Sunday, September 17, 2006

Why the Pope Used THAT Quote

In a fascinating bit of commentary, Christopher Orlet argues that Pope Benedict knew exactly what he was doing in citing that infamous statement from the rather obscure 14th century Christian Emperor, Manuel II Paleologus. The key, he says, lies in knowing who he was.

I found this quite interesting...
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THE DIFFICULTY, TO MY mind, is figuring out why the Pope chose to cite this particular quotation from this particular nonentity? Certainly many popes have made similar statements about jihad and Benedict would have had a plethora of popes to quote from. It is therefore instructive to learn more about Manuel II Paleologus. He was, foremost, the antepenultimate emperor of the Byzantine Empire, the successor to the Roman Empire. At the time of his reign (1391-1425) the Muslim Turks had their sights set on the empire's capital of Constantinople. In 1399, Manuel traveled to England, France, the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, and Aragon seeking assistance from the various monarchs and courts. His visit was a complete bust. The split between the Greek Orthodox and Roman churches proved too wide. Unless the Greeks agreed to join the Roman Church there would be no troops, no assistance, and the Greeks were not about to surrender their autonomy to Rome, not even to save the empire, their religion and their lives.

The result: Within a few years the Turks would take Constantinople, rename it Istanbul, and the Roman-Byzantine Empire would disappear forever from the earth. (In an ironic aside, Manuel's son Constantine, the last Byzantine-Roman emperor, was killed in battle defending the capital. Legend has it that he discarded his purple cloak and charged into the fray taking so many cuts and blows that his corpse was unrecognizable. Thus, the last Roman emperor was laid to rest in a mass grave.)

I suspect that the Pope was hoping to make the point that unless the West comes together, heals its divisions, and faces the threat of radical Islam together, it may face a similar fate as the Roman-Byzantine Empire. Naturally Benedict couldn't come right and make such a bald statement -- just as Benedict's predecessor Pope Pius XII had to be similarly circumspect during Nazi rule -- so he couched his remark in an obscure reference by a forgotten historical figure. The pope knew that he would have to apologize later for his statement, still he believed it important enough to risk it.
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(tip of the hat to Amy for this one)
PHOTO: Reuters/Dario Pignatelli

7 comments:

Xochilt said...

I love Benedict for not tip-toeing around the Islamic fascists. The West had better wake up before it's too late and stop pretending that there can be some sort of rapprochement with these sons of Satan.

Mark said...

I find the idea this was all calculated a bit far-fetched. The issue is simply that the Holy Father is a lifetime academic not a diplomat. His experience in the "ivory tower" of academia did not prepare him well for the world stage. Now he's doing "on-the-job" training and for the time being would do well to listen more closely to his diplomatic corp.

A secondary note, Michael, when are Christian evangelicals going to stand up and support the Holy Father in this grave crisis?

Stephen (aka Q) said...

I for one will not support the Pope in this crisis. The remark he made is utterly indefensible. He showed very poor judgement and the only appropriate response now is to apologize abjectly and pray that God will minimize the harmful fallout from his remarks.

xavier said...

Q:
Why?
xavier

Stephen (aka Q) said...

The text he quoted says that anything new to Islam is only evil and inhuman. That is, there is not a single good thing to say about Islam (except, presumably, what Islam lifted from earlier faiths). The statement is impossible to defend: the equivalent of saying that Christians have never done a single bad thing.

I'm sure the quote has been lifted out of its context in the Pope's speech. But (a) that was entirely predictable and (b) Pope Benedict is still responsible for choosing this particular text, rather than one that didn't amount to a blanket condemnation of all things Islamic.

The link above will take you to a short post on my blog. There I try to make the point that the Pope has undermined his own cause, and undermined the West's struggle against Islamic terrorism. It was a terrible error in judgement, with potentially grave consequences.

xavier said...

Q:
What positive contributions has Islam brought to the world? I can't think of any.
xavier

religion of pieces said...

Pope Benedict has been trying to warn us.

Here are twenty facts about Islam that every infidel should know. (And which the Pope probably already knows, see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1553225/posts )

Islam ...

1) Is a mind-control and information-control cult founded by a murderer, torturer, brigand, rapist and pedophile called Mohammed. The mind-control and information-control aspects require that all criticism be silenced.

2) Is Mohammed's personality cult. Has no foundations other than Mo's murderous rantings (Koran and Hadith). The Koran consists of two conflicting parts - Meccan and Medinan (peaceful and violent respectively). The Medinan stuff supersedes ('abrogates') the Meccan stuff. Muslims act Medinan, but quote Meccan verses to the gullible infidels.

3) Claims to worship the same God as Christians and Jews, but in fact worships Allah - a demonic channelling through Mohammed's psychopathic ego. The Death Cult mixes garbled versions of Christian and Jewish scriptures with pagan practices such as moon and meteorite-worship, and cut-throat blood sacrifice of animals and non-believers.

