Monday, August 11, 2014


Many in the Church and the "drive-by press" owe the sainted Pope Benedict a huge, and I mean a huge, apology for deriding His Hoiliness' 2006  Regensburg  speech on Isalm. Those of us with any common sense knew then, as we know now, how correct Pope Benedict was, especially with the Isalmic violence that ensued and Isalmic death threats against His Holiness after His Holiness most profound and most prophetic speech!

Pope Benedict's only mistake was apologizing for speaking the truth! He was railroaded into doing so and the true PRINCE of a man he is and truly poor and humble of spirit, he apologized for the Isalmic violence his words of truth provoked in a prophetic confirmation of the true nature of Islam and the actual truth of the Pope's words.

Here are Pope Benedict's now confirmed prophetic  Regensburg words:

'I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.[1] It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor.[2] The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between - as they were called - three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point - itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole - which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.
In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”[3] The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".[4]'


Rood Screen said...

There seems to be a general ignorance that this religion (A.) conquered and subjugated the holy sites of Christendom, (B.) conquered and subjugated two corners of Europe like points on a crescent, and (C.) continues to produce agents of terror.

On the other hand, one can admire (A.) the prayerfulness of adherents and (B.) their reverence at their holy sites.

Anonymous said...

And the first to apologize, sorry Father, yet again is Francis. Here is what he said at the time.

""Pope Benedict's statement don't reflect my own opinions", the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires declared. "These statements will serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that Pope John Paul II built over the last twenty years". "

Not only did Bergoglio criticize the pope but encouraged the priests in his diocese to criticize the pope as well. So see Father we are allowed to criticize a pope when we think he is wrong, right. He didn't have a problem doing it. But let somebody criticize him and, oh I don't know, they will be removed from a Curial post within days.

Unknown said...

Too right. I just read the entire address myself yeaterday! So in tune with the horrors in Northern Iraq and the mindlessness accompanying these acts of inhumanity on Christians and Muslims alike. Where are the Arab league? Lots of loud voices against violence in Gaza but virtual silence when it comes to crimes of Isis. Let's hope and pray that a more moderate, rational, compassionate and humane strain of Islam wins the day in Iraq and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Reading Benedict's Regenburg statement once again, I still cannot find any sentiment in it to which any peaceful Muslim would object, or for which any sincere Christian would apologize.

The fact, that we endure many of both, speaks for itself (and for them).

Pater Ignotus said...

The critics of the Regensburg lecture focus on several points.

First, Benedict seems not to have appreciated the diversity of opinion among Muslims and Muslim scholars of the Qur'an regarding the "command" of the Qur'an to do violence to non-believers. This has been a reality throughout the history of Islam.

Following from that, the second critique is that Benedict's vision of Islam and violence seems to have been heavily conditioned by the current "monopoly of neo-fundamentalist theology." He is reading the history of the interpretation of the Qur'an through the violence of today.

Third, the circumstances of the "dialogue" between Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian almost certainly impacted heavily the Emperor's view of and understanding of Islam and the Qur'an. Constantinople was under siege.

Fourth, Benedict seems to portray Muhammad as nothing more than a political opportunist, changing his "doctrine" to suits the moment.

Fifth, Benedict did not seem to distance himself from the opinion of the original author.

There are other reasons cited by many Muslim scholars and theologians. Understanding the lecture and the reaction to it is far, far more complicated than simplistically stating that the reaction came simply because Benedict spoke the truth.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI, be that as it may, which is academic babel, the pope nailed it. All prophets who speak the truth subsequently are manhandled! That why prophets resisted the call.
Go to a moderate Muslim country like Saudi and try to wear a cross publicly around your neck or open a Church!

Rood Screen said...

Pater Ignotus,

In which predominately Muslim nation can we find a majority of Muslims rejecting the oppression of Christians and Jews? I suppose Turkey could be a candidate, but tolerance there seems to be built upon militant secularism, rather than upon reference to Islamic theology.

Gene said...

Muslims are a plague. Diversity, you say? What if you have several different species of rattlesnakes crawling all over your back yard and someone tells you that certain ones do not bite? What are you gonna' do? LOL!

