Belgian Cardinal Grateful to Islam

A quote from Godfried Cardinal Danneels, the liberal Archbishop of Mechelen and Brussels (soon to be retired), in his farewell interview with the Flemish leftist weekly Humo, 20 May 2008

Humo: Thanks to Islam there is now more diffidence and respect for Catholicism, based on the principle that one must not give offence.

Cardinal Danneels: Indeed, that is something we have to thank Islam for. But I also find the Muslim sense of prayer a very positive example. Likewise, we can learn non-violence from Buddhists.

re: appearances

Questions fo kappert.


1- Since when have you conveniently started to characterize Buddhism as a  religion?

 (i.e. a system of faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being or beings).

 In fact, Buddhism has far more in common with the taoist mumbojumbo YOU peddle. 


2- Which god did  Mao worship?  

Appearances # 3

@ Kappert

As you well know from my numerous past postings, one of my mantras is that IN GENERAL history is the best empirical 'guide' we have to judge the present and to help us predict the future.  So, it is dishonest for you to claim that I would consider history irrelevant. First, because it is untrue and, second, because you know that it is untrue.

The subject of this article, and of my commentary, was the mistaken belief of Belgian Cardinal Danneels that catholicism has regained renewed "respect" in Belgium because of islam.  I have clearly explained (twice!) why that idea is mistaken and, yes, in that SPECIFIC context, your "litany of past violence associated in some way with religion" was totally irrelevant.

It is one thing to be a poor reader and a shallow thinker, but it is quite another (much worse) to be consciously and purposefully dishonest (as you appear to be).



so what

You are considering some history 'irrelevant', see below, though recognize history as empirical guide. May I suppose that you carefully chose the pages of history which are convenient for your purposes? If the catholic priest likes the muslim habit to pray five times a day and wishes the same amount of dedication of his fellow christians, he's just repeating the sermon of papa Ratzi. I have only mentioned some christian godfighters and common religious wars in Europe through the ages, you'll find that in any country/nation/community in a more or less brutal way. No religion is free of atrocities and hatred, no matter whether we call humans 'intelligent' or 'shallow'. Have a peaceful weekend.

AppearAnces # 2

The Belgian Cardinal mistakenly thinks that the new "respect" from Belgian secularists for catholicism derives from islam.  In fact, it is the new cult of multiculturalism that is at the root of the diminution of verbal assaults on catholicism.  After having abused the legal system to put islam beyond criticism, the multiculturalists could hardly continue to criticise catholicism and still avoid beyond being caught in their own legal machinery.  It is in that specific sense that the Cardinal cannot 'see' beyond "appearances".

Another shallow thinker, Kappert, obviously cannot fathom this point.  Hence, he responds with an IRRELEVANT litany of past violence associated in some way with 'religion'.  The fact is that TODAY the only religious people who engage in significant numbers in wars and violence IN THE NAME of religion are muslims.   And it is precisely that religion that is being put beyond criticism by the multiculturalists today in Europe.   If Kappert cannot see the irony of that, may God help him.



For marcfrans, as he stressed in his comment, history is irrelevant, and today only Islam fights in the name of a god. Is it irony or is it shallow to limit to sphere of human influence only to the present?


So the enlightenment of Siddharta turned out to become a feudal hierarchy protected by brutal warlords. Sounds like a neverending story of World History. Wars in the name of religion are more practical to sell and certainly receive more 'respect' than Friday/Saturday/Sunday's prayers. It's a pity with these religions. Everywhere blood blurs through the faith. Jeanne d'Arc and Gilles de Rais; Vlad Tepes and Erzsebet Bathory; not to mention the Crusades, 30years War, Northern Ireland, Israel and Lebanon, and ethnic cleansing wherever you want to have it. The opium for the people is well armed and suffers no lack of money. Well, let's continue to kneel down, 'betuigt zijn aanbidding', and hope for the best. Can we 'see' beyond appearances?

