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Speaking of Islam, James Akin has a good article on the infamous Pope John Paull II Koran kissing incident: JP2 And The Quran
Your thoughts on this incident?
Please keep them charitable.
Posted by Thomistic on Friday, May 05, 2006 at 11:58 AM | Permalink
I will never understand why Pope John Paul the Great did this, but he is so much holier and wiser that I could ever imagine being that I am sure he knew what he was doing. This man is a mystic and a future saint.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:10 PM
Pope John Paul the Great kissed the Koran because he wanted to show the world that all Religions ultimately serve the one God; we may know him by different names and to greater or lesser degrees - there is but one God. We are the ones mist blessed to know him uniquely in Christ Jesus, but we must not rubbish other faiths because the don't know him. "And there are other sheep of mine, not of this flock...."
Godfrey Mannion |
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 12:44 PM
When I was in the military, I saluted rank. It didn't mean I liked, respected or even knew the man. I saluted. I pray that is what the late pope was doing.
Now re: all religions are the same:
Religion of Paroxysm – hatred, murder and rapine - Mohammedanism is organized brigandage masquerading as a religion. It is also the “Religion of Blowing People to Pieces" (RBPP).
Mohammedanism is "Murder, Inc." It is a gangster system that emirs and imams use to lord it over people they keep in blind ignorance and tyranny.
The history of this so-called ‘religion’ is a lengthy catalog of crimes, invasions and massacres. It is a narrative of the conquests and extirpations of the peoples of the Balkans, Greece, Asia Minor, North Africa, South Asia, Spain, and Indonesia, who were consumed by invasions, dispossessions, and massacres. After many centuries, the savages remain in a state of irreconcilable hostility with all their neighbors.
Their unsocial manners either are faintly disguised or boldly professed. Simply stated it has evolved into a hatred for the rest of mankind. While acquaintance with mankind has extended their knowledge, it has not corrected their prejudices.
In the 7th century, Muhammad and his expanding bands of tribal warriors constructed the “House of Islam” using massacre, torture, assassination, deceit and indiscriminate destruction of productive resources. The historical evidence proves that Mohammed violently established his hegemony over Mecca and Medina. For the next 1,200 years, he and his ‘heirs’ massacred, tortured, assassinated, deceived and pillaged in centuries long attempts to establish Arabic hegemony over the Earth. They murdered, looted and enslaved millions. Some of today’s more demented heathens dream of again playing the world conquest game.
T. Shaw |
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 01:32 PM
Mr. Shaw , you display an astounding ignorance of history. The very land you inhabit and call home was colonized and overrun by Christians. Ask Mexico about bloodshed.Many people have perished in the name of Christianity. The history of the Holy Roman Empire is a history of invasions, slaughter and bloodshed. The church of the inquisitions is not so far back.
Godfrey Mannion |
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 01:59 PM
Here's my speculation.
The pope kissed the Koran with the same spirit he kissed the ground of the countries he would arrive at. (When he would ritually kiss the ground, he wasn't worshiping the earth.) It was the same spirit St. Francis of Assisi had when he would kiss his brother lepers. (A shocking event, at the time.)
The Holy Spirit, which moved JPII, cared not for what people thought. His aim was dialogue, and that out of a motive of pure love.
I believe when JPII kissed the Koran, his logic was that love conquers error, and continues on despite of it. His kiss, out of a motive of pure love, although perhaps not reasonable, came from JPII's astounding faith. A faith which shows such strength and conviction as becomes a great leader.
It was a kiss of acceptance. A kiss which acknowledged who he was meeting. This man accepted the fact the he was meeting another man of faith, however erroneous that faith was. This acceptance of the person with his beliefs, this respect for the individual, would open the door to his soul. I am sure JPII accomplished more good in that visit than what we can fathom on this earth.
JPII kissed the Koran, and Judas kissed Christ. These are oddities that stand out in our history which I look forward to knowing the full significance of in the next life.
I love John Paul II, and pray to be his worthy spiritual daughter, in a world where the Holy Spirit is so little known and unrecognized.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 02:20 PM
JPII kissed the Koran because he viewed Islam as an ally against both Communism and secularism. He was also greatly afraid of a "clash of civilizations" similar to WWII, which I believe traumatized Wojtyla tremendously and played a fundamental role in his world view. That is the basic reason why he opposed the 1990-91 invasion of Iraq to save Kuwait and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
JPII's act had little to do with theology or faith and far more to do with his geopolitical agenda.
Undoubtedly, JPII was influenced by an element in Catholicism (especially in European intellectual circles) that views Islam with affection as a counterweight to modernity and secularism. I suggest that you Google the author "Alain Besancon" and "What Kind of Religion Is Islam?" the article he wrote in Commentary magazine. Here is some of Besancon (a French Catholic scholar) wrote:
"Contributing to the partiality toward Islam is an underlying dissatisfaction with modernity, and with our liberal, capitalist individualistic arrangements.... Alarmed by the ebbing of religious faith in the Christian West, and particularly in Europe, these writers cannot but admire Muslim devoutness.... Surely, they reason, it is better to believe in something than in nothing, and since these Muslims believe in something, they must believe in the same thing we do."
Influencing that attitude was the work of European scholar Louis Massignon, who popularized the ideas of the Koran as a kind of biblical revelation and of Muslims as being among Abraham's spiritual children.
"An entire literature favorable to Islam has grown up in Europe, much of it the work of Catholic priests under the sway of Massignon's ideas."
To be blunt, I believe JPII desecrated the memory of Christian martyrs who died for refusing to do the exact same thing he did. I also believe that, as much as he was a Winston Churchill regarding Catholicism, JPII was a Neville Chamberlain regarding Islam.
Joseph D'Hippolito |
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 03:11 PM
Pope John Paul II - and he's not "the Great" - kissed the koran because he was a confused man.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 08:24 PM
I am little confused by your remark that "all Religions ultimately serve the one God; we may know him by different names and to greater or lesser degrees - there is but one God. We are the ones most blessed to know him uniquely in Christ Jesus, but we must not rubbish other faiths because they don't know him." Sounds to me like you are trying to be so inclusive (liberal) that you are missing the primary point of being a Christian. Christians worship the one, true God and the other religions do not. That is the essence of Christianity. "No one comes to the Father but through me," Jesus said. The other religions are false, you can decide if that is "rubbishing" them or not. If the Pope knew that this book was the Koran, he should not have kissed it, since this is an act that Catholics reserve for the Bible.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 09:20 PM
The Koran is a book of great evil - don't kid yourselves. Kissing it was a mistake. Plan and simple.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 09:46 PM
Lisa, 'Plan' and simple: We don't know why he kissed it, becuase he was never asked, and therefore cannot provide an answer.
Read Akin's article which was linked. Seriously, it could have been any number of reasons.
My take, it was probably a momentary lapse of reason.
Also, JPII tried more to bring about forgiveness than war. I might even liken it to par for the course of JPII...the man who visited his assassin in his prison cell, to offer forgiveness. This (kissing of the Koran) makes many of us queezy, but that was his way. The man was not impeccible.
Ultimately, we can only speculate.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 10:07 PM
Forgive the typo. momentary lapse of reason = mistake. He made a mistake. I don't care why he would say he did it - it was still a mistake. Plain and simple.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 11:15 PM
What will you do when JPII is elevated to sainthood, a strong possibility once he gets his miracles?
I could not disagree more strenuously with your psycho-analysis of JPII.
"He was also greatly afraid of a "clash of civilizations" similar to WWII, which I believe traumatized Wojtyla tremendously and played a fundamental role in his world view."
Mighten it be more likely that JPII's personal history of opposing both fascism and communism led him to understand that the "clash of civilizations" is already upon us.
As a Roman Catholic I believe that as a religious faith Islam is wrong, but even a broken watch tells the right time twice a day.
