Concerning recent remark of Pope Benedict XVI

  Anyone with the slightest common sense and knowledge of recent religious cold war can see that the Pope did not throw in those quotes inadvertently. He probably meant what he read. As he himself recognized, part of his intention in euphological terms is to promote worldwide peace, and stop any religion-affiliated violence. But it can be said that being in the priesthood for too long might make the Pope a bit maladroit as perhaps the world’s second most powerful politician. His real intent, at least at a subliminal level, is to incur a religious conflict no doubt. Or you might want to even argue that point. But how would a person as knowledgeable as he is in Christian literature be negligent of such a lurid and perhaps pedagogically utile remark until recently? He must be brooding on something. A subversive ambition? Nobody can really testify that.
   The Pope’s refusal of making a public apology is again strong evidence for his deliberation beforehand. Usually the first instinct of a pious, abiding person when confronted with disagreement or criticism is apologetical. Here we see none of that. One might argue that he might have had a day to reflect on himself and think of a clever rebuttal of the vituperation against him. But on the other hand, the Pope is apparently aware of the consequence of proposing such a censorious comment on the Islamic religious– hence the scarcity of such comments in previous generations of Catholicism. I am not sure if Pope stuttered while reading that passage verbatim, but if he did not, then either he is a really confident and strongly egocentric man who has total control over himself, or he must have planned the scenario rather carefully, and made sure that it be heard worldwide but not to the extent of an stentorian accentuation.
   The Pope is in fact deeply sorry. But the word sorry (I don’t know if Italian has a similar one with approximate connotation) itself is controversial and at best dubious. Of course in most situations sorry is a shorthand for "regretful of a misdeed", but I once had a shocking experience in high school: it was the last period of my day and I happened to lay my head down during the class for lack of sleep the previous night; suddenly a bomb shell dropped on my head and when I woke up I realized it was the teacher, Coach Lee, who banged his 5 lb textbook on my desk. The instant I am aware of what’s going on, I heard him say:"I’m sorry". Yea, very funny huh? Sorry can mean a whole different thing. It’s at best condescending I would say. Who knows if the Pope is secretly gloating upon the agitation he stirred up among the Muslim community.

About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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