16
Apr
08

On Air: Should the US be welcoming the Pope?

He’s received a Presidential greeting like no other on his first official visit to the US, but should he be receiving such a welcome?

During his six-day visit, the Pope, as head of the Catholic Church will address the UN and lead prayers at Ground Zero. Before arriving on American soil he told reporters on board his plane that he was “deeply ashamed” of sexual abuse by US clergy and said “we will absolutely exclude paedophiles from the sacred ministry”. In recent years, the US Catholic Church, which has around 65 million followers, has paid $2bn (£1bn) to settle clergy sexual abuse cases.

Pope Benedict XVI was elected in April 2005 and since then hasn’t shied away from controversy. In his first year in office, he upheld a ban on men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” becoming priests, but was said to be considering relaxing the church’s ban on condoms to allow their use by people with Aids.

Seventeen months into his Papacy, his quotation of a 14th century Byzantine emperor – who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things – provoked anger in the Muslim world. The Vatican denied that he had intended to offend Muslims.

So has the Pope helped promote inter faith harmony? If not, what should he be doing? Is he too political? And has Pope Benedict done enough to confront the abuse scandal in Catholic Church?


147 Responses to “On Air: Should the US be welcoming the Pope?”


  1. 1 Rudolph in Antigua
    April 16, 2008 at 14:41

    Im not sure if they should be welcoming him but i do agree with him on being ashamed of what is going on in the US chapter of the Cotholic church. $2bn is a lot of money to be spending on setteling cases insted of helping the poor n in need.And to add to the confusion the acceptance of homosexuality in the church is like throughing fuel on an already blazing fier.

  2. 2 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 14:44

    I’m sure mohammed caused offense to the Jews he killed or forcibly converted. I’m sure prior popes caused offense to Jews for killing or forcibly converting Jews. Let’s leave the past in the past. The catholic church doesn’t really have much power except over really poor countries, and the doctrines of catholicism (no birth control) will only make those nations poorer. But that’s what the religion says. Things shouldn’t change just because times have changed.

  3. 3 CarlosK
    April 16, 2008 at 14:52

    The Answer to your question is simply NO!

    Welcoming the Pope to the USA is a like slapping the face of all freedom loving people of the world especially the religious ones who were persecuted by catholics and had to flee to the land of the “free and the home of the brave”.

    Who has the last laugh Who has won the war? The Catholic church of course.
    All the sacrifices protestants made to build a better country have been wasted and come to nought because “freedom” loving Americans are flocking the Pope instead of God and the Bible.

    President Bush as an act of obeisance has for the first time journey to the Airport to welcome a head of state/monarch. This act of condescension on the part of George Bush confirms who is really the bigger boss in world affairs- Pope Benedict the XVI.

    The fact of the Pope’s visit, the crowd’s worshipful response and the President’s act of condescension are signs that the USA has lost its credibility and status.

  4. 4 Nick in USA
    April 16, 2008 at 15:24

    No, absolutely not! Religion has no place in politics and President Bush should not have met with him. I’m honestly amazed that the pope’s organization still has this type of power despite the terrible things they’ve been responsible for and their complete obsolescence.

  5. 5 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 15:44

    @Carlos

    Would you say that every other nation where the pope gets a crowd loses it’s credibility and status or is this just USA bashing?

  6. 6 Peter Gizzi UK
    April 16, 2008 at 15:54

    Yes President Bush should welcome The Pope. He then demonstrates the hypocrisiy that is religion. He too claims to be Christian while killing people around the world.

    I was born and baptised a Roman Catholic but have had my Catholosism revoked by The Archbishop’s Office. I objected to being baptised before I was old enough to decide for myself. Most religions do something similar. Most people are to frightened to speak out.

    I object very strongly to having religious leaders having power over my life. Religion should be separate. Religion is just another way of making money. The Pope lives in absolute luxury while his followers are mostly very poor. They are still expected to put money in the “plate”!

  7. April 16, 2008 at 16:09

    Yes, he should be welcomed – he is the spiritual leader of over one billion people.

    I know some people are such idealogues that they would seize on any scandal to prove someone “not worthy” to visit… Honestly, no one belonging to a religion more than a day old will not have some imperfection in the past or some issue, and few visiting heads of state would be welcome in my home.

    But the question asked in the OP is remarkably vague. Are you asking should US Catholics be excited that the Pope is coming? Are you asking if he should even be allowed? Are you asking if non-Catholic Americans should be welcoming? Are you asking if it is inappropriate for a president to show a courtesy to a spiritual leader?

    (Where was this fuss when the Dali Lama visits the White House, or the US tax payer money that had to go into guarding the President of Iran?)

    So far we have gotten responses ranging from “For the glory of our Protestant forebearers, this is an insult” to “lack of birth control keeps stupid brown Catholics poor”… But so far lacking is the objective reality that the pope is a head or state, and widely respected, even by folks who disagree with him.

  8. 8 Peter Gizzi UK
    April 16, 2008 at 16:10

    I just heard the 4 o’clock news. George Bush said “God is Love”! He didn’t add while I authorise killing thousands in Iraq. I wonder how the Pope replied?

  9. 9 Nick in USA
    April 16, 2008 at 16:16

    Carlos K, all of the sacrifices made by the founders of my country were made so that citizens could flock to the pope if they choose to. That is religious freedom. I choose to deny all religions, and I’m able to do so. That is what they worked so hard to do.

    For GWB to go pick up the Pope was a mistake because church and state should be completely separate, but if non-elected officials want to go receive him, then that is their right. Catholics are not the majority in my country, if they’re well received, it doesn’t mean that my entire country agrees with them.

  10. 10 Nick in USA
    April 16, 2008 at 16:22

    asimplesinner, the president didn’t go to pick up the Dalai Lama at the airport. That’s why the pope is getting so much attention. I agree with you though, the Dalai Lama should not be welcome at the White House either.

  11. 11 Nick in USA
    April 16, 2008 at 16:29

    @ asimple sinner, I don’t remember reading anything about “lack of birth control keeps stupid brown Catholics poor”, so I’m not sure the quotes were justified. What Steve said about lack of birth control making already poor countries poorer is just fact. If you don’t have enough resources to support yourself, then adding kids to the mix doesn’t really make sense.

  12. 12 John in Salem
    April 16, 2008 at 16:47

    (Yawn) Oh, why not? He represents an increasingly irrelevant social dinosaur that doesn’t affect most people’s lives in any meaningful sense and the fact that he is visiting won’t change that.
    If it bothers you, change the channel. He’ll go away in a few days, anyway.

  13. 13 John LaGrua/New York
    April 16, 2008 at 16:57

    Yes,the Pope represents a faith and Church which with all its short comings stands for concepts of spiritual and moral standards to guide those who accept its doctrine to a more full and rich life. We are now seeing in the US the awefull price of the unexamined life ,a materialism and arrogance of temporal power which will visit great pain on our people. Agree or not with Catholic theology ,nevertheless Americans could benefit from a period of reflection on what constitutes the “Good Life”. Spiritual renewal could be a great benefit to Americans recovering from the self indulgence folly disguised as prosperiy .Man does not live by bread alone! Welcome Holy Father.

  14. 14 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 16:59

    @ asimplesinner

    I don’t appreciate you misquoting me.

  15. April 16, 2008 at 17:03

    Well Bush should be responsible why jus the pope why he doesnt welcome a jewish head or a muslim head is it because he is a christian that his pope is welcomed. USA has double standards when it comes to the church thy allow the church to have sexual activities with kids & they go slow in prosicution if there is any. but they shout loud if it was in a muslim mosque. Well pope is a great guy but how come he even sits with Bush or shakes hand with him when this person has killed so many people around the world a person just believes in war. perhaps the pope needs all his time in the USA to teach bush to b a good person. may be he could make a difference & if he does many people around the world would have thier life spared.

    thank you

  16. 16 Anthony
    April 16, 2008 at 17:34

    I’m sick of hearing about the Pope. People are acting like he’s Jesus. Aren’t servants of God supposed to be humble? I was much more excited when the dalai lama came here.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  17. April 16, 2008 at 17:38

    The pope had all the rights on earth to be welcomed in any way, though I don’t think if the timing of the welcome had some thing in common with the matter of visit.To a catholic this is what any one expected , but to a man like me (don’t mind a bout my religion) thought it was some thing like exaggurating the visit.And expose the dirty part of catholism…

  18. 18 Scott Millar
    April 16, 2008 at 17:40

    Why should the Pope or any religious leader “promote inter faith harmony?” Inter faith harmony is diametrically opposed to the fundamental beliefs of almost all religions. Religion is an elitist affair, with each religion believing they have the true faith, they are the selected people. I despise religion, but I also despise the idea that they should sugarcoat their pompous views to appear tolerant and congruous.

