Saturday, September 23, 2006

First Things First: My Thoughts on Regensburg

To mark the end of my hiatus (I hope), I have decided to talk a little about my own take on the fallout of the Regensburg speech. Fr Tucker, on of my favourite blogs (Dappled Things), has two interesting articles (here and here) whose main point is that the real message of this brilliant lecture has been lost. I commend them to you.

In fact, one of the most important lines from this ...

In fact, one of the most important lines from this speech, and indeed what might be a defining moment for this papacy is the following excerpt:

The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application... Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today.
(emphasis mine)

So let me explain. First, I found the speech fascinating. And I read it as soon as I read the initial BBC Online news item. Why? Because I always read what the Pope actually said rather than how it is reported. This is lesson I learned during the previous Pontificate of Pope John Paul the Great. Every time he would write an encyclical the most bizarre things would be reported in the British press. So, I stopped looking to the press to tell me what the Pontiff wrote, and instead I read it for myself. Admittedly, as a teenager, I was ill-equipped to decipher this genius's writing. In other words, I was just informed enough to work for the Times, the Guardian or the Telegraph.

In any case, pardon the digression ... I was captivated by his discussion of λόγος, and I too was struck by the implications of a God who could transcend his own logic. As an interesting aside, Drew at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping, has a superb analysis of the fundamental differences between the Catholic and Islamic understanding of the nature of God.

And this then brings me to the disproportionate rage that the loonies in the Islamic world has exhibited due to the Pope's use of Emperor Manuel's "evil and inhuman" characterisation. Incidentally, I have yet to hear someone comment on whether the Emperor was using good, old-fashioned Greek hyperbole here to hammer home his point. Khoury, alluded to it, in the interview you can read in Fr. Tucker's second article I linked to above.

So what can be done about the "rage," summed up neatly by Mark Shea? I have a novel solution. We must fight back with a weapon so powerful, no amount of suicide bombs can match its might. We must Love our Muslim brothers and sisters exponentially greater than their worst offenders hate us. Love is the ultimate weapon that defeated sin and death, and it is the weapon we must employ now to calm even the most ire-filled heart.

To that end, I have been saying full rosaries for the Pope, Conversions of Sinners, and the Calming of Passions amongst our Brothers and Sisters of the Qu'ran. Though I am but a simple minnow of little importance, I would like to make a request that the Sacrament of Love be offered wherever possible for these or other similar intentions. Because it is the ultimate act of Love, where our Saviour laid down his life for us, I think its power is more than sufficient to calm passions if even one such Eucharist is offered. Again, it is probably not my place, little minnow that I am, to make this request ... but if it can be made, I would that it were effected and soon.

Until the passions are calmed, and that genuine dialogue so needed takes place, I will continue to say my little rosaries ...

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