Hillaire Belloc postulates in his seminal work "The Great Heresies" that the initial spread of Islam was cultural and not religious. Belloc particularly points to Islam's initial freeing of slaves, and renunciation of debt, both only for "believers" as paramount in it's spread. Regrettfully, the Christian Byzantine Empire allowed both slavery and a crushing tax system.
Perhaps part of the answer to the spread of militant Islam today is the hyper-secular nature of Western culture, a culture that is regrettably not only non-Christian, but in many European countries anti-Christian.
You may be partially right where you say "Undoubtedly, JPII was influenced by an element in Catholicism (especially in European intellectual circles) that views Islam with affection as a counterweight to modernity and secularism. "
JPII probably did view Islam as such a counterweight.
JPII was not, however, a part of the liberal western European Catholic Intelligentsia.
The Catholic University at Lublin, which he nurtered throughout his episcopate and papacy is the last remnant of a once vibrant "armada" of truly Roman Catholic universities in Europe.
Providentially, Polish Roman Catholicism still maintains a decidly un-modern view. Poles still consider Poland "Alte Murale Christianibus," or the outer wall of Christendom. Unfortunately that "wall" is now an island, on the East confronting the carcass of communistic atheism and on the West confronting a similarly atheistic capitalist materialism.
John Paul II DID NOT "desecrate the memory of Christian martyrs who died for refusing to do the exact same thing he did." JPII was not being asked to convert at the point of a sword, he was a Head of State and Supreme Pontiff extending a courtesy.
He must be smiling in Heaven at the rantings of we his children here on earth.
Friday, May 05, 2006 at 11:54 PM
LoyolaLaw98, I suggest you read the following:
Both articles detail the Vatican's ambivalent response to Islam and Islamic terrorism. I especially ask you to pay particular attention to this section from the first article:
Much of papal thinking on the war, therefore, reflects John Paul's overriding geopolitical goal of preventing a worldwide conflagration through promoting international law and inter-religious dialogue - apparently, at all costs, writes Renzo Guolo, professor of the sociology of religion at the University of Trieste and a specialist in Muslim fundamentalism.
Guolo -- author of the book, Xenophobes and Xenophiles: Italians and Islam -- notes that those bishops who oppose the papal approach toward Islam remembered how the pope, "who ordinarily speaks about all topics, had spread a veil of silence over the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries," he writes.
John Paul II also hopes to keep Islam from hardening into a permanent fundamentalism that would "lead to the clash of civilizations that (he) considers ominous for the fate of humanity," Guolo writes.
Publicly opposing the war in Iraq, Guolo maintains, enables the pope to keep the channels of communication with Islam open. Concerning Iran, for example, the Vatican "is particularly careful to exploit reformist efforts as well as President Khatami's openness to inter-religious dialogue," Guolo writes.
But the pope's goals, while noble ... reflect a misguided view of human nature imbued with an excessive reliance on the ethereal.
"For Karol Wojtyla, religious dialogue is necessary . to foster the common good of humanity," Guolo writes. "This dialogue is sustained by the awareness (of) common values across cultures, because these values are rooted in human nature. He seems to believe that only the prophetic message, the utopian perspective, the mystical leap powered by an intense spirituality, can achieve this objective."
More to come...
Joseph D'Hippolito |
Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 07:04 PM
Now to your other points, LoyolaLaw98:
I did not say that JPII was part of the liberal Catholic Western intelligencia. I *did* infer, however, that as a man who was well-acquainted with intellectual thought in the Church, he could not have ignored Massignon's ideas.
What will I do when JPII is elevated to sainthood (if, indeed, he is so elevated)? Nothing. We are not called to worship hagiographic personality cults. We are called to worship God. Besides, the *prudential* acts of any pontiff can always be questioned, if not opposed outright, and kissing the Koran was certain a prudential act.
You said that JPII was being asked to extend a courtesy, that he was not being asked to convert at the point of a sword. So what? The act essentially is the same, regardless of the context: reverence for a work that effectively denies Christ, a work that martyrs refused to kiss under penalty of losing much more that JPII gained by doing so.
