Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI On Immigration, And Some Dangerous Thoughts

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has spoken on the subject of immigration.
According to the Catholic News Agency,
"Praying the Angelus January 18th, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and encouraged Christians to look at immigration as "an opportunity for an encounter between civilizations” that can take place peacefully through prayer and action.

The Pontiff pointed out how this year, specially dedicated to St. Paul, he is choosing to point migrants’ attention to St. Paul as a model. “Saul, this is his Jewish name, was born into a family of Jewish immigrants to Tarsus, an important city in Cilicia,” the Pope explained.

“Paul grew up tricultural, Jewish, Greek and Roman, with a cosmopolitan mentality. When he converted from persecutor of Christians to apostle of the Gospel, Paul became an ‘ambassador' of the risen Christ in order to make him known to all, in the conviction that in him all peoples are called to form the great family of the children of God....
Pope Benedict recalled the wide variety of reasons that people become immigrants: in some cases, serene and well integrated, and in others, difficult and often dramatic. "I would like to confirm," he said, "that the Christian community looks at every person and every family with attention, and asks St. Paul for the strength for a renewed effort in order to foster, in every part of the world, peaceful coexistence between men and women of different ethnicities, cultures, and religions."

Rather than an occasion for strife, the Pope exhorted Christians to strive to use the phenomenon of immigration as “an opportunity for an encounter between civilizations.” What is needed are prayer and action “so that this may always take place in a peaceful and constructive way, in respect and dialogue, preventing any temptation to conflict and exploitation," he said.'
I love Joseph Ratzinger, the saintly scholar who as a teenager possessed the moral courage to defy the Third Reich. To perform such an act in that time, and in that place, marks him a special man.
While it fell to his perhaps more showmanly predecessor to popularise the Way to God, it was Joseph Ratzinger's duty, or burden, to keep that pathway clear of obstacles. This made him a figure hated by some only interested in themselves, and who have never been called upon to display the courage he displayed. My belief is that history will canonise him.
Criticising documents likely to have been translated from another language is never a wholly useful exercise. The Vicar of Christ, and this Vicar of Christ in particular, is a figure of such gravity that his pronouncements should not be criticised unless one is absolutely sure of one's position. Yet once cannot help but think that this time, The Million Dollar Pope might have struck out.
The cosmopolitan nature of St. Paul's background is debatable. His Greek background may have risen from his familiarity with koine, the Eastern Mediterranean's lingua franca; however, his writings do not seem to display any particularly Hellenic sensibilities.
His status as an hereditary Roman citizen is beyond dispute - I read once, and cannot for the life of me remember where, that it was believed that his father had been granted Roman citizenship as a reward for services rendered to the army of Pompey the Great, on his way to violating the Holy of Holies.
Yet what is absolutely clear about Paul is that at no stage in his life did he seem to exhibit a cosmopolitan mentality. Saul the secret policeman was a committed Jew, a Pharisee deeply learned in Mosaic Law. Paul the Apostle, the dissident, was a man of the Gospel. He showed unbending commitment to both; only the call of God moved him from one position to the other.
Paul is a good example of how those granted Roman citizenship might have had other thoughts than Rome - a lesson which modern immigrationists, handing out British citizenship like sweeties, seem to have forgotten; if they ever learned it. Paul travelled the Roman world as a Roman citizen - but for higher purposes than Rome.
His Holiness is quite correct to say that the paradigm of earthly human behaviour should be 'peaceful coexistence between men and women of different ethnicities, cultures, and religions'. Yet what of those who will not live in peace? Who answer the call to 'prayer' in the See of St. Ambrose, in front of a church? These are no Pauls preaching reconciliation and redemption. Their false faith is one of submission and earthly conquest. That is its history. Can we no longer say so?
Why do the English Bishops not criticise the 'conflict and exploitation' currently taking place on a building site in Nottinghamshire? Who speaks for those native British being denied access to work on the basis that contractors "will consider British workers on an equal basis with any other labour?" Who is being exploited here, the native or the immigrant? Neither? Both? Would a Roman artisan ever have contemplated the possibility of being displaced in Rome by Greeks? No. So why should the British builder have to suffer being displaced in Britain by foreigners? Because a false gospel preached by a frail man whose followers have made him into a god says it might enrich us?
Where have the English Bishops been in the face of the current government's systematic oppression of the British people? An oppression that now extends to considering those who wish to educate their children at home as being 'abusers'? Is this not also exploitation? Is this not also a recipe for conflict?
Revolutions are bloody, unloving, mostly very un-Christian affairs; yet if matters deteriorate, the United Kingdom might just see one. To those who believe I wish to see it, you are mistaken. To those who will twist my words and say that I am urging it, do your worst. Revolution is a frightening prospect for the conservative - this is not the way we do things. When the conservative speaks of the possibility of revolution, he is heard only by God, the bloggers and the dogs in the street. A British Revolution would end badly, as such affairs always do. Its aversion is a matter with which the Holy Father can concern himself. Visit us, Holiness, and tell the truth to the vain and vainglorious men and women who lead us, as only you can.
Your people are in distress - hear our cry.
Hat tip - Brenda Walker.

2 Comments:

Blogger James Kabala said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

21 January, 2009 04:24  
Blogger Martin said...

No hidden profiles allowed, James.

21 January, 2009 05:34  

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