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Pope Francis tells diplomats: moral relativism threatens peace

By on Friday, 22 March 2013

Pope Francis greets diplomats during an audience this morning (CNS)

Pope Francis greets diplomats during an audience this morning (CNS)

Moral relativism “endangers the co-existence of peoples”, Pope Francis told diplomats today.

The Pope made his remarks to the Vatican diplomatic corps in the Apostolic Palace’s Sala Regia, the vast “royal hall” where popes traditionally received Catholic monarchs.

Recalling the love of the poor practised by his namesake, St Francis of Assisi, the Pope lamented both material poverty and the “spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the ‘dictatorship of relativism’, which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the co-existence of peoples.”

“Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace,” Pope Francis said. “But there is no peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.”

The Pope paid tribute the Church’s charitable and social services around the world, and acknowledged his particular responsibility for peacemaking, noting that his title of Pontiff means a “builder of bridges with God and between people”.

In a characteristically personal note, the Argentine Pope added that his origin in a family of Italian immigrants gave him an impetus to “work for the building of bridges”.

Pope Francis stressed the importance to peacemaking of interreligious dialogue, particularly with Islam.

“It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God,” he said. “But the converse is also true. It is not possible to establish true links with God while ignoring other people.”

The Pope also stressed the need to “intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail”.

Following his speech, Pope Francis spent nearly an hour individually greeting the ambassadors and their spouses. Most of the men wore white tie, tails, ceremonial sashes and medals, though some from Arab or African countries opted for their traditional dress. Most of the women had covered their heads with a black lace mantilla.

The Vatican currently maintains diplomatic ties with 180 states, as well as the European Union, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

Pope Francis voiced hope for closer ties with “those few countries that do not yet have diplomatic relations with the Holy See”, noting that some of them had sent representatives or greetings to his inauguration Mass.

The Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, said Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, which do not exchange ambassadors with the Holy See, had sent representatives to the Mass.

  • $20596475

    I certainly think we could find a broad level of agreement on many things. I don’t think though that relativism says that truth doesn’t exist. All it says is that it can be different, in different circumstances, and that we need to be very careful when claiming absolutes, because it can lead to uneccessary tensions. What is needed is respect, and I think the new Pope is already making the right noises about that. He might not call it relativism, because of the internal message that would send, but I already sense a subtle move towards a tacit acceptance of it’s validity. I think that we are using different words to describe the same sentiments.

  • $20596475

    I think we should leave “natural law” for another time because it is whole can of worms, and opens up from where we derive our morality. Maybe in the USA a certain type of Protestant tends to quote Scripture, but I don’t find it too much with the C of E. I do though with some hard line traditional Catholics who quote the Bible as a fact which must be accepted by all. Maybe I get to debate with too many of those exceptions because they are to be found more often in the com boxes.

  • Jon Brownridge

    So are you saying that the statement, “Contraception is intrinsically evil” is either true or false? No philosopher will agree with you. Why? Because if you define ‘evil’ as something that God forbids, for example, and I define it in terms of its pragmatic consequences, then it could be true for you but false for me. It cannot be objective. On the contrary, it is entirely subjective.

  • $20596475

    It is because I don’t believe relativism rejects opinions, but tries to respect them, that I describe it as valuing them. It seems to me that what you feel the Pope is talking about may well be different to that which those who believe in relativism, describe. Relativism doesn’t reject the idea that there are objective truths. It just says that they have to be set into their context and that is often quite difficult.

  • $20596475

    True, but I have never suggested otherwise. Some things, like murder, are universally accepted, by all decent people, as immoral, as is ethnic cleansing. I don’t believe it is evil for a lady to show her breasts where-ever she is. Unconventional in some places, but not evil. There are plenty of places in western society where showing your breasts, on a beach, is quite acceptable for a lady.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    I think that before any discussion, people have to agree on the definition of certain words and symbols.

    Otherwise even Math is subjective.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    I still think that certain sector of society reject objective truth itself, but I fear I don’t have the philosophical vocabulary to convincingly debate this any further.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Relativism is a common sense understanding of complex circumstances

    Prove it.

