"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Pope had arrvied in Jordan

The Holy Father had arrived Jordan as it was earlier scheduled. He was met by Jordan's King and Queen His Royal Highness King Abdullah II and Her Royal Highness Queen Rania, later he headed a Catholic Church where he have prayed.

Unable to access EWTN Live Coverage via satellite, I have to switch channels between CNN and BBC which are "western" media but they are busy reporting about their own political and economic concerns that they did little coverage. For about an hour since he met Jordan's political leaders, CNN and BBC are nowhere to be found. (They came out with the coverage two hours very LATEr).

So I switched between channels that focus on the Middle East, the Al-Jazeera in Doha, Qatar and PressTV in Iran. While I was optimistic about the Papal Trip, but the media through Al-Jazeera was focusing on something else-- igniting the old issues on the Pope's comments in University of Regensburg
"Show me just what Muhammad 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.”
The Pope's commentaries were taken from the passage originally appeared in the “Dialogue Held With A Certain Persian, the Worthy Mouterizes, in Anakara of Galatia”, written in 1391 as an expression of the views of the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, one of the last Christian rulers before the Fall of Constantinople to the Muslim Ottoman Empire, on such issues as forced conversion, holy war, and the relationship between faith and reason."
Among those who propagated the lies and the misunderstanding about his quotation were Islamists leaders and right winged politicians who wanted war between religions and races rather than peace and co-existence. In particular, the Pope's commentaries was seen and understood by Muslims and Islamists as painting "Islam as a violent religion". The agitation went for more than weeks leaving many dead including killing Christians and priests in retaliation to the commentaries as they want to paint Islam as a religion of peace.

Look at how Al-Jazeera's choices of words:
"Even the pontiff’s own Catholic diminishing flock in the Holy Land seems in controversy over the timing and the itinerary of his pilgrimage. "We will ask him why he came, what he intends on saying … and why he isn't coming to Gaza," Father Manuel Mussalam, the pastor of the only Catholic church of about 300 believers in Gaza, out of 3000 Christians in the Israeli besieged Mediterranean strip, was quoted by AFP as asking. "We'll tell him that this is not the right moment to come and visit the holy places, while Jerusalem is occupied," Mussalam added." (Source: Al-Jazeera)
Yes, diminishing Christians due to Islamist's threats and the passivity of moderate Muslims contributed to that fact! What a pessimistic view!

PressTV has more on the negative side of the Papal Trip:
"The present Vatican pope is the one who issued severe insults to Islam and did not offer any apology to the Muslims," Zaki Bani Rusheid, head of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest mainstream Islamist party, told Reuters.

"Ignoring Muslim sentiments will only block the healing of wounds his statements caused," said another Islamist figure, Jamil Abu Baker.

For many Arabs in the region, the pope's stated mission of peace and reconciliation is futile without a sufficient gesture to Palestinian suffering under Israeli occupation.

The Islamists said the pope faced a tougher task in the May 8-15 trip than his predecessor Pope John Paul, whose historic journey in 2000 was hailed by Jews and Muslims alike.

"What is needed from the pope is to have the courage to apologize," Bani Rusheid said. Benedict has expressed regret for misunderstandings over Regensburg but not for the speech itself."
Source: PressTV
Rather what we really need is a supporting hand from peaceful Muslims, building friendship and tolerance rather than war and jihad.

That's all for now and let's continue pray for the Holy Father's peace pilgrimage to the "un-Holy Land".

For UPDATES, please visit Papal MidEast Visit.

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