Friday, July 14, 2006

Bolton Speaks. Benedict Appeases.

Atlas Shrugs provides the entire text of John Bolton’s address at the Public Session on Lebanon in the UN Security Council today:

“Mr. President, in recent days and weeks, we have seen an outbreak of violence in the Middle East, sparked by attacks and kidnappings which Hamas and Hizballah carried out against Israel. Events continue to develop even as we speak.

Hizballah’ s incursions across the Blue Line on July 12 were a deliberate and premeditated provocation intended to undermine regional stability and are contrary to the interests of both the Lebanese and Israeli people. We unequivocally condemn the kidnapping by Hizballah, a terrorist organization, of two Israeli soldiers and call for their immediate and unconditional release.

Provocations across the Blue Line by terrorist groups highlight the urgent need for full and immediate compliance by Syria and Hizballah with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including 1559, 1583, 1655, and 1680.

The international community has made clear its desire to see the central authority of the Government of Lebanon extended throughout the country.

In this context, we underscore the importance of the Security Council President’ s statement of June 18, 2000 and the Secretary-General’s conclusion that as of June 16, 2000, Israel had withdrawn all its forces from Lebanon in accordance with UNSC resolution 425 and met the requirements defined in the Secretary-General’s s May 22, 2000 report.

As President Bush said yesterday, we are concerned about the fragile democracy in Lebanon. While we have been working very hard with partners to strengthen the democracy in Lebanon, we are also making clear that the democratic aspirations of the Lebanese people must not be undermined by the irresponsible and destabilizing actions of Hizballah.

We have repeatedly made clear to Lebanon and Syria our serious concern about the presence of terrorist groups on their soil and the periodic attacks against Israel from groups and individuals in southern Lebanon.

All militias in Lebanon, including Hizballah, must disarm and disband immediately and the Lebanese government must extend and exercise its sole and exclusive control over all Lebanese territory.

President Bush has made clear that Syria and Iran must be held to account for supporting regional terrorism and their role in the current crisis. Syria provides safe haven to the militant wing of Hamas and provides material support to Hizballah, which also maintains an active presence in Syria. Iran’s extensive sponsorship and financial and other support of Hizballah is well known and has been ongoing for decades. No reckoning with Hizballah will be adequate without a reckoning with its principal state sponsors of terror.

UN Ambassador John BoltonWe call on Syria and Iran to cease their sponsorship and support of terrorist groups, in particular Hizballah and Hamas. For the third time in two weeks, we again call on Syria to arrest Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, who currently lives in Damascus. There is no excuse for a member state of the United Nations to continue to knowingly harbor a recognized terrorist.

The Secretary General’ s decision to send a senior level team to the region is a development that is welcomed by my government.

We are also engaged with the primary parties and other concerned leaders to help restore calm and achieve a resolution to this crisis. In fact, senior U.S. officials are in Jerusalem today for meetings.

All parties in the region must accept their responsibilities for maintaining security and stability. We urge all parties to accept the principle that governments must exercise sovereign control over territory. The United States remains firmly committed to working with others not only to resolve the present situation but toward building longer-term peace and stability in the region.”

The emphases in Mr. Bolton’s address are mine.

Please compare his straight-forward speech with the statement released under Benedict XVI’s authority:

“As in the past, the Holy See also condemns both the terrorist attacks on the one side and the military reprisals on the other,” he continued.” He argued that Israel’s right to self-defense “does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations.”

“In particular,” the statement continued, “the Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation.”

So I join multitudes of the shocked faithful in asking, with all humility, Holy Father, just what do you consider Israel to be, if not a “free and sovereign nation”? And what reasonable response would you expect from a free and sovereign nation when her civilian populace is fired upon without provocation by another nation? In fact, when she is beset on all sides, when she is threatened daily with annihilation?

I also ask in all humility why you would dissemble by referring to Lebanon as “free” when, you, Holy Father, or all people, know the suffering and death of Lebanese Christians — for generations — within the sovereign borders of Lebanon. When you, of all people, know the treachery and cruelty and disdain for human life that Hizbullah, which controls the southern part of this so-called “free” Lebanon.

