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Can Someone Explain This?

jbc1949

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jbc1949 said:
What specific Hindu beliefs? I think perhaps it is the integration of Hindu culture into the Catholic faith. Vatican 2 and related post-Conciliar policies and documents talk about inculturation. I don't think that the Pope would allow prayers to Vishnu, et. al., in the liturgy.

Jim C.
Nevermind Amadeus. I posted my remarks before reading the rest of this thread. You have already commented on this vis-a-vis other posts.

Thanks,

JBC
 

DerekMK

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James, you are correct. But the athonites (and others) were greatly upset for that and clamored for the immediated deposing of the patriach. Can't depose an RCC Pope!
 

gbmtmas

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James2 said:
We Orthodox need to recall the "glassiness" of our own house in this regard. Didn't the late Patriarch Parthenios on a couple of occasions state that we should honor Mohammed as a prophet? The Pope kissing the Koran was at best an ambiguous act subject to various interpretations, but the Patriarch's statements about Mohammed and Islam were way out of line.

Amen!

Stephen
 

gbmtmas

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+¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é said:
James, you are correct. But the athonites (and others) were greatly upset for that and clamored for the immediated deposing of the patriach. Can't depose an RCC Pope!

Unfortunately, the wise "clamor" of the monks of the Holy Mountain went thoroughly unheeded, and the Patriarch of Alexandria, who made such heretical statements, remained securely in office until the day he died. What Patriarch Parthenos said was indeed quite heretical and an insult to all the holy martyrs who died and were tortured under the Islamic yoke. I tend to agree with those Orthodox posters who have said that we Orthodox need to be careful about our own precious glass house before casting rocks at the RC house. We Orthodox have our own ecumenistic endeavors that we've been involved in. Even a quick perusal of the photos that Frobie has provided us will reveal the numerous Orthodox hierarchs that were involved in the Assisi event(s). And my goodness, why are we Orthodox STILL involved with the WCC?

No...I think we have our own cobwebs to clean up before we start smugly pointing out similar cobwebs in the RCC.

In Christ,
Stephen
 

James

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I think the RCC needs to re-examine the establish norms regarding the Papacy especially with JPII's illness and condition. I do think his condition does effect his thought processes. I would suggest to them take a look on how the East would address a Patriarch with the same illness.

james @ the fork in the road
 

Linus7

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James2 said:
We Orthodox need to recall the "glassiness" of our own house in this regard. Didn't the late Patriarch Parthenios on a couple of occasions state that we should honor Mohammed as a prophet? The Pope kissing the Koran was at best an ambiguous act subject to various interpretations, but the Patriarch's statements about Mohammed and Islam were way out of line.
I don't think our house is so glassy in this regard.

We don't place all of our ecclesiastical eggs in one basket, and we don't make excuses for patriarchs who betray the faith.

Take your own willingness to mention Parthenios' error, for example. Obviously, you don't view him as sacrosanct or above criticism.

When an Orthodox leader does something like that, it is the Orthodox people who rise up in protest, although perhaps not as much as we should.

If a photo of the EP or the MP or any other Orthodox cleric kissing the Koran appeared tomorrow, I think we Orthodox would be the very first ones calling for his ouster.
 

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jbc1949 said:
At the rate the Moslems are increasing in numbers in Italy through immigration and making babies, your statement will likely no longer be true in 50 to 150 years! ;D
This is no laughing matter, it is indeed very sad that Europe sold its heritage with such a cheap price to the muslims.
I wonder whether the efforts of Charles Martel to push back the barbarians in 732 a.d. in the battle of Tours were useless, as his descendents betray their ancestor now so easily.
Can't depose an RCC Pope
Is this a sure thing ???

I think the discussion is basically whether the Pope of Rome can sin, is fallable or not. Let us focus on that.

Peace,
Stavro
 

Stavro

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I would suggest to them take a look on how the East would address a Patriarch with the same illness.
WHat is the illness of Pope John Paul II , and how does it affect his thinking ?
How does the EO church address such cases ?
Peace,
Stavro
 

Stavro

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Unfortunately, the wise "clamor" of the monks of the Holy Mountain went thoroughly unheeded, and the Patriarch of Alexandria, who made such heretical statements, remained securely in office until the day he died. What Patriarch Parthenos said was indeed quite heretical and an insult to all the holy martyrs who died and were tortured under the Islamic yoke.
Is Patriarch Parthenos the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Alexandria ? When did he held office ? I am Coptic Orthodox, lived a good portion of my life between Alexadria and Cairo in Egypt, never ever heard of such incident which would have received its share of publicity in our Islamic Media. Granted that the Chalcedonian are a very small minority in Egypt, it would still be major news.

Peace,
Stavro
 

Stavro

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are you sure it is the integration of Hindu beliefs that is responsible for this, or do you mean the integration of certain Hindu practices?
I don't see a problem in intergating a culture into the liturgy , for example. Different languages used in the liturgy in different churches in various countries is a cultural incorporation into the practice.
That is normal and is alright as long as the substance of faith is sound.

Peace,
Stavro
 

Stavro

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jbc wrote:
Nonetheless I will respect a Moslem's belief if he says that his father is Abraham too (through Ishmael) whether or not Abraham truly is his father. If in the supposedly unlikely chance that Abraham is their father, however, then the Moslems worship Yahweh too, however imperfectly.
Most of the Arabs are the descendents of Abraham, but there is a disconitunity in their faith. There has been some Arabs who worshipped the God of Abraham, called "Hanifa" or "saba'iens'', but they were infidels in the eyes of Muhamed because they did not accept Islam.
There have been also some Jews and Christians in the Arabic Penninsula, all driven out or killed in the time of Muhamed or Omar, the second Khalif. So Muslims are not the same as Abraham followers.

Again:
1- Muslims don't believe in the Trinity. They refer to christian therefore as thritheists and infidels.
2- Muslims don't believe in the divinity of Christ. Allah , in Islam, sent ISSA (Jesus in arabic) as his messanger and prophet. Allah is not Jesus Christ nor Jehova.
3- How do you deal with 1 John 5:10 and 2 John ?
4- Characteristics of Allah are befitting Jankiz Khan. Is this the same God of Abraham ?

I don't really care much about what Pope John Paul II did,but it is very dangerous to try to excuse him on the basis of a pluralists theory of embracing all faiths.

Peace,
Stavro


 

James2

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+¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é said:
James, you are correct. But the athonites (and others) were greatly upset for that and clamored for the immediated deposing of the patriach. Can't depose an RCC Pope!
Obviously the patriarch wasn't deposed, though. Is there a current procedure for deposing an Orthodox patriarch (or head of any of the autocephalous churches), short of calling an Ecumenical Council?

James
 

jbc1949

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Stavro said:
So Muslims are not the same as Abraham followers.
Abraham's followers, then, are Jews or Christians, or both?

Again:
1- Muslims don't believe in the Trinity. They refer to christian therefore as thritheists and infidels.
Jews don't believe in the Trinity or Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, etc. Do you believe that Jews worship the same God as the Christians? I do!

