Posts Tagged ‘Mufti of Istanbul’

When the Pope meets with the Mufti of Istanbul but lacks the courage to meet the Dalai Lama

December 15, 2014

Though I have fond memories of the Jesuits who ran my school, I have not a very high regard for the courage of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has apparently been a breath of fresh air but I am having second thoughts. All his apparent actions on trying to combat the paedophilia that is inherent in the celibate church and his apparent attempt to be inclusive of homosexuals and even gay marriage, now seem to me to be more concerned with damage control and of improving the image of the church rather than with effecting any real change.

It may be that even this “superficial” behaviour by an “outsider” in the Vatican shows a level of personal courage that is unusual and commendable. But I now begin to think that Pope Francis too is more concerned with being seen as politically correct. The Nobel peace prize winners have been at a congress in Rome and the Dalai Lama requested a meeting with the Pope only to be rejected.

BBC: Pope Francis will not meet the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama because of the “delicate situation” with China, the Vatican says. The Dalai Lama, who is visiting Rome, had requested a meeting. A Vatican spokesman said that although the Pope held him “in very high regard”, the request had been declined “for obvious reasons“.

The “obvious reasons” had everything to do with political appeasement of the Chinese government and nothing to do with ethics or spirituality or even any sense of right or wrong. There are almost 100 million Catholics and 25 million Muslims in China. The Chinese government sees terrorists among their Muslim minorities but the Catholics mainly as being deluded but not as subversive. The Pope has no problem in visiting mosques and meeting Muftis. The rejection of the Dalai Lama must be put into the perspective of his other meetings. I’m quite sure that in both these cases he is following the instructions of the Cardinal bureaucrats of the Vatican.

Pope Francis prays with Rahmi Yaran, Mufti of Istanbul (right) during a visit to the Sultan Ahmet mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul, on Nov. 29, 2014. REUTERS/ Osservatore Romano


%d bloggers like this: