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Pope pleases Muslims, disappoints Protestants

The Local · 23 Sep 2011, 18:28

Published: 23 Sep 2011 18:28 GMT+02:00

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While Muslim leaders were pleased with his inclusive comments, he left some Protestants disappointed he did not make more of an ecumenical gesture.

"We believers have a special contribution to make towards building a better world,” he said during the meeting with Muslim leaders.

"If our actions are to be effective, we need to grow in dialogue and mutual esteem," added the pontiff, 84.

Christian and Muslims had many things that bind them, which can act as an example to society, Benedict said.

"I am thinking, for example, of the protection of the family based on marriage, respect for life in every phase of its natural course or the promotion of greater social justice," he said.

The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, welcomed the pope's comments, saying there was a "big chance that Muslim-Christian dialogue would continue to gather pace" after his remarks.

On his previous trip to Germany, in 2006, Benedict offended the Muslim community by appearing to link Islam with violence in a speech at Regensburg University.

Benedict headed for Erfurt in the afternoon, where he met leaders of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), but disappointed those who had hoped for a signal of reconciliation between the Catholic and Protestant Churches.

Speaking at the Augustine Monastery where Luther had lived 500 years ago, he said, "Prior to the pope's visit there was some talk of an 'ecumenical gift' which was expected from this visit.

"There is no need for me to specify the gifts mentioned in this context. Here I would only say that this reflects a political misreading of faith and of ecumenism."

But his very presence at the monastery was greeted as an important gesture, as was his positive reference to Luther.

“The question of what God is to me, and what I am to God, this burning question of Martin Luther must become our question in a new form,” said Benedict.

But he did not take part in a joint Catholic and Protestant Eucharist, remaining firm in the separation of the two churches. “The belief of Christians is not based on an assessment of our advantages and disadvantages. A self-made belief is worthless. Belief is not something that we can think of and do deals with,” he said.

The pope had said he was not prioritising the idea of bringing the two churches closer together, leaving many disappointed.

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Nikolaus Schneider, chairman of the EKD council, said he would like to see more effort made on behalf of couples from different confessions. “The real-life situation of people must drive these questions,” he said.

On Friday evening organisers of vespers with the pope in a field in Eichsfeld, near a chapel known as a place of pilgrimage, said that 90,000 were gathering – significantly more than the 60,000 initially expected.

Benedict has a series of engagements across Thurigia and Baden-Württemberg on Saturday, and will spend most of Sunday in Freiburg before returning to Rome.

The Local/DPA/AFP/DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

00:59 September 24, 2011 by wenddiver
God's word,Christ's love and Luther's teachings are sufficient, this little man's approval is not. He is the actual representative of the Roman Bureacracy that split the Church.
06:00 September 24, 2011 by solsscriptura
Martin Luther is rolling in his grave right now. The evangelical Lutherans have been sold out by those who preach to them. Today's headlines say it all. "Pope Pleases Muslims, disappoints evangelicals . . . Penis Enlargements on the Rise!"

If Germany ever needed Jesus, it is now.
13:23 September 24, 2011 by Englishted
Above are two good reasons to strengthen secular society ,and more importantly education.
17:11 September 24, 2011 by Louis Prince
Comment: Wenddiver and Solsscriptura, you are both correct.

The whole existence of a Pope figure, is against the firts principles of Christianity. The catholics murderd thousands of muslims and protestants in history. Protestants never claimed to be mutually bound to Muslims in any way, it would be wrong according to scripture. But protestants don't have a history of murdering Muslims either. Surely its the catholics that need to get some principle.

O, Enlishted, you need education if you think secularism is a way to stabilise society in a Country with a majority of Christians. Just think and realy think what the result will be.
18:29 September 24, 2011 by solsscriptura
'The pope had said he was not prioritising the idea of bringing the two churches closer together, leaving many disappointed.'

None of these Lutherans has read Luther. Start with Luthers works volume 26 on Galatians. Then go to Lutherstadt Wittenburg and try to find a copy of Luthers works. You will not. Two of us pastors tried for 2 days and could not find one volume. However we found much ecumenicial+humanist+globalist writings.

The disappointed crybabies above should become priests and kiss the ring.

Scripture alone Faith alone and no, I am not buying an indulgence.
19:11 September 24, 2011 by TheCrownPrince
@Louis Prince - Nobody needs any kind of religion for morality in society or to stabilize it. Just read Kant.
23:11 September 24, 2011 by shiraz
Our Catholic church has suffered greatly at the hands of some sorcerers (who will go unnamed). One is guilty of misunderstanding them oneself but despite it they are great enough to love and do good in return. What the Pope did was for the welfare of his people and it is understandable. May the western hemisphere remain united - behind the lamb, behind Numa and Solon and all who are good! for the sake of what is good what is right-hearted must prevail. May the western hemisphere and her allies prevail.
23:57 September 24, 2011 by DOZ
I am shaking my head again at this Church's games.
11:03 September 25, 2011 by wenddiver
@solsscriptura- Google the Wittenburg Project, they are daily adding the original works of Martin Luther, Dietrick Bonhoffer's Theoligical Work, Chemnetz and Melthacon. Not too long ago Concordia Publishing did a wonderful Edition of the Book of Concord, which explains the Lutheran Faith in detail. The clarity and strength of the early Fathers of the Evangelical Church is stronger to this day than modern dribbling of many of our current Clergy who seem to stand for nothing. I believe the writings of the original founders, in the hands of our Lay people is the future of Lutheranism.

@Englishted- There is no comparison to the Glory of Protestant England (the Armada, the Civil War,Nelson, Queen Victoria, compared to the Secular Welfare State of Great Britain and the US in the 1970s). Secular thought is a prouduct of a bunch of French Revolutionairies and Soviet Muders, they have little to nothing to give the Anglo-saxon world as they are the outpourings of two very violent and deranged systems. They would be hilarious if so many people had not died in the secular craziness of Comittee of Public Safety/Monsieur Boneparte and Comrade Lennin/Generalisimo Stalin. By the way Kant's backgrounfd was Piest Lutheran.
05:35 September 26, 2011 by nathan45
This only makes muslims feel more welcome to come to our western nations.

I live in Canada and several weeks ago the Canadian government anounced that in 20 years 1 in 3 people will be a minority because our populatioin is breaking even insted of quickly expanding they think its justified to flood our country with enough immigrants to the point that in about 50 years there wont be very many of the people who settled our great country left.

The government keeps bringing people from counties who unresponsably have 5 or 6 children with out thinking of the enviromental costs. And all because the greedy capitalist government says the economy has to constantly expand at the expense of the planet earth its self, consuming more and more resources puting more green house gases into the air.

Disgusting, why cant we have a stable economy? a stable population? because the government and their friends the big banks want more more more theres only so many people the earth can support.

Its time for people to stand up and say no more if all the non western nations like China want to over populate and ruin their lands so be it but dont let them spill into our lands. Stand up! Stand up and say no more!
08:36 September 26, 2011 by BR549
It's really too bad that religion, and I mean all of them, has such an influence on people. On the whole, religion has caused more harm than good... It all boils down to power, control and money. People are dumb as sheep; fighting and killing over NOTHING.
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