The children cry out for bread — for justice, Holy Father — and you have given them stones. You are ruining the credibility of the Church with these declarations, which are mere hand-wringing appeasement.

Values in a Time of UpheavalIf you do not stand for justice now, Holy Father, you will kneel eventually, head bowed, in front of an unjust sword. Or one of your successors will, and part of the responsibility for that murder will fall on you. Vatican City is not immune from the tempest — particularly when its leader chooses to take sides, which you have clearly and unjustly done here. Do you think the Ummah will spare your small country, or you, an infidel it despises? You are an expert historian and you know better.

God have mercy on your soul for the harm you have caused today.


Zrinyi's Last Stand said...

I cannot understand why the church seems to neither stand against Islam nor resist its advances. Clearly it will not fight. Is this what happened to the eastern Christians circa the 7th-11th centuries?

Dymphna said...

I agree. Is it ecclesiastical blindness?

I am so angry at this harmful interference. He could have said nothing and no harm would have been done. But he had to give Israel's enemies -- people who wouldn't mind putting him to the sword either -- ammunition in their war of annihilation.

He is simply wrong. What he did is morally indefensible.

I am thoroughly disgusted.

Pastorius said...

Thanks for alerting us to this over at IBA. I appreciate it.

El Jefe Maximo said...

I could bear the Holy Father's pablum on evenhandedness better if the Israelis could produce, in short order, some victories.

As I said this evening, the damaging of that naval vessel has raised the stakes...and virtually insured a ground invasion of Lebanon.

The Israelis must break Hezbollah, and they cannot do it without damaging their morale. Whatever the real situation, looks to me like the bad guys are ahead on propaganda points.

I'm adding the next part of this comment to my own entry, with a link to this post. The Holy Father's hand-wringing ought to warn the Israelis that their political time is short. The politicans need to let the soldiers produce. It is too late now for half-measures: the Israelis are committed. If they do not destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon, now, they never will, and Iran, and the mullahs, will be well on the way to destroying Israel.

Zonka said...

I find it pretty sad that the Holy Sea and the Pope seems unable to make a moral choice and in a way is burrowing themselves into an illusionary religious-relativism quagmire! And in the process making themselves more and more irrelevant, not daring to speak up for the Christians or Jews but instead taking the party of their own worst enemy... Islam and Muslims! A sad day indeed!

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

".. must break Hezbollah"

True, but I wonder how - Hezbollah has always been a popular front, and the leadership and expertise has sanctuary in Iran/Syria if necessary. Israel not only failed to break Hezbollah the last time in Lebanon, but made it into the most competent guerilla/terrorist/4GW force in the world. Hezbollahs wellspring of power was/is the disaffected shiite populace of south Lebabanon. Invading and "oppressing" is unlikely to help in the long term (Hezbollahs local military capability can be supressed in the shirt term of course).

In the old days, ANY invading power (Rome, the Mongols, British/French/Spanish/Holy Roman Empires etc etc) would have quickly and rapidly broken Hezbollah by targeting the population - punitive expeditions, ruthless summary punishment, draconian laws and forcible conversion. Or last resort to wholesale ethnic cleansing (Rome v Carthage or Jews, Genghis Khan v. the Sogdian Empire, etc). Israel doesn't seem to have that option (they would have already used it against the Palestinians).

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Just another example of the Vatican going the extra mile to stress the differences between Catholicism and Christianity.

Dymphna said...

mr. beamish--

Your comment was so off-target that it missed by a country mile. Mainstream Protestant Christianity in this country is a disgrace, with it blatant donations to Palestine, its on-going condemnation of Israel, and its overt and active attempt to get Americans to disinvest from Israel.

It is a wholesale attack: political, economic, and spiritual. It is designed to break Israel.

What the Pope said doesn't even compare in malice aforethought, or in damage to Israel. It was mere appeasement compared to the endless onslaught from American protestants.

Zonka said...

Unfortunately to break Hezbollah (or at least reign them in) the Israelies would have to get a firm grip on the authorities that are supporting Hezbollah, and that ain't the Lebanese, it's the Syrian and Iranian regimes!

Otherwise the Israelies can kill individual Hezbollah members and some leaders but others will pop up like new heads on a hydra, the answer is to grap the Syrian and/or the Iranian governments by the balls and have them call off their attack dogs!

Unknown said...

Sovereignty requires that Lebanon maintain a monopoly on the use of force within its territory. It has not done so; consequently, the claims of sovereignty ring hollow. There are really only two plausible explanations: either Lebanon is allowing Hezbollah's attacks in which case they're a belligerent or they're unable to stop Hezbollah in which case they're not sovereign.

Benedict is the Pope but he's also a European intellectual. His reflexes and prejudices as the latter have overwhelmed his other role.

Dymphna said...


I'd normally agree but 10 years ago he saw so clearly the Muslim threat to Europe. He said he'd given up on Europe and was looking to the Third World to rejuvenate Christianity since Europe had killed it in the name of good taste and intellectual dignity.

Here's a thought: the Cardinal giving out the Vatican spiel is known to be are many of those Curia types. That may be the source of this statement. I was going to say "rubbish" but I'm trying to be less of a hothead since you told me I was a good writer.

Maybe your compliment will train my more Hillary-like tendencies (we both are a tad harsh and neither or us are ever happy with our hair. The comparison ends there, though).

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

In Benedict's defense, this is a statement that stinks heavily of Sodano and his little crowd of appeasers.

Benedict has replaced the famously friendly to Islam Sodano but the change in office has not come yet.

Benedict himself has acted in the selection of Bertone to replace John Paul's Sodano and has sent a cery clear message about how he feels about the previous direction of the Vatican towards Islam by not only NOT giving the long-expected red hat to arch-appeaser Michael Fitzgerald (the man formely in charge of the Vatican's iterreligious dialogue office and a disciple of the Sodano dhimmis) but sending him to Cairo. An appointment as apostolic pro-nuncio to a heavily non-Catholic, Islamic hotspot, to a place where the Christians that there are, are under a different jurisdiction (as Copts, they are not under Fitzgerald), is a well-established Vatican "Sicilian message."

Fitzgerald was one of the leading lights in Vatican Islamic "ostpolitik," an attitude that started at Vatican II and was heavily boosted by Paul VI's re-arrangement of the Vatican order of precedence.

In appointing his own man, Bertone, Benedict has shown anyone who follows these messages that has refuted this direction and is taking steps to reassert the Church's ancient priorities. Under Paul VI the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly second in importance only to the papacy itself, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat of State. This made Sodano, despite what the NYT would tell you, the second man in Rome.

Bertone was Ratzinger's close colleague in the CDF. Putting him into the Secretary of State, and in fact, specifically citing his great knowledge of doctrine and pastoral abilities as his qualifications, is a direct poke in the eye for Sodano and all his many, very influential cronies. Those cronies, BTW, are very numerous and form what amounts to an anti-Ratzinger party in the Vatican. This party was in the lead with many of our favorite names in EuroCath circles (Daneels, Lehman etc,) in attempting to block Ratzinger's election.

Bertone is not one of them and despite this last shot (or so we fervently hope it will be) from the Sodano party, it is NOT indicative of Ratzinger's attitude towards Islam or the previous diplomatic direction of John Paul's extremely negligent reign.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

BTW< Dymphna,

I hope you were referring to Hillary Clinton and not me.

Always On Watch said...

I can't believe that the Pope has stooped to this dhimmitude. Ugh!

KG said...

Perhaps the Church is anxious not to be seen as leading a modern-day Crusades?
If the comments were an attempt to be seen as even-handed, then they fail dismally--it's not the place of the Catholic church to be even-handed.
If Benedict can't stand for civilised principles, then what exactly is the Church *for*?

Charles Martel said...

The Church will need to reassess its role and embrace its role "leading a modern-day" Crusades. I don't expect soggy thinking from my Church and that is exactly what Benedict has given us.

ExRat said...

Cardinal Sodano, the Vatican official who issued the statement you quoted, is apparently on his way out. See the article here (via Michelle Malkin's blog).

Evidently even the Pope has his internal opponents, a la Bush and CIA.

airforcewife said...

Doctrine of Infallibility aside, one does not get to the head of the Catholic Church unless they are savvy politicians. As a practicing Catholic I'm extremely upset at Benedict's remarks, but I also wonder how much of that statement he could control.