    If religions were harmonious there wouldn’t be so many. Yes, the major religions have things in common and are fruit from the same tree, but they are separate for a reason. Its the differences that matter not the similarities. If religions are so amicable and neighborly they should do the world a favor and merge into a single faith – it might save the planet from a few wars.

    -Portland, Oregon

  19. 19 VictorK
    April 16, 2008 at 17:52

    Are there really not more serious issues in the world than this?

    Were listeners really clamouring to talk about an act of courtesy from one head of state to another?

    This looks suspiciously like an excuse to bash the institution that Western liberals hate above all others, the Roman Catholic Church, and to deride a President some people cannot despise enough (the phenomenon even has a name, ‘Bush Derangement Syndrome’).

  20. 20 selena
    April 16, 2008 at 17:55

    The whole business is not worth talking about, is it? I am still trying to figure out why George Bush met the Pope at the airport.

    Still, I guess the more we see of them , the Pope, the Dali Lama and others, the more we will realize how outdated religion is to our way of life.

    Put him on parade and let people have their fun. It won’t be long before they will have more important things to worry about, like lack of food.

  21. April 16, 2008 at 17:56

    Todays topic is really7 interesting to me!!
    I think pope is right visiting the US and that he should be welcomed there! There’s nothing wrong in trying to fight agains sexual abuse and the Pope is really7 right in doing this…..and i dont think he is trying to be too political in addressing these matters…..i suppose pope is trying to be optimistic and that he is standing for his religion, which is a great thing anyway!!

    Seleman in Dar es salaam

  22. 22 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 18:04

    I don’t see what the problem is here. I’m not religious, but I’m happy the Pope is here. If it changes the mood, brings some happy people to DC, then what harm can come from the city being full of some pleasant people for a couple days than the usual here? I work maybe a 10 minute walk from the whitehouse and honestly, seems like any other day here other than street vendors selling vatican flags. I might walk by the white house after work and see if there are people there, though the pope certainly wont be there at that time..

  23. April 16, 2008 at 18:04

    Welcome an old male ex-Nazi who wears dresses and pretty red Prada shoes and tells tall tales of supernatural alien imaginary friends? Sure, why not? And he should be given all the same pomp and circumstance given to representatives of The Flying Spaghetti Monster and in equal measure.

    Tom in Oregon in the US

  24. 24 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 18:05

    What an explosive combination between religion and politics…

    Why shouldn’t the US government welcome the Pope, if they have supported each other for many years in war? A religious leader shaking hands and hugging a political leader that has killed thousands of people is not an strange scene anymore. Also, why should the government be unfriendly with the catholic church for its crimes, if sometimes they do the same?

    The catholic chuch has lost all its credibility through history, specially these last years. Now a Pope is a leader that cannot control what its members do. Apologizing won’t turn back the time and change what it has become. The catholic church does not have moral power to tell its believers what to do because they have cheated people for much time changing God’s words in the Bible.

    So should the US be welcoming the Pope? Bush and people can do what they want, if that makes them feel closer to God. But I know His blessing is not with these people because of their acts.

  25. April 16, 2008 at 18:07

    No way. Isn’t this the same man that stated that all religions or churches that were not Catholic were not really churches because supposedly they couldn’t trace their start in the Bible? He’s just an old man with red shoes.

    Rui

  26. 26 Scott Millar
    April 16, 2008 at 18:09

    What exactly shoud we talk about, VictorK? Do you have a little more serious issue scale in your cupboard we could use? Surely the meaning of life must be at the top?

    -Portland, Oregon

  27. 27 Margaret
    April 16, 2008 at 18:09

    The Vatican has the same status as any other government,
    (that is is is just like a legal country)which is why the US government can welcome it’s representative, ie the pope.. However most presidents have never extended such an invitation because of the controversial nature of such an invitation. George Bush is someone who thinks of himself as the president of the US as someone very important, and inviting the Pope to the white house is part of his personal view of the world. The United States is made up of many religious people who are members of many religious groups and it is typical of Bush’s meglamania to think his invitation would only be thought of as a another great incident of his legacy.

  28. 28 Allison
    April 16, 2008 at 18:12

    As an American just counting down the days until January 20, 2009, I’ve found myself wholly incapable of being shocked or upset by who President Bush does or does not welcome. In the grand scheme of the things this President has done, meeting with a controversial pope doesn’t register as a blip on my radar.

  29. 29 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 18:12

    @ Tom,

    The pope had just turned 18 by the time WW2 had ended. I’m sure they had 18 year olds at the highest policy making areas of the Nazi party… Please….

  30. April 16, 2008 at 18:13

    Given that so many conflict around the world have a common theme of inter religious conflict, surely by meeting with the Pop, President Bush is promoting the need for interfaith dialogue and understanding. If religons do have their differences, surely such differences are best expressed through jaw jaw rather than war war.

    Ed in the UK

  31. 31 Jeff in Cleveland, Ohio
    April 16, 2008 at 18:16

    The Pope was supposedly involved in the coverup of the sexual abuse scandal in his previous position at the Vatican. If that is the case the statements that he’s made on the subject are extremely hypocritical. It would have been a good thing if his degree of complicity had been determined before our country rolled out the red carpet for his visit.

  32. April 16, 2008 at 18:17

    Bush is just being formal with the organization that has supported its war for years. Religion should never had to do with politics, but it does. This fact, additional to the crimes the same church has done, has made people don’t believe in it anymore. Definitively the Catholic organization is not commanded by God’s spirit but by men.

    Patricia in Colombia!

  33. April 16, 2008 at 18:17

    I personally do not think the Pope deserves such spectacular greeting at US and that political leaders get to greet a religious person is kind of ridiculous .

    Nete in China

  34. April 16, 2008 at 18:19

    A public apology would be a good thing for the victims and their families. But I am not convinced putting forth the names of all of the clergy involved is a truly useful, and is more vengeful, which Christian’s should not be about. (Is this another Salem witch hunt?)

    Arron
    U.S.

  35. April 16, 2008 at 18:19

    A wise man once said that the world would never be free until the last King was hanged with the entrails of the last Priest. Religion is superstition, and billions of people have been killed in the name of various made-up Gods. Please leave religion where it belongs: in the dung-heap of history.

    Joseph

  36. 36 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 18:21

    The Pope talked about “bad apples”, what you say a minority…. But what happens when the same leaders sponsor that kind ob bad behaviours and don’t punish that minority as they should? In Colombia we’ve had many terrible cases of children abused with no punishment for the priest involved, they are just retired in isolation to reflect about their acts! It’s more than evidnet that God’s spirit is not with this organization, which is commanded only by human ambitions.

  37. April 16, 2008 at 18:24

    How ironic for Pope Benedict XVI to brand the Prophet Mohamed as violent. Didn’t Pope Urban II creat the barbaric crusades that slaughtered thousands of the so-called non-believers and Muslims in the Levant? May I also remind Pope Benedict about the incessant child molestations by his priests in America. Paraphrasing William Shakespeare: Catholicism, thy name is hypocrisy.

    Musa
    Jackson, Tennessee, US

  38. 38 Jude
    April 16, 2008 at 18:24

    I’m not a Catholic, (I’m Eastern Orthodox, actually) and I’m not a fan of George W. Bush at all.

    But Bush meeting with the Pope is not a violation of our Constitution’s “establishment clause”. He’s not establishing religion by meeting with Pope Benedict XVI anymore than he would be establishing us as French by meeting with Sarkozy. Bush can meet with the Dalai Lama, he can meet with Billy Graham. I see no problem with either, just so long as he isn’t impressing their views, based on their religion, on the state.

    As for the sexual abuse issues, his saying that he is ashamed of the actions of priests in America is important. But it’s not enough. The Catholic Church, if she desires to restore popular confidence in herself, must much more visibly and relentlessly work from this day forth to purge her ranks of those spiritual leaders who sexually abused directly, and those who abused secondarily by not only turning a blind eye to the truth, but hiding it from view. Only time will tell if Pope Benedict XVI’s words mean anything in this case.

  39. April 16, 2008 at 18:25

    “we will absolutely exclude paedophiles from the sacred ministry”.

    Hello! Religion is mental pedophilia against children! Threatening children with supernatural beings is just not acceptable!

    Tom in Oregon, US

  40. 40 Anthony
    April 16, 2008 at 18:25

    This whole conversation shows how bad the catholic church is seen as. It went from should we welcome the pope, to sexual abuse with children.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  41. 41 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 18:27

    @ Musa:

    Paraphrasing William Shakespeare: Catholicism, thy name is hypocrisy.

    Musa
    Jackson, Tennessee, US

    If someone said a comment like that about Islam, do you think the reaction would be muted? Do you think the BBC would have approved it?

    So let’s get this, it’s PC to insult catholics, but not with Islam. Interesting.

  42. 42 Scott Millar
    April 16, 2008 at 18:27

    If Mr. Bush is trying to making any alliance it is: the religious with the religious. This alleged inter-faith dialogue isn’t for the religious to get to know each other, it is more likely to be predicated around the desire for religion in general to be a stronger collective force against the non-religious and their liberal morally bankrupt ideas.

    -Portland, Oregon

  43. 43 Tatjana
    April 16, 2008 at 18:27

    I remember when I attended Sunday school i was told by my priest and the nuns that children were the future of the church. It is upon the children that they build a future and can ensure that the Catholic faith continues. Therefore, I find it absolutely impossible to comprehend why the priests who are responsible for such atrocious acts are not taken to account and punished for their crimes. Society at large shuns sex offenders – why should offending priests be any different.
    As a catholic I am deeply ashamed of the Catholic Church’s inadequate response. I still consider myself a catholic, but unfortunately I have difficulty respecting the Catholic institution headed by the Pope, and I find it even more difficult to accept him as my spiritual guide. Yet another example of the Pope truly representing the real concerns of members of his congregations. As such I find it difficult to accept that he should get such a warm reception.

    Tatjana

  44. 44 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 18:28

    The Pope’s visit to the US will not cahnge the situation at all: it won’t make people forget its crimes. It won’t bring death to life. It won’t make abused people’s life comes back to normal. It won’t make people believe in God again. It will only bring glory to one person: the Pope. Jesus has never been their leader, after all.

  45. 45 John in Salem
    April 16, 2008 at 18:28

    Joseph~
    The wise man to whom you refer was Thomas Jefferson.

  46. April 16, 2008 at 18:29

    No! How can people show their anger against china’s actions by boycotting the olympic torch and not the Pope. The Pope is no different that a slick politician.

  47. 47 Will Rhodes
    April 16, 2008 at 18:30

    but was said to be considering relaxing the church’s ban on condoms to allow their use by people with Aids.

    That’s kind of him, eh?

    It’s the pope and he is visiting the US – woooyah!

    Next!

  48. 48 Nick
    April 16, 2008 at 18:31

    The US should not be welcoming ‘the’ Pope on principle given his and his organization’s complicity in the serial rape of children. If he’s really sorry about the actions of paedophiles in his steed he could show this by extraditing Cardinal Law back to the US to face trial, instead of sheltering him and allowing him to hold positions of influence. If they are compelled to meet him at all, journalists and politicians in the US should instead take the opportunity to address serious issues about the way his organization promotes the suppression of women, lying to children, the discouragement of condom use in regions of Africa suffering from AIDS, and so on.

    The sex abuse scandals gave us a ghastly insight into the workings of this darkly secretive and corrupt organization. This should have been more than enough to convince us that this is neither an organisation with any moral standing, nor one we should trust our charity dollars or children to.

  49. April 16, 2008 at 18:33

    Your guest had implied that once a priest is defrocked, they would suddenly be free and clear from any punishment, and therefore the church shouldn’t take this basic step toward justice — but this seems disingenous — why not additionally notify the local authorities? Even if all they have are suspicions, the *first* thing that should be done is an official investigation and an assurance that no more harm will be done in the meantime.

  50. 50 Yulande, Jamaica
    April 16, 2008 at 18:36

    Just a reminder, the Pope is a Head of State and as such his welcome would be necessarily different from that of Anglican Head or Rabbi leader. Having said that, I agree that he has not gone far enough in his statement regarding sexual abuse. I expected a statement of zero tolerance and definitive statements on how to address the problem. THAT is what a true leader does. He does not equivocate and play politics with the lives of people.

  51. 51 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 18:38

    Why should we mix politics with religion? Jesus once said his kingdom does not belong to this world… He he would have wanted, he would have ruled the world with a human government. Then why should catholicism look for the government’s aproval? If they followed the Bible’s principles, they would not do it.

    also, joining a religion won’t make you perfect, and we should not be demanding perfection from people. The actual problem is when organizations become tolerant with serious mistakes and sins, as has happened with catholicism.

    Greetings from Colombia!

  52. April 16, 2008 at 18:39

    When a group uses sexualy repressed males as the leaders, this is what you should expect. I don’t welcome the Pope to my country.

    Bart
    Oregon USA

  53. April 16, 2008 at 18:39

    If Mr. Bush is trying to making any alliance it is: the religious with the religious. This alleged inter-faith dialogue isn’t for the religious to get to know each other, it is more likely to be predicated around the desire for religion in general to be a stronger collective force against the non-religious and their liberal morally bankrupt ideas.

    Scott Millar
    Portland, Oregon

  54. April 16, 2008 at 18:40

    The problem with priests is that humans are sexual by nature – the no-sex rule needs to be changed.

    simply punishing offenders treats the symptom – not the disease

    Chad (in Portland) US

  55. April 16, 2008 at 18:40

    It sickens me that leaders these days are being pardoned from these hideous acts. I think the Pope is a coward to not face the individuals at Boston who have suffered from this abuse. These individuals will now suffer for the rest of their lives and to see the catholic church not pay for any of their actions, in fact get promoted or worst of all get removed from their posts. His vague comments not only leave the masses puzzled, but also dismisses the actions. Saying your ashamed is one thing, but actually fixing what your ashamed of is. I hope the Pope never steps foot where I live.

    Polet

    Santa Monica, California, USA

  56. April 16, 2008 at 18:40

    Perhaps we should clarify exactly what the Pope had said about the prophet Mohammad.

    He was quoting a Roman Emperor who had made that remark about Mohammed and Islam. He did not directly state that as his own belief. This misquote taken out of context will inevitably lead many to believe this was his own belief

    cheers

    Andrew

    Australia

  57. April 16, 2008 at 18:41

    It is absolutely hypocritical to acknowledge the Pope as a world leader, and yet ignore the Dali Lama meeting here for a peace conference in Seattle, Washington. As for feeling ashamed-if he is so ashamed, then why is the pope allowing the dioceses to reorganize financially to limit lawsuits for those seeking restitution?

    Bartholomew in the US

  58. April 16, 2008 at 18:41

    I think that the US should welcome the Pope but I think that the pope should have been clearer on the issue of the priests and outline a plan on what will be done to the priests and what can be done to prevent things like this from happening again. and also outline what the church will do to help the victims and also to repair the name of the church.

    Ricky in the US

  59. 59 Monique
    April 16, 2008 at 18:41

    The Pope should be receiving the welcome he has since traveling to the United States. The United States has the third largest Catholic population in the world, and 44% of America Christians are Catholics. While the Pope has insufficiently dealt with the sex abuse scandal, he still deserves such a large welcome because of his significance to a large portion of the US population.

