"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Francis, a Socialist & Anti-Christ?, Turkson Tour Continues & Anti-Islamic Bigotry?

Francis, a Socialist & Anti-Christ?, Turkson Tour Continues & Anti-Islamic Bigotry?
Here is the latest mess from the Modernist's teaching the Vatican II New Religion. PRAY!

Bernie Sanders: Pope Francis is a socialist like me!

If Donald Trump has secured his spot as the anti-Francis presidential candidate, following a spat with the Vatican over his proposal to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, Bernie Sanders may very well be the pro-pope candidate.
In an interview with the Canadian Catholic television network Salt + Light that will air Tuesday, Sanders explained why he thinks Pope Francis is a socialist, comes to his defense against detractors who say the pope doesn’t understand poverty, and says that when it comes to abortion, “we just have to disagree.”

Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, said he believes Francis is of the same ilk because the pope “talks about wealth being used to serve people, not as an end in itself.”
“What he has also done is raise the issue of the worship of money, the idolatry of money, and to say maybe that’s not what human life should be about, and that is a very, very radical critique of the hypercapitalist system, world system, that we’re living in today,” he said.
“What the Pope is saying is that human life, our existence, should be more than just the accumulation of more wealth,” he continued. “I agree with that.”
The Rev. Thomas Rosica, who in addition to heading Salt + Light also serves as an assistant to the Vatican press office, conducted the interview in September, the night before Pope Francis arrived in Washington for the start of his US tour.

 Feel The Bern: Oh we are getting burned alright both from the Vatican and USA...

Rosica pressed Sanders on his support for abortion rights, which the Church opposes.
Sanders said he has many supporters and constituents who do not share his views on abortion, and he asks them to “work together on those issues where we can agree.”
He said some of his “liberal friends” express some ambivalence about Francis because of the Church’s views on abortion and its opposition to same-sex marriage, but he nonetheless praised Francis for lending his voice to issues of poverty.
“It’s not just, ‘Oh, isn’t it important to talk about poor, and the homeless, and the unemployed.’ Yeah it is, but he goes deeper than that,” Sanders said.
“And he talks about how we should not simply be spending our lives trying to make more and more money, and turning our backs on those people most in need, and that strikes me very deeply,” he continued. “So I embrace that.”

Sanders has twice taken his support for the pope’s agenda to the floor of the US Senate, including last February when he said the pope “showed great courage in raising issues that we very rarely hear discussed here in the Congress,” and quoted from Evangelii Gaudium, a letter written by Francis that some say is the blueprint of his papacy.

 A Fore Runner to AntiChrist, yes. Thee False Prophet or Antichrist, NO!

New Hampshire State Representative calls the Pope the "Anti-Christ"

A New Hampshire state representative who supports Donald Trump referred to the pope as the "anti-Christ" in a Facebook post thread.
That comment came in a thread the same day, Feb. 18, that Pope Francis suggested that Trump's desire to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico is "not Christian," provoking a response from the Republican frontrunner.
Susan DeLemus, in the thread to a post on one of her favorite psalms was asked by a commenter if she saw the Pope's comments.
"The Pope is the anti-Christ. Do your research," DeLemus wrote, following up in the thread saying "I'm not sure who the Pope truly has in his heart."
DeLemus on Monday told POLITICO she was actually referring to the papacy.
"I was actually referencing the papacy. And what I wrote after that 'do your research,' if you read the Geneva Bible, which is the Bible I use when we study, the commentary is—actually by the founders of the United States actually, the Protestant Church—their commentary references the papacy as the anti-Christ," DeLemus said. "And I think actually in one part of it, and I don't remember who it was that wrote it, there was one of the popes that they had referenced as the anti-Christ. So that's all I was referring to, the papacy, not particularly that one particular pope because the papacy is a seat. It's not just one person."

She added, "I'm not saying the pope is going to start growing horns and a tail and start poking people."
But DeLemus didn't shy away from weighing in on Pope Francis' comments.
"I'm not Catholic so I don't think he's infallible. I believe he's fallible just like the rest of us," DeLemus said. "I'm really not a respecter of men. It's really God I respect, and he's the head and the leader."
DeLemus added that she didn't think it was "fair for the pope, or anyone else for that matter, to judge whether anyone else is Christian or not. Some people who have accepted Christ believe they're Christian and then they fall away. Or they never had salvation or they do have it. That's not really our business. For me, I love Jesus Christ. I believe he is the son of God. I love God and I believe I am a saved sinner. That's who I am. And that's how I try to live my life. And as you can see I'm completely fallible and human and make mistakes as we all do."