Second, I was given an anecdote about Ratzinger (before Benedict was even a glimmer in his eye)once physically assaulted a press person who pushed him too far. I believe it was pre-internet, but someone has had to document it online.

However, I was not able to verify it in any way, so it may not be true.

I totally understand that level of frustration with the press, though, and wouldn't mind if it were true one bit.

Dymphna said...

Air Force Wife--

Papal infallibility -- a questionable doctrine given that it didn't appear until about 1840 or so -- is limited to speaking ex cathedra...and this was not that.

Another commenter points out that Sodona is on the way out...there have been shufflings about in the Curia...a new broom sweeping clean and all that...and much gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness.

I should have checked more carefully as to WHO it was pontificating here. 'Tweren't the Pontiff.

I may do a post on the changes. Depends on the research I can get done. Too much time spent on the roses and lavendar today and away from the blog.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...


I'm not gunning for a Catholic vs. Protestant perspective. Both sects borrow a few things from Christianity for their rituals. There are even a few Christians to be found in their churches.

I'm not even claiming to have any particular superior insight into who is or isn't a servant of Christ beyond biblical guidelines. I'm not even claiming that I, lowly sinner, fill the bill.

But the Catholic Church taught, until its public catechism changed in 1962, that Jews were evil, perfidious people. "Christ killers." There are still people alive today that had that rammed down their throats most of their lives, and most of these people are now "elders" of the church.

I'm sure Ratzinger only joined the Hitler Youth for the free toaster though.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...


Have you ever seen the photos of former Pope John Paul II kissing the Koran (you know, the book that denies the divinity and crucifixion of Jesus, and condemns as infidels to be slaughtered those who believe it)? He did this in an area of the Islamic world where Bible ownership was a capital offense.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...


I didn't "make a charge," I stated a historical fact. Until the RCC catechism was revised under Vatican II initiatives in 1962, "supercessionism" (replacement theology) and "transferal of sin" (all Jews throughout history from the 1st Century AD to eternity are condemned for the crucifixion of Jesus) were integral parts of Catholic theology.

Most of what you'd want to know about this can be found here.

It's a dark, depressing history. As the Catholic Church leadership is turning away from all that garbage, slowly, we can hope that one day they will find time to become Christians.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Andre Szara,

A rousing defense of Israel's actions via the Just War Criteria would be most welcome from the Vatican.

chuck said...

With Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) on vacation in the Italian Alps, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano (bio - news), read a public statement on Vatican Radio.

Note a few things: Benedict is on vacation, the statement was made by Sodano. I don't recall where I read it, but there is apparently a conflict in the Church between Benedict and the uber liberal Sodano. Here is a bit of Church news published July 10. Excerpt:

Step by step, with a few well-aimed decisions, Benedict XVI has already expunged two of the bastions in the curia that were opposed to him: the Congregation for the Liturgy, with the appointment as secretary of an archbishop of Sri Lanka in his trust, Albert M. Ranjith Patabendige Don, and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, with Fitzgerald’s dismissal as president.

And now everyone in the curia is waiting – or fearing – for the next blow to fall against the secretariat of state, with the retirement on account of age of its senior office holder, cardinal Angelo Sodano.

So I wouldn't jump to conclusions here. Apparently it takes a while for a new pope to put his stamp on the Church bueauracracy.

Lord, I hate having to chase down all this esoteric stuff and squash rumors. Time to retire and garden.

Voyager said...

It seems fine by me - Bolton takes the political track and The Pope tries to keep the religious aspect at bay.
There are so many bloggers who want Armageddon and there are real people in a real world who do not want to polarise into Muslim Jihadists versus Christians, Hindus & Jews because that might lead us to repeating some of the less savoury aspects of European history.

If the moorings are slipped noone knows where that journey could take us and if only Muslim "clerics" could take a leaf from Pope Benedict's book we might have some sense of order.

A major conflict infused with religion would see the West victorious but in the smouldering ruins of Israel there might not be many survivors. Whatever force Israel uses is "proportionate" simply because it is minimalist compared to the power that any of its supporters could project to blow away the whole region.

Voyager said...

A rousing defense of Israel's actions via the Just War Criteria would be most welcome from the Vatican.