  60. 60 Ana from Puerto Rico
    April 16, 2008 at 18:42

    Please people calm down! Yes he has gotten a very nice great by the President but the President has also meet with other religious leaders. It is not the Popes fault that the other leaders do not get as much attention as he does and he should not be ostracized because of that…I am glad he has apologized/feel ashamed about the crimes committed. I think the Catholic Church needs to be stricter about things of that nature. Other wise I think the rest of the bloggers just need to calm down.

  61. April 16, 2008 at 18:42

    Conservatives have always used religion to manipulate people and keep them oppressed and that is obviously why the very Conservative Bush is so enthusiastic about welcoming religious leaders.

    Tom in the US

  62. 62 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 18:44

    @ Bart:

    Is money really compensation for sexual abuse? Could any money repair it, or is this just greed by the victims too? What does it say about society where money is a cure for everything? If the victims had solely sought prosecution of the priests, I would be a lot more supportive of the arguments i’m hearing, but it seems they are more into wanting money. Since they are going after money, the churhc is of course going to do what it can to limit it’s financial exposure. Any other organization would do that too, so why single it out for protecting itself?

  63. April 16, 2008 at 18:45

    absolutely not.

    I haven’t seen other religious leaders get a red carpet welcome.leaders of other faiths especially islam.Will a Al Sadar or the Ayatollah be welcome like we ahve seen today, not so fast. This is partial preference, not fail to the muslims, especially when the pope made the anti Mohammed remark. He did not apologise when the sex abuse scadal surfaced nor did the purpetrators get punished.Now what about the priests who abuse children they are supposed to protect, where is the faith?

    The other Christian sects? the pope does not mean much to the Adventists, Babtists, protestants, Lutherans, petecostals (sp)etc, so why is he given a red carpet welcome. We should uphold the separation of Church and State doctrine. The crediblity of the Catholic church leadership is in question. The government ( the white House has failed the Non-catholic Americans.

  64. April 16, 2008 at 18:46

    Let’s not forget that he is not only a religious leader but also a Head Of State and should be welcome by the US as a HOS – which is separate from the Catholic Religion – that’s between him and the Catholics – Bush has caused the deaths of many many thousands but yet he goes off on a junket and gets these (forced) fancy welcomes from the unfortunate nations he inflicts himself on.

    Owen, Dublin

  65. 65 VictorK
    April 16, 2008 at 18:46

    Interesting. WHYS makes a big deal about rules governing civility and the posting of rational and properly directed arguments. But when it comes to the hated Catholic church you have no difficulty at all in publishing a succession of posts comprising nothing more than sneers and insults. This is bad enough, but is made worse when one recalls that the BBC is are very careful – as a matter of policy to avoid ‘stereotyping’ – to avoid just this thing when it comes to Islam, where you sometimes won’t even publish factual criticisms of that religion!

    Every now again even WHYS falls beneath its own standards.

    ‘Balance’, anyone?

  66. April 16, 2008 at 18:46

    Much is being given to the Pope’s quote about Islam.
    But please be clear about this point that many Muslim clerics and Muslim leaders actively advocate violence against others, terror acts against against non-believers to this very day around the world. Muslim protestors have burned churches and killed nuns and priests. There are no Catholics going around with systematic plans for attacking muslims. This Pope only advocates peace. So why is he villified so much for a quote he made whilst Muslim clerics preach violence and murder?

    Serina
    Singapore

  67. April 16, 2008 at 18:47

    Of course! He is not only the head of a religion but is also the head of the city-state of the Vatican. The Pope is the symbolic representation of both and should be welcomed as such. The fact that President Bush has done such a horrid job handling the rest of the world’s diplomats and leaders does not mean that he should not treat the Pope with the respect his title and position afford him.

    Ben
    Tampa, Florida USA

  68. April 16, 2008 at 18:48

    Some of my friends have been sodomised by priests. I don’t think it is OK for the US to welcome the Pope whose church ignored complaints from victims, and instead moved offending priests from one parish to another.

    Emanah

  69. 69 Scott
    April 16, 2008 at 18:49

    I am disgusted by the guest you have on defending the pope. He is nothing but a mealy-mouthed apologist for this morally bankrupt religious leader. I’m in awe of his revolting, condescending spin.

  70. April 16, 2008 at 18:50

    That caller just contradicted herself. The Vactican City is an independent nation. He is the head of that independent nation. Vatican is not part of Italy. He is a head of state, hence he got the treatment of a head of state.

    Steve
    USA

  71. 71 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 18:52

    All of the hypocrisy of the WHYS is coming to roost right now. It’s all all out catholic bash fest. Some caller just was insulting the Pope. That’s apparently PC. I’m sorry, but this show was very low… Would she insult Mohammed? Don’t think so. Major double standards going on. I’m an athiest and this show is making me mad today… Why are there no shows about the Pope visiting other nations? Should he visit Germany? Poland? Africa? Why was this show even a topic? To single out the US so we could all bash catholics and Bush?

  72. 72 Ana from Puerto Rico
    April 16, 2008 at 18:53

    Why is this woman questioning why Catholics want to be blessed by the Pope?! People have to be open to the fact that people have different believes and not question that. Just accept that other people feel differently than you.

  73. 73 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 18:55

    The relationship between religions and politics is not healthy at all. As Tom said, it’s just manipulation. Definitively today’s governments won’t bring the peace we ask for when we pray the Lord’s prayer, but the catholic church does not trust God to bring peace but humans to bring peace and justice: anyway human governments have proved they cannot do it.

  74. April 16, 2008 at 18:55

    Your papal guest said that the pope isn’t perfect, and doesn’t claim to be — but it’s official church doctrine that the pope is infallible. Doesn’t that mean essentially the same thing as perfect, regardless of his unwillingness to do anything about the abuse case?

    Glenn in Portland, OR

  75. April 16, 2008 at 18:57

    Is the pope really gonna have Texas barbecue with the Bushster? Won’t he get sauce all over his robes?

    GB/OB

  76. April 16, 2008 at 18:57

    Let’s remind ourselves that early in his Reign as the Unitary Executive “President”, Bush declared a new crusades against Muslims. So it is no surprise that he is so enthusiastic about welcoming the leader of the Religious organization that conducted the first crusades.

    Tom

  77. 77 Scott Millar
    April 16, 2008 at 18:58

    Sorry, Mr. Bush did not meet with the Pope just because he is a head of state. The ONLY reason was because of his religious status.
    -Portland, Oregon

  78. 78 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 18:59

    The caller from Boston who said there is no statute of limitations on criminal acts is wrong. I’m sure in some places there is no SOL on sexual abuse, but in some places there are. An easy example the caller would know is adverse possession. The reason why notice giving, tresspassing behavior on another’s property can lead to acquiring ownership in property is that if the adverse possessor trespasses longer than the statute of limitations for an ejectment action (for tresspassing, a crime), the adverse possessor can acquire title in the land.

    What he probably was referring to is CIVIL actions against the church. People out to get money, there ARE statutes of limitations for those, and if you don’t sue quickly you can lose the ability to sue.

  79. April 16, 2008 at 19:00

    The Pope’s reception was pure hypocrisy on the part of Bush, and very negative PR to the Vatican .

    Banks, Amsterdam

  80. 80 CJ McAuley
    April 16, 2008 at 19:00

    It was enlightening to hear this guest of yours act as an apologist for Ratzinger and try to justify his “not being part of “John Paul 2’s papacy (he was a defender of the rules of the Roman Catholic faith, after all!); under which these disgusting abuses of priestly power and depravity over decades were revealed. If nothing else, Benedict is a continuance of John Paul 2nd’s roll-back of Vatican2!

  81. April 16, 2008 at 19:00

    Since the Pope has come to trhe United States to address the United Nations and meet Pres. Bush, I would like to point out what the Bible says relating to this. When Pope Paul VI came with a similar purpose He said “The peoples of the earth turn to the Unitied Nations as the last hope of concord and peace.” At John 15:19 (Jerusalem Bible) Jesus said to his disciples, “If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world…therefore the world hates you.” And at James 4:4 “Don’t you realize that making the world your friend is making God your enemy?” Jesus said that we should pray for God’s kingdom and not rely on man’s government that is in opposition to and does not recognize God’s sovereignty. The book of Revelation pictures worldly governments as beasts given ther authority by the Devil. The Pope does not realize that he is putting himsdelf in le! ague with the Devil.