4) Has no rational, philosophical nor theological basis, and the whole belief-system is contradicted by science, philosophy, commonsense, human decency and internal inconsistency.

5) Cannot withstand rational criticism. Can only spread and maintain itself by ignorance, illiteracy, war, terrorism, and intimidation. Islam has bloody borders and cannot co-exist peacefully with other belief systems. Winston Churchill said that Islam in a man is as dangerous as hydrophobia (rabies) in a dog.

6) Has a superstitious dread of images of pigs, crosses, Buddhas, Saint George (and his flag) and of course Motoons.

7) Regards Islamic women as semihuman. Wife-beating, incest and child abuse (including mufa’khathat or 'thighing' - the ritual abuse of infants) are encouraged.

8) Regards all unbelievers (Kaffirs, Kuffar, Kufrs, Kafirs) as ritually unclean subhumans to be killed, subjugated, enslaved, exploited or parasitised. Kafirs are described by the Arabic word 'najis' - literally 'filth'. That's why Muslim hatred of Kafirs is intrinsic to their 'religion'. A Kafir doesn't need to DO anything to offend a Muslim, his very existence is enough of an affront.

9) The ethical system applies only to Muslims. Allah encourages rape, pillage, extortion and enslavement of non-Muslims. Morality does not extend beyond the global gang (ummah). Muslim ethics are the ethics of the Mafia.

10) Allah's followers are motivated by hatred, greed and lust. There is no love, mercy or compassion. Allah is vindictive, unpredictable, capricious and devious - "Allah leads astray whom he pleases".

11) The only religion NOT founded on The Golden Rule. Morality is based on Mohammed's example. If Mohammed did it then it's OK for all Muslims. Hence the encouragement of rape, pillage, subjugation and murder of non-believers and the institutionalised pedophilia prevalent throughout Muslim society (justified by Mohammed's activities with Ayesha, his child sex-slave - see and listen to http://islamcomicbook.com/lyrics1.htm).

12) All human relations are defined by Dominance/Subjugation. Muslims have schizoid inferiority/superiority complexes. (A well-balanced Muslim is one with a chip on each shoulder). They respect strength but despise compromise as weakness. Appeasement invites more aggression. The only political system which has been strong enough to subjugate Islam is Stalinism.

13) Polygamy ensures alpha-males get extra women, leading to a shortage of women for the betas. Beta-males must either jerk off (a sin leading to hell), or form dog-packs and rape or capture kafir women as booty in a razzia, or else self-destruct in the presence of infidels then they can screw 72 mythical virgins in Allah's bordello in the sky (see and listen to http://islamcomicbook.com/lyrics3.htm). Beta-males are often encouraged by their relatives to become suicide bombers because of the belief that such murderous 'martyrs' will be able to intercede with Allah to take 70 of their relatives to paradise with them.

14) Lying and deception of infidels (taqiyya) is encouraged. This may take many forms, including outright lies, feigned moderation, and condemnation of terrorist attacks to the Kaffir while rejoicing with fellow Muslims. All Muslims need to regard themselves as victims of some group of Kafirs so they can harbor grudges against them and against Kafirs in general. Individuals may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and must be considered potential killers who can flip in an instant (SJS -'Sudden Jihad Syndrome').

15) Muslims are forbidden to befriend Kaffirs except for purposes of deceit or where conversion may be possible.

16) The Koran is Allah's final word and cannot be changed or challenged. To do so is punishable by death. Consequently, the Death Cult can never change or be reformed. The instructions to murder and rape infidels are just as valid now as the day they were written. Since Islam cannot be modernised, the Muslims are attempting to Islamise modernity. This requires spreading Islam in the West and simultaneously preventing any criticism of the cult by intimidation and PC legislation to curtail freedom of expression.

17) Treaties and agreements with Kaffirs are made to be broken (Hudna). The word of a Muslim to a Kafir counts for nothing in the eyes of Allah. Allah is The Father Of Lies.

18) The world is divided between Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb (the domain of war, the Kufr lands). Muslims living in Dar-al-Harb must work to disrupt their host nations until these can be brought into Dar-al-Islam.

19) Muslims have no obligation to their host nations and in fact are encouraged to parasitise them. Welfare fraud, identity theft, forgery etc are endemic in Western Muslim populations, and serious crime against Kaffirs is regarded as normal and justified. Extortion rackets against Kafirs are mandated by the Koran ('jizya' is the Arabic term for 'protection money' payable by Jews and Christians to Muslims).

20) The attack on the host nation isn't just against its religion and economy, but is aimed at its very cultural identity. Islam is a complete system, including a culture, which Muslims regard as superior (despite all evidence to the contrary) to other cultures. Muslims are therefore required to destroy the symbols of 'Jahiliya' (sometimes sp. Jahiliyya) - non-Muslim culture. In the East this has included destruction of Hindu temples and Christian churches and replacement with mosques, and destruction of Buddhist artwork and universities and replacement with heaps of rubble. This process of cultural replacement is now beginning in the West..