    Until and unless you do so, I will disagree — common sense is firmly based on a grounding in simple, observable reality ; not some sort of woolly “complexities” and trendy make-it-up-as-you-go-along-isms.

    Also — it’s obvious that the words “common” and “complex” involve starkly different realities, structures, and orders ; so that it’s very hard to see, if one’s consciousness is not infected by all-out relativism, how they might somehow be one and the same.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    The abuses were hardly marginal were they? … Tens of thousands of Jews were baptised against their will, and many, so called, heretics burned to death

    The fact that these sorts of lies are commonly spread does not magically make them into truth.

    Having looked in detail at the statistics of the Ecclesiastical Courts of the Middle Ages, forced baptisms played NO part in their proceedings (though it’s certainly possible that some extremely marginal, and abusive, instances of this might have occurred) ; and as for people being burned for heresy, there are only a few dozen cases over the course of about four hundred years, the VAST majority of which involved some accused being put to death by lynch mobs — certainly NOT the so-called “tens of thousands” of the official anti-Catholic dogma that so many on-line atheists set their faith on.

    The only instances of massive forced baptisms of Jews against their will that I am aware of took place in the Holy Land during the Crusades — and they involved the Ecclesiastical Courts NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST.

    The courts were linked by marriage

    Meaningless comment — nearly every single Royal family in Europe was (and is) in the same situation.

    Both sets of problems involved Catholicism and it’s acceptance or rejection

    Ditto — I might just as well say that “both sets of problems involved personal finances, and their abundance or scarcity”.

    Meanwhile your notion that a situation in England NOT involving the Mediaeval Ecclesiastical Courts named “Inquisitions”, several hundred years later, and in completely, radically, blatantly different circumstances is somehow evidence that can characterise these Inquisitions is ludicrous.

    It’s anachronistic, confused, unhistorical rubbish.

    You certainly have swallowed the whole package hook line and sinker. … Maybe one day you might be able to see things in a wider way again

    Your blinkered views concerning the Inquisitions make this particular comment a very ironic one.

    Oh, and AGAIN with your foolish, irrational, and turgid suggestions about religious belief somehow switching the mind off ?

    You obviously fail to realise just how offensive your anti-religious bigotry actually sounds … particularly when you habitually use bad science, bad philosophy, and now bad history to prop up your indoctrinated views against the religiously minded — who in fact come in all shapes and sizes, instead of obeying the contents of your one-size-fits-all strawmen, clichés, and outright fabrications.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    No Fides, your vocabulary is not at fault — it’s the major who appears to be unable to think outside the box of his own deeply relativistic ideology, and even try understanding any concepts in any other terms but his own.

  • $20596475

    I don’t disagree that there are some people who struggle with any concept of truth, but I would not describe them as relativists.

  • $20596475

    Proving anything to you, which did not match your own pre-conceptions seems, is asking for the impossible. I will leave it to others to use their own common sense to determine what is meant by common sense, for I believe most have no difficulty at all with it, or with what I said.

  • $20596475

    That you deny these things happened doesn’t make them untrue either.

    Neither of us were there but I have visited some of the sites and trust the evidence of my own eyes.

    If requiring Jews, and Muslims,to convert, or leave their country, was not forcing conversion, then your definition and mine is, at odds. That is what happened in Spain, and not just on the Crusades.

    It is nonsense to claim there is “official anti-Catholic dogma”. There is objective historical analysis and a persecution complex. This is not dissimilar to the state of denial which exists over the sex abuse scandals. The Church loses respect when it fails to face up to it’s excesses, and it doesn’t help to perpetuate this.

    The fact that the Spanish inquisition, and Henry VIII’s reign, were contemporaneous events, alongside his marriage to Catherine,, meant that the fear generated in England by the excesses of Catholicism contributed to the reformation. That’s the link. I am referring to the Spanish, and not the Mediaeval, Inquisition.

    I am not in the least anti-religious. I am not anti-Catholic either, for I have a lot of respect for the good work done by many Catholics. I think of myself as being pro-truth and anti-bigotry. I dislike rigid, self righteousness based upon pre-conceptions and closed minds. Those who seek the truth need to keep on seeking, and not keep claiming they have already found it.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Proving anything to you, which did not match your own pre-conceptions

    What a joke — so in order to prove your own pre-conceptions to me, you’d first need me to completely abandon my own opinions ?

