Thursday, November 30, 2006

Benedict's Turkey Trip Day 3

I was thinking that I hope EWTN puts together a DVD of the Pope's trip to Turkey since I would really like to be able to watch a lot of this stuff again when I have more time. I did catch some of his visit to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque this morning, but I'd like the chance to watch it and take it all in. has an article up called Pope Benedict and Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew Pledge Joint Pro-Life Efforts.

"Catholics and Orthodox are called to work together," the joint declaration says, "to promote respect for the rights of every human being, created in the image and likeness of God."

If you take a look at Lino Rulli's website he has pictures from his visit to Turkey in the past. He's got some great shots of some of the same places that the Pope has been visiting including Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Mary's House. You even have the chance to see an ancient men's bathroom.

Isn't it strange that so many of the city's greatest buildings have been destroyed...but the bathroom is completely intact?

I learned that guys used to spend hours here - seriously. Men sit next to each other as if it were a board room and do business. So to speak.

And in the winter months, they'd make their servants sit there to warm up the marble. That's disturbing.

I found this article about how the Pope hardens his tone on the third day of his trip, but I seem to think that this is what he has been saying all along. Let's see Pope Benedict XVI pushing for religious and minority rights, and stressing Europe's Christian roots, yeah this is all new.

Father Jonathan has a post up called The Pope in a Mosque - Dialogue or Idolatry? I hadn't really thought too much about it, but I know one of the beefs the very traditional Catholics (and probably some other people) had with John Paul II when he visited a Mosque and kissed the Koran. I always viewed this as more of a polite gesture rather than an equalizing of the faiths, but I imagine it will come up again with Benedict's trip now. I thought Fr. Jonathan was onto something when he said this...

The goodness Pope Benedict will be promoting today here in Istanbul is not the Quran or the prophet Mohammad; it is the honest piety of many Muslim believers. He believes that when they pray, if they do so sincerely, the same God who listens to him in papal robes and to the homeless man with no robes at all, also listens to them.

Pope Benedict would be the first to defend the Christian Biblical tradition that affirms all salvation comes through Jesus Christ, but he equally defends the notion that we don't know how God will work out the details of giving equal opportunity to all of his creatures, some of whom have never heard of the man.

Whatever problems anyone or myself has with Islam I think you do have to respect the beliefs of the majority of Muslims who are good and peaceful people who pray fervently. I wouldn't look forward to all the email responses he's going to get on his column though.

Bill Donohue and the Catholic League have something to say about the media's portrayal of Benedict's opinions on the entrance of Turkey to the EU. Check it out.


I know its not something that is going to happen any time soon, but wouldn't it be wonderful to breach the divide between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches?

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Catholic and politically conservative, I graduated with a BA in History (concentration in American) and Political Science. I'm between two parishes; one in Wisconsin that is fairly traditional, and one in Illinois that is fairly liberal. I teach CCD. I work in the food service industry, which basically means I'm working in fast food until I find a better job. I'd like to work for the church somehow. Right now I'm working on getting my teaching certification, although I'm unsure thats the correct path for me. This blog is as random as I am. I hope you enjoy.