Job one for the Pope in Turkey: Not getting shot

posted at 4:01 pm on November 28, 2006 by Allahpundit

You laugh, but that precise scenario’s already played out in fictional form. Remember?

Aside from the fact that nearly the entire Turkish government had planned to snub the Pope until Erdogan had a last-minute change of heart, and the fact that while the Pope used his meeting with the country’s head cleric to emphasize fraternity while his counterpart seized the opportunity to whine about “Islamophobia,” things have gone swimmingly thus far. The Vatican Radio website has posted the text of Benedict’s speeches this morning. At whom might this passage have been aimed?

Turkey has always served as a bridge between East and West, between Asia and Europe, and as a crossroads of cultures and religions. During the last century, she acquired the means to become a great modern State, notably by the choice of a secular regime, with a clear distinction between civil society and religion, each of which was to be autonomous in its proper domain while respecting the sphere of the other. The fact that the majority of the population of this country is Muslim is a significant element in the life of society, which the State cannot fail to take into account, yet the Turkish Constitution recognizes every citizen’s right to freedom of worship and freedom of conscience. The civil authorities of every democratic country are duty bound to guarantee the effective freedom of all believers and to permit them to organize freely the life of their religious communities. Naturally it is my hope that believers, whichever religious community they belong to, will continue to benefit from these rights, since I am certain that religious liberty is a fundamental expression of human liberty and that the active presence of religions in society is a source of progress and enrichment for all. This assumes, of course, that religions do not seek to exercise direct political power, as that is not their province, and it also assumes that they utterly refuse to sanction recourse to violence as a legitimate expression of religion.

What a state the world is in when we need the Pope to argue for the separation of church and state.

And how very un-Christianist of him.

He made those comments in an address to the Turkish diplomatic corps, by the way, not at the meeting with the cleric. Maybe he’ll be a little bolder on Thursday:

A closely watched moment of the trip will come Thursday during Benedict’s visit to Haghia Sophia, a 1,500-year-old site that was originally a Byzantine church and then turned into a mosque after the Muslim conquest of Istanbul — then known as Constantinople — in 1453. It is now a museum, and Turks would take offense at any religious gestures by the pontiff, who also plans to visit the nearby Blue Mosque.

In 1967, Pope Paul VI fell to his knees in prayer, touching off protests by Turks claiming he violated the secular nature of the domed complex. In 1979, Pope John Paul II made no overt religious signs during his visit.

I doubt he’ll do anything dramatic, but then, this is a guy who likes to surprise people.


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Now THIS is diplomacy. However, I fear that he is a couple of hundred years ahead of his time.

RushBaby on November 28, 2006 at 4:08 PM

What a state the world is in when we need the Pope to argue for the separation of church and state.

Great point! I’m sure the major papers and politicians will be all over the irony of this … or not.

forest on November 28, 2006 at 4:10 PM

His not being shot is sure to offend.

JammieWearingFool on November 28, 2006 at 4:23 PM

I keep making comparsions to the bible story of Daniel in the den of lions.

LakeRuins on November 28, 2006 at 4:27 PM

Nowadays…going to a muslim country, secular state or not, the whole “don’t get shot” thing looms large.

“Don’t get blown up” is also good advice. It’s sort of like the “don’t pick up the soap” advice given to guys new to jail.

Puritan1648 on November 28, 2006 at 4:38 PM

This assumes, of course, that religions do not seek to exercise direct political power, as that is not their province, and it also assumes that they utterly refuse to sanction recourse to violence as a legitimate expression of religion.

Apparently, His Holiness has not read the Koran.

RedWinged Blackbird on November 28, 2006 at 4:44 PM

I doubt he’ll do anything dramatic, but then, this is a guy who likes to surprise people.

Well, although i’ve not read the book, but the article by the telegraph is a little dramatic. Papal infalibility is narrowly defined to only include matters of faith and doctrine, not researched history.

