Monday, September 18, 2006

Pope Issues Non-Apology 'Apology'

ROME, Sept. 17 — Pope Benedict XVI sought Sunday to extinguish days of anger and protest among Muslims by issuing an extraordinary personal apology for having caused offense with a speech last week that cited a reference to Islam as “evil and inhuman.”

“I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address,” the pope told pilgrims at the summer papal palace of Castel Gandolfo, “which were considered offensive. These were in fact quotations from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought,” the pope, 79, said in Italian, according to the official English translation. “The true meaning of my address,” he said, “in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.”

The Pope is in trouble for quoting criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said in a debate with an unnamed Persian philosopher "show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

The Pope isn't naive... he opened his speech with this comment and closed with another reference to the same writings.

There are two pretty astounding highlights to this "apology." FIrstly, it's nothing of the sort... the Pope simply said he was sorry that people took offense at his comments. That's the functional equivalent of saying "I'm sorry that you feel bad that I cheated on you, honey." You're not apologizing for for having sex with your wife's best friend... you're just feeling sorry that your wife feels bad after finding out about it. Similarly the Pope isn't apologizing for a hate-filled speech, he merely regrets the reactions to said speech.

The second astonishing highlight of the Pope's "apology" is that his original speech singles out Islam for belief in spreading the faith at the point of a sword while pretending that Catholicism has no similar past. Doing so conveniently allows Pope Benedict to re-history his own faith, neglecting to mention such gems of theological history as, oh, The Crusades, for instance, which started with the Jews, then looted Christian Byzantium on the way to attack Palestine. All to carry the word of Jesus to the heathens at swordpoint. What about the Spanish Inquisistion's forcible conversions of Spain's Jews and Muslims? Evidently, it never happened. Such pretense also covers up the conquest of Central and South America which was carried out by Catholic countries for gold and the glory of the Catholic Church... conquests in which Jesuits from the Vatican often ordered any native who wouldn't convert to the mother church to be exterminated. The Pope also seems to have forgotten that not only was HE a Nazi, but also his entire church played pattycake with Hitler and the Nazi Regime all through World War II. Lastly, the Pope seems to have forgotten the fact that as a powerful Cardinal under Pope John Paul II, he singlehandedly smashed the Liberation Theology movement of the 1980s which sought to stand up to earthly dictators in Central and South America... because those Dictators were contributing to the Catholic Church even while they tortured and killed the Church's believers. Double points for hypocrisy!

The Pope said what he did on purpose and with a specific goal: to further divide the world's people along religious lines. In doing so, he once again gives the dictators of the Middle East something to whip their citizens up into a frenzy about other than the shitty conditions that their dictators force them to live in.

Congratulations, Pontif, you get the Divide-and-Conquerer of the month award!