Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Prince and the Pope

Three impressive photo pictorials today:

Prince Ranier


Pope-a-palooza mega street carnival

Millions swarm Vatican City (click on any photo in center of page to get to 18-image gallery.

10 Comments:

Blogger sdh said...

Mega-kudos for coining "Pope-a-palooza".

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

Nur this place:

http://www.instablog.org is worth the occasionla visit :-)

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=626816

Berlusconi wipeout.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

eek! posted in wrong topic - sorry

12:49 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

No problem Mark. Nice to see that you stop by...and leave your very interesting comments, where ever they may land!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Traveller said...

Don't miss Billmon's dose of reality here.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

It really is hilarious to read things like "dose of reality." So here's some reality:

The word "Catholic" means "Universal" - open to everyone. As such the Church has always had, and accomodated, people with very differing viewpoints, interpretations of the way in which to ensure the survival of Christ's message here on earth.

This does not mean that the Church is a democracy. It isn't, it never was and it never will be. In its institutions however it is a collegial body. The Pope is there as primus inter pares and it is his duty to act as a court of last resort, and to steer the church in the direction he sees as most consonant with The Gospels.

John Paul II took action to repair the damage that ocurred during the final years years of Paul VI's papacy. It is far far too early to tell whether he erred too far in the other direction.

contd

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Mark from ireland said...

However let us look at he did:

He shifted the balance in the Church away from Europe and the English speaking countries who constitute somewhat less than 35% of Cathlolics towards South and Central America and Africa.

He broke up the cosy relations between the South American bishops and the right wing regimes - for example Pinochet and the Galtieri junta.

He repeatedly pointed out that rampant capitalism was just as bad as fascism and communism. He stressed the social message of the gospels and strongly encouraged movements such as the land reform movement in Brazil, and Trade Unions in Chile, Mexico, Argentina amongst other countries.

He repeatedly condemmed war.

He repeatedly apologised for and condemmed excesses by the church such as the buring of heretics - strongly encouraged to do so i'll add by Ratzinger.

Strongly against anti-semitism both in his life and teachings. First Pope to visit a Synagogue and pray there. First pope to apologise for anti-semitic acts, first pope to acknowledge that judaism is indeed a revealed religion and a valid path to God.

First pope to visit and pray in a mosque overturned centuries of anti-islamic garbage. Put catholicism on the road to admitting that Islam is also a valid Abrahamic faith.

contd:

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

Let's deal with a few other points.

There's a differnce between a "Catholic Theologian" and a "Theologian who happens to be a Catholic." - Kung is a very brilliant theologian. He also flat out contadicted Catholic belief so he was deprived of his license to speak as an official theologian recognised as such by the Church. Yes this was harsh you'll note however that he wasn't deprived of anything else, nor could he have been - just no longer permitted to describe himself as an "official" Catholic theologian.

As to Archbishop Romero - I knew him reasonably well and admired him greatly - he was incidentally doctrinally quite as conservative as the pope was - he was also, far more importantly, a brave decent man who made you proud to be a human being and who was murdered because he did what he was meant to do.

The same goes for the many priests and nuns murdered for living the social message of the gospel.

Catholic priests are forbidden to seek elected office - the two spheres are properly very distinct. I don't hear people complaining about the right wing priests who very properly got chucked out for seeking elected office - why is that?

contd:

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Mark from Ireland said...

Liberation theology: Was and still is, an attempt to mix mythos and logos - the two don't mix see comments about partisan political involvement above. The Church by definition is a spiritual organisation, it opposes materialism. Which didn't stop it giving practical expression to the need for practical compassion and the need to rectify social injustices.

Condoms/Aids - actually the teaching is that they're permissable as a means of preventing infection but not as a means of contraception. Both of which points have been confirmed by the African Bishops and the late pope's personal theologian very recently. The church also teaches that all sex outside of marriage is wrong.

In all of this its important to remember that the Catholic church is perhaps the most decentralised organisation on earth. I regularly deal with the curia which is always seen by outsiders (amongst them me before I started working with the "hierarchy" as a lay man) as some sort of heavy handed politbureau. They aren't, some of 'em no doubt wish they were, but they aren't. They coordinate the church and do it on a budget of rather less than $300m per year.

Yes the church makes mistakes yes it causes pain. Humans do that you know. It also gets on with the job of preaching compassion and trying to give practical expression to it.

Long after the electronic froth has subsided we'll still be there because we are the church - not the clergy and not Rome and certainly not the flash in the pan death cults on the wilder shores of evangelical "christianity." WE are the church in all our slapdash messy contradictory inconsistency. Get used to it - we've been around for 2000 years and we're not going away.

1:32 PM  

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