    Why not just admit that you cannot prove any such thing ?

    It would be far more honest, than this ridiculous pretense of yours that minds open to religious faith are somehow — how ??? magically ??? — impervious to ordinary rationality, whereas the atheistic mind is intrinsically provided — how ??? magically ??? — with rationality and analytical acumen.

    This is extremely ironic — given that in this “discussion” on Relativism you have proven yourself to be unable to make anything other than relativistic comments on the subject matter, and seemingly unable to comprehend any non-relativist comments other than through the relativistic prism of your own interpretative biases — to the extent that even the *definition* that you provided of Relativism was a relativistic one.

    Your argument appears to be devoid of any kind of structural coherence — and so, the best you can come up with, when your ideas are directly challenged, is to daringly suggest that you would only be able to convince me of the truth of your beliefs IF I made the prior decision to just abandon my own position, and believe in relativism instead ???

    Another irony is that you probably will not even realise that you have, quite simply, destroyed the entire basis of your own argument.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    That you deny these things happened doesn’t make them untrue either

    You really do take the cake sometimes — pointing out the extremely marginal and exceptional nature of these cases is NOT a “denial” of them.

    It is a denunciation of the extremely exaggerated and unhistorical spin that you are putting on them.

    If requiring Jews, and Muslims,to convert, or leave their country

    The persecution of Jews (and to a far lesser degree Muslims, given that a State of War existed between Christendom and the Caliphate) by the secular Authorities has VERY little to do with Ecclesiastical Courts judging accusations of religious misconduct made against Catholics.

    There is objective historical analysis

    … something that your posts so far, on this question, have been quite notably devoid of.

    It is nonsense to claim there is “official anti-Catholic dogma”

    It is in fact self-evident that such dogma is widely circulated, and taught to people from a very early age.

    The fact that the Spanish inquisition, and Henry VIII’s reign, were contemporaneous events

    This is a ludicrous suggestion.

    Are you seriously claiming the 12th-15th centuries as being “contemporaneous” with the 16th and 17th ??????? (I WILL NOT accept your implicit suggestion that religious persecution in Britain occurred essentially during the reign of Henry VIII ; quite despite the FACT that the dates of his reign and the one Inquistion that you are referring to are NOT contemporaneous in the first place : the 15th century not being simultaneous with the 16th)

    the fear generated in England by the excesses of Catholicism

    Oh GOOD GRIEF !!!!!

    I think that you will find that religious fear in Britain was mainly generated by such Protestants as Oliver Cromwell — you know : acts of religiously motivated genocide and &c ?

    If you could be bothered to look at the History ***objectively*** that is (not holding my breath in expectation that you might do so one day).

    I am referring to the Spanish, and not the Mediaeval, Inquisition

    Your main source of “information” is betrayed by this phrasing — Wikipedia.

    I dislike rigid, self righteousness based upon pre-conceptions and closed minds

    Then I can only suggest that you take a good hard look in the mirror.

  • $20596475

    You HAVE denied that the abuses were widespread, and continue to do so
    by claiming that the analysis is “extremely exaggerated and unhistorical”. You obviously read different history books to me. I have read the Catholic denials before and just don’t find them credible.

    My understanding is that the Spanish inquisition started in 1481 and was not officially ended until 1834. Whilst under the direct control of the Monarchy it is disingenuous to describe it as “secular” when it’s whole purpose was to ensure the purity of the Catholic faith. That there was widespread forced conversion seems to be undeniable, unless you believe that coercion is simply encouragement, and not forcing.

    There is simply no anti-Catholic dogma. It is a figment of a mind beset with a persecution complex. Catholics aren’t hated. They are just not agreed with over everything. Respect is given when they do things well, and they do many things very well. However, they seem very bad at acknowledging their mistakes, both in the past and today.

    Henry VIII reigned from 1509 until 1547. That WAS contemporaneous with the inquisition. The point I am making is that, whilst the events in Spain and England were different, they had a common core at their centre. Catholicism. Henry rejected it. Spain wanted to maintain it, not just at home but everywhere.

