Posted by: fvbcdm | December 9, 2015

Feast of Saint Juan Diego (9 December 2015)

As I write this message, our holy father Pope Benedict XVI is in Turkey. It is interesting that the Prime Minister of Turkey, who up until just two days ago did not intend to meet with the Pope on this momentous occasion, changed his plans and agreed to meet with Pope Benedict in the airport as the Holy Father entered Turkey and the Prime Minister left it for a NATO meeting in Latvia.

In today’s Houston Chronicle, there is an editorial which points out that the Pope is the westerner who holds in his hands the greatest moral force in the world.  It goes on to say that if anyone can present western values to the world of Islam with any degree of credibility, it is the Pope.  The whole world which pays any attention to these things at all knows that the Catholic Church, and its supreme Shepherd stands for very clear moral positions and has not capitulated to the meaningless relativism of most of western society. And since Islam is also a religion which believes in some absolute doctrinal and moral values, it may recognize in the Pope a representative of a billion Catholics in this world who, in principle, reject relativism in matters of belief and morality

and insist upon the truth in doctrine and moral behavior.

The Holy Father’s trip touches three of the world’s principal religions: Catholicism of course, Eastern Orthodoxy as we shall see when he goes to the Turkish city of Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, where the leading figure of Orthodoxy lives and operates, and then Islam, since about 99% of the Turkish people are Muslims.

Catholicism is 20 centuries old; Islam is 14 centuries old. This is the first time in which a Pope has made an official visit to a predominantly Muslim country. If the Turks are at all perceptive, they cannot but be pleased that the spiritual head of more than a billion Catholics throughout the world has enough concern for them that he leaves his place in Rome and goes to visit them in their own nation. It is possible that his visit will open to their eyes a new world of diplomacy, dialogue, civility, and toleration. Let us pray for this; let us pray for our Holy Father’s personal safety while he is in Turkey, and for the success of the various motivations of this momentous trip of his to that land. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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