Monday, 22 October 2007

Religion and peace

Warning: This post may offend. I am not asking anyone to agree with me

Pope Benedict XVI has urged the leaders of world religions not to allow their faiths to become the vehicle of hatred. He spoke at a summit in Naples, where a number of  representatives from different faiths have gathered.

"In a world wounded by conflicts, where violence is justified in God's name, it is important to repeat that religion can never become a vehicle of hatred, it can never be used to justify violence. On the contrary, religions can and must offer precious resources to build a peaceful humanity, because they speak about peace in the heart of man. With respect for the differences between different religions, we are all called to work for peace and an effective effort to promote reconciliation between peoples".

The Pope did reiterate Catholic dogma that Catholicism is the only true faith.

I just cannot swallow this.
I really can't.
I turn round and look at the history of the past 500 years and more.

The North and South American continents were conquered in God's name, its peoples and cultures savaged, destroyed, pillaged and raped. In God's name.

Wars have been fought, in God's name. The Crusades, nothing better than an invasion of the Middle East, were conducted under the pretext of a religious imperative. To reclaim the "Holy Land" from infidels.

The Holocaust saw 6 million Jews exterminated, just because they were Jews. The Holy See remained silent throughout the Second World War, even though it was aware of the pogroms and death camps.

A conflict in Northern Ireland has been brought to a de-facto stop, although it was conducted over a religious schism - between Protestants and Catholics. Politics in Ulster are still religiously aligned.

I am glad that the Pope has spoken these words. I hope they signal a start towards a new era of reconciliation between faiths. But for the moment, they sound hollow and not related to reality.

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10 comments:

  1. I have to agree with you.
    Lori

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  2. I am afraid what you are saying is all too true. I once read that 5 millions women were burned for witchcraft over the centuries this was done, and many tortured and killed for heresy.  If the religious faction becomes dominant watch out, abusers will not be reined in. It seems you have to judge every action by its own merits, you can't just accept that it is good because it came from the religious.  Gerry

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  3. I really wish someone would muzzle him .... sheesh... totally not a helpful way to cap off a speech on peace.  duh.

    be well,
    Dawn
    http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

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  4. You are quite right Guido ...love Jan xx

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  5. seraphoflove900123 October 2007 at 10:18

    I agree with you.
    Lisa

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  6. dear Guido
    wow waht a mouthful!So.... you are pleased that he is trying to do a better job now? correct?
    hugs,natalie

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  7. umm..Pope Paul I believe went to great lengths to apologize int eh opne for the Papacy's enormous role in not protecting Jews.
    nat

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  8. Hey Guido, how about the Muslim point of view? they think that Mo hammed had a truth unknown to us and to other Christians and Jews. Do you see any hope for peace between Muslims and the Western world?I do...
    nat

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  9. I agree with you.  I have always thought there has been more blood shed in the name of God than people care to acknowledge.  It boggles my mind that one can kill in the name of God ~ I can't wrap my mind around that.
    Lisa

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  10. In your words...I can't swallow it either. I totally agree with all that you've said....June:)

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