Have you had a bowl of "Modernist Mercy" yet this morning?

Pope tells Curia and Vatican personnel to practice mercy daily

Francis was speaking during his homily at Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Monday morning, as he celebrated the Feast of the Chair of Peter and the Jubilee of Mercy for the Roman Curia and all the Institutions related to the Holy See
 Pope Francis has told members of the Curia to tend to their flocks with generosity and mercy and has urged them to become a ‘model’ for all.

The Pope was speaking during his homily at Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Monday morning, as he celebrated the Feast of the Chair of Peter and the Jubilee of Mercy for the Roman Curia and all the Institutions related to the Holy See.

Before participating in the Mass, all those present gathered in the Paul VI Hall for a meditation on the theme “Mercy in our everyday life”, and together with the Holy Father walked in procession through the Holy Door and into the Basilica.
“Pastors are first of all required – the Pope said – to have God himself who takes care of his flock as a model.”

He reminded them that God goes in search of the lost sheep, re-conducts them to the fold, cares for the wounded and heals the sick ones.

“This kind of behavior is the sign of love that knows no boundaries. It is faithful, constant, unconditional dedication, so that even the weakest may be reached by His mercy” he said.

And Pope Francis also urged those present to cultivate and practice a strong pastoral attitude within all Vatican work environments, “especially towards the people we meet every day”.

“May no one – he said – feel neglected or mistreated, may everyone experience the loving care of the Good Shepherd”.

Turkson: "Climateer" Puppet Still On Tour
Environmentalism= New Religion

Cardinal Turkson addresses Climate Conference in Miami



Two women theologians take on Pope Francis’ in-flight contraception remarks

February 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- Among the many reactions to Pope Francis’ interview on the return flight from Mexico last week are the thoughtful reflections of two female theologians of note. Both Professor Janet Smith, who holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and Dr. Monica Miller, a Ph.D. in Theology from Marquette University and Director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, took up Pope Francis’ answer to a question about the Zika virus, contraception, and the “lesser of two evils.”
When asked about the ‘avoiding pregnancy’ in areas at risk of Zika virus transmission, Pope Francis spoke of the supposed permission given by Pope Paul VI to nuns in Africa to use “contraceptives in cases of rape.”  
“Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion,” he said. “In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.” The Pope also suggested that the question of “avoiding pregnancy” in Zika zones could involve a “conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment.”
Responding to a request from LifeSiteNews Dr. Monica Miller said:
It is interesting to note that the reporter never used the term “contraception”—only whether "avoiding pregnancy" was the “lesser evil.”  First, of all it is not necessarily an evil at all to avoid a pregnancy—as couples can certainly abstain from sex, or use Natural Family Planning when there is a serious reason to avoid pregnancy. Thus if the pope simply meant to say that the Zika virus threat was such a serious reason for couples to avoid pregnancy - with recourse to methods that are morally licit - the pope did not teach that there are circumstances when the use of artificial contraceptives can be morally licit.
However, the pope’s response is confusing, unclear and certainly people can come away from it thinking that His Holiness did endorse exceptions to the Church’s ban on the use of artificial contraception. Why? Because, number one—the reporter characterized “avoiding pregnancy” as an “evil”—albeit a “lesser evil” and everyone knows that the Church considers contraceptive use as a moral evil, whether they agree with that position or not.
Then Pope Francis made the statement that there was or could be a conflict between the 5th and 6th commandment—thus giving the impression that there was some kind of a moral quandary or tension between moral goods that perhaps can only be resolved by compromising with recourse to a “lesser evil” in order to secure or protect the greater good—in this case the good of life. It was a rather odd statement, and Catholic moral theology does not speak in terms of commandments being in conflict with each other. Then—when the Pope used the situation of nuns in the Belgian Congo being permitted to use contraception to thwart the effects of rape—the Pope certainly gave more than the impression that in difficult, crisis situations persons may licitly use artificial contraception—when indeed the Church is quite clear that such use is never morally licit as contraception violates the meaning of the conjugal act.
The problem, as usual is the use of imprecise language, improper characterizations of moral issues that lead to serious confusion. One has to wonder why the Pope did not immediately launch into an endorsement of Natural Family Planning as soon as he heard the reporter ask about the licitness of “avoiding pregnancy.” A missed teaching moment descended into confusion. Hopefully Pope Francis prays that prayer to Mary, the un-doer of knots—as there are a lot of knots here that need to be undone.
Dr. Janet Smith, writing in the pages of Catholic World Report said similarly:
The (Principle of Choosing the Lesser Evil) PCLE does not justify a woman using contraception to prevent a pregnancy because she fears the child may suffer some harm during the pregnancy. Here a woman is choosing to do something immoral to prevent harm. This choice violates the fundamental principle that we must never do moral evil to achieve good. She would be intending to thwart the purpose and meaning of the sexual act in order to protect any child conceived from harm, but she is doing harm—to the marital act and her marital relationship—by using contraception to prevent a pregnancy.
There are all sorts of “harm” that spouses may wish to attempt to avoid by using contraception. In fact, one suspects that there is always some harm spouses are trying to avoid by using contraception—harms such as financial stress, inconvenience, threats to the mother’s health, sexual frustration, etc. The Church has never taught that if the harms are serious enough, it is permissible to use contraception, for that would be choosing to do moral evil to avoid harm.
To suggest that some “emergency” or “special situation” would permit a person in conscience to use contraception does not align with Catholic moral theology. For spouses to use contraception is always wrong. How can any emergency or special situation justify what is always wrong? It is an improper use of conscience to use it to discern that it is moral to do what is intrinsically wrong in special situations. One job of the conscience is precisely to enable a person to honor moral norms in special situations. In emergencies or special situations we are not permitted, for instance, directly to kill innocent human beings even if great good could come from that death. Martyrdom is precisely a result of the refusal to do something that is morally wrong in an “emergency” or “special situation.”
Conflict between the Fifth and Sixth Commandments
Let us also consider the claim that there might be a conflict between the Fifth (“thou shalt not kill”) and Sixth (“thou shalt not commit adultery”) Commandments that would justify the use of contraception. What is the risk of violating one of those commandments by honoring the other? Is the reasoning here that those who conceive, for instance, a child with microcephaly are responsible for a kind of “killing of the child”? That is, their honoring their marital fidelity by having sexual intercourse open to life puts them in a position of endangering the life of a child conceived (a violation of the Fifth Commandment?). Or, if they refrain from sexual intercourse in order to avoid putting the life of a child at risk, is there the suggestion that that refraining is a violation of some kind of the Sixth Commandment?
This “conflict” seems to imply that to use contraception (which violates the Sixth Commandment) is a lesser evil than violating the Fifth Commandment and that spouses should be permitted to use contraception to avoid conceiving a child with microcephaly—seen as a kind of murder. But this reasoning is not sound for several reasons. First, to conceive a child with microcephaly is not a form of murder; life is always a gift, and even life as a person with microcephaly is a gift. There are undoubtedly serious challenges and difficulties in living with microcephaly and caring for someone with microcephaly, but one has not harmed a person by giving him or her life.
Moreover, spouses are not under an obligation to have sexual intercourse. If they believe their intercourse might lead to a problematic situation for which they are not prepared, they are free to abstain completely from sexual intercourse or abstain periodically. Spouses abstain for all sorts of reasons—because of physical separation, illness, and even such trivial reasons as a desire to watch sports on TV or to do the laundry. To abstain to avoid exposing a child to the danger of microcephaly would seem a respectable reason for abstaining.
These are some of basic principles that need to be kept in mind when assessing proposals to help women who live in areas where children conceived might contract lethal or disfiguring diseases. Contraception is not a moral solution. Use of a method of natural family planning is.
Read Dr. Smith’s full essay at Catholic World Report here.



Those Vatican walls? Designed to repel Muslims

Pope Francis’ statement this week Christians should not think of “building walls” had one major problem.
The pope’s sovereign city-state, Vatican City, is surrounded by giant walls.
What’s more, the walls were specifically built by a prior pope to repel Muslims.
History shows back in 846, Muslim raiders known as the Saracens looted Old St. Peter’s Basilica and the Papal Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls. The pirates took priceless treasures from the shrines.
Shocked by the sack of some of the most sacred sites in Christendom, Pope Leo IV created the Leonine Wall, completely surrounding the Vatican Hill. Additional defenses were added in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Commenters on social networking, including GOP president frontrunner Donald Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino, mocked Pope Francis’ attack on Trump by posting pictures of the large walls surrounding Vatican City. But some critics saw a more sinister design at work.

