The incumbent Pope who ferociously upholds his Churchs divine mandate to plant the cross in India takes after his infamous countryman immortalized by the Brothers Grimm. This character is believed to have brought first disease and then death disguised as music in his wake, into every village wherein he set foot. Victims of the violent and aggressively proselytizing Church have known that historically the Cross has always been synonymous with disease and death; the Catholic Church is known to have introduced small-pox, malaria and various strains of the influenza virus into societies that it wished initially to pacify and eventually to convert and conquer or exterminate. All through the twentieth century and continuing into the twenty-first century the cross has modernized its arsenal and is now accompanied by drugs, gun-running, prostitution and pedophilia hidden inside the Jesus died for you Trojan horse. Not surprisingly, a recent UN report on drug abuse has found pervasive substance dependence (read drug abuse) among the people of Indias Christian-majority North-East.
The Second Vatican Council vigorously affirmed that the Church is missionary by nature (Ad Gentes) and that the Churchs primary mission is to plant the cross in every corner of the globe. Christianity is a murderous politico-religious doctrine which cloaks predatory territorial conquest in an intolerant religious dogma. The evangelizing and proselytizing Church describes herself as the bride and body of Christ and this sexist analogy, coupled with money-backed religious conversion, comes with all its unfortunate attendant baggage of abuse and well-deserved names for this religion and its agents, which connote commercializing, and promoting the commercialization of the female body.
The incumbent Pope exemplifies this White Christian intolerance of non-Christian cultures and its congenital arrogance, as his diatribe against the newly appointed Indian Ambassador to the Vatican proves. Nothing but White Christianitys core belief that non-White peoples are genetically stupid can explain how the Pope could lecture/hector the Indian Ambassador on the virtues of social justice, tolerance, peace, religious freedom, and Indias spiritual heritage. The Pope even had opinions on the Rajasthan governments decision to bring in an anti-conversion law, Pakistan-India relations, on Kashmir, on the National Integration Council, on Indias Ministry for Minority Affairs and on violence linked to political and religious extremism in the region. The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things; and poor Ambassador Tripathi had no choice but to listen.
From this comic interlude we may safely conclude that the Pope assumed that the highly professional members of the Indian Foreign Service have never heard of the Christian genocide of Native Americans, the natives of the Caribbean, Australia, Asia and Africa in the name of colonization and the Atlantic Slave Trade. In keeping with this mindset, the Pope probably also assumed that Indians have never heard of the Spanish Inquisition, and its Indian Chapter, the Goa Inquisition, and that Indians, genetically stupid as he probably believes, can still be conned into buying the Vaticans fairy-tale about Francis Xavier. One thing is for sure; our suave diplomats have been imparted strict training not to laugh in the faces of their hosts when they are forced to listen to drivel.
The disturbing signs of religious intolerance which have troubled some regions of the nation, including the reprehensible attempt to legislate clearly discriminatory restrictions on the fundamental right of religious freedom, must be firmly rejected as not only unconstitutional, but also as contrary to the highest ideals of India's founding fathers, who believed in a nation of peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance between different religions and ethnic groups. Thus spake Pope Benedict XVI nee Joseph Ratzinger to the Indian Ambassador.
Discriminatory restrictions on the fundamental right of religious freedom is pompous popism for anti-conversion laws, and disturbing signs of religious intolerance is papal jargon for Hindu communities fiercely resisting rabid evangelizing and proselytizing missionary activity in their villages and localities. Religious conversion by Christianity and demographic aggression by Islamic jihad are ultimately about conquest of territories and peoples. The Pope will not tolerate Hindus legally and constitutionally resisting religious conversion that was his message to the Indian Ambassador to the Vatican. Perhaps some future-day, civilization-conscious Indian government should consider the possibility of severing diplomatic relations with the Vatican until the Catholic Church agrees to give up religious conversion.
For now however, let us take the Catholic Popes advocacy of religious freedom, peaceful co-existence and mutual tolerance between different religious and ethnic groups at face value and examine his commitment to these noble Anglo-Saxon, Protestant Christian values in the context of Nazareth. The city of Nazareth is sacred to both Christians and Muslims. The Muslims of Nazareth want to build the Shihab-el-Din mosque right next to the Basilica of Annunciation; both Christians and Muslims claim that spot as being historically and religiously important to them. The Basilica of Annunciation has been raised on the spot where Christians believe the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of Christ. The city's Muslims want to build the mosque on the site of the tomb of Shihab el-Din, a relative of Kurdish Sultan and leader Salah el-Din (Saladin), who freed Jerusalem from invading Crusaders in the 12th century.
Ehud Baraks government permitted the construction of the mosque in 1999, but has since then gone back on its decision and a special ministerial committee led by Minister of Construction and Housing offered the Nazareth Waqf alternate sites for the construction of the mosque. Nazareth Muslims have rejected the offer and declare that just as the Christians wanted the Basilica to stand on the spot they consider of religious historical importance, they too want the mosque to be built on the spot where the tomb lies and not elsewhere. They have also declared their intention to construct only on that spot whatever the price we may have to pay.
