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Pope Benedict Was Right

retract_and_apologize

 

A piece by Thomas D. Williams at Breitbart looks back at some of the comments of Pope Benedict regarding religions and the roles they play in the World:

 

 

In that talk, Benedict cited the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus regarding the relationship between religion and violence. “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,” the quote read.

Pope Benedict XVI, a scholar who wrote extensively about religious freedom as well as the proper relationship between church and state, always insisted on speaking about religions (plural) rather than religion (singular). He based his reflections not only on a solid philosophical footing, but also on impartial observation of what religions actually propose and the sort of societies they create.

In his 2009 encyclical letter Caritas in Veritate, Benedict made the case that not all religions contribute equally to the development of individuals and societies. Some, in fact, may obstruct it. “Religious freedom does not mean religious indifferentism,” he wrote, “nor does it imply that all religions are equal.”

Benedict also proposed that in order to safeguard and promote the common good, political authority must in some way discern among different religions. “Discernment is needed regarding the contribution of cultures and religions,” Benedict stated, “especially on the part of those who wield political power.”

The Pope noted that certain religions “teach brotherhood and peace and are therefore of enormous importance to integral human development,” yet other traditions “do not fully embrace the principle of love and truth and therefore end up retarding or even obstructing authentic human development.”

Even before becoming pope, Joseph Ratzinger wrote on the differences between religions, noting that “anyone who sees in the religions of the world only reprehensible superstition is wrong” but also “anyone who wants only to give a positive evaluation of all religions… is equally wrong.”

In his own critical considerations of religions, Ratzinger wrote with brutal honesty, observing that there are “deviant, esoteric forms of religion on offer” as well as “pathological” forms of religion. He wrote of religions that are “obviously sick” and religions that are “destructive for man.” He asserted, moreover, that with the detachment of religion from reason, “pathological forms of religion are constantly increasing.”

Go here to read the rest.  In the last century after World War II the World went egalitarian mad, along with the growth of a strong tendency among Western elites to bash their own culture, usually for political purposes.  Thus today we have the manifestly absurd pretense, accepted as an article of faith among Western elites, that all societies, individuals, cultures and religions are just alike, with the notable exception of anything Western, which is frequently bashed if it serves the momentary political purposes of the left to do so.  Thus we have unrelenting hostility towards Christianity, while Islam gets a pass.  This does not apply however to Western constructs that serve the purposes of the left.  Thus the fable of man made global warming is accepted as an article of modern global faith, although it is purely Western in both its origins and in almost all its enthusiasts.

Pope Benedict largely stood against these trends.  A true intellectual, he held that religions and cultures had to be judged by their actions as well as by their words, and he was demonized as a result by the leftists of the West, and not merely by leftists outside of the Church.  In the aftermath of the Regensburg lecture on faith and reason by Pope Benedict on September 12, 2006, in which the Pope in an academic lecture quoted, rather than agreed with, the opinion of a Byzantine Emperor that the new things brought by Mohammed were evil and inhuman, including forced conversion, and the Islamic world exploded in wrath and murder, then Cardinal Bergoglio said “Pope Benedict’s statement[s] don’t reflect my own opinions…. These statements will serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that Pope John Paul II built over the last twenty years.”

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

11 Comments

  1. Agree, I thought Dr. Williams did a great job on that article, I read it earlier. I was happy to see you pick it up–it is a pretty tough crowd in the Breitbart comment section. (In that they are not all that savvy in Catholic matters.)

  2. Pope Benedict and St. Thomas Aquinas agree on Islam;

    “Those who believed in Muhammad from the outset were not wise men practiced in things divine and human, but beast like men who dwelt in the wilds, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching; and it was by a multitude of such men and the force of arms that he compelled others to submit to his law.”
    –Summa Contra Gentes, Bk. 1, Ch. 6.

    Let us pray that Pope Francis is given the grace to speak the truth–about everything.

  3. Michael Dowd: Thank you for Saint Thomas Aquinas on Islam. The “Prophet” Mohammad was almost certainly a madman. The uncle who raised Mohammad would watch him pacing back and forth hands rigidly clasped behind his back ranting on about revelations claimed to be from the Archangel Gabriel, and when Mohammad’s back was turned to him, the uncle would point to his own head with a circling motion of his finger, the universal sign for “this guy is nuts”. As for our current president, if repeatedly doing something without effect or counterproductive is a definitive example of insanity, then perhaps our country is being led by a madman.

  4. I feel that Pope Benedict XV1 has been been overshadowed unjustly and unfairly by the popularity of Pope Francis. Hopefully history will put things in proper perspective

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