Pamela Geller, a world-famous activist against Islamization and a WND columnist, slammed the pope for his advocacy of open borders policies in both Europe and the United States.
“He’s a hypocrite,” she charged. “If he is sincere, let him tear down the Vatican walls and admit Muslim migrants in unlimited numbers. Some can stay in his luxurious apartments. Until he does that, he is exposed as a self-righteous leftist hypocrite.”
Geller, the author of “Stop the Islamization of America,” called the pope’s actions “unconscionable as well as one-sided.”
“When has he ever called out Hillary or Bernie Sanders for their un-Christian support for abortion?” she asked rhetorically. “The church supposedly opposes that and has opposed it for longer than it has been in favor of absolutely open borders and the suicide of the West. It appears as if the pope has abandoned all pretense of being a spiritual leader and has become instead an eager advocate for the far left’s political agenda.”
The Vatican attempted to walk back the pope’s attack, which came against Trump, on Friday, with a spokesperson saying, “In no way was this a personal attack, nor an indication of how to vote.”
However, Dr. G.M. Davis, the author of “House of War: Islam’s Jihad Against the World,” argues the pope’s reputation has already been damaged.
“The thinly veiled attack on Trump and the implication Trump is no Christian seems little more than a cheap political shot unworthy of a spiritual leader of global reach,” Davis told WND. “Had Trump been Catholic, it would have amounted to a back-handed excommunication. Whatever Pope Francis’ intent, he only diminished himself and came across more as a competing presidential candidate than the leader of the world’s largest Christian organization.”
Davis accused the mainstream media of “almost intentional stupidity” in interpreting Trump’s call for a wall to mean no one is going to be admitted to the United States.

Donald Trump (Photo: Donaldjtrump.com)
Donald Trump (Photo: Donaldjtrump.com)

“Obviously what Trump meant was to get a much better handle on regulating our southern border, with ‘walls’ but also doors, gates, fences and more border security,” Davis said. “Indeed, Trump could have pointed to the Vatican itself as a model of border security: massive, impenetrable walls accompanied by efficient security, gates, metal detectors, etc., which allow countless numbers of people to come and go in a safe manner.”
Trump also sought to defuse the controversy on Friday, calling the Vatican’s clarification a “beautiful statement.”
However, he reemphasized his opposition to illegal immigration, saying while it’s a “wonderful thing” for Mexico, it’s “not a wonderful thing for us.”
Davis suggested immigration control will always be necessary when two vastly different nations exist side by side.
“Open borders, in particular between culturally, economically, and politically divergent nations, can only lead to trouble,” he said. “Open (though still regulated) borders between, say, the U.S. and Canada present few problems because the two countries are largely similar in their culture and social and political organization, even if the U.S. enjoys far greater economic and military power. The U.S. and Mexico, on the other hand, are quite different in their culture, language, and economic and social development. Open borders can only mean an ongoing imbalance between the two countries, which is what we see in the ongoing problem of illegal immigration into the U.S. and the flourishing illegal drug trade, which inflicts untold harm on the populations of both nations.”
However, Davis said American problems with immigration are dwarfed by the situation in Europe.
“However enormous the problems facing the U.S. from uncontrolled immigration through and from Mexico, they are relatively benign to what is happening in Europe,” Davis observed. “We are seeing burgeoning Islamic states-within-a-state growing in Europe powered by an ancient ideology of supremacism and conquest.”
Pope Francis has forcefully urged European nations to accept Muslim immigration, despite the danger presented by terrorism and the long-term cultural and religious impact on what was once called Christendom.
Taking the pope’s open borders record in both America and Europe into account, Pamela Geller’s verdict is harsh.
“Pope Francis is actively aiding and abetting the suicide and destruction of Europe,” she said.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/those-vatican-walls-designed-to-repel-muslims/#45xteDG5HmjjGK1O.99

Pupil surprised by school's support

A 15-year-old Kavanagh College pupil who identifies as neither male nor female has been a "little surprised'' at just how supportive the Dunedin Catholic school has been.