    I am NOT comparing religious persecution in both countries. I am pointing out that in both countries the events shared a common cause. Cromwell has nothing to do with it.

    Wikipedia is a useful source of information but it is by no means the only one. I use diverse sources, whereas I sense that yours all originate in just one place.

  • $20596475

    I have to give you some credit. You do consistently provide a good laugh, even if you fail to produce a good argument. I don’t expect you to abandon your opinions. I am merely pointing out that they are so fixed that serious discussion, and analysis, has little chance of ever changing your mind. It would be totally pointless if you were the only reader.

    I don’t argue that every religious mind is closed. Some of my exchanges on here do produce a better understanding of both positions, and are conducted with a calm respect. Therefore that we find so much difficulty has to be down to your attitude doesn’t it?

    Of course my comments are laced with relativism. I believe relativism to be a positive attribute, so why would I not use it?

    I will leave others to judge whether they believe my arguments have a consistency and structure because I have long ago abandoned any hope that you might.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    > “Politely and respectfully in your case, which is in marked contrast with some other posters here.”

    If someone has been uncharitable, please forgive them. Not only people are always flawed, but remember how the internet amplifies disagreement.

    Please see:
    http://xkcd.com/438/
    http://xkcd.com/386/

  • $20596475

    Thanks. I try not to hold grudges, and remember that I don’t actually know anyone here, or why they might act as they do, so forgiveness is a given. It does though surprise me how so many who claim to be Christians, and therefore have charity at the centre of their belief, so often show so little. It seems to me that nasty right wing attitudes, intolerance and a certain type of traditional Catholicism are often found together.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    I sense that yours all originate in just one place

    It’s pointless even trying to get past your a prioris, isn’t it…

    My understanding is that the Spanish inquisition started in 1481 and was not officially ended until 1834

    The key word here being “officially”.

    Whatever abuses that the Inquisitions made in the beginning are virtually non-existent in the 16th to 18th centuries.

    The point I am making is that, whilst the events in Spain and England
    were different, they had a common core at their centre. Catholicism.
    Henry …

    Henry’s egotism and rebellion may have started the religious persecutions in Britain, but to claim the ravages of the various forms of Protestant Puritanism as being centred on Catholicism simply demonstrates ignorance on your part — and your repeated suggestion that Henry VIII is the principal actor in the ghastly religious atrocities that occurred in Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries is just naïve.

    There is simply no anti-Catholic dogma. It is a figment of a mind beset with a persecution complex. Catholics aren’t hated

    Catholics aren’t hated

    In fact, Catholicism is the single most persecuted religion in the world today. And two thirds of all cases of religious persecution in the world are directed against Christians.

    It is a figment of a mind beset with a persecution complex

    Contrary to your delirious beliefs, the persecution of Catholics, and of Christians in general, does not exist only in the imagination.

    http://www.catholicleague.org/persecution-stories-2/

    There is simply no anti-Catholic dogma

    You deny the contents of your own posts.

  • $20596475

    My “a prioris”? Your hole keeps getting deeper!

    How many times do I need to point out that I am not referring to the 16th to 18th centuries. I am referring ONLY to the period of Henry VIII’s reign. Puritanism is not in discussion, and nor am I making any claim about it being centred on Catholicism. That you keep referring to it simply demonstrates how little you have grasped the point I am actually making.

    Catholicism is not hated BY ME. I only speak for myself. Please address your complaints to the right place. I respect many Catholics, and lots of aspects of Catholicism. That there is a certain type of Catholic, with an agenda which appears far removed from any connection with Christianity, with whom I take issue, does not amount to hating Catholics. I am not “anti-Catholic”. I am pro debate and the exposure of hypocrisy.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Right, so you want to just completely ignore my rejection of your pigeonholing religious oppression in England into the sole reign of Henry VIII, due to the absurdity of such an attitude ?

    Even so — Henry VIII was excommunicated on 17th December 1538, and it is VERY hard to see the period 1539-1547 as being characterised by Catholic Inquisition into religious crimes providing oppression in Britain.

    Nope, in fact we can see Puritanical Protestants commencing their campaign of religious brutality and terror against thousands of Catholics throughout the country.

