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Benedict's recent controversial speech

category international | miscellaneous | other press author Monday September 18, 2006 14:30author by Rumble Bumble Report this post to the editors

This is the full unabridged text of his address

Below is the full text of Pope Benedict XVI's speech to the academic and theological community at Regensburg:

Our guidelines specfically rule out cut and pastes. These are posts that are publicly available elsewhere on the internet, or in the mainstream media. We do realise, however, that there can sometimes by a strong case for articles published elsewhere to be brought to the attention of IMC readers. In these cases, we ask contributors to write an original introduction to the article, highlighting its relevance to Irish indymedia readers and include a link to the article.

Related Link: http://zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=94748
author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And a Paragraph or two, along with the last line...

Three things come to mind.

1. What has the logos of reason, the 'breadth' therin got to do with love?

2. Whilst skewed to an academic 'crowd' , littered with excellencies, the speech
will not put food in the mouth of the poor.

3. Haven't dogmatics come a terribly long way from the simplicity of the teachings
of Christ?

According to Cicely Fairfield (Rebecca West) Popes don't really know how to talk
to ordinary people. Whilst beautifully constructed and possibly eminently
delivered, the speech is a pile of words that have caused an unnecessary
diplomatic conflaguration.

The image of the Pope's apology, today , in the papers:

The man in white beside the victorious Christ, is neatly propangadic. It's about
temporal power and materialistic rationality.

Today is the day for the opening of the secret Archive.
There has been no report on the dogmatic adoption of 'intelligent design'
from the Schulerkreis.

Poverty would be an issue of concern to many , many people. An image
speaks louder than words-unless of course the papacy has provided translations
of both the speeches. The subtly offensive and the apology.

author by Crutonpublication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 15:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its funny how in this speech Joey is goin on about how Muhammed was wrong to spread Islam through the sword. his sense of history seems to be very skewed. He seems to forget how numerous popes encouraged the masses to go and slaughter the infidel muslims back in the times of the crusades, to protect Jerusalem. heres an interesting quote from Pope Urban:

"The noble race of Franks must come to the aid their fellow Christians in the East. The infidel Turks are advancing into the heart of Eastern Christendom; Christians are being oppressed and attacked; churches and holy places are being defiled. Jerusalem is groaning under the Saracen yoke. The Holy Sepulchre is in Moslem hands and has been turned into a mosque. Pilgrims are harassed and even prevented from access to the Holy Land.
"The West must march to the defense of the East. All should go, rich and poor alike. The Franks must stop their internal wars and squabbles. Let them go instead against the infidel and fight a righteous war.
"God himself will lead them, for they will be doing His work. There will be absolution and remission of sins for all who die in the service of Christ. Here they are poor and miserable sinners; there they will be rich and happy. Let none hesitate; they must march next summer. God wills it!

The poor shall be rich in heaven! Sounds familiar. Isnt it 99 virgins for a successful suicide bomber?

author by C Murray - .publication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The speech , on further reading would point towards the Schulerkreis' objective
and that is to set a thematic philosophical argument for essentialist adoption of
the Genesis narrative for the rationalist philosophy of Western cultural hegemony.

Unfortunately the whole masculinist Adam's Rib thing grates my cheese.

Speaking of the issue with an accquaintance on Saturday, he came to the determination
that it would be impossible to push the idea of creationism on Western developed society,
the main question in the text-body of the speech is the emphasis on western rationalism's
inability to determine questions regarding the'failure' of scientific method.

You would think that modern societies would not allow the adoption of the Genesis
narrative as the philosophical base for political and temporal power, but it is scourging
the US administration as well as the repeated reports of book banning in high
school libraries. In times of socital upheaval and war, many people turn to the
religion that they were brought up in, the edicts and centralised control of the papacy
along with the refusal of the church to de-centralise and adopt a more caring attitude
to its victims/and the poor would suggest that the idea of obedience ;'faith' is the tool that
creates and sustains dogmatic control- or quite simply the refusal to democratise and dialogue.

author by MichaelY - iawmpublication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Apart from Benedict's sinister decision to launch an attack on Islam at this moment in history when the supreme question of war or peace, and the clash of civilisations hangs in the balance, there is a rather bizarre aspect to this whole affair viz. the curious decision to quote a Byzantine emperor’s views on Islam that I would like to focus on.

Byzantium, Costantinople [the polis of Costantine] as it was then, had experienced first hand the brutality of the western Popist crusaders who, goaded on by Catholic priests in 1203 had sacked the city in one of the greatest atrocities in history, magnified several-fold by the immense cultural and intellectual loss in what was one of the great centres of world civilisation.

This shocking act of barbarism way surpassed the sacking of Rome by the Goths or the, relatively more humane, subsequent sacking of Byzantium by the Ottomans. Here is how this Christian sacking was recorded by one Byzantine historian:

"No one was without a share in the grief. In the alleys, in the streets, in the temples, complaints, weeping, lamentations, grief, the groaning of men, the shrieks of women, wounds, rape, captivity, the separation of those most closely united. Nobles wandered about ignominiously, those of venerable age in tears, the rich in poverty. Thus it was in the streets, on the corners, in the temple, in the dens, for no place remained unassailed or defended the suppliants. All places everywhere were filled full of all kinds of crime. Oh, immortal God, how great the afflictions of the men, how great the distress!"