    Dave, Ohio, USA

  82. April 16, 2008 at 19:01

    How can the Catholic Church shield those priests who abused little children? These people are creminals n should b treated as such. That’s the only way the church can regain its credicility.

    Jah Johnson from Monrovia, Liberia

  83. 83 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 19:09

    “The Pope does not realize that he is putting himsdelf in le! ague with the Devil”

    Dave is right about Jesus words. The book of Revelation also compares the catholic organization with a prostitute and shows how the beasts murder her. We’ll see in a sudden how all this happens.

  84. April 16, 2008 at 19:09

    Pope Benedict must exploit this visit to condemn not only who insult prophet Mohamed but even Jesus in the name of press freedom..

    Ahmed in Baghdad

  85. April 16, 2008 at 19:10

    The pope is the head of his catholic faith-plain and simple. I don’t see him more than that. He should be treated as such!

    Atsu in Ghana

  86. April 16, 2008 at 19:11

    The pope is a leader n symbol of peace. He is human n tries. Its better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

    Savio, Uganda

  87. April 16, 2008 at 19:11

    The pope is senile and confused. His journey to the United States cannot kindle the shameful acts of those priests.

    Tanimu in Gombe, Nigeria

  88. 88 Kinyanjui
    April 16, 2008 at 19:13

    The Pope has every right to visit the U.S.He is the religious wing of the tripartite the rules the whole world namely the Crown of England(controlling the money),Washington D.C(THE MILITARY WING) AND THE VATICAN(RELIGION).
    Welcome home Pope.

  89. April 16, 2008 at 19:15

    So Bush wouldn’t sit down with democrats and other leaders before the invasion of Iraq but he meets the Pope at the airport? You can see how foolish we look here right? There’s no end to the decline of moral fiber in our country. There’s also no end to the shameless acts of this White House.

    Greg in the US

  90. April 16, 2008 at 19:16

    “How ironic for Pope Benedict XVI to brand the Prophet Mohamed as violent. Didn’t Pope Urban II creat the barbaric crusades that slaughtered thousands of the so-called non-believers and Muslims in the Levant? “

    Are you seeing a lot of Pope Urban inspired suicide bombings these days? Two days ago when a Church in the Phillipines was bombed, was anyone thinking it was a rival sect or a bomb making class in the basement that went wrong?

  91. April 16, 2008 at 19:17

    Yes the Pope should be welcomed with open arms in the US.

    Jamesco in South Sudan

  92. April 16, 2008 at 19:17

    As a Protestant Minister I have no time for Catholicism, regarding it as Pseudo Christian at best, however justice demands that I should point out that there has never been a Catholic Priest become a Paedophiles but there are a large number of Paedophiles that have become Catholic Priests. The vast majority of Priest are sincere honest men of excellent character and real integrity although rather misguided in their theology.

    Rev Paul Rogers

    New Zealand

  93. April 16, 2008 at 19:18

    I believe the Pope is the vicar of Christ and so deserves a big welcoming!

    Andrew in Zimbabwe

  94. 94 Clark
    April 16, 2008 at 19:19

    Does any religion pass the test of Christ set forth in Matthew 7:16-20? If catholicism or islam or evangelicalism were a tree would they produce good fruit or rotten fruit. The catholic church throughout its history has produced rotten fruit. Islam responds to criticism of its religion being a violent one by literally proving it so just after it was criticized. Evangelicals have not condemned the wars of the united states, and have proven time and time again that they commit the same sins that they accuse non-evangelicals of committing.

    Three trees that produce rotten fruit and do not pass the test of Christ.

  95. April 16, 2008 at 19:19

    “His journey to the United States cannot kindle the shameful acts of those priests.”

    It is ironic that you accuse the pope of being senile (you read his books and found it to be the work of a senile man???) and then your own sentence makes no sense…

    kin·dle (kndl)
    v. kin·dled, kin·dling, kin·dles
    v.tr.
    1.
    a. To build or fuel (a fire).
    b. To set fire to; ignite.
    2. To cause to glow; light up: The sunset kindled the skies.
    3. To arouse (an emotion, for example): “No spark had yet kindled in him an intellectual passion” George Eliot.

  96. April 16, 2008 at 19:20

    It saddens me that you would continue to broadcast statements about the Pope comments in Germany with out pointing them into context. As your moderator asked “Surely those comments were wrong, surely those comments were a mistake,” I assume then that surely you have read the transcript of the speech. At the very least I would hope that you have read the relevant paragraphs which I have attached bellow. To the moderator, my assumption would be that you haven’t read any expand transcripts, and that if you have, I am suprized with such a unipolar conclusion. As your program comminted, many Islamic leaders have banded together to say that it has been large misunderstanding; a misunderstanding I think was largely caused by international news orginzations taking the quote out of context. In general I am quite fond of the BBC and World have your say, but this seems to be media creating conflect for the sake of conflect.

    As to the Pope’s visit in the US, it saddens me that we, the “world”, would be having a conversation about whether or not we should be more hospitable. I do not think the question should be should the Pope recive less of a recpetion, but shouldn’t the other Heads of major religions be reciving the same reception? I don’t remember this conversation happening when Dalai Lama came to the US, do you? Perhaps this exposes a tendency of (post-)modern Western intellectualism to be anti-Christian (can site sociological studies if you will actually read
    them) as apposed to religion neutral.

    Michael, Emory University

  97. April 16, 2008 at 19:21

    “That caller just contradicted herself. The Vactican City is an independent nation. He is the head of that independent nation. Vatican is not part of Italy. He is a head of state, hence he got the treatment of a head of state.”

    BINGO. I don’t understand why this is so hard for some to understand.

  98. April 16, 2008 at 19:22

    There is absolutely no sound reason why the US shouldd not welcome the Pope on such an important moral issue. Apologies and forgiveness for what happened are what we christians are waiting for from the Pope’s visit. The errant Priests should apologise & be allowed to marry if they so wish!

    Robert in Uganda

  99. 99 Rhiannan
    April 16, 2008 at 19:22

    As a former Cathholic, and in the opinion of many Catholics, and Christians, the Pope of Rome, and as historical leader of the Catholic Church, should be welcomed by the President, as a Head of State, no matter what his mission is to this country. It is unfortunate however, that he hasn’t taken a stronger stand and open involvement into the removal from the Church, those priests that have committed such terrible crimes against innocents. But the Archbishops, and Bishops, and Cardinals involved in any part of the cover-up of the priests involved will bear the judgement of God in their failure to act within the God given trust, responsibility, and authority given them, not by man, but by God.
    His message was not sufficient to support a just and corrective action by the Church, regardless of the apology, just as we find with the disappointments we may have in responses by many other Heads of State in issues with which we have disagreement. And we should still welcome him…. just as the D. Lama, Desmond Tutu, and other well known leaders, that have a ‘world say’ in the good and bad aspects within or without their leaderships and from their nations.

  100. April 16, 2008 at 19:23

    The pope s visit is justified. It’s an indication that he’s ready to confront such vices in the church. Hope he condemns Bush for invading Iraq.

    Jude from Kyambogo University in Uganda

  101. April 16, 2008 at 19:24

    I am shocked that this question is asked because it is absolutely unnecessary and irrelevant, and because you have broadcast that the chief agent of Satan on earth now has welcomed him. Not to welcome the pope would demonstrate godlessness. The choice is for the US.

    Prince from Lagos in Nigeria

  102. April 16, 2008 at 19:25

    The catholic church has done alot of good. Schools, ophanages, hospitals. It is the people within the church who are only human that have commited these sexual crimes. Not the church. The catholic church has always preached the loue of Jesus.

    Frad in Uganda

  103. April 16, 2008 at 19:31

    The pope is a global leader so he deserves such welcome.