2- Muslims don't believe in the divinity of Christ. Allah , in Islam, sent ISSA (Jesus in arabic) as his messanger and prophet. Allah is not Jesus Christ nor Jehova.
What I wrote originally is that in courtesy and charity I will accept what a Moslem says when he says that he worships Abraham's God. I have been told by 2 individual Moslems--both Iranians--that they worship the God that the Jews worship. Whether Mohammed got his ideas "out of the blue" or from some Nestorian document that also distorts the nature of the Jesus doesn't matter to me at this point. I must leave that to the scholars. But I know that at least 2 Moslems walking planet earth have effected a self-fulfilling prophecy by proclaiming their belief in the God of Abraham, the very same God that I worship although my faith, the Trinitarian Faith, is the correct faith or more irenically, the Faith in its Fullness. By what right do you contradict them, even given the distorted nature of their religion? [i.e., distorted from the Christian POV]. They have proclaimed a belief in Yahweh, even given that their belief in Yahweh, Abraham's God, is very imperfect, distorted, directed toward wrong ends, etc.

3- How do you deal with 1 John 5:10 and 2 John ?
Let's ensure we are all on equal ground by providing the complete biblical citations:

1 John 5:10

10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son.
What is there for me to deal with vis-a-vis Moslems? I don't accept their faith or their heresy if you would prefer that I use the latter term. Are you aiming this at the cradle Moslem who may not have had the chance to hear the saving message of the Gospel or has been raised in an environment that makes it nearly impossible in human terms to hear the message in a non-confrontational, objective, and unemotional environment? I assert that he is a captive of his history and society just as you and I are captives to our history and society.

Those of us who are born into Christianity have it easy . . . though we may not boast of it and may not take it for granted. The Christian life is a life of spiritual and corporeal struggle. Those who come to Christianity from outside the faith--and this would apply to Moslems to coming this way--have the tougher road to travel. Just who will God judge the harsher, the infidel who does not make the journey or fails in that journey OR the faithful who neglect the Holy Faith? And what happens when/if we alienate these infidels by our demeanor towards them?

Oh boy, I bet Moslems will just love hearing me call them infidels!

2John

1 The Presbyter to the chosen Lady and to her children whom I love in truth--and not only I but also all who know the truth--
2 because of the truth that dwells in us and will be with us forever.
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth just as we were commanded by the Father.
5 But now, Lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing a new commandment but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another.
6 For this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, in which you should walk.
7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense.
9 Anyone who is so "progressive" as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him;
11 for whoever greets him shares in his evil works.
12 Although I have much to write to you, I do not intend to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and to speak face to face so that our joy may be complete.
13 The children of your chosen sister send you greetings.


OK . . . so I perceive this passage is about those who lack the correct faith or doctrine about the Lord. I recall that this passage is also about the early Gnosticism afflicting the Church. Does Islam have some origin in Gnosticism? I'm not a scholar of the period so I'm not sure. Did the heresy of Nestorianism have something to do with Gnosticism and with Islam? Perhaps. I do recall that Islam conquered (NOT converted) a divided Christian community in the 600-700's.

In any case, Islam does not teach the faith in God correctly. It is distorted from the Christian POV. Well then neither does Judaism, rabbinical or temple worshiping kind. Again, I ask you do the Jews believe in the same God as Christians even without their faith in Jesus Christ? I believe that they do. Abraham is their father and Yahweh is their God.

I at least believe that individual Moslems MAY believe in Yahweh . . . perhaps many . . . perhaps most! A distorted version of Yahweh to be sure . . . but Yahweh, nevertheless, PERHAPS. I have not taken a personal dogmatic position on Islam. The RCC does not (yet) demand it of me. The RCC likely will never demand it of me. And I seriously doubt that Orthodoxy will either. But I will be respectful, courteous, and irenic when the occasion arises. Nevertheless, I will not agree to something that I don't believe in if or when I next get the chance to interact with the Prophet's followers.

I do say one thing, however. If Christians go around to Moslems and say to them that they do not believe in the God of Abraham or that they worship a demon god, then they will never get around to converting them. Conventional wisdom supposedly asserts that it is nearly impossible to convert Muslims. The strictures of their traditional societies seemingly would support this. Yet, I don't think that it is impossible--difficult, yes--but if we start accusing them of worshiping a demon god then we will get nowhere with them!

4- Characteristics of Allah are befitting Jankiz Khan. Is this the same God of Abraham ?
You have me at a disadvantage. I don't know who Jankiz Khan is????? Genghis Khan perhaps?

By the way, Yahweh ordered the Children of Israel to slaughter the inhabitants of Caanan. And there is plenty of slaughter and violence elsewhere in Holy Writ. The imprecation psalms for example????? Something about smashing babies heads in . . . . If Allah and Yahweh are two different deities, there is at least something in common between them--violence--if one were to take an overly simplistic & fundamentalistic view of Holy Writ.

The important thing for me is that the Koran may be inspired Writ for the Moslems but it isn't for me. I place no faith in it whatsoever. If there is any Truth in it, then that Truth comes from God and not from any "inspiration" the Prophet Mohammed claims. No, I don't believe that the Koran descended from Heaven into Mohammed's hands.

I don't really care much about what Pope John Paul II did,but it is very dangerous to try to excuse him on the basis of a pluralists theory of embracing all faiths.
Well I care! BTW, do you really think that JP-II worships Allah? Regarding his kissing the Koran, yes, it troubles me but I want to know the whole story first, not that I would ever kiss the Koran myself. This doesn't automatically make him an apostate or great sinner in and of itself. BTW would you or others have objected if he had kissed a Torah scroll? I wouldn't--after all, it is the first 5 books of the Holy Bible! Yes, I know that Jews don't kiss scrolls . . . they don't even allow human hands to touch them directly once they are consecrated to use in the synagogue.

Regarding your statement of a pluralists theory of embracing all faiths-- If by this statement you mean irenicism, then I support JP-II without qualification. This has to do with removing religion as an excuse for violence. If you mean saying that "all faiths are equal and true" then this would be slanderous of JP-II or of me. But I don't necessarily believe that you mean this latter thing. Care to explain what you mean?
 

Stavro

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Peace jbc,

Abraham's followers, then, are Jews or Christians, or both?
As far as faith goes, it would be the Christians. As far as biological sons, mainly the Jews and Arabs, who became muslims. I showed that the muslims are not worshipping the same God as Abraham was worshipping.
In fact, before Islam, they were divided among Pagan worshippers, Christians, Jews. Clearly all these groups have no relation to the faith of Muhamed.

Do you believe that Jews worship the same God as the Christians?
NO, I don't.
What I wrote originally is that in courtesy and charity I will accept what a Moslem says when he says that he worships Abraham's God.
Thanks for clarifying, I thought this is a dogma in the church or so.
Are you aiming this at the cradle Moslem who may not have had the chance to hear the saving message of the Gospel or has been raised in an environment that makes it nearly impossible in human terms to hear the message in a non-confrontational, objective, and unemotional environment?
You have a point and I have no way of knowing how God will punish muslims. But this has little to do with our discussion as we are discussing the faith of muslims and how it related to christians. IMO, they don't worship the same God, and this is enough for me.
Without opening another subject, muslims are also not saved. I believe that everybody gets the message and gets to hear the Gospel. being captive to one's environment or else is not an excuse.
Many muslims, about 6 millions in Africa alone, according to AL-Jazeera network, are converting to christianity. Islam, when you get to read more about it, is a brutal, violent and unhuman religion, and anybody who really cares for the truth will reject it, and search for the real God. I am sure God will lead the way of this person seeking after Him to embrace christianity.

