Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI in Turkey

Dr. Robert Moynihan wrote an excellent piece on the Pope's journey into Turkey on Catholic Exchange.
Here Constantine, recognizing the strategic "lynch-pin" of his empire, which encircled the Mediterranean Sea, set up the city he wished to be called by his name, Constantinople, laying the cornerstone on May 30 in 330 AD, and titling the city "New Rome," much in the manner of "New York." And just as "New York" surpassed York, so "New Rome" in time surpassed Rome, attracting to itself the riches of the east, and developing into "Byzantium." This is the city that the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, contended had reached the highest possible level of human culture, art and artifice, becoming for him a metaphor for all human striving to represent reality in art, for all attempts to shape this sometimes shapeless natural world. In his poem, "Sailing to Byzantium," it was the golden nightingale of the emperor which typified the artifice and art of the Byzantines: a nightingale made by a goldsmith, and somehow endowed with the mechanical ability to sing before the lords and ladies of Byzantium. . . . Many Muslims felt the Pope had insulted their faith. (Many secularists said he had done precisely that, though it is difficult to see what standing they have to make comments in this matter.) In any case, following the Regensburg talk, which occurred precisely five years and one day after 9/11 and the fall of the Twin Towers in New York City, the prospects and significance of this papal trip to Istanbul altered. Instead of concentrating on Christian questions, on relations with the Orthodox, the trip was transformed into an opportunity to attempt to grasp and clarify the issues that now increasingly divide the Muslim world from the post-Christian West. No one knows, of course. But if he (Pope Benedict) is true to his office and his own past, he will speak in a profound way about the one thing most important to him: the Gospel. That is, the Christian faith. He will attempt, as St. Paul attempted, to speak in such a way that the whole world can hear him. The Muslims of Turkey and the Islamic world, the Jews of Israel and the Diaspora, the humanists of the West, and his own co-believing Christians, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants alike. To all he will preach the message of Christ, of salvation from sin and death through faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and in love as "the way" which men are invited to follow, that they might live. Will this message be pronounced eloquently and courageously? Will it be heard? Will it be perceived as an offense? We will see in the coming days. But it is clear already that these upcoming days in Istanbul will be historic ones, worthy of a city which is still, in so many ways, the hinge of the world -- of Europe and Asia, of ancient and modern times, of clashes between civilizations, and of the possibility of finding a way to live in peace for a post-modern world which is seeking its path into mankind's future.
To read the rest of this article from Catholic Exchange click here.


Post a Comment

Get my CVSTOS FIDEI blog posts feed

Blog Archive

A highly modified template. Powered by Blogger.

Google Analytics