Friday, November 18, 2011

Pope kissing Sheikh ‘is evocative of inter-faith dialogue, co-operation and communication’

This is a guest post by Caroline Farrow (a ‘Cassock-loving Catholic’):

Not content with Benetton’s withdrawal of their offensive advertisement featuring a photoshopped image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the Vatican have announced that they intend ‘to take the proper legal measures’ to stop the use of the photo.

That the photo is offensive can be in no doubt. The photo displays the Pope in the act of a homo-erotic embrace, which Catholics would consider to be a grave sin and suggests a deep underlying hypocrisy. Not only that, but the by-line ‘hope not hate’ seems to endorse the sin as being a positive development and a sign that the Church might change its doctrine on homosexuality. To add insult to injury, there is a further implication that the Catholic Church’s stance is one of hatred when nothing could be further from the truth. As the Catechism states:
The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination...constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided (CCC 2358).
The Vatican would be wise to accept the withdrawal and accept that the Pope was an inevitable pawn in Benetton’s global brand strategy. This is not the first time that Benetton has deliberately caused controversy and offence to the Catholic Church: the technique is a familiar trope in advertising – run offensive campaign and subsequently withdraw poster, resulting in maximum publicity. It is a deliberate weighing up of limited disgust with brand versus enormous recognition and publicity, designed to net them millions of dollars. How else might one guarantee global headlines and even a mention by the President of the United States?

Whilst the Vatican spokesman, Fr Lombardi, is correct in identifying the demonstrable lack of respect to the Pope and the offence caused to millions of believers, he should also remember that no-one has a right not to be offended. To sue for hurt feelings would be to squander resources that could be put to better use and casts Catholics into the mould of dour Puritans or fundamental Islamists, unable to laugh at ourselves or see the comic surrealism inherent in the image.

Furthermore, Catholic doctrine is considered offensive by a not inconsiderable number of secularists, hence if Catholics wish to push the right-not-to-be-offended card, we could well find ourselves on a sticky wicket and legislate away our own already-diminishing religious liberties and freedoms of speech. We cannot have a situation where nobody may publicly say anything negative about anybody else for fear that the offence caused may see them facing civil or criminal charges. Satire is an important tool of a healthy democracy, although this advertisement was of a more cynical nature. The censorship of images and the suppression of creativity are the hallmarks of a totalitarian state.

If there is no such thing as negative publicity, then the wisest move the Vatican could make would be to hijack and own the advertisement. The figures of two great spiritual leaders embracing is evocative of inter-faith dialogue, co-operation and communication. Sheikh el-Tayeb froze relations with the Vatican in January of this year after the Pope spoke out about the plight of the Coptic Christians in Eygpt. The Vatican could use this image to emphasise ‘the Holy See’s readiness to continue on the path of interreligious dialogue and cooperation’.

Since May, over 90,000 Coptic Christians have been forced to leave Egypt, and state broadcasters loyal to the military junta have been urging 'honourable Egyptians' to help the army to put down the 'sons of dogs’ as Christians have protested about the destruction of their Churches. What could be more apposite than the message of ‘Hope not Hate’, in these circumstances?

The Pope has demonstrated much commitment to inter-faith dialogue with Islam over the past few years, praying in a Turkish mosque in 2006; holding many meetings with Muslims, most recently in Berlin during September’s Papal visit to Germany; and even inviting Sheikh El-Tayeb to the recent inter-faith gathering in Assisi, which the Sheikh refused.

Of course, Fr Lombardi’s threat of legal action might well be a canny move, because to publicly endorse the advert might well cause further offence in an already volatile and precariously-balanced relationship. Presumably, Sunni Muslims find this image every bit as offensive as Catholics, but I would agree with el-Tayeb’s spokesman, that the image is indeed ‘absurd’. The Vatican has more pressing battles on its hands, not least halting the spread of a greedy and corrupt over-corporatisation: at his weekly audience at the beginning of November, the Pope denounced a profit-at-all-costs mentality as being responsible for the current global financial crisis. It would therefore be ironic if the Church were to play straight into the hands of corporate strategists, by giving the advertisement far more importance than it actually merits.


Blogger Sam Vega said...

More guest posts by this sane woman, please. People would do well to consider how much they are in control of their own emotional responses. If we find ourselves being offended, are we gaining emotional gratification from making much of it and creating a fuss? Or are we doing what we can to alleviate our own distress by cultivating a sense of proportion?