They have proclaimed a belief in Yehwa, even given that their belief in Yahweh, Abraham's God, is very imperfect, distorted, directed toward wrong ends, etc.
No, they don't. Ask any muslim clergy whether he believes in Yahewa, and he will rely with a simple no. Would you also assume that those who don't follow any religion, yet worship the unknown God, are worshippers of Yehwa?
Those of us who are born into Christianity have it easy
Yes, it is a great gift. But, it is by far easy in the West, I would not call the life of christians in Islamic countries as easy, at all. You have to live in Turkey, Egypt,Iran or Yemen as a christian to know how difficult it is to be christian.
It is the christianity in which the Cross is carried each and every day.
Those who come to Christianity from outside the faith--and this would apply to Moslems to coming this way--have the tougher road to travel.
I agree, I would add that muslims in particular have a very hard road if they convert to christianity. But we are not talking about converts right now, we talk about the muslims as practicing it and believing in Islam.
Just who will God judge the harsher, the infidel who does not make the journey or fails in that journey OR the faithful who neglect the Holy Faith? And what happens when/if we alienate these infidels by our demeanor towards them?
Two points:
-God will judge those who neglected his gift harsher.
-I am not advocating mistreatment of the unbelievers.
But if you imply that we should appease them, then I strongly disagree. Away from the Pope's incident, would it not be easier if the martyrs did not die for the faith or offered incense to the idols, kissed their statues and confessed that they respect the Pagan worshippers faith ?
Love the unbelievers, but don't compromise the faith.

I recall that this passage is also about the early Gnosticism afflicting the Church. Does Islam have some origin in Gnosticism
And it can be applied to anybody who does not confess the incarnation or the divinity of Christ, among them muslims, buddists, JW,.....
I do recall that Islam conquered (NOT converted) a divided Christian community in the 600-700's.
Yes, it conquered a deeply divided christian Byzantine Empire. It was one of these incidents in history where all the circumstances were lining up to help the Muslims.
Did the heresy of Nestorianism have something to do with Gnosticism and with Islam?
Issa (Jesus) in Islam is a figure which is not easily described. It is more befitting the Arian heresy, but sometimes some Nestorian effects come into play, where he is clearly divine and then merely human. I explained in a post before in another thread the origin of Islam and its relation to christian heresies in more details.
If Christians go around to Moslems and say to them that they do not believe in the God of Abraham or that they worship a demon god, then they will never get around to converting them. Conventional wisdom supposedly asserts that it is nearly impossible to convert Muslims.
I agree with you, ridiculing somebody's belief is not the way to convert him. Explaining christianity to them and the fact that we are not polytheists will help them listen to you. Muslim clergy and media tarnish the image of christianity without giving an equal chance to christians to respond and defend christianity in the Muslim countries.

My concern is more the other christians who don't study Islam and they just believe whatever is presented in the media. (I don't mean you specifically, this is in a general sense). The liberal media wants this big group hug, and we should refuse to do so.
. But I will be respectful, courteous, and irenic when the occasion arises. Nevertheless, I will not agree to something that I don't believe in if or when I next get the chance to interact with the Prophet's followers
Very wise approach.
BTW, do you really think that JP-II worships Allah?
Of course not. I didn't give any opinion about the Pope kissing the Quran, and I just entered the discussion when I found something wrong about Islam.
Regarding his kissing the Koran, yes, it troubles me but I want to know the whole story first, not that I would ever kiss the Koran myself
Well, I think the problem is not with this single act, whether it is out of courtesy or for any other reason. I think this topic from the beginning was pointing towards discussing Pope's Infallability doctrine and other Papacy claims like the doctrinal development and so on.
Because if you are uneasy with the picture, you would have to reconsider such dogmas.
You have me at a disadvantage. I don't know who Jankiz Khan is????? Genghis Khan perhaps?
I spelled it as I pronounce it, so please excuse my English. It is Genghis Khan, the famous Mongul leader.
If Allah and Yahweh are two different deities, there is at least something in common between them--violence--if one were to take an overly simplistic & fundamentalistic view of Holy Writ.
You don't have to take an oversimplistic view. Compare the circumstances, the orders and the reasons why the masacres were undertaken in both cases, and come to an educated conclusion.
Did Judaism spread with the sword ? Did christianity take the way of wars to spread christianity ? Never. Even the Crusades were not christian wars, they took the Cross as a cover.
In the Quran, it is a clear order to kill the christians, Jews and all other non-muslim wherever they are, unless they pay a tribute.
If by this statement you mean irenicism, then I support JP-II without qualification.
We are told to live in peace with all unbelievers, but without compromising the faith. I didn;t mean to make any slanderous comments about Pope John Paul II or the catholic church. I just wanted to make sure that Islam is understood correctly.
As I told you, I am not praticularly interested in this incident as much as in the dogmas of Pope Infallability, which would be exposed if he acted in a wrong way in any incident concerning the faith.

Sorry for the long post.
Peace,
Stavro

 

gbmtmas

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Stavro said:
Is Patriarch Parthenos the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Alexandria ? When did he held office ? I am Coptic Orthodox, lived a good portion of my life between Alexadria and Cairo in Egypt, never ever heard of such incident which would have received its share of publicity in our Islamic Media. Granted that the Chalcedonian are a very small minority in Egypt, it would still be major news.

Yes, I was referring to the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria (sorry for not clarifying this earlier). Go to the following links for online references to the shameful remarks of this Patriarch for a preliminary look:

http://holyorthodoxy.tripod.com/patriarchletter.html

http://www.zipcon.net/OCW/2001/ocw_1508.html

If this is not satisfactory, then let me know and I will dig out the exact reference wherein Parthenios is said to have claimed these things--because I have this reference in a couple of books at home. What this Patriarch said was indeed downright shameful. I know we say that we Orthodox can speak out against our hierarchs who do such things, and I suppose that such hierarchs could (at least in theory) be deposed. However, as James has said, Parthenios concluded his life peacefully and without consequence, uninterruptedly occupying the (Chalcedonian) See of Alexandria. Sure, the Monks of the Holy Mountain vigorously protested; but, nothing was done. Sadly to say, as usual, their voices went unheeded. So, in practice, I really don't see the difference (from a practical POV) between modern Orthodox practice and Roman practice on this account (although the theories may differ). We Orthodox say a hierarch can be deposed for heresy; but, what good is this possibility or potential if this option is not actually exercised when a heretic occupies a see?

Now surely, I don't condone or defend the Pope of Rome kissing the Quran. IMO, it was a shameful act. I think, however, before we "bust the RC's chops" about alleged complacency WRT a Quran-kissing-Pope, we need to come to terms with our own complacency regarding a now-deceased Mohammed-venerating-Patriarch. In both cases, a clamor was raised by conservative voices within each community; however, the respective hierarch retain(s/ed) office--without a single inquiry.

Also, I conclude by reiterating the fact that whatever the Assisi events involved (Frobie provided some "interesting" photos), our Orthodox hierarchs were right there sitting at the same campfire. So IF AND ONLY IF Assisi was a big ecumenical "kumbaya," then again, we Orthodox are not in a position to criticize the RCC without first addressing the fact that a goodly amount of Orthodox hierarchs attended both festivities, and still occupy their sees without incident.

In Christ,
Stephen
 

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Reply to Stavro's latest comments:

First of all, Stavro, your post was not too long and your replies were excellent in their content and ideas. No, we are not going to agree on all of this but I would like to comment on some of your statements.

