The Failure of the Church



VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI says peace in the Middle East is possible, urgently needed and the best way to stop the emigration of people from the region.  The Catholic church has long been a minority in the largely Muslim region but its presence is shrinking further as a result of conflict, discrimination and economic problems.

Cluebat: the limits of “interfaith Dialogue”

Two Lebanese Catholic prelates questioned the feasibility of dialogue with Islam during discussions  at the Synod of Bishops. (Catholic Culture)

Pope urges Mideast countries (Arab Muslims)  to guarantee freedom of worship to non-Muslims

I’m sure they’ll jump at the chance:

Pope Benedict called on Islamic countries in the Middle East on Sunday to guarantee freedom of worship to non-Muslims and said peace in the region was the best emedy for a worrying exodus of Christians. (I hope for his sake that he doesn’t blame the Jews… but it sure sounds like it.) Haaretz


Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it’s not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn’t Catholic enough.  (The Blaze)

Israeli FM: Catholic Bishops’ Synod “has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda”

According to this report, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Cyril Bustros “then escalated the situation by declaring that the original promises made by God to the children of Israel ‘were nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people.'”

Robert Spencer comments:

If this is accurate, then it must be said that in his haste to parrot the jihadist political agenda, Archbishop Cyril contradicts the Catholic Church’s teaching that “the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures” (Nostra Aetate 4). Moreover, God “does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle” (Nostra Aetate 4) — a reference to Paul the Apostle’s statement concerning the Jews that “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).

Ever since the beginnings of Arab nationalism, Christian Arabs have identified with Muslims politically and culturally, in what was at least initially an attempt to blunt the force of the jihad against them by creating a foundation for an accord that was not religious, and allowed Christians and Muslims to coexist on equal terms — a sharp departure from the institutionalized discrimination of dhimmitude.

But as the great historian Bat Ye’or has pointed out, this attempt was foredoomed, and indeed, it has already failed. This was because for Muslims Islam was always the heart of the Arab identity in any case — as was succinctly summed up by pioneering Arab nationalist Michel Aflaq: “Arab nationalism is Islam.” And as long as Islam continued to exist, the imperative to subjugate the Christians would eventually reappear, since it had not been reformed or rejected by any ulama. And so it has.

The Christian Arabs would have been much better off allying with their fellow dhimmis, the Jews. And indeed, only in Israel, alone among Middle Eastern countries, has the Christian population grown since 1948. As this report notes: “Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was absurd that the Jewish state had been condemned since Israel is the only country in the region where Christians are actually thriving. According to statistics he provided, there were some 151,700 Christians in Israel last year, compared with 132,000 in 1999 and 107,000 two decades ago.”

Yet the bishops in their synod this week single out only Israel for particular criticism, and was relatively silent about the jihad doctrine, the Arab states’ support for it, and its cardinal role in sabotaging any peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. It is shameful, and indeed, makes me ashamed today to be a Melkite Greek Catholic.

“Israel slams ‘political attacks’ by Catholic bishops,” from AFP, October 24:

JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday slammed critical remarks made by Middle East Catholic bishops after a meeting chaired by Pope Benedict XVI as “political attacks” on the Jewish state.”We express our disappointment that this important synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best history of Arab propaganda,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a statement.

“The synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority,” he added….

“Recourse to theological and biblical positions which use the Word of God to wrongly justify injustices is not acceptable,” the synod said.

Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, head of the commission which drew up the statement, went one step further, saying: “The theme of the Promised Land cannot be used as a basis to justify the return of the Jews to Israel and the expatriation of the Palestinians.”

“For Christians, one can no longer talk of the land promised to the Jewish people,” the Lebanese-born head of the Greek Melkite Church in the United States said, because the “promise” was “abolished by the presence of Christ.”

Ayalon said he was “especially appalled” at those remarks.

“We call on the Vatican to (distance) themselves from Archbishop Bustros’s comments, which are a libel against the Jewish people and the state of Israel and should not be construed as the Vatican’s official position.”…

I join that call.

The jihad against Israel as game theory

Fascinating. “Israel’s Conflict as Game Theory,” by Yisrael Aumann, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2005 for his work on analyzing conflicts using game theory. This piece was posted at Israel Defender on October 23: (Jihad Watch)

Other links:

6 thoughts on “The Failure of the Church”

  1. * Delusional:


    Literally, and prophetically. If the Pope read the Bible, he would find the following on the results of this “urgently needed peace”…

    “For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. While they are saying “Peace and safety!” then in a moment destruction falls upon them, like birth-pains on a woman who is with child; and escape there is none.”
    (1 Thessalonians 5:2&3, referring to conditions when Jesus Christ returns)

    There are consequences for hopping into the cot with allah & its “prophet”.


    Bishops Ask UN to Help Bridge Israeli-Palestinian Divide

    [The bishops met with Pope Benedict before issuing their statement Saturday, which called for an end to Israeli “occupation” of Palestinian land, and for progress toward “an independent and sovereign homeland” for Palestinians. ]

    Again, if the Pope read his Bible, he might notice this: “In that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates:” (Genesis 15:18)

    As far as I know, the covenant is still in effect.

  3. Ecumenical dialogue might occasionally bear some fruit between like-minded Christian faiths (eg Baptists, Methodists, etc) but islam and anything else is like nuclear fission – critical mass…BANG!

    While I am no fan of catholocism, as Mullah says if they were to read the Bible it is absolutley clear.
    I like Obadiah 15… “ For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near;
    As you have done, it shall be done to you;
    Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.

  4. I don’t think the Catholic Church is too flash on the exposition of Biblical doctrine; I think their go is mainly adherence to the traditions that have been added on like so many coats of unnecessary paint down the centuries.

    The notion that the promises made by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have been nullified by the coming of Jesus is unscriptural and very disappointing to hear from the Catholic Church hierarchy.

  5. I have since given up being a christian since they have lost their courage and are condoning the persecution of Christians in the whole world. I have to watch as the churches do nothing when christ is portrayed as a homosexual and art that dicriminates again mu fotmer religion. I am tired of people beig persecuted in every Muslim country and they say not a world. Theyblame Israel for all the ills in the world because they do not have the balls to speak out about the rotten ideology that is islam. Now the catholic church will not spea the truth, It is too much.

    I am thoroughly discusted with the CHristian church

  6. Jihad Watch by Robert Spencer

    The pope must speak up against the demonizing of Israel and the blind eye turned to jihad at the Vatican Synod

    The Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Cyril Bustros and the bishops who supported his position at the Synod were behaving like classic dhimmis: adopting the perspective and agenda of the dominant Muslim majority (including antisemitism), remaining silent about Islamic supremacist persecution of their communities, and hoping thereby to curry favor with the dominant group and ease the sting of that persecution. It’s an understandable impulse, but when they have to outrage the truth, deny reality and the teachings of their own church, and acquiesce to injustice and evil instead of standing against it, they’re doing more harm than good, and ultimately aren’t protecting their communities from anything.

    More on this story. “Editorial: The pope must speak up,” from the Jerusalem Post, October 25:

    Bishops from this region have distorted both church teachings and the facts to sully Israel, while the Vatican has remained silent.
    In the name of radical Islamic-inspired nationalism, Mideast Christians of all denominations, including Catholics, have faced devastating persecution for their religious convictions. From the Gaza Strip and Egypt to Iraq to Turkey, Christians have been murdered, had their churches burned to the ground and their holy books destroyed, and have been demoted to secondclass citizens exposed to libels and exploitation by Muslim neighbors.

    Ostensibly with the purpose of addressing these injustices and stemming the tide of a dwindling Christian population in the Mideast, Pope Benedict XVI convened a special Vatican Synod in Rome, composed of about 200 bishops mostly from Muslim countries. Yet these bishops hijacked the synod and issued a statement Saturday that all but ignored the plight of Catholics living in Muslim lands while singling out Israel’s “occupation” for special castigation.

    One of the synod’s leaders, Greek Melkite Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, even reiterated anti-Semitic theological positions that contradicted official Catholic positions as stated in Nostra Aetate, a groundbreaking interfaith document drafted in October 1965 during the Second Vatican Council that radically revamped the Church’s previous negative views of the Jewish people.

    Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs, has now called on the Vatican to issue a clear repudiation of Bustros’s “outrageous and regressive comments.” We firmly join him in that call.

    So do I.

    IT IS an undeniable fact that the bulk of Christian persecution in the Mideast is perpetrated in the name of radical Islam….
    However, of the top 10 countries on the list, eight are Islamic and three – Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen – are in the Middle East. Egypt and Iraq are also listed in the top 20. The “Palestinian Territories” is ranked 47, cited primarily as a conflict zone and also in part due to the strife suffered by all Gazans, Christians included, as a result of the destruction caused by Operation Cast Lead.

    Open Doors takes pains to note, however, that even before the offensive, which was directed at Hamas terrorists, not Christians, “Many [Christian] believers had already left, pressured by the growing influence of radical Islam…”

    SO, IF radical Islam is the principal persecutor of Christians in the Mideast, why was Israel singled out? Apparently, by bashing Israel, Arab Catholic bishops as a persecuted minority in the Mideast are attempting to go out of their way to prove their loyalty to their Muslim brethren….

    Bishops from this region have distorted both church teachings and the facts to sully Israel, while the Vatican has remained silent, in the process turning a blind eye to Christian suffering.

    Pope Benedict XVI still has a chance to distance himself from the synod’s declarations and make it clear that Bustros’s comments deviate from Church teaching. That is the right and necessary thing for the pope to do – not just for Jewish-Catholic relations, but also for the sake of the Middle East’s persecuted Christian minority.

    As a Melkite Greek Catholic myself, I do hope the pope does this.

    More on this story. “Editorial: The pope must speak up,” from the Jerusalem Post, October 25:

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