Friday, September 22, 2006

Some (Final) thoughts on the Papal / Islam controversy

Over the course of the last week or more since Pope +Benedict XVI made his controversial speech in Regensburg Germany the blogosphere has been buzzing with discussion of it. While that commentary has generally been positive, a few blogs from the political and theological left have been critical, as also have the vast majority from the Islamic world. In the latter case some have been reasonable critiques though often demonstrating a poor command of history. Others have been vitriolic and menacing.

We have all watched the results on the evening news as some Muslims have made a point of proving the quoted Byzantine Emperor to be wrong by murdering a nun (among others) and burning down numerous churches. I was surprised (shocked might be the better word) when I saw the pope riding in an open vehicle in St Peter’s Square for his weekly audience on Wednesday. Our presidents stopped doing that in 1963. You would think after the events of May 1981 and given the very real threats made recently that the Pope would be a bit more careful. But I digress.

My point is that the subject has been dissected in so many forums (some good analysis but a lot is just a waste of web space) that I think it’s time to put this topic to bed. I will leave this discussion by linking two good articles posted on the matter that I think are well worth a look.

The first is an essay by Michael Liccione over at his blog Sacramentum Vitae. Those who are regulars over at Al Kimel’s Pontifications will know Michael’s reputation as an erudite philosopher/theologian and an able champion of the Roman Catholic Church’s views in debate. The second is a look from a slightly different perspective by Owen (last name is a mystery to me) over at The Ochlophobist. This is an examination from the point of view of the impact on Orthodox/Catholic relations, and just who +Benedict was speaking to. The main thrust being that Benedict is not a knave and he chose his words very carefully and for specific reasons. I strongly recommend both articles. Barring some significant development or really insightful piece that somehow touches on this in a new way I don’t expect to post on the matter any further.

3 comments:

The Ochlophobist said...

My full name is Matthew Owen Francis White. My friends and family call me Owen. My employees and associates at work call me Matthew.

Ad Orientem said...

Owen,
Thanx for the information. I enjoy your blog and it's good to have a full name when possible for attribution if I quote you or link one of your posts.

John

Mike L said...

Thanks for the reference to my post, John, and sorry that the thanks are so belated. Yours is my favorite Orthodox blog. I shall add you to my blogroll.