No it would not ! I don't want or expect The Church to support War and most of those who do are not even practising Christians !

Voyager said...

Perhaps the Church is anxious not to be seen as leading a modern-day Crusades?
If the comments were an attempt to be seen as even-handed, then they fail dismally--it's not the place of the Catholic church to be even-handed.

No let's push Nigeria into Civil War between Christians and Muslims and start the global conflict the Iranians are longing for.

When will Congress pass the "Universal National Service Act of 2003, Bill HR 163, United States House of Representatives and Bill S89 United States Senate, January 7, 2003. ?

A nation of 300 million should be able to put an army of at least 3 million men into battle ready for the global conflict. Surely the US economy should be on a war footing with tax increases and universal military service.

X said...

Ooh, there may yet be hope! Slim though it is...

Read This Michell Malkin post. Down near the bottom, right after Fallaci's long (and justified) rant, it's pointed out that the statement was released by a cardinal called Sodano while the pope was on a holiday.

(((Thought Criminal))) said...


As a pre-Vatican II catholic, I don't recall any anti-jewish statements, parables, etc. in the catechism. Methinks you have a possibly unchecked grudge. Check your sources.

I will check my sources, but the near 2000 year long historical record of Catholic abuses towards Jews didn't pop up out of thin air. I don't particularly care for the pretentious idea of a fellow sinner being dubbed and venerated the "vicar of Christ" as if Christ could be substituted (or as the New Testament Greeks would say "anti") but that's a theological debate for another time and another fora.

As a "papist" in the south, I get a little touchy about it. You know, we worship idols and all that........

What's there to be touchy about? Grass is green, right?

(((Thought Criminal))) said...


I don't want or expect The Church to support War and most of those who do are not even practising Christians !

Are you saying Augustine and Thomas Aquinas weren't practising Christians?

Voyager said...

Are you saying Augustine and Thomas Aquinas weren't practising Christians?

No idea........Aquinas had the notion of putting heretics to death......I am not sure how i stand on that matter, what's you view mr beamish ?

Dymphna said...

Mr. Beamish, et al--

The CHRISTIAN church has a long history of anti-Semitism, in all the many repressions that various Christian sects have dreamed up. It also has a long history of internecine warfare; it has been no less harsh on those who disagreed with its dogmas than it has been with the Jews. Burning heretics was a commonplace. Ask Saravonola and Joan of Arc. Ask the witches in Salem, Mr. Beamish. Good old American heretics -- and so early on, too. Think it might be a universal inclination??? Just maybe???

In fact, very early on the Jews were found to be more useful both by the Musslemen and the Churches than either group had for its heretics. Jews served as intermediaries for both sides.

As for your points about the American Catholic Church teaching anti-Semitism, you're off your trolley. All of us who had to memorize the 1939 Baltimore Catechism can assure you the only anti-Semitism in it comes from your own perfervid imagination. The link you gave is worse than useless. It's biased and misinformed but clutch it to your heart's content, since you seem bent on believing this twaddle.

Anti-Semitism in the Church probably dates from Paul's conversion. That kind of reversal is a common phenomenon in conversion responses of those whose psychic integration is not complete. He went from persecuting Christians to persecuting everyone else. His battle for power and legitimacy with the Jerusalem church has been well-documented --even in the original sources, the biblical canon of the Christian church.

The Eastern and Western churches split because they couldn't agree on the doctrine of the Trinity. I won't go into the intricacies of their hair-splitting here, though, nor the endless bickering over the correct date for the observance of Easter.

As for heretics among European Protestant factions, good ol' Calvin had his own daughter killed for heresy. Switzerland was not a fun place after Calvin got thru with it.

Martin Luther was an anti-Semite. Read his biography by Erickson. Does that make all Lutherans anti-Semitic? I don't think so.

Bouncing around history here, do you think the Romans leveled Jerusalem in 70 AD because they loved the Jews??

Aquinas had lots of ideas that weren't true. He thought that females were conceived if the mother "stood in an ill south wind." He believed in astrology. He was also a deeply devout man of his time who did much to promote the beginnings of real scholastic thinking. But he lived more than 500 years ago -- IOW, let's refrain from anachronistic arguments while we're doing all this ecclesiastical bashing, shall we?