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - No, it's not "academic babel." Just because you don't understand or because you agree with the critique doesn't make it "babel." If you think it's off base, say why.

Simplistic sniddity doesn't help.

Also, we don't respect other faiths because they first respect us. To paraphrase Jesus, "Do not the Pharisees do as much?"

JBS - Indonesia and Malaysia are two examples, both of which are majority Muslim countries, neither of which was compelled to adopt Islam under threat of a Muslim horde.

Unknown said...


JBS didn't ask for an example of a nation that accepted Islam peacefully; rather, he asked "In which predominately Muslim nation can we find a majority of Muslims rejecting the oppression of Christians and Jews?"

Surely someone with your superior education can tell the difference between the two questions.

And no, Christians in those two countries are not treated with equal status to the Muslim majority.

John Nolan said...

Benedict's Regensburg address is not a prophecy, nor is it a critique of present-day Islamic terrorism; it is a profound and brilliantly-argued discourse on Faith and Reason, and the deliberately and cynically orchestrated 'outrage' over a few sentences taken out of context, and which were in any case not the Pope's words, exploited the very irrationality which the Pope was at pains to criticize.

Realizing this, Church leaders were quick to defend Pope Benedict, with the notable exception of Bergoglio, whose knee-jerk reaction was that of a second-rate politician trying to score a point over an opponent. It also gave the impression that he had not actually read the address.

That a cardinal should publicly criticize a pope in this way is practically unheard of. It was an open display of disloyalty and in my opinion should have rendered him unelectable.

Anonymous 2 said...

For those who want to know more about the debate within Islamic history over the role of reason and how this played out in theology and law within the Islamic tradition, I recommend the following book:

Like any book, it certainly has flaws but in general it is a very good introduction to the topic.

I stand to be corrected but I believe there was a similar debate within the Christian tradition, in which intellectualism (reason) won the day over voluntarism (will) -- Aquinas and Ockham and all that. In fact, unless I am mistaken it paralleled the similar debate within Islam and indeed involved the work of major Islamic philosophers.

As Akyol makes clear, the debate has been renewed within Islam in modern times and indeed is at the heart of the current “battle for the soul of Islam.”

Gene said...

"Islam Without Extremes?" Isn't that sort of like "Hogs Without Mud?" LOL!

Gene said...

"Islam Without Extremes?" Isn't that sort of like "Hogs Without Mud?" LOL!

Anonymous 2 said...

Mike at 8: 16 a.m.:

Here is the Arab league condemnation. I can find many Middle Eastern sources covering this but virtually no U.S. sources. I wonder why. Hmmm:

Gene said...

Anon 2, If you spent as much time studying and reading about your own Faith as you do Muslim nonsense, you might actually be worth listening to. LOL!

Cameron said...

How do we know the peaceful Muslims aren't just "Muslim heretics?"

George said...

"I stand to be corrected but I believe there was a similar debate within the Christian tradition, in which intellectualism (reason) won the day over voluntarism (will)" From what I've read, I believe that in Aquinas and Anselm and others there are elements of both Intellectualism and Voluntarism. It's usually not an either or. It may be a misperception that one "one the day over the other" even though there may be more of a predominance of one over the other in the philosophy of certain theologians. I'm not that well read in all this.
What God does according to His nature is always good. God does what is good because He is Good. He is Goodness itself. Our prayer as Catholics should be to conform our will to His.This can only come about by His grace and it does not fully and completely become an evelasting part of our being until we are one day in God's Eternal Presence . Our intellect is useful taking in and comprehending God's precepts-the teachings of His Holy Church. That in itself is not sufficient since by an act of the will many reject what is good. They reject God's laws and precepts. Now one can wonder why their Intellect is clouded and their will is impaired which leads them to this rejection of what as Catholics we hold to be the good and true. We do believe in sin and its effect on our human intellect and will though. For those who are currently running and hiding from this madness run amuck in the Middle East, it is the least of their immediate consideration to dissect and understand the motives and will of their conquerors and pursuers. One day it will come to a consummation and then we will have an understanding of it all.

rcg said...