You say that "even a broken watch is right twice a day." How does that apply to Islam, which not only denies Christ's divinity and redemptive mission, it also denies the necessity for any redemption from sin, which the OT teaches and which Christ exemplified?
Joseph D'Hippolito |
Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 07:11 PM
Why did JPII kiss the Koran?
To get to the other side.
Well, *I* thought it was funny...
Peter Papist |
Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 08:08 PM
Actually, I believe it's a *stopped* watch that's correct twice a day. A *broken* watch, running backwards or at the wrong speed, could conceivably be wrong in perpetuity, and I think that's a closer description of Islam.
Dr. Mabuse |
Saturday, May 06, 2006 at 08:22 PM
The best explanation that I have ever read is that he kissed it because a representative of the Chaldean Catholics of Iraq brought influential Muslim clergy to meet him. When they shoved the Koran in his face for him to kiss it, he felt obliged in order to protect his flock in Iran. A Muslim photographer was ready with camera to catch the propaganda piece. There was no way out for the poor guy.
Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 12:24 AM
When they shoved the Koran in his face for him to kiss it, he felt obliged in order to protect his flock in Iran. A Muslim photographer was ready with camera to catch the propaganda piece. There was no way out for the poor guy.
bigguy, do you remember where you read that explanation and how I can get ahold of that source? If what you say is true, then it just confirms my view of JPII as willing to appease Islam.
JPII generally was a man of profound personal courage. The fact that he showed no such courage in this case also reaffirms my view.
Joseph D'Hippolito |
Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 04:23 PM
Why did he kiss the Koran? The same reason he got the sign of shiva on his forehead, allowed pagan ceremonies at Fatima only to blame the Bishop who then blew JPII out of the water and said that it was he who allowed it in the name of "Ecumania", as well as danicing pygmies and all other innovations this heretical Pope allowed during his horrible reign as Bishop of Rome (I cant even call him Pope as no Pope would ever allow what he did)
This rediculous stories of us all worshipping the same God is nonesense, to kiss a book as the Priest does the Holy Gospel shows that you adore and completley accept all in its entirity, and JPII would do anything to sell out the Catholic faith for the name of Ecumenism. Would St Pope Pius X kiss a Koran? I dont think so
This man will some day be revisited in history as a fraud. Our Lord warned us and his Apostles to beware when the world loves you, as it is an evil world we are living in.
A few burbs from the papers the day afte JPII's death, and ask yourself-Why was he so loved?
Religious leaders from across the country praised Pope John Paul II on Saturday, saying the pope aggressively reached out to other faiths and inspired people worldwide.
The pope "revolutionized Catholic-Jewish relations," said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. Foxman said the pope "normalized" relations with Jews and cited John Paul II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
"He was a man of God in every sense and a true friend whose visionary leadership will be sorely missed," Foxman said.
"Pope John Paul II was unquestionably the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world during the last 100 years," said the Rev. Billy Graham. "His extraordinary gifts, his strong Catholic faith, and his experience of human tyranny and suffering in his native Poland all shaped him, and yet he was respected by men and women from every conceivable background across the world."
"I think evangelicals also recognize that in the passing of John Paul II we may never see his likes again, and there's a real sense of loss in that even as we continue to be greatly concerned about the institution of the papacy, we have great admiration for the man," said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"The pope was a man of true peace and justice," said Pawan Deshpande, a member of the Hindu American Foundation Executive Council. "His strong commitment to human rights, democracy and interreligious dialogue will not be forgotten."
The Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, said the pope "modeled unselfish compassion."
He said the pope served as an example of how people of various faiths — or no faith — "can live and work together while enhancing the quality of life for all people."
The pope "provided inspiration and leadership, not only to Roman Catholics but also to the greater Christian world and beyond with his uncompromising stances in favor of life and against the culture of death," said the Rev. Gerald B. Kieschnick, president of the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod.