The foundation of most of the splinter groups from Catholicism were the responsibility of some very disturbed people, from Luther, thru Calvin to Henry VIII (In fact, sometimes Paul sounds like he could use some diversity training).

That does not mean that the reforms which followed in their wake were bad -- they brought the needed changes that a sclerotic, top heavy Roman Catholicism was unable to make internally. From here it looks to most of us as though it was inevitable, given the political and technological changes (e.g., the printing press, the battles for regional boundaries).

Change is very difficult for all of us, individually and institutionally. The Catholic Church is not immune from its own version of falleness, but then no religious institution is. The Jews have their own factions, running a spectrum from the ulta-Orthodox to the ones who leave and join the Unitarian church...personally, I find the anti-Christian proclivities of the ultra-Orthodox off-putting, but I defend their right to despise me. In fact, as I don't personally suffer from it since they're not in power, I get a kick out of thinking how surprised we'll all be about one another when we are past this vale of tears.

Heck, Beamish, you'll probably find yourself chained to some devout nun who will keep trying to make you say the Rosary and memorize the Baltimore Catechism. And I will be plopped in a pew and have to listen to evangelical ministers tell me why we're al miserable sinners.

Anti-Semitism is ageless and eternal. So is dogma that excludes others. ANY others. One must stand for something, but that does not mean one has to stand against others in order to do so.

As a Catholic child in the South, I remember the nuns who taught me literally having rocks thrown at them by other small children who called them whores. The incident I most vividly recall happened in Starke, Florida. But I also remember the anti-Semitism of the protestant country club my uncle attended. No Jews there.

You sound anti-church, Beamish. ANY church. And that's your right. But you're not better than those who choose to band together and you don't have the lock on Truth, sir. None of us do.

But continue pontificating, by all means. You look cute in that miter, with your white cape of certainty, and your sheperd's staff. Who knows, if you go on long enough, you may even convert someone to the Church of Beamish. Then, as the founder, *you* could be Pope Beamish. However, let me warn you: Wherever two or three are gathered in His Name, at least two are vying for power. IOW, you're no more spiritually evolved than the rest of us, Pope B. And I hate to break it to ya, but humility isn't one of your strong points.

However, such is the nature of man: we all have our cross to bear.. Even the devout atheists among us are forced to suffer the effects of being mortal. Seems a shame,too, when they've struggled so mightily to be free of all this superstition.

Voyager said...

As for heretics among European Protestant factions, good ol' Calvin had his own daughter killed for heresy

So clearly Calvin was acting in accordance with Aquinas, yet he had no daughter - she was the daughter of his wife, an Anabaptist widow - and I have seen no evidence she was put to death.

Voyager said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Yada yada, Dymphna.

No, seriously. It's okay that your fellow polytheists have a legacy of anti-Semitism to recoil from. 'Coz, well, Martin Luther was an anti-Semite himself! Let he without anti-Semitism cast the first, uh, century Christian to the lions.

::rolls eyes::

Voyager said...

Martin Luther was an anti-Semite himself

That to your simple mind sums him up in his entirety ?

Was Pontius Pilate an Anti-Semite ?

Baron Bodissey said...

Voyager — please make long URLs into links, since they mess up the page width on pages in single-post view.

Voyager said…

The CHRISTIAN church has a long history of anti-Semitism

Do we have abundant examples of Judaism’s warm embrace of Christians ?


c90 AD: addendum to 12th benediction: “Let the Nazarenes and sectarians (minim) vanish in a moment. Blot them out of the book of life and do not record them among the righteous.”

(((Thought Criminal))) said...


I was being sarcastic. Engaging in a little rhetorical tit-for-tat for Dymphna's defense of Catholicism's past anti-Semitism - as if the fact that Luther brought his anti-Semitism with him out of the Catholic monastery he learned it in, it makes it okay, or in Dymphna's argument, "Christian."

