Archive for the ‘Pluralism’ Category

Plunder the Philistines or Join them?

April 14, 2009

Benedict XVI used (N.B. Benedict XVI was the one whose meditations these were, yet he did not write them, nor did he actually read the aloud – for more details about this situation – see the letter from the Vatican, explaining – link) the following line in his “Good Friday” meditations: “Lead me from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.” That line is apparently taken from Brahadaranyakopanishad an Hindu writing. He also used a line from Tagore’s Gitanjali: “Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.” Furthermore, he made reference to Mahatma Ghandi. (source) None of this is wrong in itself, as long as we are plundering the Philistines, not joining them.

But the Hindu leaders praised Benedict XVI for this, rather than criticizing him for taking their scriptures in another sense than they were intended. Will we see clarification from the Vatican? I am guessing not. The zeitgeist of Vatican II is of meta-ecumenicism, which would avoid noting the fact that Catholicism must take these lines in a different sense, while promoting a semblance of unity.

I should note that Paul the Apostle plundered from the Greek poets, but when he did so he made clear that he was using these things either in the same or a different sense, depending on the context. He was not promoting ecumenicism with the Greek pagans, he was trying to convert them.

The reader can decide for themselves whether Benedict XVI was following in Paul’s footsteps or departing from them.


UPDATE: Reginald di Piperno (Roman Catholic) has provided some factual corrections to the article linked above. (link to RdP’s post) The basic point remains, as apparently it is not disputed that the various lines were spoken and that the references were welcomed by the Hindus. I’m also not sure whether RdP got the idea that plundering the Philistines is a good thing, whereas joining them is a bad thing.

UPDATE: In view of an amusing post at Ichabod, I’ve updated the post above a bit further (link).

Not Something One Would Have Seen in Calvin’s Geneva

December 5, 2008

Vatican politically supports construction of additional mosques in Italy (first link) (second link). One would not see Calvin’s Geneva supporting mosque construction. Frankly, I don’t think one would even see Leo X (author of Exsurge Domine, against Luther) supporting mosque construction. Who would like to claim that this view expressed by the Vatican is fully consistent with 2000 years of New Testament tradition?


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