Not only do we not have a right to not be offended, we also have the ability to do something about it by developing a bit more emotional continence.

18 November 2011 at 08:57  
Blogger Albert said...

A very good post. And it raises a further problem with the poster. The reason the Pope and the Sheikh have fallen out is because the Pope dared to defend human rights.

But of course, the slaying of Christians in Egypt is a point that can be justly obscured to make the point that the poster intends: wouldn't it be nice if Muslims and Catholics were pro-gay.

Some people's messages, it seems, are more important than other people's rights - even their right to life.

18 November 2011 at 08:57  
Blogger David B said...

As one of the secularists offended by Catholic doctrine, I applaud that post.

No-one has the right to not being offended seems to me a central point of it. Hear Hear!

David B

18 November 2011 at 10:38  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...


I don't view the poster as a personal insult against the person but against the Holy Office and the Gospel. The Vatican was right to come out strongly and threaten legal action.

The Holy Father is Christ's representative on earth; His Vicar. Disrespect for the Pope is disrespect for the Holy Office and, by extension, disrespect for Our Lord.

The Vatican has called the image an "offense against the sentiments of the faithful" and evidence of how advertising can "violate the elementary rules of respect for persons in order to draw attention through provocation."

I agree. They were more than entitled to state this and to threaten legal action.

The conception of "universal love" depicted in this constructed photo is abhorrent. A homo-erotic image deliberately intended to be provocative. Is this really what inter-faith dialogue is about - the idea of love depicted in this manner?

Alessandro Benetton says global love is an ambitious but realistic goal. He says the company are promoting "an ideal notion of tolerance and invite the citizens of every country to reflect on how hatred arises particularly from fear of ‘the other’ and of what is unfamiliar to us."

An 'anything goes, let's hold hands and love one another' idea. All very 'brotherhood of man' stripped of all conceptions of God and Christ's propiatory sacrifice.

At the heart of this issue is the respect shown to the Gospel message and acceptance of God's plan for human salvation.

The advert represents so much more than humour and levity. Men 'kissing and making up' and 'tolerating differences' is not the path to world peace. Associating the Church of Christ with such religious indifferentism is offensive.

The Christian message is love and sacrifice. A positive 'agape', not a physical one. It is also founded on acceptance of the Gospel of Christ and all that that entails.

Associating the Papacy with the blatant religious indifferentism and moral relativism behind this advert, its kiss and make up, lets tolerate sin, just 'unhate' message, is deeply offensive to Catholicism and I hope to all Christians.

18 November 2011 at 11:19  
Blogger David B said...

@Dodo, who said '...Associating the Papacy with the blatant religious indifferentism and moral relativism behind this advert, its kiss and make up, lets tolerate sin, just 'unhate' message, is deeply offensive to Catholicism and I hope to all Christians.'

The National Treasure that is Stephen Fry is more eloguent than I, so I shall refer you to one of his comments on the subject of offence.

The same applies, of course, to my feelings of offence on reading your post.

David B

18 November 2011 at 11:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this column is an excellent example of how the Vatican could have played this (as DanJ0 previously pointed out). Apparently they are in need of better PR advisers, and they could do far worse than retain Caroline Farrow!

Additionally, her exposition of the right to cause offence is spot on. Once again, I am reminded of the continuous accusation (not least in Cranmer's law) that it is apparently the purview of the left to try to close down debate with the use of labels such as "fascist" or "racist", but this is becoming increasingly common on this blog amongst those who could only be described as "right wing".

I think perhaps, I am beginning to rather enjoy Dodo's offence. I can see why those who have suffered at the Catholic Church's hands would do so even more than I.

18 November 2011 at 12:24  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

David B
Stephen 'anything goes' Fry? Why on earth would I want to waste my time listening to him?

Offended by my post? You poor soul, you must have a very sensitive disposition. Essentially, you're offended by the message of Christ's Gospel.

Now that's something you really should worry about!

18 November 2011 at 12:26  
Blogger Shacklefree said...


18 November 2011 at 15:11  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Yes, We should not be complaining just because the Pope is being insulted. I don't like Obama or Chavez but they should be misrepresented either. The problem is with the nature of propaganda nowadays. They say any publicity is good publicity and that is because people do not act. If people find this offensive then don't buy Bennetton products.

