Theological Tolerance and Respect.. give a little

>> May 13, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI, Fouad Twal, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi
The Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem, May 11, 2009

The tendency to turn human judgements into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world. ~ Georgia Harkness
This week at an inter-faith meeting held in Jerusalem, Pope Benedict XVI walked out in protest of what Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, chief Islamic judge in the Palestinian Authority, had said. Apparently, he spoke after the Pope, (unexpectedly) and had prepared a written ten-minute long speech condemning Israel for their attack on Gaza just a few months ago. He called for Palestinian prisoners to be returned, and accused Israel of burning several mosques, killing people who were in their houses when the Israeli army destroyed them, as well as killing many Gaza children.

I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this. I was definitely against the offensive that Israel implemented against Gaza earlier this year but at the same time, that really doesn't have to do with the Pope, and where they were there to try to come to some understanding, some sort of dialogue, I'm not sure that it was appropriate. What I found a little sad about the whole thing was that the Pope did not have simultaneous translation, so they don't think he knew for sure what was being said until he had already shook the Sheikh's hand. So, it will almost look like he approved of what was said. But, another man, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal who is a Palestinian, did attempt to stop the Sheikh's speech to no avail.

This Pope has already caused a lot of uproar, with comments he has already made about Muslims, especially when he said that Islam was an archaic, violent religion. That is so not okay to say. So, when he walked out of the meeting, I'm not sure what people thought. Its such a hard issue. I have already somewhat decided I don't love the Pope, he shouldn't have said such crazy things about Muslims, and he really shouldn't have allowed for that one Priest to be re instated to his post after he said the Holocaust was made up. Not okay. BUT its also not okay for the Sheikh to say such things at a place where they were trying to form a coming together, not be more pulled apart. BUT ALSO, I wouldn't put it past Israel to do those things he claimed that they did. I just don't get the problems in the Middle East. Argh.

I think we all need to have a little more tolerance..
What is tolerance? -- it is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly -- that is the first law of nature. ~ Voltaire
What do you think?


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