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Posted by: an okie gardener
Henry Chadwick, gifted historian of the Early Church, has died at 87. His work exemplifies the genius of British scholarship--careful, thorough, not going beyond the evidence in its claims. While he had a personal agenda, the health and unity of the church, he never let it get in the way of his scholarship. He was devoted to scholarship, the church, and his family. He is survived by his wife of 63 years and three daughters. He was an Anglican priest.

NYT obituary.

RIP Brother Chadwick.
Posted by: an okie gardener
So far, the news from Europe is not good.

Suspected Al Qaeda leader Abu Qatada is celebrating his release from prison [in the U.K.] with the release of a book in which he urges Muslims to commit terrorist attacks in the West.

In the 71-page tract, published in English translation on the internet, he repeatedly claims that fighting jihad, holy war, is obligatory for all Muslims and urges them to 'terrorise' non-believers.

Full story from The Daily Mail.

Abu Qatada is not an aberation. The Koran itself urges Muslims to fight against unbelievers until the unbelievers feel themselves to be subdued.

"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them, for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." Qur'an, Sura 9:5

"Fight those who do not believe in Allah or the Last Day; nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger; nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." Qur'an, Sura 9:29 The Jizya is the tax paid by Christians and Jews living in Muslim lands.

"O you who believe! Fight the Unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him." Qur'an, Sura 9:123

The above quotes from the English translation of The Qur'an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, published in Istanbul, 2002.

It is well to remember that Islam spread through military conquest from Arabia west across North Africa and the Iberian Penninsula, north into central Asia and into central Europe, and east to India.

Posted by: an okie gardener
I at last have read the text of Pope Benedict's homily given in Yankee Stadium during his recent visit. I think there are some ideas in his sermon that need to be noted.

He began,

In the Gospel we have just heard, Jesus tells his Apostles to put their faith in him, for he is “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). Christ is the way that leads to the Father, the truth which gives meaning to human existence, and the source of that life which is eternal joy with all the saints in his heavenly Kingdom. Let us take the Lord at his word! Let us renew our faith in him and put all our hope in his promises!
. . .
This magnificent vision of a world being transformed by the liberating truth of the Gospel is reflected in the description of the Church found in today’s second reading.

Benedict wars against the tyranny of relativism. He unequivocally places Christ above every other source of truth, and asserts Christ's uniqueness as "the way that leadds to the Father." So, regarding Roman Catholic relations with other religions, these cannot be regarded as somehow equal. After Vatican 2 it seemed to some that the position of other faiths in relation to Christianity was up for discussion. Benedict says that any consideration of other religions cannot compromise the Church's belief in the superiority of Christ.

With this encouragement to persevere in the faith of Peter (cf. Lk 22:32; Mt 16:17), I greet all of you with great affection.
. . .
The first reading also makes clear, as we see from the imposition of hands on the first deacons, that the Church’s unity is “apostolic”. It is a visible unity, grounded in the Apostles whom Christ chose and appointed as witnesses to his resurrection, and it is born of what the Scriptures call “the obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5; cf. Acts 6:7).
. . .
And this, dear friends, is the particular challenge which the Successor of Saint Peter sets before you today. As “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation”, follow faithfully in the footsteps of those who have gone before you! Hasten the coming of God’s Kingdom in this land! Past generations have left you an impressive legacy. In our day too, the Catholic community in this nation has been outstanding in its prophetic witness in the defense of life, in the education of the young, in care for the poor, the sick and the stranger in your midst. On these solid foundations, the future of the Church in America must even now begin to rise!

Benedict, without rancor or exclamation points, asserts the superiority of the Roman Church to all other bodies who call themselves churches. Roman Catholicism is The Church, connected to the apostles, and lead by the "Successor of Saint Peter." After Vatican 2 the relationship between the Roman Church and other communions also seemed to some open for discussion. Benedict, like John Paul II, wants it known that while Rome may not cut itself off from other groups, it can not regard them as equals.

The guy knows how to pope. Kudos to Benedict XVI.
1. Muslims do not recognize the Jews to be God's chosen people.
2. Jews do not recognize Jesus to be the Messiah.
3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope to be the the Head of the Church.
4. Baptists do not recognize one another in Hooters.