Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Pope and Muslims...

Given the recent arguing over Pope Benedict's comments regarding religion and violence, Islam, and the place of reason within religions, I went to the Vatican library and read through the declaration from Vatican II, THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS (Nostra Aetate).

Regarding Muslims the declaration says:

3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

Forgetting the past doesn't seem to be the best strategy, since even though I believe Benedict, his "forgetting" meant including remarks from a Byzantine who had some issues with Muslims.


No comments: