Rorate Caeli

A Papal explanation

And Cardinal Bertone was right when he decided to issue this declaration: the lives and property of countless Christians in Muslim lands could depend on it.

But one can almost hear the secular media, a few decades from now, condemning the Papacy for its "silence" regarding the Islamic menace, as they do to Pius XI and Pius XII, of glorious memory, decades after their brave, yet prudent, stand in favor of righteousness and justice in an age of darkness.


  1. You are right. It is a terrible tightrope the Holy Father is required to walk, just like Pius XII.

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  3. Can we see any possible possession in the images we are seeing? Intense hatred and violence, such as we are seeing in response to the Holy Father's comments, can only come from one place and work through those who serve at the table of the devil.

  4. Thank you New Catholic. You are very insightful.

  5. You are so right.I have always defended Pius XII but now I more fully understand what he was up against and why the Dutch bishops asked him NOT to issue any condemnations of Nazism.This ,however is worse,the Moslems are on the verge of getting a nuclear bomb and they are all over the earth.

  6. A tersely brilliant couple of observations.

    I would merely add that you have read and thought about the lecture, unlike most. As your excerpt before the brouhaha shows, the talk was not ABOUT the Muslims. The purpose of the quotation from the Emperor was to highlight the POINT OF VIEW, the place from which Christian response begins....that of Reasonable Faith. Islam was merely the backdrop or contrast for that illustration. The fact that the answer of the Persian scholar was not preserved leaves the door open for the development of a response...not just from Muslims but more importantly from modern secular culture.

    But the wonderful media seized on what could be seized on, tearing it from its context, and made off with the prize, shouting for everyone to "Look and see!"

    Naturally, Muslims--who are certainly no MORE rational than the rest of us--got offended at what could not be understood without a sympathetic approach to the whole.

    And equally naturally, Pope Benedict, who really had no intention to offend Muslim sensibilities, was genuinely distraught and sorrowful at the reaction and would, I believe, have expressed his sorrow even had their been no danger to Catholics.

    Muslims, it's true, have a hair trigger and overly violent reaction to slights against their "Prophet". But in some ways, that's better than the supine indifference with which we Christians regard the grossest insults directed at the holy things of God. In any case, few Christians would wish to give offense for its own sake, without careful regard for the needs of the situation and the feelings of others.

  7. Indeed not, the tightrope is not the same in both cases. Pope Pius XII faced a World War environment. It was better to work clandestinely and save lives which The Church achieved, and to make veiled public criticisms over the radio which he did. Had he been more open he would most likely be condemned today for not considering how he was putting jewish lives in danger, among others. At no time did Pope Pius XII ever compromise The Faith.

    Today, on the other hand, it is a case of a post-conciliar church which has so compromised itself with the world and the human institutions to which it now belongs, such as the masonic UNO, it is unable to defend what is right other than the right to life in the womb and heterosexual marriage which many non-Catholics defend anyway.

    Modernist twin obsessions with ecumenism and interreligious "dialogue" have asphyxiated correct Catholic thinking on what is true religion and what is false and have seriously impaired the church's ability to defend and propagate The Faith of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

    Had The Church continued along the normal orthodox pathway of evangelisation then such a situation as this would never have happened. Resultant double-sided apologies for sentiments expressed in public only serve to highlight such a dilemma.

  8. Mack,

    Have you no love for the Pope? Are you that far from communion with him that you fail to consider his point of view? You excuse Pius XII as acting prudently, but do not even consider that Benedict XVI is attempting to doing the same?

    Disagree with him, dispute him reasonably, but don't condemn his every action as "post-conciliar" syndrome. Clearly he can do no right in your eyes. What a sad, sad lack of hope. We should all pray for those who lack hope, they are in great need.

  9. I love The Holy Father more than you can understand Matt.

    On this issue he had no need to apologise for anything. I support his comment wholly. It is the Truth.

    Also, you make false comparisons here between Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict XVI. There is almost nothing to compare. These were two absolutely different situations.
    As I wrote elsewhere on this site - I work in a sensitive area where comments like this are concerned but Our Blessed Lord gave us an example to follow - even to death on the cross. Many early Christians even prayed for martyrdom. However, we have had so much fudge and compromise since VC II that many catholics are unable to understand what our Faith really means. It does not consist of hanging on every word emanating from a pope as though it is something infallible to be obeyed. Pope Paul VI even said himself VC II was not infallible. Much of the thinking & consequent behaviour which it has spawned is un-Catholic. On this occasion, The Holy Father was approaching the style of a true pontiff but the aftermath is out of key with customary norm.

    And, where these other religions are concerned - are they false or not? are they salvific or not? Evidently, since Pope Paul VI's pontificate there has been a sea change on this. Pope JP (RIP)II was wrong to change normal Catholic teaching on islam and the other religions since he altered the sensus fidelium on this issue and what Sacred Scripture has to say about false religion. They are evil and inhuman. How can we "esteem" their followers? Look at the way they behave and in public, too. More appropriately, Our Blessed Lord told us to act with charity toward our neighbour - but "esteem"?

    Pope Benedict XVI appears to have a different rationale on this topic, and several others too, and he should have the liberty under God's law to express this view in its proper context. But post-conciliar pluralist and relativised norms and values have put him in such a position. This is tragic and intolerable. It is this nonsense which hampers his efforts to make The Latin Mass universally available as it should be according to customary papal authority. This time, of course, the oppostion comes from within not without.

  10. You are wrong Mack. In 1994, John Paul II criticized Islam much more sharply than Benedict XVI. He called Islam a precise name for the great protest against God's closeness. He also said that anyone who reads that Old and New Testaments and then reads the Koran sees a prccess by which it completely reduces divine revelation.

    To say that John Paul II changed the Church's teaching on Islam is false. His criticisms were more precise than any pope before or since. All he did was improve the attitude toward Islam in oreder to criticise it with greater credibility.


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