Thursday, November 30, 2006

The 21st Century Crusade Begins

Pope, Orthodox Patriarch join for Divine Liturgy

Well, let's consider this the beginning of a new Holy Crusade. It sounds very appealing...I would take the cross for this mission...

"I can assure you that the Catholic Church is willing to do everything possible to overcome obstacles" to full Christian unity, the Pope said. He added: "The divisions which exist among Christians are a scandal to the world and an obstacle to the proclamation of the Gospel."

I have really admired a lot of what this Pope has had to say. Current example...

Turning to the prospects for immediate cooperation, the Pontiff observed that Rome and Constantinople can work together today to revive the Christian cultural roots of European society. "The process of secularization has weakened the hold of that tradition," he said; "indeed it is being called into question and even rejected." All Christians, the Pope said, share a responsibility "to renew Europe's awareness of its Christian roots, traditions, and values, giving them new vitality."

As for the response of Patriarch Bartholomew, I'll have to meditate and pray on his words...

The Divine Liturgy, the Patriarch observed, points the Christian community in three directions: "toward the kingdom of heaven where the angels celebrate; toward the celebration of the liturgy through the centuries; and toward the heavenly kingdom to come." In this "overwhelming continuity with heaven as well as with history," he said, the Church finds the principle on which Christian unity must be based.

But taken with the Pope's superb handling of a diplomatic mosque visit, I think this Crusade is off to a very different, and much more hopeful, start than any of the historical Crusades.

What do you think, faire knights? Can the Protestants join this effort for Christian unity without sacrificing essentials of faith? Likewise, can a peaceful co-existence with believers of Islam and Judaism be maintained while waiting for Christ to return and sort it all out?

2 comments:

  1. The bible says:
    "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Mat 5:9

    It also says:

    1Pe 3:11 ...HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. 1Pe 3:12 "FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL."

    So, I applaud the Pope's attempt to make peace.

    I see a danger, however, in attempting to gain peace by giving up our faith. I don’t know if the Pope has gone that direction or not. Until we know otherwise we should assume the best about the man God has put into a position of tremendous influence

    Sir John, ever hopeful

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  2. I see a danger, however, in attempting to gain peace by giving up our faith. I don’t know if the Pope has gone that direction or not.

    I don't think that's a worry, Sir John. Cardinal Ratzinger was known as one of the most conservative of the conservatives in Rome...

    One of the best-known theologians since the 1960s and a prolific author, Benedict XVI is viewed as a defender of traditional Catholic doctrine and values and of their importance in the survival of Western civilization. He served as a professor at various German universities, and was a theological consultant at the Second Vatican Council before becoming Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal. At the time of his election as Pope, Benedict had been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (curial heads lose their positions upon the death of a pope) and was Dean of the College of Cardinals.

    During his papacy, Benedict XVI has emphasized what he sees as a need for Europe to return to fundamental Christian values in response to increasing de-Christianisation and secularisation in many developed countries. For this reason, he has identified relativism's denial of objective truth—and more particularly, the denial of moral truths—as the central problem of the 21st century. He has taught about the importance for the Catholic Church and for humanity of contemplating God's salvific love and has reaffirmed the "importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work."


    (from Wikipedia)

    My sense, for which I really pray, is that Pope Benedict has an internal power of spirit to withstand secular pressures and is granted by God longevity with which to make a significant impact. Liberal Catholic theology, especially with respect to how faithful Christians should interact with peoples of other faiths, has been a terribly degenerative influence toward relativism. I don't think Pope Benedict was praying to Allah when he visited the Mosque...my heart thrilled when I read the description of his silent prayer, lips moving, lasting slightly longer than the Islam prayer that was being recited...I could envision the "war in the heavenlies" that was being fought and won at that moment.

    Would any of ye faire knights join me in daily dedicated prayer for the New Crusader?

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