18 November 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Hope for a shag is what that image conveys.

The Pope would never do this therefore it defiles him, what he stands for and the Catholic Church. There is nothing whatsoever funny or witty about that image in fact its down right destructive in that it is condoning debauchery and fueling the fashion to be gay.

It seems to Benetton any publicity is better than no publicity, vulnerable young fools will go out an buy that over priced clothing thinking they are so cool and in vogue, whilst Benetton laugh at them all the way to the bank and grow even richer.

That fake picture is defamation and immoral profiteering for Benetton.
If they really wanted to convey a “hope not hate” message then why not have pictures of the Pope delivering a baby that is already wearing a Benetton jumper as he/she comes out of the mothers womb that is hope. Or him blessing children from around the world and they all have Benetton clothes on. That's hope. Hope that with the Popes messages of a more evenly distributed wealth that all Children will be able to wear Benetton pullovers.

18 November 2011 at 15:23  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

I hope people stop using the term satire to describe this soon. It's rather sad that that's what people think is a clever and witty way to make a political point. I remember reading 'Punch' cartoons as sources in history at school. That was satire, this is mockery. Mockery is not constructive or helpful in any way. Mockery is to denounce someone's position without basis. It's the tool of the bully, not the intelligent.

In my opinion this seems like a Xanatos Gambit by the company. By attacking the Pope's character and mocking the entire system of the Catholic Church and her followers they put the Church in an unwinnable situation, and themselves in an unlosable one. If the Church stays quiet or makes no fuss and the image goes viral anyway (free advertisement as atheists get off on this stuff) then they will appear to condone the picture's existence (cue newspapers printing story about how the Church has 'softened' on gay issues and more free publicity for the company). If the Church responds against it then you get what has happened now.

The only way to beat a Xanatos Gambit is to find a path that the villain hasn't thought of. Jesus was great at this: when the Pharisees asked whether the Israelites should pay tax to the Romans, they assumed he'd either say they should (at which point he'd lose popularity) or that they shouldn't (and would by tried for treason). Jesus answered the question in such a clever way that it not only showed what a great spiritual mind he had (which being God is understandable), but also showed the hypocrisy and foolishness of those that wanted him out of the way. Benneton's is Italian. Finding a subtle way to call a boycott (e.g. hinting that Catholics should not offer custom to companies that insult the faith) could easily mitigate any profit the company makes and make others think twice before pulling such a cynical stunt again.

18 November 2011 at 16:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ms Farrow makes such excellent arguments, Your Grace, I can see why you invited her post. This is certainly an opportunity for all, not just the Vatican, to engage in some "positive deconstruction" of a company, an ad, and the strategy of exploiting social and political issues for commercial advantage.

So, here's my message to the age and social groups which Benetton's periodic pseudo-political juvenalia targets: Don't be a tool and fall for the tricks of the Old School, bro! Only a fool thinks that it's cool to follow Benetton's rule, yo! Or something stupid like that; anything that might "reach" through the titanium-enforced skulls of the precious young idjuts who're are supposed to be our future, G-d forbid.

18 November 2011 at 16:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

If more on-line Catholics took this sort of pragmatic, reasonable, and dare I say fairly liberal, approach then there would be a serious danger of peace breaking out between the usual groups! :O

18 November 2011 at 16:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...


Remember Benetton's in the Eighties? Its 'Rainbow Nation' billboards featuring beautiful boys and girls of every race decked out in bright colours? Buying a Benetton product meant we were buying into a oh so progressive, multi-cultural, inter-racial, lovey-doveyness.

"United colours of Benitton", now means buying into the lovey-dovey 'gay culture' and secular world view. I guess they've calculated the 'pink pound' and 'secular pound' is worth going after.

Let's see.

18 November 2011 at 16:59  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Au contraire monsieur Dodo !...pard'n mah French, but the "united colours" meme was their one realy good, mould-breaking and genuinely revolutionary ad. It was new, it was bold, slightly sub-culture, but most importantly, the attitude and the cause were good. Yes, of course, they went ahead only when it was safe and potentially rewarding to tackle race, but still, being first in this class counts for something.

But that was then and this is now. As the Benetton brand continues on its slow, but inexhorable slide down the class and prestige scales, not to mention depressing market share losses, this one-trick-pony will scramble to recreate its golden moments of the 80s and 90s with zanier and zanier shticks. So, be patient, thou neither-fish-nor-fowl, there'll be new entertainment coming up soon!