    Anonymous

  104. April 16, 2008 at 19:34

    Why should the Pope apologise for the actions of pedofile priests? Did he ask them to molest children? Personally I will be offended if he does apologise.

    Emmanuel in Onitsha, Nigeria

  105. April 16, 2008 at 19:34

    The Catholic church must accept the fact that the sexual urge cannot be suppressed permanently. Celebacy must be reviewed or homosexuality will continue to hurt.

    Anon

  106. 106 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 19:35

    @ Tom

    “Bush declared a new crusades against Muslims.”

    Oh please, you don’t have to make up things if you want to bash Bush.

  107. April 16, 2008 at 19:36

    Priests may be deprived. They are human. When senses are deprived, they become more sensitive. If you are deprived of sound, every sound is loud and cherished.
    If deprived of light, first sight is blinding, but exciting. Human males that deprive their most basic instinctual need to procreate, may develop physiological disorders. Through enlightenment attained, consciousness may expand the need for fulfillment. The human body is borrowed from earth to support our intellect. Men can not separate the body and its needs and functions from his intellect for long periods without effect. I believe, if priests where aloud to indulge in free sexual practices, they would not experience deviation. However, behavior would not be eliminated, but could subside. If priests were to take their abstinence, they would consent to medical procedure. Testosterone, and deprivation may lead to the root cause. Eliminate the root causes by consent.

    Chris

  108. April 16, 2008 at 19:46

    The Pope is human and to err is human but, with the position he holds, he should know better than to say things like that. Besides, christianity preaches love and accomodation which he showed non of those with those statements. About the pedophiles who are serving Bishops, just imagine if it was an Islamic Cleric, the out cry from the world and even the pope himself considering his statement about the Prophet. Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong christian but, this is all hypocrysm and I am ashamed of the church and the Pope.

    Daz in Accra Ghana

  109. April 16, 2008 at 19:49

    If the Pope would allow clergy to marry, would that decrease the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church?

    Brian in Namibia

  110. April 16, 2008 at 19:50

    Hala, don’t talk about what the pope said about mohammed..what about Ghaddfi when he spoke about the bible and christians.

    Ayaya in Nigeria

  111. April 16, 2008 at 19:51

    Why should the Pope apologise for the actions of pedofile priests? Did he ask them to molest children? Personally I will be offended if he does apologise .

    Emmanuel in Nigeria

  112. April 16, 2008 at 19:53

    Instead of waiting for the Catholic Church to do something why don’t the people in the USA lobby more to change the laws so that people can be prosecuted? This is election year in USA. Time for change in the limitations in the laws.

    Emily in Uganda

  113. April 16, 2008 at 19:53

    Believe me he,s a good pope I am a pentecostal Christian but the pope so far has been excellent.

    Basse

  114. April 16, 2008 at 19:54

    Having just been on the show, I wanted to say that given the chance to talk more I would have commented the following.

    I am very disappointed that none of the discussion is looking at what the church is actually supposed to be doing here on the earth. None of the discussion has been about spirituality. The church was supposedly founded to spread the teachings of Christ – love, compassion, kindness, truth, justice FOR ALL. And yet consistently, through time, up to the present day the church has not only failed in these areas but has actually many times acted in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ. I am not a Christian, but consider myself to be a spiritual person who tries to live a good life. Behind all the pomp, all the power, all the words, where is the true spirit of the church now? Is it a church that is going to truly protect the weak and inspire people to live a good life or is just all smoke and mirrors, an entity of huge secular power protecting its own back above all else? The man representing the abuse victims did a masterful job but still he didn’t once question the morality of the pope in how he is acting. How can anyone be a true Christian and act as the pope is over the abuse scandal?

    Ruth Copland in the United States

  115. 115 CarlosK
    April 16, 2008 at 19:55

    My, my, my how the mighty usa has fallen!!!

    To welcom the pope! and with such enthusiasm is mind blogging. This confirms the fact that most people don’t read the bible. Even a cursory reading of the good old book would open our eyes to the tragedy and contradiction that is the Roman Catholic Church.

    People wake-up! Our souls are in jeopardy.

  116. April 16, 2008 at 19:55

    The only way to escape this abuse is to convert to Islam.

    Mustapha in the Gambia

  117. 117 Tom D Ford
    April 16, 2008 at 19:58

    @ Steve

    You quoted Me: “Bush declared a new crusades against Muslims.”

    You: Oh please, you don’t have to make up things if you want to bash Bush.

    Here’s my response:

    I didn’t have to make that up, he declared that early in his term. I believe he was speaking to his Conservative Evangelical Christian Republican base. As I recall there was a big flap about it and Ari Fleischer had to spin like crazy to cover his butt.

    And Bush is self bashing, he is his own worst enemy. All we have to do is expose and report what he does and says and American Conservatives whine about Bush-bashing.

    Like Harry Truman said ‘I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell”.

  118. April 16, 2008 at 20:00

    How does a society that condones same sex relation and has biological proof be up in arms about the Priests behavior? Aren’t they a product of that very society? They are only human.

    Peter in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

  119. 119 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 20:01

    :) Hi!

    I don’t think it’s relevant if the Pope met the president of the US, or if it was the Dalai Lama, or if any of these people visited the queen of England… Are all these religious institutions showing they trust God to bring peace on Earth? Or is all their faith laid on human governments?

    Christians are suposed to follow Jesus example. What would he have done today? How would he have faced this current situation? What would have happened to the leaders that abused of their position?

    Would Jesus have a kingdom on Earth? He had the chance more than once, but he desisted….

  120. April 16, 2008 at 20:38

    I haven’t had time to browse all the comments, BUT…

    We seem to forget that the U.S. is supposed to be the epitomy of a free and open nation (though this label often goes unwarrented as we’ve seen recently and in the past). So “let’s not welcome the pope because he’s against abortion and made a comment about another religion’s prophet” seems a little contradictory.

    Should we welcome the pope? YES. Should we create an opportunity to bring pressing issues to the forefront of our dialogues? YES. People have again and again linked the arrival of the pope (which is actually quite benign) with the horrendous sex scandals that have taken place within the Roman Catholic church (an obviously sinister series of events). Just because the pope is IN the United States does not (in any way) justify or belittle the scandal and its victims–what is DOES do, however, is allow DIALOGUE. This gives people the opportunity to discuss their issues with both the Roman Catholic church and the pope’s actions (or lack thereof) regarding the scandals and their accountability.

    Also, since when does the United States disallow someone from entering based on their religious beliefs? One beautiful thing about this country (and the list seems to be shortening incrementally) is that we have things like free speech and freedom of religion. Would we welcome the chief Rabbi the same way? Perhaps not. But it’s not about the issue of HOW we welcome other religious/political leaders but that we DO welcome them. This is the only way to peacefully create dialogue that while eventually (and hopefully) turn itself into action and instigate change (and there seems to be quite the “change bandwagon” though its road is often little paved). We have to start somewhere. Just like the olympics in Beijing have opened up GLOBAL DIALOGUE about the conditions in Tibet, so too has the arrival of birthday boy Benedict.

    Keep talking.

  121. 121 Nick in USA
    April 16, 2008 at 20:46

    I’m not sure why so many accusations have been pointed at WHYS today. Just the fact that they are willing to let you accuse them proves that they are unbiased. If you think you have a better topic, then go ahead and suggest it.

    My problem with the GWB going out of his way to receive the pope is not with legality, it’s with time management. Sure, he is the head of the Vatican city (800 people according to Wikipedia), but are they going to talk about trade relations between the USA and a city which is smaller than my high school. Nope, they’re going to talk about moral and religious issues. We’re a country at war and the President doesn’t have time to meet with religious leaders. It’s not in his job description.

  122. April 16, 2008 at 21:33

    “Are all these religious institutions showing they trust God to bring peace on Earth? Or is all their faith laid on human governments?”

    You can discern that based on the fact a pope and a president meets?

  123. April 16, 2008 at 21:35

    “Nope, they’re going to talk about moral and religious issues. We’re a country at war and the President doesn’t have time to meet with religious leaders”

    Do you fancy GWB spends about 20 hours a day overseeing a war? 6-10 hours in the course of the week (counting drive time) is too much to do once every so many years when a Pope visits?