Even given the problematic origins of Islam, I still opine that at least some Moslems consider themselves to be Abraham's children and consider themselves to worship Abraham's God. They have essentially made their own self-fulfilling prophesy. Yes their worship is distorted . . . highly so. I have just started to read Serge Trifkovic's The Sword of the Prophet: Islam--History, theology, Imact on the World which is published by Regina Orthodox Press. I am currently reading the first chapter on the origins of the Arabic peoples. The author states that "Mohammad was born into a pagan society but by the end of the 6th Century it was different from the paganism as commonly understood in its proto-monotheistic tendencies." The author also reports some of the information that you had posted earlier. He goes into the pagan origins of the name "Allah" or "al-ilah" the dominant deity--the moon god--among the pagan Arabs. So I do agree with you (I think????) regarding the origin of much of Mohammad's thoughts about God and religion. But I perceive in the author's claims thus far in only an early reading of his book a more nuanced view of Islam than yours. And by nuanced I am not asserting that you are absolutely wrong on all counts! When I finish reading the book, perhaps I'll post a short review. I have skimmed other parts of Trifkovic's book. He is definitely NOT pro-Moslem! Thus far, the book seems to be very well written.

A few comments on selected portions of your latest post:

I still maintain that the Jews worship Yahweh as we do even though their knowledge of Yahweh, as Christianity has witnessed to Him, is incomplete or just plain wrong if you prefer.

Without opening another subject, muslims are also not saved. I believe that everybody gets the message and gets to hear the Gospel. being captive to one's environment or else is not an excuse.
If by this you mean that one must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God, then I agree. I do not believe in any form of apocatastasis in its ancient understanding or in the understanding of modern day religious indifferentism. Regarding excuses or lack thereof, only God Himself will know the ultimate disposition of the individual Soul, not man, thankfully! Personally, I couldn't handle the knowledge of another one's fate. My spiritual struggle is all that I can handle as it is! Even this fails me without His unmerited Grace.

Many muslims, about 6 millions in Africa alone, according to AL-Jazeera network, are converting to christianity. Islam, when you get to read more about it, is a brutal, violent and unhuman religion, and anybody who really cares for the truth will reject it, and search for the real God. I am sure God will lead the way of this person seeking after Him to embrace christianity.
Yes, I read the post somewhere on OC.net about the 6 million. I agree with you about Islam's brutality. Christianity has been brutal too, although I recognize that this brutality did not come from Jesus--but from our history as being grafted onto the tree of Jesse (remember the semitic understanding of the God who gave them Caanan?) and due to our own fallen human natures. I sometime wonder how we all didn't end up believing in Calvinism when one examines human behavior over history.

I have not ever talked with an Imam, etc. about his belief in Allah; merely a couple of Moslem "laymen" who lived in the U.S. and spoke English. I must therefore defer to you on this.

Yes, it is a great gift. But, it is by far easy in the West, I would not call the life of christians in Islamic countries as easy, at all. You have to live in Turkey, Egypt,Iran or Yemen as a christian to know how difficult it is to be christian. It is the christianity in which the Cross is carried each and every day.
I was talking principally about the West though not exclusively. Furthermore I was not talking about the struggle to lead a Christian life, whether a life in the materialist, sex, and consumerism obsessed West or in the areas of the world where Christianity is suppressed, oppressed, and persecuted. This includes the Middle East but also China, Vietnam, Cuba, India, etc. By "easy" I was referring to the movement toward God as Christianity proclaims Him. The movement of a non-Christian to God is quite a different journey from the movement of a cradle Christian who is supposed at least to have some familiarity with and commitment to God. And Moslems have quite an arduous journey to make given their/our mutual histories, and the inhibitions of their culture.

-I am not advocating mistreatment of the unbelievers
No, of course not. I never thought that you were advocating this.

But if you imply that we should appease them, then I strongly disagree.
We are not in disagreement here. Irenicism and talking is NOT appeasement, at least not necessarily so. In fact, there is a publication recently released by the Vatican that strongly condemns the oppression of Christians in the Moslem world. So I don't think that the Pope is into appeasement. He is trying to deal with them and we can agree or disagree to varying extents regarding the success of this "management problem." If I can find the publication on the web again, I will post the link.

Away from the Pope's incident, would it not be easier if the martyrs did not die for the faith or offered incense to the idols, kissed their statues and confessed that they respect the Pagan worshippers faith ?
Love the unbelievers, but don't compromise the faith.
Again, I perceive that we are in agreement here. I would say one thing, however, is that one has to explain what "respect" means. In the U.S., for example, the ideology of freedom of religion is sacrosanct and necessary in our society. I would add to this is that I believe in "market principles" when it comes to evangelization in the U.S. So I guess that I have to "respect" Islam in America but I don't have to like it, approve of it, follow it, trust it, appease it, or support it. Futhermore, I would say that it is imcumbent then to evangelize for the Faith through apologetics, catechesis, social action, etc. As far as martyrdom, I would hope that one may at least attempt to avoid it unless absolutely necessary. The Moslems seem to encourage it among their believers with wild abandon. Something is wrong here!

My concern is more the other christians who don't study Islam and they just believe whatever is presented in the media. (I don't mean you specifically, this is in a general sense). The liberal media wants this big group hug, and we should refuse to do so.
Marvel of marvels! We agree again. That is why I try to read widely though hopefully not too superficially. If I had the time or temperament I would like to learn Arabic and Aramaic and study the semitic cultures of the Middle East in detail and up front. Speaking of Allah, the aforementioned book states that the word itself comes from the Aramaic. If we get started talking about the liberal media, our conversation will inevitably degenerate when I descend to "sailor language" and call the media those no good sons of $%^&*@#! ;D

You don't have to take an oversimplistic view. Compare the circumstances, the orders and the reasons why the masacres were undertaken in both cases, and come to an educated conclusion.
Did Judaism spread with the sword ? Did christianity take the way of wars to spread christianity ? Never. Even the Crusades were not christian wars, they took the Cross as a cover.
In the Quran, it is a clear order to kill the christians, Jews and all other non-muslim wherever they are, unless they pay a tribute.
I'm not sure there is total agreement between us here. Then again I'm not sure there is that much disagreement either! Judaism never really spread except among itself--i.e., building babies. Yes, they did take "wives" among the pagan tribes, to God's displeasure because it led them into idolatry and child sacrifice. But Judaism has never been a proseltyzing religion. One also should recognize that the semitic tribes were very barbaric and violent whether they were Hebrews or Arabs. And all too frequently this is how they looked upon their God. I'm not a biblical scholar--I distrust much of modern bible scholarship even though I do not reject it out of hand--but I believe God talks to people in terms that they can understand just as a mom or a dad talks to a young son or daughter in child-like and child-understanding terms. Could Islam ever be tamed say in the U.S.? Frankly, I don't know one way or the other.

One thing that troubles me about our criticism of militant Islam, we are a people that brought the world the holocaust of WWII, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, etc. [pick your favorite issue]! And now 37+ million abortions in the U.S. alone! I am willing to oppose Islam for the sake of my faith and the sake of the West, but I get kinda uncomfortable when I reflect upon the violent history of the West! No, this is not a matter of guilt but of perspective.

Regarding the Crusades, that is another topic which we might disagree on or partially agree/disagree on. The Crusades' history is very complex and is currently subject to a great deal of revisionism, much of which I must admit that I might agree with. Another reading area to add to my list of "To be read." Sorry to annoy Bro. Max (where has he been lately?) but my knowledge of the Crusades pretty much comes from Will and Ariel Durant (and some other books). As you may know, I'm not a fan of the Durants.

