The Pope at the Dome of the Rock

Laura W. (a.k.a. Laura Wood, see her new blog), who is a Catholic, writes:

I am sickened by Pope Benedict’s visit to the Dome of the Rock and his remarks there.

LA replies:

I agree. It is sickening. First, by going there at all he gives Islam a recognition he should not be giving it. Second, he declares the essential unity of Islam with Christianity (and Judaism), and says that the conflicts between them are only due to “misunderstandings.”

However, while I am appalled, I am not surprised. I have expected nothing good of this Pope vis a vis the Islam problem since he folded like a cheap camera in response to the Muslim riots following his Regensburg lecture in September 2006. The bottom line for Benedict remains the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate which treats Muslims as “fellow adorers of the one God.” (Here are VFR discussions on this.) As long as Nostra Aetate remains authoritative, the Catholic Church will remain an ally of Islam and in practical effect a fifth-column dhimmi entity in the West.

Below is Benedict’s Dome of the Rock speech, interspersed with my bolded comments. To Catholic readers, let me say that my remarks are not directed at the pope in his role as the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, but in his role as a political figure going beyond matters of Catholic doctrine and observance and addressing non-Catholics and non-Christians as members of One Humanity—a non-Christian, UN-style, World Family which, like his tragically benighted predecessor, he seems to have made the paramount object of his concern. Once he steps into that political sphere, he becomes as legitimate an object of criticism—and, if it is deserved, scorn and outrage—as any other political actor.

Benedict said:

Dear Muslim friends,

As-salamu ‘alaikum! Peace upon you!

I cordially thank the Grand Mufti, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, together with the director of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, Sheikh Mohammed Azzam al-Khatib al-Tamimi, and the head of the Awquaf Council, Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab, for the welcome they have extended to me on your behalf. I am deeply grateful for the invitation to visit this sacred place, and I willingly pay my respects to you and the leaders of the Islamic community in Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock draws our hearts and minds to reflect upon the mystery of creation and the faith of Abraham. Here the paths of the world’s three great monotheistic religions meet, reminding us what they share in common. [LA replies: The Dome of the Rock, built after the conquest of Jerusalem, ought to remind us that Islam is a religion at permanent war against Christians and all non-Muslims. It should also remind us that Muslims see that building as a permanent symbol of the fact that Israel by its very existence has intruded on Muslim territory and has no right to exist.] Each believes in One God, creator and ruler of all. [LA replies: But the “One” that Islam believes in demands the sadistic punishment in eternity of all who reject Muhammad. Benedict, the “conservative,” “intellectual,” “scholarly,” “Islam-critical” pope don’t know that? Maybe he knew it for a brief moment when writing and delivering the Regensburg lecture, but then the Muslims intimidated him, and from that moment on he’s been a pathetic appeaser of Christendom’s mortal enemy.] Each recognizes Abraham as a forefather, a man of faith upon whom God bestowed a special blessing. [LA replies: So what, they all recognize Abraham? They also all recognize that we all live on the planet earth and that the sun rises each the morning. Does that mean that they can get along together?] Each has gained a large following throughout the centuries and inspired a rich spiritual, intellectual and cultural patrimony.

In a world sadly torn by divisions [The divisions are due mainly to the existence of Islam itself, which is permanently at war with the rest of mankind. He wants the West to stop being “divided” from Islam, even as Islam continues its war against the West. Does he lament the fact that in the Middle Ages, the Church defended Christendom from Islam and so was “divisive”?], this sacred place serves as a stimulus, and also challenges men and women of goodwill to work to overcome misunderstandings and conflicts of the past and to set out on the path of a sincere dialogue aimed at building a world of justice and peace for coming generations. [Would someone please tell me how this sickening gobbledygook is any different from the language of a UN resolution? Benedict has become as bad as his Dag Hammerjkold-like predecessor. Does he really think that the conflicts of the world are just misunderstandings that can be cleared by some nice dialog? Doesn’t he understand that some conflicts are built into the nature of things, e.g., if there is a religion which demands the political submission of all humanity to that religion, then conflict with that religion is not due to a misunderstanding, but to a true understanding of what that religion is.]

Since the teachings of religious traditions ultimately concern the reality of God, the meaning of life, and the common destiny of mankind—that is to say, all that is most sacred and dear to us— there may be a temptation to engage in such dialogue with reluctance or ambivalence about its possibilities for success. Yet we can begin with the belief that the One God is the infinite source of justice and mercy, since in him the two exist in perfect unity. Those who confess his name are entrusted with the task of striving tirelessly for righteousness while imitating his forgiveness, for both are intrinsically oriented to the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of the human family.

For this reason, it is paramount that those who adore the One God [there he goes with the fatal language of Nostra Aetate, which remains his lodestar] should show themselves to be both grounded in and directed towards the unity of the entire human family. [Benedict is a dangerous fool. For Muslims, the unity of the entire human family can only be achieved when everyone submits to Allah and his Prophet “with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” Koran 9:29.] In other words, fidelity to the One God, the Creator, the Most High, leads to the recognition that human beings are fundamentally interrelated, since all owe their very existence to a single source and are pointed towards a common goal. Imprinted with the indelible image of the divine, they are called to play an active role in mending divisions and promoting human solidarity.