During the last term of last year Arryn, who identifies as "non-binary'' and asks to be referred to using the pronouns they, their and them instead of he or she, changed uniform and stopped being called Erin.
All this happened with the school's support and Arryn, whose parents asked their last name not be used, was "a little surprised'' at just how willing the school was to let them wear boys' pants and the girls' uniform's top half.
"They were really OK with it.
"My mum and I drafted up a letter and we just went and delivered it to [Steve] Read, the deputy principal, and they just said ‘yeah, that's OK; you can start whenever'.''
There had not been any bullying since the change in uniform, but coming out as non-binary had been a "little difficult'' nevertheless.
This included a few friends taking a little while to get used to it.
"I feel like they have bad reactions because they just don't know much about it and there is the whole stigma that it's a fake, made-up thing.
"But I sat down with them and had a long talk and eventually they were just like ‘OK, this is how you identify and that's fine'.''
There was also the problem of getting people to use the correct pronouns "because not many people are used to that and it seems really weird in the English language''.
"I've had the occasional question about like ‘are you a girl or a boy' and you get that awkward ‘well I am sorta neither'.''
Arryn would also prefer if unisex bathrooms were available.
"I use the girls' bathrooms because I think I would feel even more awkward going to the boys' ones.''
The decision to change uniforms was not something that happened overnight.
"I never really gave too much thought to gender while I was really young, but I guess I was about 11 when I found out a bunch of different things.
"I was very young when I knew that I wasn't straight and I'd gone looking for [information] on that and through looking for different sexualities online I came across all these different gender identities.
"It took me a while, but I eventually found one that I fitted into and [non-binary] just felt right.''
Arryn's mother, Keely, said the school had been "absolutely brilliant'' and concerns Arryn would be bullied after changing uniform were not realised.
"The school has been really accepting, really wonderful with it.''
Her advice to other parents with children who did not identify as either he or she was to "listen to what your child wants'' and contact support groups if things were a struggle.
"I would just say go with your child. It doesn't change who they are as a person.
"It's just a name and a pronoun. They are still the same person underneath.''
Mr Read said Kavanagh College's decision to be accepting fitted with its core values of service, respect, justice and truth.
"I guess justice and respect are the two that sit around this issue.
"People don't choose this path. They are born into it and feel like they are in the wrong gender and we need to respect that difference.''
Mr Read accepted there would be some in the Catholic community who were against the school's stance.
"Whereas we would say we are all made in God's image ... and therefore we should be being supportive and respectful.''