We are told to live in peace with all unbelievers, but without compromising the faith. I didn;t mean to make any slanderous comments about Pope John Paul II or the catholic church. I just wanted to make sure that Islam is understood correctly.
I regretted making my statement almost immediately after I posted it. Thanks to our "overseers" who took away our edit capabilities I couldn't revise it subsequently. [Actually, thanks to those who abused the privilege of having an edit capability!] I did not intend to accuse you of slander, merely to ask you to clarify your statement. I agree with you that Islam is dangerous.

I do not really know one way or the other in the long term whether of not the West can live in peace with Islam. I don't intend to open up the subject of the Crusades again but I am (partially) convinced that the Crusades, as problematic as they were, kept Western Europe ultimately from going Moslem. No, I can't prove it. But the Western European incursion into the Middle East caused the Moslems kingdoms to lose a lot of energy otherwise available for conquest. The purposes were not totally aggressive even if the tactics were. Islam was becoming ascendent while the West was relatively backwards. And the Byzantine East was caught in the middle!

Ultimately, the Crusades were not successful as best as I can tell, at least for Byzantium and for Christians in the Middle East. Islam eventually took Constantinople which never really recovered from 1204. Even without 1204 I'm not all that sure that Constantinople would have prevailed anyway. No! I'm not justifying the 4th Crusade's sack of the city!!!!! Islam was on a steam roller for several centuries. I don't even think that a united West could have prevented the fall of Constantinople, but I can't prove this. I don't think the West at its stage of history could unite in the first place, even under the Papacy as a central unifying organization. This period of history did demonstrate, however, that Islam was very powerful & dangerous to the West and united as a result of the Crusades. And Islam at least in the terrorist sense is uniting again and may become very powerful in its own unique way in the 21st Century.

The timing is also becoming bad for the West. The West is rapidly de-Christianizing IMHO. You might recall that the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah rejected Yahweh and fell subsequently to the Assyrians and Babylonians respectively. There is a lesson in here "somewhere" for the West.

As I told you, I am not praticularly interested in this incident as much as in the dogmas of Pope Infallability, which would be exposed if he acted in a wrong way in any incident concerning the faith.
I don't want to open up another can of worms, but the dogma of Papal Infallibility really has nothing to do with Koran kissing! But perhaps we should leave this "issue" for a resounding cat fight to be fought on OC.net for another day. Meow!

It is now my turn to apologize for a long and prolix post. I must say again, however, that I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion with you and even the discussion in the entire thread on this topic.

I wish you a holy and miserable Great Lent!

Jim C.





 

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jbc1949 said:
I wish you a holy and miserable Great Lent!

Jim C.
One of our esteemed posters expressed some confusion regarding this statement. Lest anyone misconstrue my intentions, I got this from an Anglican friend of mine. Although we should be joyful on the outside during the Great Fast, there is nothing wrong with being miserable on the inside--in my case very, very hungry--for the sake of our souls!

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Mor,

The Pope is the supreme legislative authority in the Roman Catholic Church. Everyone has recourse to him, but he answers only to God, not to a Synod of Bishops or anything like that. You can't force him to retire, much less depose him. Catholics are free to correct me, but that's how I understand the situation, and I don't recall reading anything in the CIC regarding deposition of a Pope, forced retirement, etc.
As far as I understand, this is correct. Which makes for some interesting questions (and perhaps, logically required answers).

- Pope is infallible, but only "ex cathedra"
- Pope holds universal and immediate juristiction (source of all ecclessiastical authority)
- Pope is judged by no other than God; which means no body can legally depose or otherwise sentence a Pope.

This has an interesting, round about consequence - in effect, I think one would have to conclude this has the practical consequence of making the Pope either infallible in all that he says or does, OR believe that he must be obeyed in falsehood, but this obedience will be blameless on the part of those who fall in and follow (since their obedience, even to an obvious heretic, is more precious than anything else.)

I know men like Robert Bellarmine (a saint and doctor by RC lights) theorized on the possibility of a Pope apostacizing and thus vacating his office, but such a thought means little when no one could actually judge said offender.

This is why I am somewhat confused when Roman Catholics (whether more or less obedient "conservative" types, or more controversial "traditionalist" types who still recognize John Paul II, like the SSPX) say things like "oh, well it's not ex-cathedra". In reality, does that have any practical consequence, that distinction? If I remember what my TAN books reprint of Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma said correctly, even Papal teachings which do not directly invoke the full excercise of Papal authority (the charism of "infallibility" thus being invoked) such teachings cannot be dissented from - they are to be received with docile assent, both internal and exterior. Roman Catholics, both traditionalist or otherwise "conservative", should keep in mind that the "it's not ex-cathedra" line of reasoning is also a favourite of their more flakey liberals (for example, they'll use this line of reasoning to ignore Papal documents like Humanae Vitae.)

The matter of John Paul II kissing the Koran or otherwise doing strange things like this, obviously doesn't fit within the realm of "magisterial teaching" as Catholicism understands it. However, it is related, since the issue of ecclessial discipline is very much tied to the matter of authority, which in turn relates to "the magisterium." Also, being the "supreme teacher" in the RCC, I think it's fair to ask whether the mindset from which strange acts like this flow, is the same mindset involved in this Pope's religious teaching in general.

Fr.Johannes Dormann has written an interesting series, titled Pope John Paul II’s Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assisi. They're not the easiest books to read (can come off as being very dry), but I think they make it fairly easy to discern that strange/scandalous things (like the example that started this thread) in the Pontificate of John Paul II do not simply come out of a vacuum, but are very much manifestations of his mindset in general.

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James2,

There are precedents for the deposition of a pope. The last time it happened was at the Council of Constance, which ended the Great Western Schism early in the 15th century.
The examples you've provided here certainly give precedent within the post schism, Latin tradition for such a deposition. However, I think such a line of argument would have to assume something that is not the case - namely, that the RCC's history since the schism (and certainly before hand) is a consistant one, that has not being continually undergoing essential evolution/change in doctrinal positions.

The RCC of the Council of Constance, simply doesn't exist anymore - the Popes have now firmly cemented their claims to power, and elaborated them in ways that did not exist back then. Today's "truth" is not "yesterdays". Hence, the essentially "modernistic" nature of Roman Catholicism. It wasn't Vatican II which transformed Catholicism into an ever evolving, dialectical "becoming"; that's a long term problem, which is perhaps the essence of what drove a wedge between Rome (and it's adherants) and the Orthodox Churches in the first place.

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Carpo,

So he kissed the Koran. Big deal! We don't need to justify it. The EP used to be appointed by the Sultan.
Ok...and this comparable to the curious deeds of a certain free Roman Catholic ecclesiastical leader in what compelling ways?

Remember you guys wanted the turban not the mitre.
Mmmm, I think given the option, the Orthodox would undoubtedly have chosen neither.

The price of receiving assistance from the "magnanimous" Popes apostacy - and even those who were willing to sell their souls for temporal "salvation" were to find out they help they did receive was never of such consequence as to prevent the ascendency of the Mohammedans in the east.

The famous saying, I as I recall hearing it was "better the turban than the mitre" - it was the lesser of two evils. Though martyred, and treated as second class citizens in their own lands, the Orthodox were able to remain just that - Orthodox.

