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Interfaith dialogue whirls forward

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 21, 2007

One of the following is an actual news report. The other is a fraud. Can you guess which is which?

Mevlana to be celebrated in Vatican

ANKARA - Turkish Daily News

A Mevlevi Sema dance, the spiritual whirling dance of the Sufis, will be performed at the Vatican on June 5 as part of the Dialogue Between the Religions. Organized by the Pontifical Culture Council and Turkish Embassy in Vatican, the event will be attended by Pope Benedict XVI, cardinals as well as top officials from Vatican and Italy.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Ömer Faruk Belviranli, Konya Turkish Sufism Music Ensemble Director, said the promotional activities were scheduled abroad by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Foreign Ministry to mark 2007 Mevlana Year, declared by UNESCO.

Sema dance performances have so far been performed in Pakistan, the Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of activities for Mevlana Year. On June 5, we will this time perform in the Vatican as part of Dialogue Between the Religion. "In this event we will gift an Italian language Mesnevi," a masterpiece by 13th-century Turkish philosopher and poet Mevlana Jelaladdin Rumi, to Pope Benedict XVI, he said adding, I believe that the event will be a significant and concrete one in the world especially at a time in which dialogue between religions is in focus.


Pentecostalism to be celebrated in Mecca

RIYADH - Saudi Times

Speaking in tongues, a practice of charismatic Catholics, will be performed in Mecca on June 5 as part of the Dialogue Between the Religions. Organized by the Islamic Culture Council and the Vatican, the event will be attended by the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, imams as well as top officials from Mecca and Arabia.

Speaking to the Pan-Arabic news agency, Sword of Allah, Cardinal Renato Martino, said the promotional activities were scheduled abroad by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to mark 2007 Born Again Year by UNESCO.

Charismatic rituals which include speaking in tongues, being slain in the Spirit, holy laughter, and barking like dogs, have so far been performed in Toronto and much of the Ozarks. “In this event we will gift an Arabic language copy of the revelations of Our Lady of Medjugorje, to the Grand Mufti," Martino said adding, “I believe that the event will be a significant and concrete one in the world especially at a time in which dialogue between religions is in focus.”

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Show 10 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 9:21 PM ET USA

    And which is more likely: Pope Benedict XVI instructing the dervishes on the need to embrace Jesus Christ before it is too late ... or ... the Saudis scheduling a mid-day dog and pony show on Islamic TV as the laughing barking dogs are led forth to be slain by the spirit of Islam? If the world lasts so long, our Catholic descendants in 100 years will look back on these times with deepest shame for our silence in support of Truth and our complete failure to labor for the salvation of souls.

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 2:05 PM ET USA

    That's the funniest thing I've ever read! Bravo, Diogenes!

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 12:06 PM ET USA

    Two words: Dominus Jesus. Will the real Benedict XVI please stand up?

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 11:39 PM ET USA

    Dervishes are mendicant ascetics (with vows of poverty) analagous to Christian monastics. The whirling Sufi dance of Turkey was a method to reach religious ecstacy. Today, it's largely a tourism show. The Mesnevi is a poem in rhyming couplets that course their way through stories of man's search for God. Both are heritage back to a time when the muslims were beseiging Christianity. Beyond courtesy, there may be a chance to better understand Ottoman world leverage leading up to the Great Schism.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 9:32 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, you are a genius.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 8:46 PM ET USA

    Di, this one is easy and obvious. But rather than just being comical, I do think it proves the truth of one religion - the one which is open and not afraid to seek the single lost sheep, to bring one single soul back. Having a Sufi dance in the Vatican will not destroy our Church (nor the Vatican - I was there last Saturday... it will stand). But imagine some dancers or the accompanying delegation will be struck by the beauty and splendor and sheer reason of the Catholic Church. Imagine and pray

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 7:15 PM ET USA

    I'm certain that #1 is true and #2 is false. Truth be told, though, they're both equally hideous. If #2 was supposed to be an attempt to showcase Christianity to Muslims, I would be very embarrassed, to put it mildly.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 6:54 PM ET USA

    You are wrong, or you are just pulling our leg. Surely, both are true.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 6:46 PM ET USA

    I dunno. Maybe Our Lady of Medjugorje will tell us.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 10:47 AM ET USA

    While the Sufis dance is "pentecostalism" of Islam, it is most likely that a Vatican open to dialogue and openly campaigning for religious freedom would allow such a performance. Turkey's edge of the dialectic of civilization would be more welcomed. Any expected or rational openness in Saudia Arabia to infidels to prostelytize, given filters on 'pentecostal' from the Internet, curbs on religious freedom and disallowed open practices of faith outside the confines of Wahabi Muslim would be odd.

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