    In what way, exactly, is this wave of anti-Catholic hatred, oppression, and murder similar to the Ecclesiastical Courts in Spain during the years 1539-1547 ??? Or if you insist, 1509-1547 ???

    The majority of those condemned to death in Spain for heresy were so condemned after the late 1550s ; and the majority of these sentences were carried out in effigy, the condemned having most often (and quite wisely) fled the country.

    FYI :

    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/secrets-of-the-spanish-inquisition-revealed

    How did the Spanish Inquisition function? In many ways, much as inquisitions functioned elsewhere. An inquisition was announced in a community, and an “edict of grace” allowed for self-confessing offenses without serious penalties. By the sixteenth century, inquisition trials were usually not public, and evidence was collected before the trial itself. If sufficient proof existed, the person in question was arrested.

    Since evidence was gathered in advance, the trial was not considered a means to determine guilt or innocence. Rather, the trial was meant to solicit confession and conversion. Torture was used to gain information or confession but not for punishment. It was never conducted by clergy but by paid professionals representing the secular authorities.

    The accused was usually given three opportunities to admit to wrongs. Unlike the medieval inquisitions in much of Europe, the accused was allowed legal (though often pretty ineffective) counsel if the goal was exoneration. Mostly, counsel helped the accused explain the mitigating circumstances, which typically involved being drunk at the time.

    These were church trials, not secular ones, and varying degrees of penance were pronounced at the conclusion. As in most medieval inquisitions, the majority of cases did not involve outright heresy. Charges such as bigamy, lewd living, adultery, and blasphemy made up the routine cases.

    The most serious charges—and those most often leveled at the conversos—were of unrepentant heresy or relapsing into heresy. Those deemed guilty were turned over to the secular authorities and burned at the stake. It should be noted that after the bitter persecution of the conversos in the first two decades of the Spanish Inquisition [Jabba -- ie NOT in the 16th century], very few were actually executed. Most of the condemned were burned in effigy, as they would have fled before the inquisition began.

    The number of deaths for the entire Inquisition period in Spain is in the hundreds — the number of deaths during the oppression of Catholicism in Britain is in the thousands — the number of deaths from Nazi, Stalinist, and Chinese oppression of religion is in the hundreds of millions.

    The ludicrous claim that “tens of thousands” were put to death during the Spanish Inquisition is NOT borne out by any facts.

    Tens of thousands of **cases** were brought to trial, the VAST majority of which led to a sentence of “not guilty”.

    I am as revolted by the death penalty as you appear to be, as well as by torture — however, that’s not the point of my disagreement with you ; which is that your claim that the religious persecution in England might be fundamentally the same as the Spanish Inquisition is a great big load of cobblers.

    The Inquisitions were trials conducted by Catholics against Catholics and people claiming to be Catholic — no non-Catholic could be possibly tried in a Court of the Inquisition ; the religious oppression in Britain was of an entirely different nature, and it had entirely different motives, and it was performed by entirely different people, under entirely different circumstances.

  • $20596475

    Right, so now get down off your very high horse and read what I actually said, rather than what you assume I said. I am not suggesting, and never have suggested, that the events in Spain and England were identical, or even similar. What I said, is what I mean. That they were linked by Catholicism, and by their thrones. The linkage is Catholicism’s inflexibility, and self righteousness. That is all.

    My comments upon the inquisition itself should be read separately, as a side issue. You have your opinion as to the numbers who died. I think you are applying large dollops of whitewash. Perhaps you only believe Catholic sources. Having visited some of the sites myself, and spoken with the staff there, I formed another view based on what I saw and was told. Perhaps they lied, but I don’t think so. Lets leave it to others to decide who is correct.

    A few more comments though on the inquisition itself. The “people claiming to be Catholic” hardly made their claims through choice did they? In my opinion their trials was no less evil than the Nazis seeking out Jews for extermination. I find it very ironic that so many Catholics accuse their opponents of being Nazis, when they have these events in their history.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Furthermore — the Argentine pretensions of political sovereignty over the Falklands are exactly colonialist in nature — they are hypocritically denouncing Britain for their own colonialist pretensions.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    That they were linked by Catholicism, and by their thrones

    So — the direct religious oppression of Catholics by Protestants in Britain is caused by Catholicism, is it ?