Bishop challenges Catholics to combat 'ugly tide of anti-Islamic bigotry' 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy is challenging U.S. Catholics to take an active role in combating "the scourge of anti-Islamic prejudice."
"We are witnessing in the United States a new nativism, which the American Catholic community must reject and label for the religious bigotry which it is," he said in a keynote address delivered Feb. 17 in the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.
The evening event took place against the backdrop of the first national Catholic-Muslim dialogue, which was held Feb. 17-18 at the Catholic university.
Last May, after more than 20 years of regional dialogues with representatives of the U.S. Muslim community, the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established a national Catholic-Muslim dialogue.
Motivated by the call of "Nostra Aetate," the Second Vatican Council's declaration on the relationship between the Catholic Church and non-Catholic faiths, the dialogue seeks to foster understanding and collaboration between Catholics and Muslims. Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich has been named its first Catholic co-chairman.
In addition to Bishop McElroy's speech, the evening also featured a keynote speech by Sayyid M. Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America's Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, who reflected on the state of Catholic-Muslim relations from the Muslim perspective.
A discussion with both men was conducted on stage by Ami Carpenter, an associate professor at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, with members of the audience invited to ask questions.
In his remarks, Bishop McElroy exhorted Catholics "to recognize and confront the ugly tide of anti-Islamic bigotry" in the United States, to actively seek relationships with Muslims on a personal level, to accompany the Muslim community as it wrestles with religious liberty issues, and to join with them "to witness to and fight for" a Middle East where Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities can coexist peacefully.
Bishop McElroy said U.S. Catholics should view with repugnance the "repeated falsehoods" that Islam is inherently violent, that Muslims seek to supplant the U.S. Constitution with sharia law, and that Muslim immigration threatens "the cultural identity of the American people." Such claims, he said, are strikingly reminiscent of the anti-Catholic bigotry that was once prevalent in the United States.
However, the bishop's denunciation of prejudice does not signify a denial of the reality of terrorism.
"I want to underscore that it is not bigotry to fear or to combat the violence and terror which some Muslims in the world have unleashed in the name of faith," he explained, while acknowledging that some Christians also have attempted to use their faith to justify acts of violence.
Bishop McElroy also challenged U.S. Catholics to overcome the "patterns of social segregation" that lead them to associate almost exclusively with people from similar backgrounds. Because of this trend, he said, many Americans do not have a significant friendship with a single member of the Muslim faith.
"Religious bigotry thrives in an environment of social isolation," he said. "Encounter, which leads to friendship and, thus, deeper understanding, is the most important antidote to prejudice and bigotry."
Through such encounters, he said, Catholics may take inspiration from the rich spirituality of the Muslim people, which includes the centrality of daily prayer, a commitment to asceticism and an understanding of "the immensity and the richness" of divine mercy.
Bishop McElroy reflected on the development of Catholic doctrine on the subject of religious freedom and noted that it was once suggested that, "in a (John F.) Kennedy presidency, it would be the pope who would ultimately govern the United States." He said Catholics must speak out against "distortions of Muslim theology and teaching on society and the state, because these distortions are just as devastating in the present day as the distortions of Catholic teaching ... which were disseminated in American society in the 19th century."
He encouraged Catholics "to walk with the Muslim community" as it reflects upon issues of religious liberty and the relationship between church and state.
Before concluding his presentation, Bishop McElroy issued one last challenge: Catholics and Muslims should work together toward a peaceful future and an end to religious conflict. Praising Islam's respect for "the peoples of the Book" -- its term for adherents of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, each of which trace their lineage back to the patriarch Abraham -- the bishop acknowledged the fear and grief that has been caused by religious violence worldwide.
He called it "a terrible wound to the Christian community" that Christians in the Middle East are facing "extinction" in a region that has been there home for more than a millennium, while it is "a great tragedy for the Muslim community" to see Muslim refugees denied safe haven in Europe.
"This final challenge to the Catholic community in the United States," Bishop McElroy said, "is in reality a challenge to both the Catholic and Muslim communities to walk in solidarity, witnessing, strategizing and advancing public policy within the U.S. and within the Muslim world to forge a secure future for all of the 'peoples of the Book' in the Middle East and throughout the world."
In his own keynote presentation, Syeed noted that the first millennium was marked by positive relations between Christianity and Islam, but that changed in the millennium that followed, which included the Crusades.
"The long stretch of endless confrontation between the two faiths divided the world into a 'house of Islam' and a 'house of Christianity,'" he said. "Such a division ... helped to establish mutually destructive attitudes and stereotypes that shaped our respective cultures and formed our individual consciences for centuries."
But "a new era of understanding and recognition" dawned during the latter half of the 20th century, he said. "Nostra Aetate" was instrumental in bringing an end to "the millennium of confrontation between Islam and Christianity." This improved relationship, he said, also has coincided with the emergence of a "vibrant Muslim community" in the West.
Unfortunately, said Syeed, the Islamic State terrorist group has reintroduced "the terminology of (the) Crusades era." It identifies Christians as "crusaders" rather "people of the Book." The "antidote" to the Islamic State philosophy, he said, comes through robust Catholic-Muslim dialogue as well as the lived experience of Muslims in the West.
He specifically cited his own organization, the Islamic Society of North America, whose members have lived peacefully among American Christians for more than 50 years. Living in a pluralistic society has encouraged American Muslims to re-examine the original sources of Islam and to reconsider some conventions that were adopted centuries later.
For instance, while women are prohibited from driving cars in Saudi Arabia, Syeed explained, many American Muslims have taken a different view on the subject, citing Muhammad's own exhortation that parents train their sons and daughters to be good camel-drivers and applying that directive to modern-day modes of transportation.
"'Nostra Aetate' and the Islamic practices of American Muslims have thoroughly identified natural allies between the Abrahamic faiths and other religious communities," he said. "This is the shape of a new millennium of alliance-building for common values of mutual respect and recognition.
"All faiths are striving to promote those divine values enshrined in our sacred texts and scriptures," he continued, "so that those who exploit them for reinforcing hate, extremism, violence and instability are identified as the enemies of all faiths."