My position on anti-Semitism, firmly grounded in the 11th chapter of Romans, is simply this:


Now, we can dig up Pope Formosus' corpse for another round of my ex cathedra is bigger than yours all day long, but we're not getting anywhere. At least, not where I wanted to go when I first posted on this thread. I'll take responsibility for my share of the mudslinging, with full acknowledgement that I don't have a lot of respect for the RCC as an allegedly Christian institution, for a plethora of reasons tangential to the topic of Dymphna's blog post. Let me apologize for inappropriately casting the first stones.

Everyone's bruised egos aside, let me return to Cardinal Angelo Sodano's vomit. Dymphna and I both agree that Sodano's "deploring" of Israel's self-defense is reprehensible. But... what if Pope Benedict v16.0 endorses Sodano's statements, or worse, compounds them with further anti-Israel inanity?

What then? Sing along like a good Catholic, or rebuke like a good Christian?

X said...

Everyone missed the link I posted. Hot-damn, I feel so special today. :)

Incidentally there were no burnings in Salem. A couple of hangings and a pressing, but no burnings. The preferred doctrinal punishment for witchcraft was actually hanging, as it was considered to be less of a sin than heresey. Heretics had a special place in hell and it was felt that they should be given a foretaste as they died.

But, even then, burning wasn't as common as people think. MOst heretics were simply excommunicated.

And the jews, bless em, were either forcibly converted or, if they refused, asked to leave in a very violent way. And if they persisted, they were killed. Nasty, brutal business, but not particularly unique to christianity. It's a problem that the jews always live with, and probably always will until the end of the world; the very fact that they're God's chosen people makes them a target to certain elements that, I suspect, most people here don't even believe in. But when you do believe that these elements exist, the mystery of why the jews are so persecuted becomes much much easier to solve, and easier to combat.

unaha-closp said...

In defence of the Pope he speaks for the Christians in Lebanon.

Contrary to common opinion the enemy of your enemy is not your friend if they are bombing you.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Dymphna and Baron,
I too am quite distressed at Pope Benedict's remarks..I expected better from him. But I think I understand why he said what he said.

I'm sure it was made clear to the Vatican - politely of course - that if the Church did not take a stand against the Jews, Catholics and Church property in the Holy Land and elsewhere MIGHT just not be safe from `popular rage'.

Morally despicable, yes. But I can at least understand it from a pragmatic POV while holding my nose.

Perhaps I read too much into Benedict's remarks at Auschwitz,and it was just rhetoric after all.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


is anyone paying attention?


Sodano is not the Pope's friend.

He has a long history of being pro-Islamic and anti-Israel _and_ of lying, yes, LYING, in Benedict's name.

The latest, which is not Islamic related but is illustrative of the lengths he will go to in claiming that his private opinions are those of the Holy Fathers, had to do with the choosing of the next head of the Italian bishops conference. Cutting to the chase, Sodano, against the direct wishes of the Pope, sent a letter to the Italian bishops saying something directly opposed to the Pope's instructions. Benedict didn't find out about it until the next morning when he read it IN THE PAPERS.

The editor of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, got a rather harrowing phone call from the Boss that morning and hastily printed a retraction and Sodano had some fast explaining to do.

The most common mistake made about the way the Church is run, and it was all too common in John Paul's time too, is to think that the Pope is in charge.

Benedict especially is surrounded by a pack of hungry sharks and has very few friends in the Curia that is largely packed, thanks to John Paul "The Great" with liberals and appeasers of the Sodano/Fitzgerald school.

So, can we please make something clear?

That statement was NOT BENEDICT's.

He is not of the Sodano party. Sodano is on his way out, but his power remains.

As for the idiotic anti-Catholic smears in the previous posts...

you'd think by now all that garbage had been done away with.


(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Oh please don't throw me in the briar path, Brer Hilary!

Let's see.

The most common mistake made about the way the Church is run, and it was all too common in John Paul's time too, is to think that the Pope is in charge.


Sodano is not the Pope's friend.


Benedict especially is surrounded by a pack of hungry sharks and has very few friends in the Curia that is largely packed, thanks to John Paul "The Great" with liberals and appeasers of the Sodano/Fitzgerald school.


(Hint: It doesn't matter if Pope Sodano's decree is contradicted by the pimped-out padre in the Popemobile)

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

he's been fired.

Is that enough?

(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Pope Fitzgerald, then?

(since he was "fired" too?)