular overnight. No wonder “Pope Benedict XVI, in the first full year of his papacy, was far and away the editors' choice as newsmaker of the year.”[61]

“In an interview in 2004 for Le Figaro Magazine, Ratzinger said Turkey, a country Muslim by heritage and staunchly Secularist by its state constitution, should seek its future in an association of Islamic nations rather than the EU, which has Christian roots. He said Turkey had always been "in permanent contrast to Europe" and that linking it to Europe would be a mistake.”[62] On August 1, 2005, the late Italian racist and anti-Islam ‘journalist’ Oriana Fallaci met Pope Benedict XVI at Castelgandolfo. At the conclusion of her visit, she said: “I feel less alone when I read the books of Cardinal Ratzinger.”[63] David Gibson, ‘a journalist and Catholic convert,’ in his recent book ‘The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World’ writes that the Pope “Blames Islam for much of slave trade.”[64]

On the one hand, the Pope and his companions are making provocative statements about Qur’an, Muhammad and Islam, whereas on the other hand, the Pope “worries about clash between religions and cultures.”[65] How is it possible to engage in a Cross Cultural Dialogue when no ground rules exist? And if there do exist any, they are repeatedly broken by the Pope and his companions: “A truthful witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies.”[66]

“Julius Streicher, editor of the infamous Nazi broadsheet Der Stürmer in Weimar-era Germany. To arouse anti-semitic sentiments among the weekly’s working class Christian readership, Streicher regularly published truncated quotations from Talmudic texts that, in their shortened form, appear to advocate greed, slavery, and ritualistic murder.”[67]

With regards to the purpose of his speech delivered on September 12, 2006 at the University of Regensburg, it was a staged event primarily to provoke Muslims, and to make an obscure German Pope popular. As to the contents of his speech, it has no spiritual dimension whatsoever to start with. His reflections are over secularization of Europe, separation of reason from faith, removing Greek thought from the New Testament, and that Christianity is based on reason and Islam is not. Since the speech was delivered by a Pope, at once, it became a ‘Hollywood style’ success.

Let’s focus on Pope’s brief thoughts over the issue of ‘reason’ and Islam. He says: “In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: There is no compulsion in religion. It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.”[68] The verse 256 of chapter 2 of the Qur’an has nothing to do with either ‘Jihad’ or Muhammad being ‘powerless and under threat.’ There are six contextual reports related to this verse. All six of them talk about individuals at the time of the Prophet Muhammad coercing some people to accept Islam. In this relation ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ verse was reveled.[69] In order to attribute reason to Christianity and violence to Islam, both the Pope and Professor Khoury ignored the context in which the verse was reveled. Why did the Pope quote the Byzantine emperor, absolutely no rational explanation?

The Pope quotes the emperor asking the ‘educated Persian’ from the text edited by Professor Khoury as follows: “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.”[70] This is the ‘bolt from the blue’ which provoked Muslims all over the world. It is indeed difficult to comprehend how the Pope, considered by many as an ‘academic,’ quotes such a statement where the person engaged in dialogue with the emperor has no name. If a legal public case involving two persons is presented to a court of law, one having a proper name and the other referred to as an ‘educated German,’ the judge will simply dismiss the case, throw both parties in dispute and the lawyers out of the court.

The condition of Spain before Muslim rule was a miserable one, especially for the Jews. They were forcefully baptized, prohibited from conducting business with the Christians, ordered not to abstain from eating Pork, and if they were found to have practiced rites of their religion, orders were given to behead, burn or stone them to death. When oppression reached its peak, Jews and the Christian ruler of Ceuta, Count Julian,[71] amid a civil war sought help from the Muslims in Africa. In 711 CE, Muslims reached Spain. Finally, after less than 300 years of brutal Visigoths rule, oppression was lifted from the land. This newly acquired freedom “brought advantages to many elements of society.”[72] In the annals of history, it is known as the ‘Golden Age’ for Spanish Jews.[73]

When Muslims arrived in Spain, they were in Europe. Their rule turned lifeless cities into glamorous metropolises. Justice and peace established a tolerant climate where people of diverse faiths lived side by side. Students from other parts of Europe came to study philosophy, science and medicine from Jewish, Christian and Muslims scholars. Physical manifestation of esthetic beauty, imagination, art, poetry, architecture, agriculture, commerce, and many other achievements were everywhere.[74] The force that made them spread their wings of intellectual renaissance was none other than faith and reason. When their rule ended, they were given the choice of either convert to Roman Catholicism or leave Spain.[75] In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI appears on the stage, and proclaims that ‘Christianity is based on reason’, and Islam is not.

In the interest and well-being of humanity, it is about time that the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI and his team of Jesuits examine the condition of their hearts based on the teachings of Jesus Christ present in numerous New Testament passages. They must also correct their clouded view of Muhammad, Qur’an and Islam. Reading and quoting texts written by those hostile to Islam, is not a sensible approach in developing mutual understanding and respect between Is...
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