The Byzantine historian Nikitas Koniates wrote: "even the Muslims are human and well-disposed, compared to those animals who carry the cross of Christ on the shoulders". Emannuel II Paleologos ( the Byzantine emperor quoted by Benedict) had good reason to fear the Muslims since Byzantium was perpetually on the verge of falling to them, as indeed it finally did in 1453. But even in the midst of that final siege, the city’s last great statesmen was heard to say “Better the Sultan’s turban than the Cardinal’s hat”. Benedict somehow overlooked that quote in his speech.

In fact the destruction or a least fatal weakening of the Byzantine Empire was the main outcome of the Crusades whose nominal goal was the reconquest of the Holy Land. It was rather as if todays war against Islam was really an oblique attempt to undermine Europe and Russia in accordance with the perennial goals of British and US foreign policy as outlined by Mackinder i.e. that Europe and Eurasia should forever be divided. (That may very well be the case.Arguably, the turn towards Iraq only came when the campaign to destabilise Serbia and then Russia reached an impasse and even the submissive Yeltsin threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia). Certainly, with regard to the deep animosity between Western Christendom and the Orthodox world, history has repeated itself under NATO’s occupation of Kosovo when we saw again the destruction of a number of beautiful Byzantine churches by Tony and Bill’s favourite terrorists, the KLA of the Kosovars. And before I raise hackles, lets remind ourselves who was on the Christian and who on the Islam side in Bosnia.

Benedict's rantings remind us, unconsciously, of things Christianity would rather keep forgotten, western Christendom’s jihad against its religious foes culminating in the destruction of the beautiful city of Byzantium , echoed nearly a thousand years later in the destruction of Kosovo’s churches or the pillaging of Iraq's treasures by its supposed 'liberators'.

And before Christian soldiers jump on me - no I don't support fire-bombing of Christian churches in Palestine, neither do I support shooting nuns in Somalia. So pls refrain and stick, as much as you can, to the subject of the thread.

author by pat cpublication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 16:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

but this pot is a lot blacker. the muslin conquerers regarded jews and christians as "people of the book", and therefore did not force them to convert to islam. wheras in the christian conquests many muslims and jews were forced to become christians.

however islam gave no protection to those who followed animist or polytheist religions. they were just as bad as the christians in that regard. it was a choice of: convert; get out; or get the sword.

Anyway Benny badly needs some media savvy spindoctors. He succeeded in insulting a lot of Jews yesterday by citing St Paul: "we preach the crucified Christ - a scandal for the Jews, a folly for the pagans".

Rabbi Jonathan Romain responded: " The Pope has every right to quote his own holy texts, but it may be unwise in the current climate to choose those hich refer to other faiths."

author by C Murray - .publication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Intellectual Christianity can be often communicated with a certain 'muscularity' of approach?

Critical questions in Catholicism would be facing up to the issues which have scarred that
faith- such as the approach to victims of sex abuse, the refusal to de-centralise the
power base of the church or dialogue with women who seek ordination and equality
within the faith that they have grown in. These questions are constantly asked amongst
communities , especially of women. Respect and tolerance of other faiths seems lacking,
but then intellectual Christianity is a privilege of the educated and can alienate those
of us who would respond on a more pragmatic level to need.

author by John Meehanpublication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Read Tariq Ali's Article Here :


author by Chris Murrray - .publication date Mon Sep 18, 2006 20:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The thrust of it was dedicated to a 'third way' in theological terms- the Pope was was most definitely discussing the theological imperative of creating a new dogma based in reducing the 'made-up' religions that evolved as a result of the enlightenment and Darwinism.

"Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution and psychology end up being simply inadequate"

The third way of theology western hegemonic theology-(intellectual dogmatism) would encompass reason and faith, thus'overcoming the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically verifiable'

Given that the speech was directed to an audience of privilege , it can be read solely in the context of the audience to which it was directed , hence the referrals to Socrates and de-hellenisation (which is in progress)

However, given that the Schulerkreis was dedicated to advancing a new approach to the issue of the intelligent design model of dogmatism, we must await where the speech and the Schulerkreis are leading, to put the issue- so clearly signalled as a change of Roman direction into context.

However, in this case-given the rationality of western dogmatic theological systems
and the loss of the expert in Moslemism to Egypt as Papal Nuncio-we can only assume that the inter-faith dialogue has been prioritised by Benedict and he has appointed someone of equal expertise to dialogue with people of these communities.

Us, the western people who are in for a bumpy ride given that the subjective "conscience"
becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical- for Benedict that is an unreasonable state of affairs. In fact unworkable, but sure he states that theology "rightly belongs in the university
and with the wide ranging dialogue of the sciences, not merely historical discipline, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith"

The side-swipe at another living breathing religion was not diplomatic now was it?

