Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Enemy of Jihad

Click here for AmazonInteresting remarks regarding the new Pope by an LGF reader. And, no, once again the mainstream media doesn't have the story -- the blogosphere does.

From my conversations with him in the late 70s, when he was archbishop of Munich, I learned a few things about him:

1) That he hated the Nazis even during his short time in the Hitler Youth. He was a nominal member, but was exempted weeks after his compulsory joining because of his fragile health and studies in the Catholic seminary (many boys actually joined Catholic institutions to avoid service in the HJ.) His teen years had a lasting effect on him as he was able to see the difference between reality and what the Nazis taught. His love for truth and being truthful all the time stems from this early experience.

2) He was a progressive Catholic in his early year (played an important role at the 2nd Vaticanum), but the intolerance of 1968 made him change his mind. He abhorred communism and the carefree nihilist thinkings in these times and became a conservative, but not a reactionary, as many claim.

3) He saw the dangers of Islamic fanatism in the 70s already. Khomeini was a menetekel for him. At this time he didn't see Islam so much as a threat for Europe (yet), but for Asia and Africa.

4) He is more a friend of the Jews than most other Catholic priests. I remember him saying that Christians and Jews are on the same direction to salvation, just on different paths. Islam instead was an aberration that would lead humanity into a religious "dead end street" (Sackgasse was his exact word). He strongly favoured a rapprochement between the Catholic and Jewish faith, but didn't see any common ground between Christianity and Islam.

Latest proof of this was that he strongly supported John Paul II travel to Israel but did have a big headache about that voyage to Damascus. I doubt you'll see Benedict XVI visiting a mosque... ever. And he sees Turkey as a big religious threat to the judeochristian identity of Europe.

He may come across as the Great Inquisitor, but he has never refused discussion and arguments. He is firm on the "essentials" of the Catholic faith. The German Catholic professors he suspended clearly violated the essential principles of Catholicism. He is an extremely intelligent, bright personality... a bit shy with people though. He won't pretend to have the charisma of JPII.

And yes, I think, we'll see a few surprises from him in the next years. I had to chuckle when I heard the Chicoms demands today. Oh boy, they are messing with the wrong guy here.

Benedict of Nursia one restored the Christian faith in a devastated Europe. Commentators have focussed much on Benedict XV as the closest role model of Ratzinger. But I think he's much closer to Benedict XIV.


And yes, he loved the "Apfelmaultaschen" (pasta made with potato flour, filled with apples and powder sugar and cinnamon on top) my wife prepared for him :-)

They look like this:

I guess you won't find this detail on CNN :-)

LGF Comments: Enemy of Jihad

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