18 November 2011 at 17:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Send out the heavies from the Society of Jesus to give them a damn good horse whipping; it’s what our Lord would expect, and no less, what !

18 November 2011 at 18:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, you might as well copy out the whole Telegraph article word for word there. You're like a flippin' sponge, no wonder you're a Catholic.

18 November 2011 at 18:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Speaking of the Telegraph, get a load of this numpty talking as though his special interests group has some special authority in these things. Why is it even being reported?

18 November 2011 at 18:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. What do you expect when gays are trying to queer Holy Matrimony. Can’t see why you all can’t get ‘civil partnershipped’ instead. It’s ‘marriage’ of sorts until one of them finds another partner and the whole thing is annulled. Now there’s a thing – anyone out there with stats on that...

18 November 2011 at 19:12  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Do you wear Benetton clothes?

18 November 2011 at 19:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Hinge: "What do you expect when gays are trying to queer Holy Matrimony."

Not at all. It's the social institution of marriage that we're after, not the spooky, invisible-friend type.

"Can’t see why you all can’t get ‘civil partnershipped’ instead."

Why can't you guys limit your religious ideas to your religious people?

18 November 2011 at 19:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Bracket: "Do you wear Benetton clothes?"


18 November 2011 at 19:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I see we are back to the marriage thing. Very well. In Canada, you cannot call a product "kosher" unless it meets centuries-old traditional and strict definitions of kashruth, and is approved by a council recognized by Parliament. You cannot even use the label "kosher style." This eliminates a lot of headaches for the community, ugly disputes, uncertainties and outright fraud, especially since the kosher foods market share is growing in leaps and bounds.

So, I was, like, thinking again: Why cannot the words "marriage," "husband" and "wife" be similarly reserved, through Parliamentary acts, in tune with their universal and traditional use in our society? For those who might have forgotten, that would be one man and one woman declaring marriage and becomin a husband if male, wife if female. No disrespect or rights violations intended, no one will challenge the reality of "unions." "partnerships," "parings" or some new and creative words to uniquely describe same sex and polygamous contracts? Probably too late now, but just a thought. Gotta go, play nice y'all!

18 November 2011 at 19:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Avi: "So, I was, like, thinking again: Why cannot the words "marriage," "husband" and "wife" be similarly reserved, through Parliamentary acts, in tune with their universal and traditional use in our society?"

Why stop there? As we're a CofE country by long tradition as far as the state religion goes, we could monopolise the word "Christianity" to mean the CofE version of Christianity in order to avoid any possible confusion in the UK. Catholicism and other sideshows could call their special versions something else, such as Popeianity in the case of Catholics. As you say, an Act of Parliament to that effect would do, rather like the EU securing the name Stilton solely for the famous Leicestershire commestible.

18 November 2011 at 19:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Pope John Paul II kissed the Koran (which denies that God ever had a Son)this is far more offensive to me.
Coming to the inter faith question which the Pope seems to be drawn towards, the main thing separating Catholicism and Islam IMO is the Divinity of Jesus Christ.
If a compromise could be arranged on this issue then the path would be wide open to come to' an agreement'.
Compromise seems to have been the way forward for Catholicism right from the word 'go', compromise and assimilation.
In fact Catholicism has compromised and assimilated so much that even Jesus Himself would not recognise any elements of the 'church' He founded.

18 November 2011 at 19:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. The Inspector notes that the homosexual condition includes exhibitionism. These chaps would dress in their mothers clothes and wear her high heels when they were younger, shouting “Look at me, daddy”. Now as adults, they’re back in the limelight, trying to impose their unfortunate condition on the rest of us. What to do !

18 November 2011 at 20:03  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Many Catholics were also scandalised by some aspects of John Paul's eccumenicalism. I think you'll find this policy is under revision within the Church after 40 years with litle progress. When does respect for another's belief system become cooperation with and acceptance of, heresy and apostasy?

Catholicism never absorbs pagan or heretical beliefs. It's bloody history demonstates that! If you look at this correctly you'll understand that it meets with other cultures and belief systems, converses with these and points out Christian truths and converts. Actually, this is what it was doing in China with considerable success until the 'in your face' prostentant sects arrived and triggered the slaughter of 20 millions.

Catholicism does not assimilate or compromise the Truth. Indeed, some 'traditionalists' say the modernist 'liberals' went too far at Vatican II in moving too near Protestantism.

