Dr George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, is in trouble again. The leading Catholic is regularly upsetting people with his comments and opinions.
This time Dr Pell made an address to US Catholic business leaders in Florida in February; the address was published last week. In his speech, Cardinal Pell questioned the tolerance of Islam. “Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited,” Dr Pell said in the address. He added, “Islamic terrorists are not a figment of anyone’s imagination and the history of relations with Islam is full of conflict.”
You have to stop for a laugh right there, surely? Did his notes say ‘Pause here to allow joke to sink in’? After all, a large amount of the conflict in Islam’s history is that of the Crusades, where the Papally blessed warriors of God stormed to take back Jerusalem from the Muslims. Interestingly, it was the Pope’s team that slaughtered every Muslim they found when the Muslims, on taking back the city, washed the streets with rose water to teach the barbaric Catholics a lesson about being holy.
Mind you, the Muslims shouldn’t get too smug about things like that, as they’ve done their fair share of slaughter too, as often against other Muslims as against ‘infidels’.
Pell went on, “We need a lot of continuing dialogue, based on truth, history and the current situation.” Well, he would say that. After all, truth and history have been rewritten by the Church so many times, it’s hard to know what the current situation really is.
And for all it’s advocation of peace from its more moderate followers, Islam isn’t really in a position to get too upset by Pell’s comments. One of its over-riding desires is to convert everyone, after all. Rather hypocritical to talk of tolerance and understanding with that on your agenda. The claim “there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his prophet” leaves little room for misunderstanding of a Muslim’s view on religious tolerance.
Besides, the word tolerance itself seems misunderstood these days. Everyone calls for more tolerance without really considering what they are saying. To tolerate something is to put up with something that you don’t like or to resist something that is doing you some harm. Acceptance of other religions would be a nice gesture from the religious, but tolerance is simply saying something along the lines of “We don’t like or believe anything you have to say and we wish you were all gone, but we’ll tolerate you because it’s the socially acceptable thing to do these days.” At least back when they were all about killing each other their views had some credibility. Now they condemn suicide bombers and the like, but it’s a bit rich coming from them when the killings are only really continuing the work these religions started thousands of years ago.
Interestingly, Pell, ever the man to spout from the hip, claimed in the same address that fears of global warming are “hysteric and extreme”. He described such worries as a “symptom of pagan emptiness”. He mentioned how, in the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate the gods, but that today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. There’s a leap of logic nearly the size of his general leap of faith.
And talking of pagans, the Church of England is teaming up with Real Estate agents in Britain. The clergy behind this scheme want to tap into the current “explosion of interest in New Age practices such as Feng Shui” in an attempt to get people back to the church. Considering that Feng Shui would surely be considered pagan, they should watch out for George Pell’s impending attack; he’s bound to be as harsh with Anglicans as he is with Muslims. After all, they’re not Catholics. And what is this Anglican scheme exactly? Well, if you live in a participating diocese, a vicar will come around when you buy a new house and say prayers to bless the whole place.
The Reverend Chris Painter is the instigator of this latest patronising scheme of the Church of England and he mentions that, “There will be those who are worried about security and we will ask God to watch over the house.” He then goes on to mention that “divine protection” was not a guarantee against burglary. In other words, it’s a load of old bollocks and he’s hoping that the pagans will be too stupid to notice his scam.
But don’t forget. We have to be tolerant of stuff like this.