    And the throne of Spain and the throne of England are magically “linked” instead of, in fact, being entirely separate ?

    A Catholic monarch and a Protestant monarch are both motivated by Catholicism ?

    And how are any of these things connected to Ecclesiastical Courts, governed not by English nor Spanish Law, nor the English or Spanish monarchs, nor local secular English or Spanish civil authorities, but by the Canons of Church Law ????

    My comments upon the inquisition itself should be read separately, as a side issue

    And then you ask me to “read” your comments ???

    The entirety of my disagreement with you rests on your extremely erroneous presentation of the Inquisitions.

    “side issue” to what, exactly ? More of your tedious ranting about the evils of religion ?

    The “people claiming to be Catholic” hardly made their claims through choice did they?

    a) you provide this claim with ZERO evidence — you’re just inventing it out of thin air

    b) it’s a GROSS generalisation — I would imagine that every single case was unique, and that each of those individuals had their own reasons for lying in public about their religious beliefs, and publicly converting to Catholicism whilst retaining a different faith entirely

    c) the persecution of the Jews by the Kingdom of Spain during the Middle Ages and Renaissance was obviously horrid, but the Kingdom of Spain is not the Catholic Church — your unevidenced claims that the Church itself engaged in forced conversions of such Jews are historically unacceptable.

    Perhaps you only believe Catholic sources

    Perhaps your pretensions towards the intellectual inferiority of Catholicism are bigoted, judgmental, and erroneous.

  • $20596475

    So — the direct religious oppression of Catholics by Protestants in Britain is caused by Catholicism, is it ?

    No it wasn’t, and I have never suggested it might have been. You have put that spin on my words entirely by yourself.

    Are you seriously suggesting that the Spanish Monarchs involved in establishing the inquisition were not Catholic, were not motivated by their Catholicism, and were not encouraged, or even controlled by, the Pope? The secularity of these events were, at best, a thin cloak. That Catholicism was the motive force is obvious.

    The forced conversion of Jews, and Muslims, seems to me to be a generally accepted matter of historical record. You are the only person I have ever come across who has tried to deny it. They were given the choice of either converting or leaving the country. That this was done in the name of the King is irrelevant. The root cause was Catholicism and I have never claimed that the Church itself was involved. What I said, and what I mean, is that Catholicism was behind it.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    No it wasn’t, and I have never suggested it might have been. You have put that spin on my words entirely by yourself.

    Then I throw my hands in the air !!!

    I haven’t the foggiest notion of whatever it is you mean about religious persecution in Reformation Britain being caused by “the excesses of Catholicism”, given that such persecution was almost exclusively created by Protestants.

    The forced conversion of Jews, and Muslims, seems to me to be a
    generally accepted matter of historical record. You are the only person I
    have ever come across who has tried to deny it

    Again — try and read what I write — when and where have I denied this ? Nowhere.

    I said that the Inquisitions did not engage in such forced conversions, but that they subjected some conversos to trial after these were publicly accused of having falsely converted to Christianity. The Inquisitions did NOT round up Jews and Muslims and force them to convert.

    That this was done in the name of the King is irrelevant

    Of course it bloody well isn’t irrelevant !!!

    Your attitude towards this is to treat it like some kind of criminal trial.

    Would you accept that in a trial accusing Henry of murdering Thomas, that “this was done in the name of the King is irrelevant” ?????

    In another trial accusing Jim of murdering Jake, that the fact that Jake was in fact killed by Jeremy is irrelevant ?????

    The root cause was Catholicism

    The root cause was racism.

    This is so obvious that I’m actually embarrassed to have to point it out to you.

    The root cause was Catholicism and I have never claimed that the Church itself was involved

    Furthermore, this is a direct self-contradiction — how can you possibly accuse Catholicism without accusing the Church ??? It makes no rational sense whatsoever.

  • $20596475

    What part of “it wasn’t” do you not understand? I am not speaking about any religious excesses in reformation England. It is only YOU who keeps on trying to make that connection. I am not going to point out again what I am saying. You work it out for yourself. I am sure any other readers have managed it without difficulty.