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Guardian reported a meeting between Pope Benedict and Chancellor Merkel
in recent times. It was just after George Bush used his presidential veto to block the
stem cell research issue in the US.Twenty four hours later Chancellor Merkel put a halt to development of stem cell research in Germany.

Nicholas Watt, states that " In remarks that will reopen the debate on religion in the EUAngela Merkel threw her weight behind Pope Benedict's campaign to recognise Europe's Christian heritage.

"We spoke about freedom of religion, we spoke about the role of Europe and I emphasised the need for a constitution and that it should refer to our Christian values" (Merkel)

Her efforts to change the Constitution will be focussed on January of next year, when Germany assumes the EU presidency.

Cherie Blair also met Benedict recently, (she wore a veil) the included link, at the end of this article refers to the meeting(in a tangental way).

*The reference to meetings between Benedict and these leaders is related not to the attack on Moslems, but to the thrust of the article which is available at the link above, and to the meetings of the Schulerkreis , which is dedicated to exploring a dogmatic(or doctrinal) approach to the third way of European Christianity, wherein The Enlightment and Darwinism will not be rejected but happily cohabit with dogma regarding the Genesis narrative-or'Intelligent design' .

Chancellor Merkel is of course the leader of the CDU.
We all know Cherie( she has a flower called after her 'The Rosa Cherie')

One can divine from powerful meetings with neo-con leaders (and women too)
that Pope Benedicts theological approach to muscular christianity is going to have a
wide-ranging EU based power nexus.

The fact that these countries are led by right wing and allied against the 'Axis of Evil' would point to a co-operative stance between the neo-liberal EU and the neo-con Bush regime.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76647
author by Chris Murray - .publication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 13:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cardinal Schonburn one of the delegates to the Schulerkreis and ex-student of Benedictum
has a site. The reference to Papabile: is because he is considered to be papal material
this is on the first paragraph of the welcome to the site.

His Motto is :" Vos Autem dixi amicos" (we hope)

The essays and bio are interesting. The address in Austria is catalogued under May 30th
of this year. I have not studied it yet, but links to other articles include:

The Designs Of Science: December 2005.

and the main site is: http://www.cardinalschonborn.com

The Schulerkreis papers will be published in November.
They are a summer school musing and not doctrinal-as yet.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On 21 September 1529 te Turkish army under Suleiman the Magnificent was defeated at Vienna. A bad day for those nasty saracens. Bet Benny celebrated a Te Deum this morning.

But it was a good day for Bonnie Prince Charlie. 21 September Prince Charles and his Jacobite army defeated the English at the Battle of Prestonpans in Scotland. Hard to know which side the Pope of the time was on. 1745 it was.

Anyone know who the Te Deum was sung for?

author by Chris Murray - .publication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tommorrow is the equinox- loads of lovely revelations.

Intelligent design, eugenics and commodification of the individual aside, somethings the
dogmatic church cant mess with- and one is time.
Reading history in a revisionist linearity is dangerous.
He has, for some reason stopped the opening of the Vatican archives,
detailing the period up to the Holocaust/Shoah.(1919-1939)

Rationalist Materialism breeds monsters.

author by Gandalf the Greypublication date Tue Sep 26, 2006 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Muslim leaders reportedly met King Benedict at Castelgandalfo , site of the Schulerkreis
for a summit in which The pope stuck to his guns"

Iran, Indonesia, were represented.(and 21 predominantly muslim countries too)

Apparently the public address was in the french of Voltaire.

The text of the Pope's speech was posted in arabic to the vatican's website, one wonders if
a copy was sent to Al Jazeera?

author by Chris Murraypublication date Fri Oct 06, 2006 16:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

According to today's Guardian Pope Benedict had abolished, today, the concept of
'Limbus Infantium'- thereby freeing the psyche from the necessity of the children's
graveyard- it is extended too, to aborted foetus's

"Limbo divides into Limbo patrum and , the temporary resting place of good souls who died before
Jesus 'resurrection, and Limbus Infanitum, home for children who die without
being free from original sin (ie Baptised)"

Apparently the thing is retrospective, thus we may all rest easy with our dead-knowing
they have gone to a good place. except of course those amongst us who have 'lost'
family in the queer undemocratic Ireland which refused to baptise the still-born, buried them
in unmarked graves and with the other unfortunate victims of dogma (suicides and tainted
women-ie those whom had not been churched after the stain of procreation)

Theological experts may know more on this subject, but the Church/State tie that
produced the laws which allowed for the removal of stillborns and premmies
to special sites, wherein the families could not locate them only ended in
Ireland in the last 15-20 years, the refusal to register the names given to the
children was only abolished within the same period.

Given that Benedict has removed the concept of limbo to those who believe
maybe the announcement of the abolition of limbo should have come with
an apolgy to those who have suffered grievous loss as a result of living in
this god-fearing nation.
(and other countries where the process of grieving + loss was truncated by dogmatic
interpretation of Doctrinal Catholicism)

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