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Showing posts from September, 2006

Pope Benedict's Harvest of Trouble

As so often, this weeks's lectionary chimes uncannily with the news headlines. In the third chapter of his letter, the author of the Epistle of James writes: 'The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.'[1]

Sadly, Pope Benedict has found himself sowing a harvest of trouble for himself, and for other Roman Catholics, because he did not pay enough attention to the need to be seen to avoid partiality and hypocrisy, while showing mercy and gentleness in our assessment of others.

In so far as it correctly represents his remarks, I believe the English translation of his recent controversial speech reveals three ways in which the Pope failed to heed the advice of James.

(1) He critiqued Islam for being, by implication, less influenced by philosophy
and reason than Christianity. In so doing he over-state…