"His voice and moral authority gave inspiration and hope to millions well beyond the Roman Catholic Church," said the Rev. Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, in seeming to sum up the feelings of many ministers.
Gospel according to St John Chapter 15
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
18 If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.
19 If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things they will do to you for my name's sake: because they know not him who sent me.
22 If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 He that hateth me, hateth my Father also.
Epistle of St. James Chapter 4
4 Adulterers, know you not that the friendship of this world is the enemy of God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the scripture saith in vain: To envy doth the spirit covet which dwelleth in you?
6 But he giveth greater grace. Wherefore he saith: God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 05:52 PM
I thought Mr. Akin was fair and balanced in his reflection of the event in question. I do not believe for one second that Pope John Paul II meant to repudiate the faith by his action, despite the implications of some fringe Catholics who have attached themselves to the traditionalist movement, to the detriment of the rest of us.
john chrysostom |
Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 06:35 PM
Is being 100% Catholic being "fringe"
A priest told me once that either you are 100% Catholic or not-none of this "neo con" or "liberal" nonsense that one hears within the "novus Ordo" ranks
Pope Pius IX refused to participate in the first "Ecumenical" event not because he thought it was evil or heretical, but because it sent out the wrong message
One can see now that even a few years after the "Great Ones" death we are still trying to figure out why he did it, instead of him just coming out and explaining why, which of course he refused.
"Fringe" well, our Lord did say at the end of time there would be very few left with the faith, and they laughed at and eventually killed his real followers and Apostles. So one can only do as Our Lord and be a "Fringe" Catholic
Monday, May 08, 2006 at 09:19 AM
Check out allah takes over church http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1053
Is this reminiscent of when Kings would invite other god idols into the Holy Temple to be worshiped - all for the sake of keeping peace!
Monday, May 08, 2006 at 11:03 AM
THis troubles me, just as the Pope's call for a "New World Order" troubles me.
Monday, May 08, 2006 at 01:37 PM
My question is: why did the Pope never simply explain what he meant by the kiss? He must have known it would scandalize many Catholics; it could easily be seen as an act of reverence toward a book which explicitly denies the divinity of Christ.
He might indeed have been placed in a awkward position by having the Koran thrust in his face, and made what seemed the best of the situation at the time, as some here have suggested. But if so, why not just say so, once the pressure of the moment was well past? Why leave the faithful to speculate endlessly?
Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 03:41 AM
To understand this behavior of Pope John Paul II one need only look back to 1986 and the Inter-religious World Prayer Meeting held in Assisi at Pope John-Paul II's instigation and under his leadership.
Pope John Paul II re-affirmed his thinking by kissing the demonic Quran, a cursed book that makes no secret its hatred for Jesus Christ and all his followers.
How could the Catholic Pope have come to give such public recognition and official credit to all of the world's principal false religions?
German Professor and priest, Fr. Johannes Dörmann answers this question masterfully in
"Pope John-Paul II's Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting of Religions in Assisi"
In his book Fr Johannees begins the hunt for answers by studying what Pope John Paul II's speeches and writings. What the Professor discovered of the Pope's thinking corresponds exactly to the event of Assisi and to much else besides.
Here is an excerpt from his book:
...This union of every man with God is inside every man alive whether he knows it or not, whether he wants it or not, and so it has been since the beginning of the human race, but it is only in recent times, thanks to the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost upon the Second Vatican Council, that men have become aware of this automatic union of every man with God. The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ merely made manifest the love of God the Father present already inside every man by God's union with every man...
The logical consequences of this thinking are:
- all men are saved from birth
- Hell either does not exist or is empty
- Conversion, faith, baptism, the sacraments are no longer necessary for salvation, but merely enhance the human person's awareness of his saved state
All other religions contain seeds of truth sufficient for salvation outside the Catholic Church.
The depth and objective perversity of this neo-modernist heresy are unprecedented. Surely there remains only the shedding of our blood in martyrdom and/or a divine chastisement.
Friday, April 27, 2007 at 08:49 AM
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