Seraphim

 

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Peace JBC,
I enjoyed reading your post very much, and I think we agree on most of the issues which were the subject of our posts. My following comments are just some reflections, without disagreements, on some points:

The Sword of the Prophet: Islam--History, theology, Imact on the World which is published by Regina Orthodox Press. I am currently reading the first chapter on the origins of the Arabic peoples. The author states that "Mohammad was born into a pagan society but by the end of the 6th Century it was different from the paganism as commonly understood in its proto-monotheistic tendencies."
That is what is universally perceived. However, the sources for this statement are from Islamic sources,and Western scholars usually rely on islamic sources as authoritive without further invistigating the issue from other sources.

It is a complicated issue. Many arabic books written by muslims, who during their research apostated, make a strong link between Muhamed and Christian Heresies. In any case, it is a good point of research but of little importance to the current state of affairs.

In the U.S., for example, the ideology of freedom of religion is sacrosanct and necessary in our society. I would add to this is that I believe in "market principles" when it comes to evangelization in the U.S. So I guess that I have to "respect" Islam in America
I agree on the concept. But for every rule, there is an exception. Islam, by nature, is very different. Islam exists as a religion and a state, and it has been exercised as such since Muhamed's time till the fall of the Ottman Empire.
In addition, Muslims themselves do not reciprocate the same courtesy to the other religions; meaning, that once they are in power, they will oppress the other religions as much as they can. They never did otherwise. We tend to assume that history does not repeat itself, because we are far so civilized than to allow such thing.
Well, under Islam, you don't have a choice. We are judging Islam by our own measures, by christian values and civilized world standards. Do you find any islamic state that is civilized ?
I fear the islamisation of the West. Muslims make babies at rates nobody can keep up with, and they will use democracy to end democracy.
I have been laughed at many times when I talked to American friends about it. They can't perceive it that a free country like the USA for example can be a dictatorship. They overlook the fact that muslims' first allegiance is to Islam, not to the state they are citizens of. If this happens, then we need a divine intervention because Islam erradicates the very character of the country. Look at Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey (yes, former Byzantine Empire) which were once a flourishing christian culture.
Can point out a state having a population of muslims, in which muslims are not reason of trouble ?

And now 37+ million abortions in the U.S. alone!
As great as the USA is, I don't regard it as a christian country. I am not sure that there is something like a christian country or a definition for that, as politics has nothing to do with christianity.

Thanks to our "overseers" who took away our edit capabilities I couldn't revise it subsequently. [Actually, thanks to those who abused the privilege of having an edit capability!]
Yeah, I missed this "edit privilages" during some other discussions in another section.

don't intend to open up the subject of the Crusades again but I am (partially) convinced that the Crusades, as problematic as they were, kept Western Europe ultimately from going Moslem. No, I can't prove it. But the Western European incursion into the Middle East caused the Moslems kingdoms to lose a lot of energy otherwise available for conquest. The purposes were not totally aggressive even if the tactics were. Islam was becoming ascendent while the West was relatively backwards. And the Byzantine East was caught in the middle!
It is a good point, which I never realized before. At the time of the crusades beginning, the islamic world was in a state of disarray. Abassians in Baghdad were very weak, Fatimites in Cairo were also becoming weak, and it was a good time to strike "from a politicial point of view" and erase Islam.
However, I am not sure Europe was also powerful, or at least united.

The problem is that they took the Cross as their symbol and they raised a religious war, thus tarnishing the Sign of the Cross with such claims. Maybe that is why they failed.

As far as Islam and Europe, the closest Islam went to capture Europe was in 732 a.d.. Charles Martel emerged as an unexpected hero in the Battle of Tours. I personally believe God intervened here. Outnumbered against a very powerful enemy, Europe was at stake as CHarles Martel was the last stronghold of the christian World. He scored an unexpected victory.
I am surprised that there are no movies to glorify this man who had an gigantic influence on civilization.....

Whether the world will unite again against Islam, I don't know. In any case, for some reason, Evil is almost always the winner.

The timing is also becoming bad for the West. The West is rapidly de-Christianizing IMHO. You might recall that the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah rejected Yahweh and fell subsequently to the Assyrians and Babylonians respectively. There is a lesson in here "somewhere" for the West.
Totally agree. Islam would be a very lucky heir, and a very cruel one too, to a civilization Islam contributed nothing to. Actually, this is the view muslims hold. God made the West flourish so much, in order to strike the infidels (the West) down and give it to Muslims. The strategy is to immigrate, keep a low profile, make babies, make babies, make babies, and then, make babies, give birth to babies, form babies and be a majority.

Away from Islam, I think the apostacy in the West has its roots partially in the so-called "Reformation". Let us leave it at this, without investigating more.

Ultimately, the Crusades were not successful as best as I can tell, at least for Byzantium and for Christians in the Middle East.
I agree. In fact, the last crusades were targeted at Egypt. I think it was Luis IX, King of France who invaded North Egypt. He committed masacres against christians as well as muslims, thus affirming the belief the Copts realized many years before that it does not really differ under which occupation they would live. Note that between Chalcedon and the Islamic Conquest, it was not a rosy picture in Egypt and in Syria as well.

I don't want to open up another can of worms, but the dogma of Papal Infallibility really has nothing to do with Koran kissing! But perhaps we should leave this "issue" for a resounding cat fight to be fought on OC.net for another day. Meow!
Meow Meow !! I wasn't actually gonna discuss it, I just wanted to hint at it as it is for me the reason of disagreement between Orthodox and Catholics. The other dogmatic differences, like the Filioque, Purgatory, Immaculate Conception are more or less Papal doctrines, according to the Doctrinal Development Theory. Once the basis of their acceptance is reviewed,namely Papal Infallability, everything else will "or might" fall in place.

Peace,
Stavro
 

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Stavro said:
. . .

It is a complicated issue. Many arabic books written by muslims, who during their research apostated, make a strong link between Muhamed and Christian Heresies. In any case, it is a good point of research but of little importance to the current state of affairs.

I agree on the concept. But for every rule, there is an exception. Islam, by nature, is very different. Islam exists as a religion and a state, and it has been exercised as such since Muhamed's time till the fall of the Ottman Empire.
The author of the book cited Ibn Warraq, author of The Quest for the Historical Muhammad for the statements that I posted. Ibn Warraq is (now) an atheist and rejects Islam as dangerous, among other things. His books are on my "to be read list" . . . way, way down on a long, long list! Oh, my!



In addition, Muslims themselves do not reciprocate the same courtesy to the other religions; meaning, that once they are in power, they will oppress the other religions as much as they can. . . .
Please understand that when I said "respect" I did not mean "respect & trust." I don't trust them. I'm not a trusting sort of guy by nature!

I fear the islamisation of the West. Muslims make babies at rates nobody can keep up with, and they will use democracy to end democracy.

I have been laughed at many times when I talked to American friends about it. They can't perceive it that a free country like the USA for example can be a dictatorship. They overlook the fact that muslims' first allegiance is to Islam, not to the state they are citizens of.
I can assure you that I am NOT laughing! I also read in a past issue of the National Catholic Register a statement made by an Italian Curial Cardinal urging Italians to make babies and to allow immigration only from Catholic countries. Italy has experienced an explosive growth in its Moslem population through immigration. His comments were vigorously condemned in the secular press. The fools!

Regarding the Crusades . . . yes, the West was divided and never truly united even under a strong Medieval Papacy.

As far as Islam and Europe, the closest Islam went to capture Europe was in 732 a.d.. Charles Martel emerged as an unexpected hero in the Battle of Tours. I personally believe God intervened here. Outnumbered against a very powerful enemy, Europe was at stake as CHarles Martel was the last stronghold of the christian World. He scored an unexpected victory.
Yes, I tend to agree about the Divine intervention at Tours. Catholics have also considered the Battle of Lepanto the result of Divine intervention through Our Lady of the Rosary. The Catholic coalition of forces were quarrelsome and barely united.