    That the Jews and Muslims converted before they were tried does not mean they did so voluntarily. They did so through fear.The inquisition was the clear, albeit indirect, cause. As you say yourself, the inquisition determined if anyone falsely converted to Christianity. What were their options? Not convert and be thrown out of the country? Convert, and risk the inquisition? They did not convert through any sudden realisation that their previous faith was false. It was through terror. Catholic terror.

    Racism? Don’t be ridiculous! This was the desire to establish Catholic religious purity within Spain, and had nothing to do with racism. Racism would have been concerned with ethnicity and not at all with the religious belief of the targets.

    Of course you can accuse Catholicism and not the Church itself. Many things are done in the name of Catholicism without the Church being directly involved, or even without it’s knowledge. I don’t hold the Church responsible for your comments, but I blame Catholicism for you making them.

  • http://jabbapapa.wordpress.com/ Julian Lord

    Racism would have been concerned with ethnicity and not at all with the religious belief of the targets

    Are you suggesting that Jews and Moors in mediaeval Spain did not form distinct ethnic groups ? LOL

    It was racism.

    Of course you can accuse Catholicism and not the Church itself. Many
    things are done in the name of Catholicism without the Church being
    directly involved, or even without it’s knowledge. I don’t hold the
    Church responsible for your comments, but I blame Catholicism for you
    making them.

    Oh good GRIEF your comments are descending into farce …

    This is just you describing your typical blinkered strawman ideas again, isn’t it — that ideologies are somehow “responsible”, rather than individuals acting in their own names.

    Is this your “humanism” again ???

    Not only are you FALSELY creating an artificial distinction between Catholicism and the Church, as if the two were somehow separable ; whereas in fact the Church is simply the sum total of God, ALL Catholics past, present and future, ALL of the saved in God’s eyes, and ALL of Catholicism — but now you are making your irrational claims once again about the opinions of individual contributors to these forums who are Catholic somehow not stating their own independent beliefs, but instead being brainwashed or something else just as silly into spouting ideas that they are not personally responsible for.

    I have NO IDEA how you define “humanism”, but I would consider your ideologisation of everyone and everything to be its antithesis.

    It is obviously a fixed idea in your mind that religions cause people to abandon rationality — which is a ludicrous and BTW completely irrational claim to make, given that it is based on nothing stronger than anti-religious prejudice.

    WHAT is the POINT of discussing things with you, given your continually repeated claims of this nature ???

    You interpret EVERYTHING to do with religion through the prism of this prejudiced interpretation.

    I am not speaking about any religious excesses in reformation England

    You have mentioned religious excesses under the reign of Henry VIII multiple times — in what way exactly is this not mentioning such excesses in reformation England, given that this period of English History includes the reign of Henry VIII ????

    OK that’s it I give up — this whole conversation has been a complete waste of time.

    You’re welcome to have the last word in this discussion of your incredibly confused and incomprehensible presentation of your biased and forcible interpretations of religious History in Europe.

  • $20596475

    The Jews and Moors were also born in Spain. They were Spanish, but not Catholic. This was religious persecution. It was NOT racism. It is akin to arguing that we should send every British Muslim back to the country of their ancestors, if they failed to become Christian..

    I do certainly make a distinction between Catholicism and the Church, in that I separate Catholic thought, and behaviour, from the organisation itself. You might struggle to see the difference but I doubt others do. There are many examples I could give of where Catholicism exists separately from the Church.

    As I have told you repeatedly, I don’t hold any anti-religious prejudice. I admire and support many individuals, and organisations, who hold religious convictions. At its best it is a tremendous force for good. At its worst it can be a destructive, self righteous, barrier to understanding, co-operation and mutual goodwill. I leave it to you to decide in which category I think you fit.

    I did not mention religious excesses during the reign of Henry VIII once, let alone repeatedly, because that was not the point being made. The religious excesses were all in Spain at that time.

    I think this conversation has been far from a waste of time. For you maybe, but for others it has exposed the hypocrisy, and muddled thinking, so often prevalent in the minds of the traditional Catholic. That you get so worked up about me is just more evidence of that. I would really enjoy seeing you post this sort of stuff on a humanist forum, because your self regarded high intellect would soon be, very politely, torn to shreds