Bad news for the Belgian Cardinal & kappert 1, 2, 3

@ marcfrans


re: Buddhism


1 -"Conze has argued [...] that 'some of the success of the [Tibetan Buddhist] Gelug-pa [sect] was due to the military support of the Mongols, who, during the seventeenth century, frequently devastated the monasteries of the rival Red sects. The long association of Japanese Zen Buddhism with military prowess and aggressive imperialism has already been noted... [...] and Trevor Ling has argued that South-East Asian Buddhist kingdoms were as militarily aggressive and self-seeking as any others. Walpola Rahula [describes] a war of national independence in Sri Lanka in the second century BC conducted under the slogan 'Not for kingdom, but Buddhism' ".


THE SOCIAL FACE OF BUDDHISM by Ken H Jones, p285-286



2- "After the Meiji Restoration feudalism was replaced by a State dedicated to overseas expansion, and the Zen establishment found a new role in nurturing absolute obedience to it and supporting imperial wars of conquest. In the 1930's Zen Masters occupied themselves more and more with giving military men Zen training [...] The events of this military epoch in the history of Zen have been chronicled by Ichikawa Hakugen, a Zen priest and professor at Kyoto's Hanazono University, who in his books like THE WAR RESPONSIBILITY OF BUDDHISTS, condemned Zen's (and his own) collaboration with Japanese fascism".







islamic prayer: offensive and untrue

This is so offensive and untrue !

There's an enormous difference between islamic prayer and christian prayer: islamic prayer is
1. a pure ritual prayer (5 times a day), almost mechanical
2. it's an act of 'submission' (islam). Muslims have to prosternate themselves, on the ground, lower themselves into the dust.

In christian prayer there's an attitude of respect between God and man that is completely absent in islam.

This is also offensive for the rich spiritual tradition of praying in christianity. Especially the jesuits have a rich concept of praying (because it is very intellectual and creative). You can easily find it out yourself on (site from Irish Jesuits)

Interesting Quote (but in Dutch):
“De prosternaties (drie- of viermaal bij elke salat) zijn de lichamelijke uitdrukking van de volledige onderwerping aan de wil van Allah, de enige God. (...) Opmerkelijk is hier het zuiver rituele karakter van het gebed. Dat contrasteert scherp met de geestelijke inwendigheid van het christelijke gebed. De christen knielt, betuigt zijn aanbidding; de moslim buigt zich diep op beide knieën. De basishouding van de religieuze mens is daardoor genuanceerd. De christen bewaart meer zelfbewustzijn, meer eigen fierheid. (...) De moslim, als individu, verdwijnt voor Allah, het allomvattende Goddelijke, dat alleen nog telt.” (Herman Somers, "De andere Mohammed", Hadewijch, 1993, p. 58)

Belgian Cardinal

The interview displays sentimentalism of the worst kind, and narcissism as well. Both the Humo journalist and the Cardinal are obviously shallow thinkers who cannot 'see' beyond appearances.

To illustrate. There is no evidence that there is now more "respect" for catholicism in Belgium than, say, a quarter century ago. Is church attendance increasing? Are 'ethical issues' in Belgian politics evolving along "catholic" lines? If anything, the evidence should lead to the opposite conclusion.

Both the interviewer and the Cardinal confuse "respect" with absence (or lesser frequency) of verbal assaults. But that absence has nothing to do with "respect". It is a direct consequence of the loss of freedom of speech in Belgium and the dictates of the cult of 'multiculturalism'. The cultural-left in Belgium has undermined freedom of speech by criminalising criticism of immigration and of islam. While they used to engage in catholicism-bashing with abandon in the more distant past, they cannot now be seen to be openly hypocritical by tolerating continued verbal assaults on christianity and other religions. It does NOT mean that they now "respect" religion, rather it means that they 'want to save face'. It is not islam that has taught respect for catholicism, it is the ruling cultural left orthodoxy which is 'being caught in the trap of its own (multicultural) dogmas'.

It is also interesting to see the Cardinal learning "nonviolence" from Buddhists. Perhaps he should attempt to look more carefully at the consequences of the 'cult of nonviolence' for individual freedom and for political (im)maturity in actual so-called 'Buddhist countries'. In short, the Cardinal lives on a phantasy planet of naive-leftism, together with many others.