Saturday, September 16, 2006

Papal foot in mouth

It's been all the talk in the news. The Pope has offended the entire Islamic world with his lecture quoting a 14th Century Byzantine. I think we can learn a few lessons from this experience.
  1. Your role substantially affects the impact of things you say. Most parish clergy already know this in their dealing with the local paper, so a bit surprised the Pope forgot with TV cameras on him. He assumed the context was just an academic seminar, but forgot the whole world was watching.
  2. Christians need a big dose of humility before criticising others. I am sure that followers of other faiths have used violence, but we need to remember our own history of religiously sanctioned violence, such as the Crusades, the massacre of Jews in Medieval England, the expulsion of the Moors from Spain, let alone the Protestant / Catholic conflict in Northern Ireland. It's also worth remembering that the first terrorist to attempt blowing up Parliament was a ...Christian. (Guy Fawkes)
  3. The worldwide Islamic community has a great sense of solidarity, and feels attacked by the West (which they see as Christian, even though Christians see it as secularist).

Let's hope some bridges can be rebuilt.


Andrew said...

On a lighter Papal note, have you seen the story at about the pope? I don't know if the following link will work or not...

Mike said...

Thanks, Andrew

I can't leave comments on your blog yet, as I upgraded to the new Blogger beta, and they haven't sorted it yet.