However, the last time Islam came closest to capturing Europe (possibly) was in the 1680's. A coalition of forces led by King (St.) Stephen of Hungary stopped the Turks at the gates of Vienna.

I am surprised that there are no movies to glorify this man who had an gigantic influence on civilization.....
That's because the modern world is interested in sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll!!!!

Warmest regards,

Jim C.



 

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jbc1949 said:
. . .

I also read in a past issue of the National Catholic Register a statement made by an Italian Curial Cardinal urging Italians to make babies and to allow immigration only from Catholic countries. Italy has experienced an explosive growth in its Moslem population through immigration. His comments were vigorously condemned in the secular press. The fools!
Actually he didn't say "make babies." Please excuse the error. Nonetheless, Italy's average no. of children per family is 1.2 or 1.3, below replacement level so I guess they should be making the bambinos!

Jim C.

 

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JBC wrote:

"Catholics have also considered the Battle of Lepanto the result of Divine intervention through Our Lady of the Rosary. The Catholic coalition of forces were quarrelsome and barely united."

That is interesting....do you have any links for further readings ?
I have been searching for a good, detailed book on the Battle of Tours for a looooooooong time now, and could not find....any suggestions ?
Thank you in advance.

and I hope Italy will start making Bambinos ..... it is a charming country, and being the soccer fan that I am, I wish they bring more Baggios, Del Pieros, Fieris to the delight of soccer fans.

Peace,
Stavro
 

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Stavro said:
That is interesting....do you have any links for further readings ?
I have been searching for a good, detailed book on the Battle of Tours for a looooooooong time now, and could not find....any suggestions ?
Thank you in advance.
No, unfortunately, I don't have much. Tan Books publishes a biography of Pope St. Pius V and has a brief account of the Battle of Lepanto:

Robin Anderson, St. Pius V: His Life, Times and Miracles

There is also a secular history of various battles throughout Western history:

Victor Davis Hanson, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power, New York, Doubleday, cy2001.

I have not (yet) read this book but Lepanto is one of the battles discussed.


There is always the on-line Catholic Encyclopedia:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

It has articles on "Lepanto" & "Charles Martel" but not a whole lot of detail on Tours. I believe the actual battle that turned back the Moors was the Battle of Poitiers.

I too would desire to read a lengthy account of Tours/Poitiers and Lepanto. Lepanto was not the big victory that most people proclaim. The Turkish fleet was still very powerful and in a subsequent year came out to challenge the Christian fleet but the challenge was not taken up.

Jim C.


 

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Thank you, JBC.

I still wonder about the fate of the whole World if it wasn't for Charles Martel incredible victory. I don't believe in military or political saints, and I don't think he was a saint, but a man of greatest influence on history of mankind.

Maybe "brother" Mel Gibson should entertain the thought of producing a movie about The Battle of Tours/Poitiers.

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Stavro said:
Maybe "brother" Mel Gibson should entertain the thought of producing a movie about The Battle of Tours/Poitiers.
Funny that you have mentioned this! In my latest National Catholic Register, some Catholic group has publically called for Mel to make a movie of St. Francis of Assissi. I'm not one for commercializing religion and religious subjects, but if the Passion can spin off some decent films on religious subjects--not that trash that passes for religious films on commercial TV (like that Judas "joke")--then maybe it would be a good thing.

Too early to tell yet if this would be a good idea. I too wouldn't mind a rousing "war flick" about the rescue of European Civilization. Also a movie about the "Battle of Vienna" in the 1680's would be good too. Might anger the Turks though! Good!


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If religious movies are directed under christian historian or at least fair secular scholars revision and without any extra flavor like the 50's and 60's screen hits, I think it will be great. It is at least benefitting for the spirit and it gives a great account of the true christianity.

I remember a movie about St.Paul and St.Peter, which I watched back home on smuggled tapes but I can;t seem to find it anywhere. It was a good movie.
How great would be for christians, evangelizers specially, to see the "passion" and love this great Saint had for the Lord Christ.

What about the life of St.George ?

And there are other great accounts in the history of the Churches in the East, which is not known to the West because of lack of publicity.

I don't see why the christian movies won't continue. It had made a great profit, so at least financially, it is feasible.

If it angers muslims, then the following quote by St.John Chrysostom is right on target :" Sick people are injured by healthy food".

Peace,
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jbc1949 said:
Speaking of Allah, the aforementioned book states that the word itself comes from the Aramaic.
Yes, that is one theory. It is distinct from the argument that 'Allah' is a contraction of 'the God'. Rather, it is an Arabised form of God's proper name in Aramaic.

In IC XC
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The different Semitic names also share the same root, the letters 'alef', 'lam', and 'ha'--all consonants, in conformity with Semitic alphabetical systems that do not rest on vowels. They are the same.

In IC XC
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Starvo,

The movie you referenced is "Peter & Paul", Anthony Hopkins play a excellent St. Paul, I taped it from TV it played on CBS I think. I watch it and Jesus of Nazareth during Lent every year.

If you need help locating it let me know.


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Here is an interesting article, written from the Roman Catholic perspective, on the Assisi prayer meetings.
 

Linus7

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The following is an excerpt from the article above.

A "Loyal Son" Protests

Can a loyal Catholic ever criticize the Pope? Can it ever be his duty to voice such criticism publicly? These agonizing questions have been presenting themselves increasingly in recent years to a good number of Catholics who, like myself, do not consider themselves in any way dissenters. We accept all the authentic teachings of the Magisterium, including those since Vatican Council II, but feel deeply troubled by the policy and practice of the present pontiff in regard to non-Christian religions.

As a priest who teaches theology at a pontifical university, I am dismayed at the January 24 inter-religious peace gathering in Assisi. It is well-known that before the first such gathering in 1986 (which played no small part in provoking the rupture between Archbishop Lefebvre and the Holy See in 1988), a number of cardinals privately warned John Paul II of the imprudence of such an innovation - utterly unheard of in 2,000 years of Church history. Their concern was shared by thousands of faithful priests, religious and Catholic laity. Perhaps if we had publicly voiced that concern, instead of remaining silent out of fear and human respect, His Holiness might have felt the need for greater restraint in the next millennium.

Despite certain precautionary nuances against syncretism (the Assisi meetings were officially described as not being a case of "coming to pray together," but as "coming together to pray"), the practical effect in the minds of millions of observers worldwide can only have been to create or reinforce the impression that the Roman Catholic Church now endorses what Pope Pius XI described as "the view that all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy." But while vast numbers of Catholics now see nothing much wrong with that view, Pius XI declared that those who support and promote it are "lapsing gradually into naturalism and atheism" and therefore are "totally falling away from the religion revealed by God" (cf. Mortalium Animos, 1928).

What other impression than a verdict of "more-or-less-good-and-praiseworthy" is left when the Roman pontiff invites Jewish, Islamic, pantheistic and polytheistic religious leaders to come and practice their respective forms of worship inside Catholic churches and religious houses, offering to each group space and facilities for that purpose? How does such an invitation escape the charge of formal cooperation in the objectively sinful practice of pagan worship? How will it in any way help to persuade those invited non-Christians, and their millions of followers, that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour?