Anon 2: the Arab league is scared of ISIS, their declaration is cynical and packaged for Western eyes and ears. Do Muslims have anything like ecumenism?

Anonymous 2 said...


“Islam Without Extremes” Isn’t that a bit like “Hogs Without Mud?” LOL!

No, it’s like “Gene Without Mudslinging.” LOL!

Anonymous 2 said...


You have doubtless heard the expression “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

Well, “one man’s heretic is another man’s true believer.”

Anonymous 2 said...


Actually Pope Benedict’s Regensberg address is very good an all this, although it lacks necessary nuance regarding the debate within Islam on this issue.

Anyway for Christianity, here is a relevant passage:

“In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which, in its later developments, led to the claim that we can only know God's voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God's freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazm and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God's transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions. As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which - as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 stated - unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf.”

Anonymous 2 said...

Re Gene at 8:17 p.m.:

Dear Fellow Bloggers:

Please note that, if Father McDonald fails to prevent posting of the comment in accordance with his stated policy, from now on I will respond to any uncivil and gratuitously insulting ad hominem comment that Gene directs at me by reposting this notice.

Thank you,

Anonymous 2, August 12, 2014

Gene said...

LOL! What was wrong with my 8:17 comment? There was nothing in it that violated any blog policy.

Gene said...

Now, you see, Anon 2, you resort to another typical liberal ploy…whine to the other members of the blog about how "mean" somebody is and blame the blog owner (Fr.). Anon 2, you are more of a typical lib than I thought. I was about to decide that you were just a hopelessly naive and misguided academic with intellectual and verbal dysentery. Ah, but as always, the true colors come out…
However, it is fun to watch you self-righteously huff and puff...

Anonymous 2 said...


Here are some key words and phrases for you from Father’s policy

– vitriolic and disrespectful
– leave personalities out of it
– no name calling
– post an intelligent and civil comment

There is no whining. I am just explaining to fellow bloggers how I will deal with you from now on. Father has threatened to bar you from the Blog before and has often refused to post your comments. You have expressed bafflement at why he would do that as you could see nothing wrong with them (so you said). I will help you understand. Also, there is nothing liberal about it. If anything my approach reflects conservative values.

Your tactics of name calling and belittling sarcasm will not work with me Gene. I have refrained from answering you in kind, not because I could not do it (you are an amateur by comparison) but because it would be wrong. I am happy to continue conversing with you in a civil manner and my invitation to meet you in person still stands.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. The first posting of my notice is on the previous thread in response to your racist parody in which you mock a caricature of African American speech and accuse me of reverse racism.

Anonymous said...

The FARCE continues.

The blog owner, despite his repeated claims, has no intention of maintaining civility, respect, or ordinary courtesy.

That's the way he likes it.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous 2 said...
Re Gene at 8:17 p.m.:

Dear Fellow Bloggers:

Please note that, if Father McDonald fails to prevent posting of the comment in accordance with his stated policy, from now on I will respond to any uncivil and gratuitously insulting ad hominem comment that Gene directs at me ......"

My, my, somebody went to the school of fancy. If you can't take the heat become a liberal/modernist. Gene must be hitting a nerve for you to get so huffy. Don't have a hizzy tizz, don't through a fit, oh wait that's what liberals do.

Gene said...

Oh, my god, I am just loving this! The liberal stereotype is being followed to a tee. Now, he is trying to get me banned!! This is the same tactic the Leftist administration in this country uses…free speech is fine unless it is conservative free speech that is aimed at liberals. Oh, and you can imply and use innuendo ad hominem all you like if you are a lib, you just can't be direct about it if you are a conservative. LOL1 LOL! LOL! So, in addition to Ignotus, we have another member of the genus "annelida."

Anonymous 2 said...


By no means am I trying to get you banned. I specifically said “I am happy to continue conversing with you in a civil manner and my invitation to meet you in person still stands.”

And as I have repeatedly stated, I am not a liberal. You cannot pigeon-hole me in any of the categories of our degraded politics.

I am not even sure I am a worm. =)