Thursday, 4 December 2014

Pope in Joint Prayer with Grand Mufti

It's a topic that keeps on giving: do Roman Catholics and Muslims worship the same God? [See previous posts.] 

Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Benedict XVI and John Paul II, Pope Francis has visited the famed Blue Mosque in Istanbul on his visit to Turkey, where he initiated  public prayer with the Grand Mufti:
 Vatican City, Nov 29, 2014 / 06:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During Pope Francis’ visit to Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, he paused for a moment of prayer alongside Ankara’s Grand Mufti – a moment of “inter-religious dialogue” which mirrored that of his predecessor.  “When they were under the Dome, the Pope insisted: ‘not only must we praise and glorify him, but we must adore him,’” Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. told journalists Nov. 29. “Therefore it is reasonable to qualify this moment of silence a moment of silent adoration.”  “(It was) a beautiful moment of inter-religious dialogue, and it the exact same thing happened in 2006 with Pope Benedict, it was exactly the same.” Pope Francis’ visit to the historic Sultan Ahmet Mosque, known as the “Blue Mosque” due to the blue tiles covering the inside, marks the third time a Pope has ever gone inside, the first being St. John Paul II in 1979.
In John's Gospel, our Lord is recorded as saying, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). In Christian prayer this truth is enacted by praying to the Father in the name of the Son, concluding with the Trinitarian doxology "through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen." 

We can only assume that the doxology, which would have been offensive to the Grand Mufti and the Muslims present, was ommitted on this occasion. Thus the Pope, the self-declared spiritual head and teacher of all Christians, dissembled in his duty to profess Christ before the world and gave credence to religious syncretism. 

It is a pity the old Roman Catechism is no longer in favour - for all its errors it at least taught the doctrine of God with a clarity that does not appear to survive in post Vatican II Catholicism, for example:   
"The pastor should also teach that he who says, I believe, besides declaring the inward assent of the mind, which is an internal act of faith, should also openly profess and with alacrity acknowledge and proclaim what he inwardly and in his heart believes. For the faithful should be animated by the same spirit that spoke by the lips of the Prophet when he said: I believe; and therefore did I speak, and should follow the example of the Apostles who replied to the princes of the people: We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. They should be encouraged by these noble words of St. Paul: I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; and likewise by those other words; in which the truth of this doctrine is expressly confirmed: With the heart we believe unto justice; but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
 "What heart so cold as not to be inflamed with love by the kindness and good will exercised toward us by so great a Lord, who, though holding us in His power and dominion as slaves ransomed by His blood, yet embraces us with such ardent love as to call us not servants, but friends and brethren? This, assuredly, supplies the most just, and perhaps the strongest, claim to induce us always to acknowledge, venerate, and adore Him as our Lord."