This places a grave responsibility upon us. Those who honor the One God believe that he will hold human beings accountable for their actions. Christians assert that the divine gifts of reason and freedom stand at the basis of this accountability. Reason opens the mind to grasp the shared nature and common destiny of the human family, while freedom moves the heart to accept the other and serve him in charity. Undivided love for the One God and charity towards ones neighbor thus become the fulcrum around which all else turns. This is why we work untiringly to safeguard human hearts from hatred, anger or vengeance. [Translation: the main thing is to eliminate, as “hatred,” any Western resistance to Islamization. I wonder what argument Benedict would have against Europe’s hate-speech laws, which criminalize any criticisms of Islam? Indeed, when it comes to the survival of Western Christian society vis a vis Islam, how is Benedict’s position any different from that of the EU, which also welcomes Islam and seeks its expansion and empowerment in the West? Again, while I am sickened, I am not surprised. I have often said that in its present form much of organized Christianity is an enemy of the West and consciously or unconsciously seeks its destruction, just as he left does.]

Dear friends, I have come to Jerusalem on a journey of faith. I thank God for this occasion to meet you as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of the Apostle Peter, but also as a child of Abraham, by whom “all the families of the earth find blessing” (Gen 12:3; cf. Rom 4:16-17). I assure you of the church’s ardent desire to cooperate for the well-being of the human family. She firmly believes that the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham is universal in scope, embracing all men and women regardless of provenance or social status.

As Muslims and Christians further the respectful dialogue they have already begun, I pray that they will explore how the oneness of God is inextricably tied to the unity of the human family. In submitting to his loving plan for creation, in studying the law inscribed in the cosmos and implanted in the human heart, in reflecting upon the mysterious gift of God’s self-revelation, may all his followers continue to keep their gaze fixed on his absolute goodness, never losing sight of the way it is reflected in the faces of others.

With these thoughts, I humbly ask the Almighty to grant you peace and to bless all the beloved people of this region. May we strive to live in a spirit of harmony and cooperation, bearing witness to the One God by generously serving one another. Thank you!

[end of Benedict talk]

Benedict, a one-time Islam critic, seems to have lost the slightest recognition of what Islam really is. Whatever he may think he is achieving by all this reaching out, in reality he is only providing the Muslims with a cover by treating them as good faith participants in a “dialog,” a dialog that assures the continued self-disarming of the West and the continued empowerment of Islam.

The man is a disaster—as any pope must be who follows Vatican II teachings on ecumenism.

If anyone has a more hopeful view of Benedict’s appearance at the Dome of the Rock, I’d like to hear it.

Here are some previous writings at VFR on Benedict and Islam:

Benedict’s reversal of his lecture on Islam

Is the pope ready to cause a civilizational war?
It’s not so bad—the pope’s critique of Islam still stands
Benedict does a Larry Summers
The ongoing career of Larry Ratzinger, aka Joseph Summers
Benny continues to follow Johnny
Benedict—I mean John Paul—I mean John Lennon—calls for a world without barriers and prejudices
Before there was Eurabia, there was Vatican II
Pure liberalism, invoked by Pope Benedict, shows us the way out of liberalism

Benedict trip to Turkey, Nov 2006

As bad as it gets
Benedict goes where no pope has gone before
Benedict as mental dhimmi
A person chosen at random from the Rome telephone book would do better than this
Another worse than useless Western leader

May 14

Steven H. writes:

I am a Catholic that finds just about all of Vatican II to be repulsive and heresy. To see any Christian let alone a Catholic Pope praise Islam at the Dome of the Rock is appalling. Many prominent Christian theologians have made a very compelling case that the Dome of the Rock is the Abomination of Desolation that was prophesied in the Book of Daniel, the Gospels and the Book of Revelation. The “Dome” mocks Christianity and Judaism. It mocks God. Let’s first consider that this false deity “Allah” has a place of worship where the Creator the true God’s resting place has a place to vomit upon Judaism and Christianity by his very presence at the Temple Mount. The “Dome” then mocks Christianity by saying “God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son…. There is no god but God. He is One. Praise be to NW God, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence.” These inscriptions are one the “Dome.” With all the murders of Christians and hatred for Jews in this world, how can any Christian support this heresy? I would encourage all VFR readers to download for free the book ” The False Prophet.”

LA replies:

Well, as I said at the time of Benedict’s dhimmi-like behavior during a respectful visit to another Muslim place, Turkey, in 2006:


Ed L. writes:

I read with interest your commentary on the Pope’s timid reaction to Muslim wrath post Regensburg and his unseemly appeasement in Jerusalem. I wholly agree with that assessment, but one question I would ask is why the Christian world—which should be four continents strong—is allowing him to twist in the wind. His personal weakness of mind and propensity to make mistakes would be less relevant and consequential if Christians at large were willing to take it upon themselves to defend and reiterate the substance of what was said at Regensburg.

Whether Westerners agree with the Regensburg speech substantively or feel it was “provocative” is ultimately beside the point. At a more emotional level, don’t they get irritated with the constant scoresheet mentality of Muslims? (The answer is no; liberalism disembowels people—or at least just white Western people—of normal straightforward human emotions.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 12, 2009 01:45 PM | Send

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