December 25, 2003


Pope, in Christmas Message, Pleads for End to Terrorism and War (FRANK BRUNI, 12/26/03, NY Times)

It's a deal--they stop the terror and then we'll stop the war on terror.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 25, 2003 7:14 PM

The Vatican has seemed to lean in an admirably more assertion posture vis-a-vis Islam recently (for example, canonizing a frair who rallied the Christian forces to repel Turkish invaders at Vienna in 1683), but one must always keep in mind that the Church must do what it can to protect the faithful who live under Muslim domination.

Posted by: Paul Cella at December 26, 2003 7:57 AM

The Holy Father's message leads me to think of the standard Jewish response regarding the Messiah: he hasn't yet come--he's supposed to usher in an era of world peace. If you don't believe me, just read Isaiah.

On this account, it's arguable that the Messiah hasn't yet come, as the conditions then, or now, don't meet this condition.

Posted by: Brent at December 26, 2003 12:05 PM

I can't access the article, but based upon reports in other papers, someone should tell the NY Times there is a difference between praying and pleading.

Posted by: Peter B at December 26, 2003 12:43 PM

Mr. Judd: I'm Catholic and one of the hardest things in the aftermath of 9/11 was the pleas of, well, "turn the other cheek" that we heard at church that week, which in my mind translated into defeatism and appeasement. I don't know what I wanted to hear, but I found little comfort there.

And the sympathy that Saddam elicited out of the Rome (though not directly from the Pope) after his capture was thoroughly disheartening.

But, I bear in mind that the Pope has worked hard and not bent to the culture of death for many decades and in the face of much criticism. I know in my heart I could not have withstood it even half so well and would have utterly failed.

I don't believe he is equivalating the two, but rather trying to appeal to the better angels of our nature. And he is compelled to believe that even the most evil and depraved of us is capable and deserving of redemption.

You also should take note that the writer, Bruni, wants to find an anti-War on Terrorism message in the Christmas message, and he reluctantly admits that this was a message that could have been given during any previous Christmas.

Although, I admit I have a very hard time living up to that standard.

Posted by: Buttercup at December 26, 2003 1:05 PM