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one for the Gipper

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 16, 2006

The Holy Father is under attack. Loyal Catholics will rally to his side. Won't they?

And since the attacks involve a scholarly presentation that he delivered to an academic audience, we'll be looking for help especially from the learned professors at our leading Catholic universities. Won't we?

Silence.

No! Wait! Here's something-- from the PR department at the University of Notre Dame. At last the doughty Catholics of American academe are coming to the Pope's defense. Aren't they?

The press release from Notre Dame quotes Father O'Riordan, of the theology department, saying that the Pope's speech in Regensburg was "brilliant," and explaining the context of his remarks on Islam.

OK, I admit: I made that up. There is no Father O'Riordan. And although there is a theology department at Notre Dame (more's the pity), I haven't heard from them yet (which, come to think of it, is probably just as well).

But there was a press release from the Golden Dome. That part was true.

A. Rashied Omar, research scholar of Islamic studies, says that the Pope's words "were unwise and unhelpful."

"Unhelpful" is the word he used.

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Show 16 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Sterling - Sep. 19, 2006 3:32 PM ET USA

    Maybe they should have rallied loyally to his side and said, "What the Holy Father said really helped! As a result of what he included in his speech, now many Muslims are beginning to consider rejecting irrationality and violence. They want to talk about this among themselves and with themselves and others. "And, if you think it is impossible for a Pope to make a mistake, even with the best of intentions, you obviously are simple!"

  • Posted by: Canismater - Sep. 19, 2006 6:18 AM ET USA

    Of course, grasshopper Parochus, of course. And he also meant twentieth century Franciscans in Auschwitz, and 17th century Jesuits in the new world, and many others. You are learning well...

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Sep. 18, 2006 6:13 PM ET USA

    Odd. How come uber theo-stud Richard McBrien doesn't come out swinging and say that Mohammed was not literally assumed into heaven? Come on Fr McBrien, we transcendental, non celibate levitators are counting on you!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 18, 2006 4:38 PM ET USA

    Most of the bishops have been VERY quiet. I am reminded about something Cardinal Ottaviani said when the idea of episcopal collegiality with the Pope came up during Vatican II. He was against the whole thing and said the only scriptural passage he could come up with was: "They all fled." Sounds like it's happening again.

  • Posted by: parochus - Sep. 18, 2006 4:10 PM ET USA

    Got me there, Canismater. I'm sure Jesus meant that the Holy See shouldn't worry about nuns getting killed by radical Muslims because of misinterpretations of Papal statements by the BBC.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 18, 2006 11:43 AM ET USA

    It is good to see that orthodoxy is alive and well at ND. Too bad it is found only in the Islamic studies department.

  • Posted by: Canismater - Sep. 18, 2006 9:32 AM ET USA

    Parochus, in light of this past Sunday's Gospel (Mark 8:27-35), perhaps you're thinking not like God does but like human beings do. "For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it."

  • Posted by: - Sep. 17, 2006 12:15 PM ET USA

    The Pope simply repeated a dialogue between a long dead emperor and a Muslim. The issue:Muslim violence. What is necessary for Muslims to do in this case is react by asserting their non-violence, not burning Christians or their churches. However, their reaction reminds me of an old one liner: Support mental health or I'll kill you.

  • Posted by: parochus - Sep. 17, 2006 5:15 AM ET USA

    Don't be too quick to condemn the Secretary of State for backpedalling here. They're somewhat worried about priests and religious around the world getting killed. Somewhat reminiscent of Pacelli in the 30's...

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Sep. 16, 2006 7:51 PM ET USA

    Look at the bright side Uncle Di. Cardinal McCarrick, wherever he is right now, is squirming like a jitterbug at a cornroast, as Dan Rather would say.

  • Posted by: Lucius - Sep. 16, 2006 7:18 PM ET USA

    I was sorry to see the Pope and the Secretary of State scramble to respond to the Muslim protest. In point of fact there are countless Muslims today who attack innocents, kill, maim and force Islam on others while persecuting Christians and Jews. These Muslims are not condemned by the others. They bear out the Emperor's remarks. This is the face of Islam. It's up to so-called moderate Muslims to show that the face of Islam can be otherwise rather than have the nerve to demand apologies.

  • Posted by: Gino - Sep. 16, 2006 1:24 PM ET USA

    Dare we hope our USCCB might stand up and defend the Pope. I suppose that would be too much to ever expect. The silence from "Americachurch" will be underwhelming.

  • Posted by: 123456 - Sep. 16, 2006 1:16 PM ET USA

    Point well taken, Diogenes. Nice to see you back on track. But I wonder whether Omar got his account of the Pope's words from CWNews. If he had been reading CWNews & your very own offerings this week, he would have learned that, despite the transparently futile efforts of softening agents Lombardi & Bertone to hide the truth, the Pope, with "obvious approval" of Manuel II, adopted the Emperor's words as his own. Some comments truly are unwise and unhelpful.

  • Posted by: miasarx - Sep. 16, 2006 11:25 AM ET USA

    B16 is awesome. What he's saying is simple: to both radical Islam and secular positivist atheism: don't tell us what we can and can't talk about, *reason* about. Europe wake up! Islam wake up! The former denies faith, the latter denies reason. They are Scylla and Charybdis. Only Christianity understands the necessity of both faith and reason. Logike latreia!!! B16, don't back down! Don't apologise! God bless all who are fighting the good fight.

  • Posted by: Catholicity - Sep. 16, 2006 11:09 AM ET USA

    If Notre Dame is about as Catholic as Bob Jones University.

  • Posted by: benedictusoblatus - Sep. 16, 2006 11:03 AM ET USA

    Mr. Omar is incorrect in his choice of terms. To say that the pope's words were "unhelpful" isn't true, but rather they were "inopportune." The theology department at Notre Dame is doubtless preoccupied by the fortunes of the Notre Dame football team who face Michigan in South Bend today. Perhaps they will have time to address these concerns in the spring?

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