    Maybe the president should have snubbed Catholics worldwide and said “No, you are important to a lot of people here in America and around the world, but I am busy!”

  124. 124 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 21:36

    @ Tom

    By your logic, then every time a Muslim says “jihad” it means “holy war”,right? I remember Bush said “crusade” in a sentence. It means pretty much struggle in english too. He later realized the implications and corrected himself. But if he can say one thing once, and you interpret it to mean he’s engaged in a crusade against all muslims, then you must also understand “jihad” to mean “holy war” against all non muslims, right? If not, could you explain your double standard?

  125. 125 Jens
    April 16, 2008 at 21:38

    How does a society that condones same sex relation and has biological proof be up in arms about the Priests behavior? Aren’t they a product of that very society? They are only human.

    Peter in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

    There is a huge difference between same sex relations and the raping of children by priests.

    i don’t care if two men or for that matter 10 men or women are fornicating with one another at the same time, as long as it is consensual. I HOWEVER DO NOT condone the rape of children by people who abuse their wrongly percieved position of power. i think the response should not be all arms up, but all arms used to punish the purpetrators of such crimes.

  126. 126 Shakhoor Rehman
    April 16, 2008 at 22:48

    Welcoming the Pope is inadequate. What is needed is a theological debate with him on the subject of a new Reformation. That also is applicable to all religions if they are to return to God.

  127. April 17, 2008 at 03:20

    The Pope is the head of a nation. The Vatican is a country of it’s self. It would be fitting to welcome him as any other dignitary and leader of a people by The Republic of the United States of America.

    I am not saying that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church has a fulfilled understanding for the very words it speaks. The Catholic Church has protected books written by individuals whom had some understanding about some of the principles of life. That is a point to take in account, the protection of books that nations want destroyed and unknown.

    A world is written by nations for their citizens to behave in certain ways to exist. To take GOD out of the picture humanity can be fashioned to behave as a lesser and degenerate being. God is the super ego. Many physic principles lay claim that GOD is us, the principle of what we know of life. It is a personal possession that can not be taken from you and can not be made less.

    Nothing algood is impossible. That profound effort and achievement is called a miracle. Nations don’t want GODS for their people but they want that authority given them.

    There are physic principles that explain how existence in the form of what we know as time, comes about. By understanding that, one comes to the awareness that the mainstay of our existence is the present. Time is only a product and dimensional understanding, of that which is a infinite finite ultimate that has always been.

  128. 128 Neal H
    April 17, 2008 at 04:09

    Jens is quite right., the difference between same sex relations and priest abuse of children (or any child sexual abuse) is the power dynamic.

    Two adults can relate sexually but adults cannot have sex with children because children do not have the power to reject the advance, and are not of legal age to consent (even if they want to.) A Priest, with an age/size/authority dynamic over a child is expected to protect and nurture that child.

    I have experienced first hand the public misconception that gay men are also pedophiles. Most men who sexually abuse minors, even of the same gender, self-identify as straight/hetero.

    It is quite possible to have a gay priest who behaves completely honorably. That’s another public misconception, that gay men are somehow incapable of responsible action.

    As for the actual topic, I don’t mind the Pope coming to the US, I think it’s kind of funny for Bush to criticise China and cozy up to the Pope given his actions and policies. The Pope should be visiting Boston since that is the site of many of the biggest abuse controvercies happened.

  129. 129 Tom D Ford
    April 17, 2008 at 07:04

    @ Steve

    “By your logic, then every time a Muslim says “jihad” it means “holy war”,right? I remember Bush said “crusade” in a sentence. It means pretty much struggle in english too. He later realized the implications and corrected himself. But if he can say one thing once, and you interpret it to mean he’s engaged in a crusade against all muslims, then you must also understand “jihad” to mean “holy war” against all non muslims, right? If not, could you explain your double standard?”

    I appreciate your attempt to portray Bush as politically and religiously naïve but you and your God-Bush don’t make the cut. Bush pandered to the Extreme Right-wing Republican Conservative Evangelicals with his declaration of a new Crusades and someone overheard him and reported it to the public, and the public busted him on it. His Conservative base ate it up and it fed their lust for hatred of other religions and domination of the world. The Conservative base got the message loud and clear and have supported Bush without question ever since.

  130. 130 Des Currie
    April 17, 2008 at 08:53

    The Pope should get welcome reception in the USA. They have a commonality in that Catholic priests abuse children and the USA kills children. If they work together they can kill all children that have been abused, and viola, no witnesses.
    Des Currie

  131. 131 VictorK
    April 17, 2008 at 14:40

    @Tom D Ford: I’m surprised at the lack of measure in many Bush critics or the misunderstanding about where American conservatives stand in relation to the President and his policies.

    The word ‘crusade’ has an historical meaning and a modern one. The modern one is ‘a vigorous campaign in support of a cause’. It’s entirely secular. Surely every English-speaking person of reasonable education knows that? To try to use it as part of an argument about Christian fundamentalism is as unwarranted as it is unfair.

    You fail to distinguish between conservatives and neo-conservatives. The latter are generally Bush loyalists and cheerleaders, unsurprisingly since they are largely responsible for dreaming up his foreign policy and bits of his domestic policy too (especially on amnesty for illegal immigrants). The neocons are, of course, not conservative at all, with many of them having backgrounds as ex-Marxists, ex-liberals and ex-social democrats. The genuine conservatives, who can be found writing in Magazines like Chronicles – http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/ – and The American Conservative (Pat Buchanan’s magazine) – http://www.amconmag.com/ – regard President Bush with deep aversion. They oppose his adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq as ill-conceived imperialist follies that strike at the heart of America’s tradition of republican government, regard nation-building in other parts of the world as an absurdity, see little real value in the alliance with Israel, think Europe should pay for its own defence, accuse the President of repeatedly betraying the American national interest in failing to control legal and illegal immigration, oppose globalisation, are inclined to support free markets but insist that capitalism must always be subordinated to cultural and social priorities and think that only a Marxist would regard economics as the most important factor in a nation’s life, and regard the Republican Party as an apolitical and opportunist vehicle for corporate interests that has long ago abandoned any pretence to representing the American interests (as opposed to global corporate interests).

    There really is such a thing as Bush-bashing. Someone (perhaps it was you) earlier declared that the President was killing people in Iraq. As inadviseable as the Iraq intervention was, this is simply not the case. Iraqis are slaughtering each other in Iraq (even as I write I am listening to a BBC News24 report about dozens of Iraqis killed by a suicide bomb at a funeral). The Americans are doing their best to put an end to that slaughter. It is Bush-bashing of the first order to turn this reality on its head and pretend that the tens thousands of deaths in Iraq have been the fault of George Bush and not mainly due to the motley assortment of Iraqi terrorists, suicide bombers, militias, criminals and psychotics. It’s Bush -bashing to criticise every action of the President, however innocuous, and use it as evidence that he is ‘evil’ (e.g. uttering the word ‘crusade’).

    It’s really strange. Ordinary Iraqis complain about the occupation but most of them want it to continue. Why? Because they know that without the buffer of the Coalition they would be dying like flies at the hands of their fellow Iraqis. Far from supporting the occupation because they want America to dominate the world, the genuine conservatives take the hard-headed – and some would say hard-hearted – view that the fate of Iraqis is a matter for Iraqis alone and no concern of the US, and unless there is a vital American interest to be served by occupying Iraq American toops should begin to leave that country (and Afghanistan) as soon as possible.

    George Bush has alienated himself from his conservative base by following very un-conservative policies over the years. Your claim that they have supported him loyally ignores such ruptures as the fence with Mexico and the proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants. By all means make out a case against President Bush if you will, but please respect the political facts in doing so.

  132. April 17, 2008 at 15:33

    “Welcoming the Pope is inadequate.

    Says whom? Pope Shakhoor Rehman?

    What is needed is a theological debate with him on the subject of a new Reformation.

    A debate that could easily be settled in the course of a pastoral visit?

  133. 133 Tom D Ford
    April 17, 2008 at 16:13

    Quote VictorK

    What an interesting Rumpelstilskin post.