Is Assisi really justified by Vatican II's cautious recognition in Nostra Aetate that non-Christian religions "often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men" or by its call for "prudent...discussion and collaboration with members of other religions"? Are such gatherings (not to mention such unheard-of gestures as the Pope's public kissing of the Koran on May 14, 1999) apt to give any practical reflection to the Catholic truth that the "belief" of non-Christians is not the theological virtue of faith - recently confirmed as definitive by John Paul II in Dominus Jesus?

I offer these comments, not in a spirit of defiance, but as a loyal son of the Holy Father who prays for him daily, who assents to all his formal teachings as Vicar of Christ, but who also grieves for the scandal and confusion caused by radically innovative practices which do not seem to reflect those teachings.

Fr. Brian W Harrison, O.S., S.T.D.
Ponce, Puerto Rico
 

Amadeus

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Dear Linus:

Not to diminish the value of Fr. Harrison's view on the subject, he is just but one of the many Roman Catholics who thinks that Pope John Paul II went overboard by "kissing" the Koran.

However, I sincerely doubt that the good priest-professor's view represents "the Roman Catholic perspective."

Amado

(BTW, Fr. Brian W. Harrison is a convert from Protestantism, whose story is one of those featured in CHN International hosted by Marcus Grodi, another convert. Both are a good addition, though!)
 

Linus7

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Maybe I should have said a Roman Catholic perspective rather than the Roman Catholic perspective.

Are you saying that most Roman Catholics view favorably the Pope's kissing the Koran and/or the prayer meetings with pagans at Assisi?

That would be a disappointing thing to learn.

Actually, Fr. Harrison did not write the whole article. That excerpt from him was a quote from the article. The article itself is a lot longer and more thorough.
 

Amadeus

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Dear Linus:

No, I am not saying that most Roman Catholics view favorably the Pope's kissing the Koran and/or the prayer meetings with pagans at Assisi.

It just that Catholics in general are not THAT alarmed about the Pope's showing respect for all religious beliefs. After all, this is the thrust of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the "orther" hallmark of Pope John Paul II"s pontificate aside from ecumenical dialogue with other Chrisitans, most especially with the Orthodox!

To me, at least, the interreligious gathering at Assisi for prayers for world peace is a non-issue and the event bodes well for religious tolerance.

I like to think that the evangelization efforts of the Catholic Church in Muslim Indonesia and sub-Saharan Africa are in a great way aided by our adherence to the peaceful accommodation of local religious customs and beliefs, and not the coercive way, as practised in the olden days, of preaching the Gospels.

I could be wrong but the success of the Catholic Church in traditionally Muslim countries speaks volumes.

Amado
 

Linus7

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Amadeus said:
Dear Linus:

No, I am not saying that most Roman Catholics view favorably the Pope's kissing the Koran and/or the prayer meetings with pagans at Assisi.

It just that Catholics in general are not THAT alarmed about the Pope's showing respect for all religious beliefs. After all, this is the thrust of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the "orther" hallmark of Pope John Paul II"s pontificate aside from ecumenical dialogue with other Chrisitans, most especially with the Orthodox!

To me, at least, the interreligious gathering at Assisi for prayers for world peace is a non-issue and the event bodes well for religious tolerance.

I like to think that the evangelization efforts of the Catholic Church in Muslim Indonesia and sub-Saharan Africa are in a great way aided by our adherence to the peaceful accommodation of local religious customs and beliefs, and not the coercive way, as practised in the olden days, of preaching the Gospels.

I could be wrong but the success of the Catholic Church in traditionally Muslim countries speaks volumes.

Amado
Are apparent evangelistic successes worth any price, even the betrayal of the Apostolic Tradition and - from the Roman Catholic perspective - the betrayal of the statements and policies of previous popes?

Tolerance in religion means not harming others although we disagree with them.

It does not mean promoting their beliefs, providing a platform for them, and making it appear as if Christianity were just one more religious alternative among other valid choices.
 

TomS

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The man kissed a book that denies that Jesus is the Son of God and then does not publicly repent or ask for the forgiveness of his flock.

Disgusting.



 

Linus7

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TomΣ said:
The man kissed a book that denies that Jesus is the Son of God and then does not publicly repent or ask for the forgiveness of his flock.

Disgusting.
Apparently that is just the tip of the ecumenical iceberg, Tom.

Pope John Paul II is also supposed to have done the following:

  • recited psalms with Jews while visiting the synagogue of Rome (April 13, 1986)
  • invited Catholics and Jews to prepare together for the coming of the Messiah (June 24, 1986)
  • engaged in dialogues with the high priests and witch doctors of Voodoo (February 4, 1993)
  • took part in Animist rites in the “Sacred Forest” in Togo (August 8, 1985)
  • had the sacred Tilac put on his forehead by a priestess of Shiva in Bombay (February 2, 1986)
  • and invited representatives of the “main religions” to Assisi to pray for peace (October 27, 1986, and January 24, 2002).

Here is another excerpt from the article at the link I posted above:

For example, during prayer with an African Animist on August 8, 1985, John Paul writes: "The prayer meeting in the sanctuary at Lake Togo was particularly striking. There I prayed for the first time with animists." In 1986, in New Delhi, India, John Paul stated: "Collaboration between all religions is necessary for the good of mankind. Today, as Hindus, Buddhists, Jansenists, and Christians, we unite to proclaim the truth about man" (La Croix, Feb 4, 1986). In his 1991 encyclical Centissimus Annus (60, 3), John Paul states: "I am convinced that the various religions, now and in the future, will have a preeminent role in preserving peace and in building a society worthy of man." In 62, 3 he writes: "...the Church will be faithful in making man's way her own." On April 19, 1998, during the homily of a con-celebrated Mass, in front of Indian women offering incense and flowers, John Paul said: "We would like to listen to what the spirit is saying to the Churches, so that they can proclaim Christ in the context of Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism and all those ways of thinking and living which were already rooted in Asia before the preaching of the Gospel arrived there" (L' Osservatore Romano, April 22, 1998). At the same meeting, John Paul stated: "Gandhi taught us that if all men and women, whatever the differences among them, embrace the truth, in the respect and dignity unique to every human being, a New World Order, a civilization of love can be attained." On January 21, 1995, in a meeting with Buddhists, John Paul stated: "This meeting signified togetherness. We are together; it is necessary to be together; not to be together is dangerous" (Man of the Millennium, p. 149). On November 17, 1999, in his general audience, John Paul stated: "It was important to reaffirm the lively desire of the Church for a fruitful dialogue among the believers of all religions" (The Catholic World Report, "Dialogue and evangelization," Jan. 2000, p. 9) (emphasis mine). "I love all religions...If people become better Hindus, better Moslems, better Buddhists by our acts of love, then there is something else growing there. They come closer and closer to God..." (Interview with Mother Teresa, 1989). In February 2000, John Paul stated: "May Saint John the Baptist protect Islam" (General Audience Address, May 5, 1999).
Note that last quote especially.

Pope John Paul II: "May Saint John the Baptist protect Islam."
If it is accurate, what can such a prayer possibly mean but betrayal?

May God destroy Islam and bring those deceived by it to Christ.

 

Deacon Lance

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"Whether we are Christians, Moslems or Jews, we are children of God and our efforts as peacemakers will be blessed and rewarded by the one God whom we share as common Creator." (Remarks by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew "New Leadership and the Promise of Peace," October 15, 2000).

http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article8072.asp

There is also an upcoming "Interfaith Conference of the Three Monotheistic Religions" at the EP.

http://www.oca.org/pages/news/news.asp?ID=563
 
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