Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Pope Benedict's gets his dander up by interfaith praying!

The Associated Press
Pope won’t allow joint prayer at pilgrimage
Associated Press / October 19, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has invited Hindus, Jews, Taoists, and Muslims to join him next week for a peace pilgrimage to the hilltop town of Assisi - but they won’t pray together because Benedict doesn’t want to show different beliefs and rituals mixing. The Oct. 27 event marks the 25th anniversary of the first such inter-religious prayer for peace, which was promoted by Pope John Paul II. Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, didn’t attend that first 1986 meeting and later criticized it as an example of religious relativism.

My Comments: I'm not sure what to make of this and the Holy Father's actions are his personal preference. He hasn't decreed anything on this as far as I know and certainly his predecessor Pope John Paul II did pray with the other religious traditions.

The first Inter-religious service I helped to organized was the First Year Anniversary of 9/11. Every religious group, prayed in their own tradition. Anything common had to be acceptable to all.

Each year St. Joseph Church in Macon participates in a Jewish-Christian Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. We do pray together but I don't see it as mixing rituals. This year Saint Joseph will host it and the Rabbi will be preaching! Mark your calendars, it will be Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00 PM.


qwikness said...

I think this is because of the SSPXers getting mad about it in the past. He is in dialogue with them and doesn't want to mess it up. See link>

pinanv525 said...

I think it is great! This Pope has it together...except I don't see any point in an inter-religious prayer service at all. If protestants and Catholics want to pray together, fine. Jews and Catholics, fine. But, Buddhists...who the Hell are they praying to, anyway? Hindus...Shiva? Vishnu? must be kidding. Confucians...what are they praying to? What about all those African mumbo-jumbo Gods of nature and trees and such? Seriously, when it comes to the encounter of Christianity and world religions, don't we at some point have to say, "Hey, we know something you don't?" I know, I know...I can hear the strains now, "He's got the whole world, in His hands..." reaches for Pepto Bismol...

Paul said...

I work in IT. There are certain things that I will personally do because I know exactly how to handle the situation and the limits of what should be allowed (in an IT sense). On the other hand, we do not allow our "normal" end users to do these things or to see us doing them

Why? Because for the untrained or the easily led astray, they can be very dangerous. By the same reasoning, I have no trouble with the Holy Father praying with anyone he wants, but I hope that he does it in private, so as to not lead the more tender astray.

Anonymous said...

It's about time. Well meaning Catholics often spend lots of time on apologetics for other faiths and big supporters of interfaith prayer services. This strikes me as assuming and insulting to the other faiths. I think this is very respectful of him of everyone involved.


pinanv525 said...

Everyone should read G.K. Chesterton's, "The Everlasting Man." He pretty much puts this "world religions" nonsense to rest. Libs and progressives won't like it, but they need to hear it. Holy Scripture has no interest in any kind of rapprochement with "world religions." In fact, Holy Scripture is pretty clear that Christianity is the true faith and Catholic dogma is pretty clear that the Catholic Church is the true Church. We tolerate other religions as having a place in their culture, but they have no place in Judaeo-Christian Western Culture. Now, wasn't that intolerant, bigoted, and racist? Wanna' hear it again? They have no place in Judaeo-Christian Western culture. Well, maybe they are ok as a distraction for academics who like to wear those stupid "Coexist" t-shirts and run around with a copy of the Upanishads or Kapleau's "Zen and Western Culture" under their arm. But, sensible folk don't take them seriously, anyway.

TCR said...

"Thou shalt not have strange gods before me." Exodus 20:3

Jews and Christians praying together makes sense; we are addressing the one true God, Jehovah. Praying in tandem with other world religions is akin to setting land mines on holy ground.

Thanks to pinanv525 for recommending our favorite Apostle of Common Sense. The Everlasting Man should be on every Catholic's reading list.

Templar said...

What do you do at an Inter-Religious Prayer Service? Easy, explain to the Heretics why their prayers are going NO WHERE. Then offer them a Rosary.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Jehovah"

The most widespread theory is that the Hebrew term יְהֹוָה has the vowel points of אֲדֹנָי (adonai). Using the vowels of adonai, the composite hataf patah ֲ under the guttural alef א becomes a sheva ְ under the yod י, the holam ֹ is placed over the first he ה, and the qamats ָ is placed under the vav ו, giving יְהֹוָה (Jehovah). When the two names, יהוה and אדני, occur together, the former is pointed with a hataf segol ֱ under the yod י and a hiriq ִ under the second he ה, giving יֱהֹוִה, to indicate that it is to be read as (elohim) in order to avoid adonai being repeated.[26]

I have prayed in the presence of non-Christians, including Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Unitarians, Hindus, and others. I was never confused about the purpose of our prayer or the object of each one's prayer.

pinanv525 said...

Anonymous/Ignotus, "I was never confused about the purpose of our prayer or the object of each one's prayer." Your post, in itself, is evidence that you are confused about both. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Holy Father knows EXACTLY what he is doing.

Having said that:
In everyday life we certainly have to live peacefully with people of all faiths and those of no faith. Yet, I admit that I would personally feel uncomfortable in a multi-faith prayer service...just wouldn't want to convey that I subscribe to the philosophy of 'your truth is as good as my truth'...Yet, if our two most recent Popes see a benefit and a way to pull it off without misleading the other religions about the Catholic view of the One True Faith, then I guess it CAN be done.
This is actually a sticky issue that I deal with to a degree everyday, as do all devout lay Catholics.