Bush and Benedict

by Ryan on June 9, 2007

in Europe,Politics,Religion,The Iraq Front

President Bush had his first audience with Pope Benedict XVI today and many things were discussed, like Iraq, Africa, HIV/AIDS, etc.  I like that the Pope was concerned about Iraq’s Christian population and didn’t dwell on the whole “just war” thing that JPII was so concerned with. 

The state of Iraq’s Christians are a side to the war that the Pope should be concerned about, considering the Pope is the leader of Christianity’s (and the world’s) largest single religous sect, Roman Catholics. Benedict has been very direct with Muslims since his tenure began two years ago.  No one likes being told their faults, but Islam in the Mideast has a horrible 1400 year record of religious intolerance.  Sure, a Christian or a Jew could live in the various Mulsim empires, just as second and third-class citizens with severely restricted rights.  Even the Crusades, which Muslims have been using for 800 years to justify anti-Christian rhetoric, were an attempt to “recapture” the Holy Land, whose Christian pilgrims were being abused and killed on the way to Jerusalem.  Hmm… I wonder who from?  Either way, if I were an Arab Christian in Iraq, I’d be nervous and I’m glad that the Pope and President Bush broached this important subject.

AP photo.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike June 9, 2007 at 7:39 pm

I have to disagree on one point. Both Popes were correct to dwell on the just war theory because those are the only wars which must be fought. The issue is whether a particular war satisifes the criteria of a just war. I believe the Iraq War does. John Paul II did not and Benedict XVI does not. However, it is important to note that the opinion shared by both great men is not doctrinal and therefore not binding on the laity. They recognize that one can be a good Catholic while supporting in good faith a war they do not.

Reasonable people can disagree over whether the Iraq War is justiifed. I think it is due to the terrorist harboring (yes liberals he did) but respect those who honestly disagree. Their Christianity should not be questioned. However, that accomodation should run both ways. I find it interesting that many on the left who hyperventilate when they perceive other people questioning their faith are usually the first to play the anti-Christian card when someone is pro-war. Harry Reid is the recent example which comes to mind.

He recently took the President to task on opposing the Pope’s war policy. Maybe he could apply that logic to his own position on abortion, freedom of religion in public school, and gay marriage. He shouldn’t have to though , especially since he isn’t even Catholic, but consistency should at least shaming him into doing so.

Popes are at a minimum moral leaders whose views should be given due consideration. To Catholics on matters of faith, it’s a different story. In terms of American politics, it was well known that JP the Great was happy when Bush defeated Gore and Kerry. He may have opposed the war because he did not believe it was just, but he did have a soft spot for the most innocent among us, the unborn.

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