Gone with the wind are the Vaticans pious pronouncements on religious freedom, peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance between different religions and ethnic groups. Hindus are resisting religious conversion because it is violence against their timeless religious and cultural heritage and also because it causes irreparable divisions within families, communities and villages. But the Pope who invokes the self-serving slogan of religious freedom when confronted by this resistance, is adamant that Nazareth Muslims do not deserve religious freedom. The Vatican has maintained that it will not lift a finger in service at the altar of peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance between different religions and ethnic groups in Nazareth.
His is how the Vatican has reacted to Muslim demands for constructing the mosque next to the Basilica of Annunciation
The decision (by the Israeli government to revoke prior decision permitting the construction) "re-establishes legality, the respect of holy sites and the consideration of a community of believers," Holy See spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said, quoted by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"This is not a decision against Muslims, as religious and political authorities in the region and in the world came out against a project that harmed the sensibilities of the Christian world and its pilgrims," Navarro-Valls said.
In an unprecedented public attack, the Vatican representative dealing with the controversy surrounding the Shihab al-Din mosque in Nazareth described the construction project as "a clear provocation."
Addressing the special ministerial committee convened to assess the dispute among the Christians and Muslims in Nazareth, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa said that the initiative to build the mosque in close proximity to the Basilica of the Annunciation "is unacceptable to the Christian world."
"The mosque, at this site, is solely meant to interfere in one of the holiest places of the Christian world," he added.
Big Daddy must be told firmly that religious freedom, like all other Christian charities, must begin at home.
Radha Rajan, 29 May, 2006.
Papal Address to India's New Ambassador
"No Citizen Should Ever Have to Experience Discrimination"
VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today to the new ambassador of India to the Holy See, Amitava Tripathi, on presenting his letters of credence.
* * * Your Excellency,
I am pleased to welcome you to the Vatican as you present the letters by which you are accredited ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Holy See. I thank you most heartily for the greetings which you have brought me from the Indian government and people, and I ask you kindly to convey my own greetings to President Abdul Kalam, together with the assurance of my prayers for the peace and prosperity of the nation and its citizens.
India's ongoing efforts to build a democratic and free society are grounded in her conviction of the need to respect the variety of cultures, religions and ethnic groups which make up the nation and shape the aspirations of her sons and daughters. The Indian people are rightly proud of the stability of their political institutions, while at the same time recognizing the formidable challenges involved in promoting justice, combating all forms of violence and extremism, and establishing a climate of serene and respectful dialogue, cooperation and good will between the different components of their vast and diverse society.
As the nation continues to enjoy significant economic growth, these democratic values should serve as the inspiration and the sure foundation for sound social policies aimed at enabling all citizens to share in this growth and to enjoy its benefits.
In this regard, I wish to assure you of the wish of India's Catholic community to share fully in the life of the nation in a spirit of collaboration and concern for the common good. You have graciously acknowledged the contribution which the spiritual heirs of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Francis Xavier have made to the growth of modern India, especially in the fields of education and human development.
The Church sees these works as a fundamental part of her mission of proclaiming the innate dignity and rights of each human person made in the image and likeness of God, as well as an important service to the building of a just, peaceful and pluralistic society. When the gifts and talents of all citizens, men and women, young and old, wealthy and poor alike, are valued and developed, the way is opened to a future of prosperity and social harmony for the whole nation.
I very much appreciate your reference to India's rich spiritual heritage and commitment to religious tolerance and respect. In view of this commitment, no citizen of India, especially the weak and the underprivileged, should ever have to experience discrimination for any reason, especially based on ethnic or religious background or social position. The recent re-establishment of the National Integration Council and the creation this year of the Ministry for Minority Affairs offer practical means of upholding constitutionally guaranteed equality of all religions and social groups.
While protecting the right of each citizen to profess and practice his or her faith, they also facilitate efforts to build bridges between minority communities and Indian society as a whole, and thus foster national integration and the participation of all in the country's development. The disturbing signs of religious intolerance which have troubled some regions of the nation, including the reprehensible attempt to legislate clearly discriminatory restrictions on the fundamental right of religious freedom, must be firmly rejected as not only unconstitutional, but also as contrary to the highest ideals of India's founding fathers, who believed in a nation of peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance between different religions and ethnic groups.
Here I cannot fail to express the Holy See's appreciation of India's desire to settle through negotiation and peaceful means the long-standing dispute with neighboring Pakistan. Last year's earthquake in Kashmir, with its tragic loss of life and widespread material destruction, showed the urgent need for joint efforts in responding to the emergency, providing relief to the victims and undertaking the immense work of rebuilding. Increased dialogue and cooperation should also prove helpful in meeting a number of other challenges in the region, including the threat of violence linked to political and religious extremism.
As experience has shown, this troubling phenomenon, which is often the fruit of situations of poverty, lack of education, and scant respect for the rights of others, is best combated by concerted efforts to resolve these underlying social problems at their roots. Where the innate dignity and freedom of each man and woman is acknowledged, respected and promoted at every level of society, the foundations are laid for a future of justice, freedom and peace.
Your Excellency, as you undertake the mission of representing the Republic of India to the Holy See, please accept my personal good wishes for the success of your important work. Be assured that you may always count on the offices of the Roman Curia to assist and support you in the fulfillment of your high responsibilities. Upon you and your family, and upon all the beloved Indian people, I cordially invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.