18 November 2011 at 21:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you need to do some research and a lot of Bible reading and try to find out exactly where the roots of Catholicism are embedded.

You will be very surprised and not a little shocked.

The difficulty you will experience is trying to read the Bible without preconceptions.

18 November 2011 at 22:20  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

You suppose I have not!

I've trod their crooked highways and studied these devilish accounts. They are designed to rob you of your faith. Unless you are very strong minded they will drag you under. I've witnessed the consequences.

18 November 2011 at 23:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Just shows what unpleasantries happen when odd balls read the bible, home in on specific texts, and get the spirit of truth wrong...

18 November 2011 at 23:29  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

It's been a big part of my life's work to study the deceit and deceptions of the Great Liar. His influence, like dry rot fungai, quietly speads and then results in a sudden and catastrophic collapse.

What never ceases to amaze me is the time and energy individuals devote to studying these lies and seeking out 'evidence'. They misread the Bible - a dangerous text for the vulnerable. Instead, they could be reading the authentic seers of the Church and the messages passed to mankind through them.

In the words of Dylan: "A hard rain's gonna fall ..."

18 November 2011 at 23:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Just because I like to be contrarian at times.

It's true that no one has a right not to be offended. It is also true that certain opinions have much greater access to public platforms then other opinions. The purveyors of those certain opinions often feel it is their absolute right and privilege to use that access to heap scorn and ridicule on those they consider their intellectual inferiors. Any 'offense' they might feel in return from others' opinions is mitigated by the fact that those offensive opinions have no official standing in the public square. The 'offense' then serves only to re-enforce their own sense of righteousness. It doesn't actually cost them anything.

The other side is confronted by a powerful public manifestation of society that denigrates and ridicules its most cherished beliefs. Against this denigration it has no effective response. The 'offense' is real but it has no redress. The other side has no access to the public platforms necessary to effectively respond. Its position is filtered by those who would denigrate it. This is what causes the anger. They have been made contemptible in the service of the cause of another, and there is nothing they can do about it.

So while 'offense' is not an actionable condition, remember that the consequence of 'offense' is also not equally distributed. It is one thing to be offended and told "You are right to be offended. All rational people would be offended." It is quite another to be told "Well, if you weren't so morally deficient and stupid, you wouldn't be offended." It makes a difference whether the indignation is honored, or whether the offense is honored.

Of course, one effective response to offense - the one preferred by Muslims - is to kill the offender. One is reminded of Salman Rushdie. He thought it quite an amusing and proper task to micturate all over the religion he rejected. His former co-religionists disagreed. The chattering classes have learned much from Salman Rushdie affair. And we have learned much about the chattering classes because of their reaction.


19 November 2011 at 05:22  
Blogger whitespacebug said...

If only Catholics seemed as outraged by the apalling record of child sexual abuse within their church. Seems to me the picture could have been a lot more offensive and a good deal more truthful.

19 November 2011 at 06:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dodo, You are terrified to actually find out that you have been lied to.
All your illusions will be swept away and what will you be left with?.

The answer to that is the Truth , only the Truth will set you free,BUT to find the Truth(the pearl of Great price) there is a price to pay.

You will have to surrender your pride!.

19 November 2011 at 09:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. It's been a big part of my life's work to study the deceit and deceptions of the Great Liar.

Do you mean Len or Satan, or are they both the same ?

19 November 2011 at 09:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the Pharisees accused Jesus of having a demon and doing His healing`s through demonic power so really(as a follower of Jesus ) I must expect the same treatment exactly as Jesus predicted.

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.(John 15:18)

19 November 2011 at 09:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. I must expect the same treatment exactly as Jesus predicted.

We are a sanctimonious little s__t this morning, aren't we....

19 November 2011 at 10:25  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

The Accuser always has agents spreading deception and discord - knowingly or unknowingly. The Church has been under attack for millenia, from internal and external enemies of truth.

It's best to ignore some commentators and avoid getting drawn into games.

“ ... the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
(Ephesians 6:16)

19 November 2011 at 11:25  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo @ 12:26:

Indeed, Fry, that lickspittal oracle of the 'luvvies' has sold his credence for a mess of potage.

An excellent writer, perhaps the greatest living exponent of the English form; a grammarian of genius even; but he mars the greatness of his works by forever banging-on about homosexuality.

Not so much a ''national treasure'' as the 'squatting toad' of the new 'righteousness'.

19 November 2011 at 16:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


'The Accuser always has agents spreading deception and discord - knowingly or unknowingly. The Church has been under attack for millenia, from internal and external enemies of truth'

I believe the name for them is ...Jesuits.

19 November 2011 at 16:52  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...


They were not the principler group I had in mind although I suppose they have had their share of heretics and deceivers too. A fine order, formed originally to oppose the protestant heretics and apostates.

Are you avoiding Albert? He's been waiting patiently two threads down for a discussion about salvation by faith and works.

19 November 2011 at 18:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Discussion in its loosest meaning.

19 November 2011 at 19:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drum roll ,Bring on your big guns Dodo, wheel out.....(sharp intake of breath)...the formidable.. the invincible...the indestructible.... dah de dah de dah..... trumpet fanfare...........Albert

(apologies to Albert)

19 November 2011 at 19:51  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The chair awaits.

19 November 2011 at 21:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah there you are Len . We were expecting the proposed bout between you and Albert. But of course, Saturday afternoon is when you don your ‘End of the World is Nigh’ sandwich board and irritate the town’s shoppers...

20 November 2011 at 00:58  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 November 2011 at 01:51  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

This post is too 'liberal' for my liking.

The Holy See may be ready to continue on the path of interreligious dialogue and cooperation but let's be clear what this means.

The Assisi neeting on Thursday, October 27, 2011 was an ecumenical discussion in commemmoration of the first 1986 meeting.

There was no interdenominational prayer service. No common prayer to the Gods of Islam, Budhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and assorted Animists. The Pope's view is that while discussion is good, theological differences cannot be ignored and Catholic teaching must not be compromised.

No one world religion smoothing over the truth of the Gospel.

20 November 2011 at 02:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems that Karol Wojtyla was something of a 'loose canon'. At the Pope’s first pan-religious meeting at Assisi in October 1986, Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, Animist Snake Worshipers, Native American, and other religions converged to pray for peace. Representatives from the religions stood together with Pope John Paul II, giving a visual endorsement to the prominent error of our time, that any religion is good enough for salvation.During the 1986 Assisi event, the various religions were encouraged to offer their false worship. Muslims chanted to their god Allah; African animists, in colorful off-the-shoulder togas, invoked the spirits of trees and plants to come to the aid of peace; an American Indian conducted a pagan ritual, offering stentorian intonations against the evil sprits in the Crow language, waving a straw fan like a magic wand.False worship was also permitted inside of Catholic Churches. At the Church of San Pietro, Buddhists, led by the Dalai Lama, placed a statue of Buddha atop the tabernacle, and set scrolls and incense burners a-round it. Even the Vatican’s Cardinal Oddi voiced public disapproval of the Assisi outrage:

“On that day ... I walked through Assisi ... And I saw real profanations in some places of prayer. I saw Buddhists dancing around the altar upon which they placed Buddha in the place of Christ and then incensed it and showed it reverence. A Benedictine protested and the police took him away ... There was obvious confusion in the faces of the Catholics who were assisting at the ceremony.”

(Infallible Popes?)

20 November 2011 at 09:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 November 2011 at 10:35  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Are you avoiding Albert? He's been waiting patiently two threads down for a discussion about salvation by faith and works."

Dodo, how come you like to play Albert's obsequious lackey in this regard, whether he wants it or not, yet when you tried it with me and I offered you the chance to give me a good drubbing instead, you were off like a shot? It's basically an admission that's you're simply not up to the job yourself but rather hope Albert will do instead while you try to push from the sidelines. Not a great look, is it?

20 November 2011 at 10:35  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...


This just shows you up for the little cry baby you are. You accuse Albert of having some sort of sexual fixation on you. Sheer paranoia. He was trying to discuss matters patiently and logically with you. The 'challenge me' to debate yet again your lifestyle. No thank you. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt.

I don't have the patience for either you or len. A debate was offered to len and Albert asked myself and the Inspector to back off. We did.

You're welcome to one another now your forming a cosy alliance. Talk your disorder over with him and see how tolerant and understanding he is.

20 November 2011 at 12:21  
Blogger milany said...

For me supposedly this action should not be done by a pope especially that they are so particular w/ their vows of celibacy, actually as a greetings, they can hug, but kissing its not supposedly.

20 November 2011 at 12:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dodo(12:21) I don`t condemn anyone(as the Lord Jesus didn`t how can I presume to?.)
Convicting people of their need for a Saviour is another matter though.

(must go now, I think the blog police someone called DI is monitoring me (could be Dodo or the Inspector creating a new persona D + I = Di? how interesting they certainly know how to keep a chap amused!.

20 November 2011 at 12:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Strange bedfellows indeed, DanJ0 and Len ! The atheist and the would be destroyer of organised Christian religion. When you come to your end Len, Satan will recognise you for one of his own, and drag you screaming to your hellish eternity...So it is written (...on this blog...). {INSPECTOR SNORTS}

20 November 2011 at 14:37  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

Inspector, indeed! They make a good couple and really should engage in a conversation about Grace, rebirth and living according to the precepts of the Bible.

len, you have a mercurial theology. Jesus never condemned anybody? Apart from the Pharasitical system, you mean. Through His teaching and parables He most certainly warned people of the consequences of not accepting Him Him and, in so doing, changing their behaviours and lifes. Funny how you never seem to refer to Jesus' teachings about what unity with Him means for one's conduct.

20 November 2011 at 14:56  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

len, are you homosexual in orientation? I wont tell anybody if you are, promise. I can understand how this might cause you to abandon Catholicism.

20 November 2011 at 14:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 November 2011 at 15:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Strange bedfellows indeed, DanJ0 and Len ! The atheist and the would be destroyer of organised Christian religion."

Hardly. I recall booting Len, Blofeld and someone else for persecuting Dodo in the same manner that you and Dodo are persecuting him now. That didn't make Dodo and me strange bedfellows either. Lordy, I couldn't stand the shame if a numbnut like Dodo attached himself to me. How you don't constantly blush is a mystery. In fact, how the whole bunch of you can claim a personal relationship with your god and behave how you do is astonishing. If he actually exists then I bet even Jesus blushes and rather wishes you'd feck off to Islam or something and drag that even more into disrepute than claim to be Christians. Dear oh dear.

20 November 2011 at 15:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dodo, you certainly do make me laugh!.
So now I am accused of being a heretic,hating other Christians, a liar and now a 'gay'(well according to you at least.)

Is there anything else you would care to add to the list?.

I actually would have a lot more respect for an honest' gay' than a dishonest 'believer' who attempts to draw people away from the true faith.

As you say the ONLY people who Jesus did condemn were the religious order of the day...the Pharisees who piled loads on men`s back.'They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.'Matthew 23:4)

20 November 2011 at 15:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0 old chap, you did mean numbnut like Len attached himself to me. of course.

Certainly not a dig at you, someone who does exactly as it says on the tin, but Len himself, who the Inspector believes tends to make it up as he goes. No, indeed it was a warning that he may sidle over and befriend you, as he rules out nothing when it comes to spreading his vile message.

No more on The Persecution of Len please. He loves it – sees it as another endorsement of his fixation with Jesus. Perhaps a psychiatrist viewing these events can give a professional opinion...

20 November 2011 at 16:07  
Blogger Oswin said...

DanJO @ 15:12:

Well said! Oops, sorry - I forgot that you don't much like me agreeing with you either! :o)

Dodo @ 14:58: there are times my lad, when you border upon the repellant. Note: admonished, for the sake of argument: by a right-wing, racist of dubious character; and NOT by a wishy-washy liberal or, some simpering 'Happy-Clapper' ...if I say you're 'bad' then you really need to give it some thought.

20 November 2011 at 16:22  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

I acknowledge your admonishment and the spirit in which it was offered.

Have no fear I have no intention of (cough) attaching myself to you (cough). What you and len choose to do in private is entirely up to the pair of you.

Don't bother .... I know!

20 November 2011 at 16:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Have no fear I have no intention of (cough) attaching myself to you (cough)."

Well, I'm available again now as it looks like Len has become the new focus of your idol's attention. I'm thinking that Len is as uncompliant and unsubmissive as me, though more quiet with it, so things should get interesting there. It already looks like the tone is being set.

21 November 2011 at 08:05  
Blogger Dodo's Way said...

Feeling neglected?

Not my"idol" just a good role model. How I wish I could be so patient and reasonable! Actually, the discussion is interesting and informative.

21 November 2011 at 15:13  
Blogger Symon said...

Good post, Caroline. While I don't agree with your views on sexuality, I'm delighted to see you point out that there is no right not to be offended.

21 November 2011 at 15:24  

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