Like is said i haven’t read the book, but it might contain some of the ‘inspired’ writing by Anne Emmerich. Hopefully i made sense here

mainmann on November 28, 2006 at 4:54 PM

Sorry to offend Roman Catholics, but Papal Infallibility has precisely zero credibility with me (even when properly invoked), since the last time it was used, it was to confirm the divinity of Jesus’ mother Mary, her own Immaculate Conception, and the legitimacy of praying to her for intercession.

urbancenturion on November 28, 2006 at 5:03 PM

By the way, that Telegraph article about the pope is very confused about what “papal infallability” really means. (Admittedly, it’s a very misleading term.)

sandberg on November 28, 2006 at 5:06 PM

Sorry to offend Roman Catholics, but Papal Infallibility has precisely zero credibility with me (even when properly invoked…..

It has zero credibility with people who think it has zero credibility. you have to be ‘devoutly’catholic to understand

btw, i wasn’t offended ;)

mainmann on November 28, 2006 at 5:08 PM

OT: I hope you have video of the secularist freaking out on John Gibson’s show. today. (The subject: Chicago and the movie The Nativity)

baldilocks on November 28, 2006 at 5:34 PM

It has zero credibility with people who think it has zero credibility. you have to be ‘devoutly’catholic to understand

btw, i wasn’t offended ;) — mainmann

…the whole 1st Vatican Council thing had sparks flying off of the Church for quite some time.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992)
PART ONE/SECTION TWO/CHAPTER THREE/ARTICLE 9/Paragraph 4/subparagraph 891:
“The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals….”

So, so’s there isn’t any question “(w)hen the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine ‘for belief as being divinely revealed,’ and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions ‘must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.’”

…not bad for a Presbyterian, no?

I’d bet that there’re pastors out there in Protestant land who’d *LOVE* to shut down a troublesome elder, deacon or elderly church matron just *ONCE* in their ministry by playing to “infallibility card”…and it’s great that none of ‘em can.

When the Pope speaks “ex cathedra” (from the throne) on matters of doctrine concerning faith and morals, what he says goes. It doesn’t play well among most Americans, most Protestants, and especially among Calvinists. Still, taken *IN CONTEXT*, all he’s doing is sort of exercising the “buck stops here” option.

As a scholar — and as “Ratzinger”, he *WAS* a university professor for some years — he’s not speaking “ex cathedra”. He’s speaking as a writer with whom anyone can dispute…and, from what I’ve heard, you’d be advised to bring your lunch. This guy’s sharp.

Credit where it’s due.

Puritan1648 on November 28, 2006 at 5:44 PM

Like George W. Bush, Condaleezza Rice, and others, the Vatican, and in the specific case of the person of Pope Benedict, they are clueless to the facts of Islamic Jihad!

No, Islam is NOT a Religion of Peace!

No, there is no place for “separation of church and state” in the Muslim world! The Islamic faith and the Islamic law are interconnected. It is a theo-political entity, in which the theology and the law are connected.

Furthermore, our own constitution, the first amendment, does NOT endorse separation of church and state. It clarifies that the government many not establish a state mandated religion, and that the state may not prohibit the free practice of religion, even among government officials in government buildings!

How far have we come from reality?

William

William2006 on November 28, 2006 at 6:38 PM

As a scholar — and as “Ratzinger”, he *WAS* a university professor for some years — he’s not speaking “ex cathedra”. He’s speaking as a writer with whom anyone can dispute…and, from what I’ve heard, you’d be advised to bring your lunch. This guy’s sharp.

…and get a good night’s sleep. And pray. ;-)

Pablo on November 28, 2006 at 7:25 PM

William2006,

While I am no longer a Catholic…

My brother is studying to become a priest. He just flew back from Rome to due some work in the States.

His spritual advisor is heading to Turkey with the the Pope and is worried. Frankly the Vatican is worried about the Popes trip to Turkey.

Rome is aware of “Islamic Jihad”

F15Mech on November 28, 2006 at 7:29 PM

The man has guts as well as smarts.

And while the Turkish Muslims might want him dead, I’m sure they don’t want it to happen on their soil. After all that would surely put an end to their EU membership aspirations….

Abigail Adams on November 29, 2006 at 8:47 AM