    The reality is that Bush was ”elected” as a Conservative and has ruled as Conservatives have always ruled; he has financially raped Americas children for generations to come with his massive debt spending just like Reagan and Poppy; he has invaded other countries just like Nixon in Chile, Reagan in Grenada, and Bush Sr in Kuwait; etc.

    Conservatism has always been a pack of lies told to the lower classes to get them to vote against their own interests and the people who buy the lies are always surprised when their candidate gets into office and shows them the reality of Conservatism. Bush is through and through a thoroughbred Conservative, just like we non-Conservatives warned about.

    You don’t like what Bush has done and is doing? What you really don’t like is Real Conservatism. You fell for the lipstick and ended up with the pig.

  134. 134 David from Australia
    April 17, 2008 at 17:00

    Peter Gizzi UK

    “I just heard the 4 o’clock news. George Bush said “God is Love”! He didn’t add while I authorise killing thousands in Iraq. I wonder how the Pope replied?”

    I wonder too!!

  135. 135 VictorK
    April 17, 2008 at 17:26

    Tom: you are clearly very emotional about George Bush, but do you actually have any arguments to make or facts to offer?

    You claimed that Bush’s conservative base had followed him loyally: I pointed out two big ruptures between him and that base. A third would be when he tried to appoint Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and was stopped by a grass roots rebellion of people who wanted a genuine conservative on the Court. Those examples are enough to show how seriously your claims should be taken.

    You are right in one thing, though, when you stated George Bush was elected as a conservative. While he was campaigning for the presidency, Bush made the very conservative observation that democracy and the American way of life were the products of a particular history and were not to be transplanted wholesale to other countries with very different histories. The question is how a man who understood this can have allowed himself to fall into the trap of ‘nation-building’ and planting ‘democracy and freedom’ in two countries utterly incapable of any of these things, Iraq and Afghanistan. The answer is the neconservative advisers and policymakers that the President now relies on. The distinction between neoconservatism and conservatism proper (sometimes called paleoconservatism) is important to understanding George Bush’s unfortunate political trajectory since he was first elected.

    There is no more authentic conservative than Pat Buchanan. You should follow the link I provided to his magazine. You will certainly learn there what American conservatism actually means and stands for: certainly a lot more than the cartoon outline of it that you seem to believe.

  136. 136 Tom D Ford
    April 17, 2008 at 18:23

    VictorK

    You believe the propaganda of Conservatism while I look at the history and the current reality of Conservatism, now you complain that the reality does not match the propaganda, well we non-Conservatives told you Conservative wannabes so before the Bush/Gore election, but you didn’t listen. You got what the Conservatives in Power wanted you to get, not what their pretty propaganda promised.

  137. 137 Tom D Ford
    April 17, 2008 at 18:47

    Dear Moderator;

    Although you consider this a duplicate post let me point out that I have simplified and clarified it for the benefit of VictorK, who has expressed no understanding of my previous post. Sometimes a sound-bite size is more easily understood.

    VictorK

    You believe the propaganda of Conservatism while I look at the history and the current reality of Conservatism, now you complain that the reality does not match the propaganda, well we non-Conservatives told you Conservative wannabes so before the Bush/Gore election, but you didn’t listen. You got what the Conservatives in Power wanted you to get, not what their pretty propaganda promised.

  138. 138 Tom D Ford
    April 17, 2008 at 18:58

    Quote Moderator;

    “Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!”

    So you’re not really a moderator but are in fact a censor of free speech.

    Well that clears things up.

    Thanks.

  139. 139 Xie_Ming
    April 17, 2008 at 21:20

    Tom:

    Please note:

    you may criticize the Pope and many things on WHYS, and you are welcome to bash Islam generally,

    but don’t dare mention political Zionist activities!

    Somehow, such things don’t make it through the WHYS screening.

  140. 140 jeg
    April 18, 2008 at 17:31

    I also was much more excited when the dalai lama came here.

    I may have missed something, but I only see “Before arriving on American soil he told reporters on board his plane that he was “deeply ashamed” of sexual abuse by US clergy and said “we will absolutely exclude paedophiles from the sacred ministry”. What is his opinion on the sexual abuse of children by priests worldwide? Are we pretending that it has only happened in the US? Is it only shameful in the US?

  141. 141 VarickWT
    April 18, 2008 at 18:37

    Wow- what really bothers me even more than the fact that dumbass President Bush welcomes the guy that represents the evil empire (look into the vatican bank and it’s scandals) is the fact that you all are extremely ignorant about what he really represents. His involvement with supporting the U.N. in undermining the world is EVIL. They would not help people on Rwanda while babies were being smacked against trees and children were being cut in half with machetes. This is what he is really about…

  142. 142 VarickWT
    April 18, 2008 at 19:13

    Des Currie, well said. I think that sums up the evil agenda in the axis of evil as well as the thousand points of light of evil…”Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Arthur C. Clarke- who incidentally invented much of the systems used for “Star Wars” programs from the Reagan era and was also accused of pedophelia.

    We are dealing with the real lord of the rings, the fight between good and evil. Religion and politics have been represented as something good but are being used to commit evil acts everyday. They slowly sap pennies away from the poor to build their empires of greed and power to oppress us all.

  143. 143 John LaGrua/New York
    April 18, 2008 at 20:14

    It s interesting that the Pope’s visit should generate such passionate reactions .In reality it demonstrate that his presense is relevant to our needs.Many are floundering in a spiritual vacumn here and abroad and the Pope”s visit may awaken many to the need to rexamine their personal philosophy .The problems in the Church are the problems of the world,,selfish ness and loss of discipline to a moral order.If we were to use this moment to look within ourselves honestly ,the visit and the heat it has produced might also give light and some wisdom An ancient Greek philosopher, Solon ,framed two precepts”:Know theyself, And” Moderation in all things.” If we replace our resentments and anger with respect for our fellow humans we shall all be unburdend and enriched.

  144. 144 VarickWT
    April 19, 2008 at 19:03

    Dear John- I would love to respect all of my fellow humans however respect is EARNED and not given- especially to those who are unworthy of it. My tax dollars are being used for this guys visit not to mention overload of train services, police services, street/sanitation services etc. for a mere percentage of the population. My religion does not demand these services nor would I want it to. I am now sitting in an office near the Pope’s visit today and do resent that I am put out as well as others to make way the the Pope and all those who follow the Catholic dogma of this greedy and ignorant institution.

  145. April 19, 2008 at 19:51

    “I am now sitting in an office near the Pope’s visit today and do resent that I am put out as well as others to make way the the Pope and all those who follow the Catholic dogma of this greedy and ignorant institution.”

    Too bad.

    Your last sentence says it all – this is rooted in your distaste for the Catholic faith.

    60M of us are Catholic in the US – to a good number of us who practice the faith he is important to us. Seeing him is an opportunity we value, and if he were just some nobody (that no one had strong opinions on, no one wanted to kill, no jihadi threatened to assasinate) he would come over on ValuJet and the few of us that cared would go have lunch with him. As it was, there were 600,000 requests for the 100K tickets available – and those were just the people who bothered trying.

    I live in Ohio, and I live near an airport. Every damned day of election 2004 some pol was – or his wife – was flying in and causing me frustration with stopped traffic and rerouting… It happens when people come in that need protection.

    I am not terribly sorry for you having to deal with this once every 30 years in NYC – but don’t act like everything stopped and you were forced to fork over hard earned cash out of your wallet when a leader important to us Catholics gets as much respect and protection as any other foreign dignatary.

    You ever think about how you are footing the bill for the security and protection of folks like the President of Iran when he came over for a speach? To have a free nation where voices are heard, sometimes we have to pay for protecting them – even if you think we are ignorant and greedy. At the very least you should be happy when he is here so everyone can see how “ignorant and greedy” you think we are – nothing like seeing it up close, eh?

  146. 146 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 11, 2008 at 09:08

    I think that U.S. should welcome the Pope as a guest….

    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America

  147. 147 Richard Monson
    September 13, 2008 at 12:55

    Maybe he came over to set free more priest for abusing kids


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