The Pope and the Prophet
by Remigius de Souza
Thank heavens and hells here, and the Earth, which is mutilated by the civilised societies, that Pope Benedict XVI, or any other Pope, is neither Jesus nor Prophet.
The Pope is the head of the church, the oldest and largest, and perhaps one of the richest multinational corporations (MNCs); a Pope who claims authority is not exceptional. With the blood-soaked history of the Church behind, he quotes some insignificant long forgotten emperor – the sword in the hands of the Church; it suits him well. He didn’t find any quote from Jesus, the Son of God, or any prophesy by Him that there shall be Mohammad who shall have a link to Ishmael, a son from Abraham’s concubine, Hagar, his Egyptian slave, etc. etc.
The Buddha preached Ahinsa – non-violence, Jesus preached Love, Mohammad brought a message of peace, the religion of universal brotherhood; they had historical role to play. In his formative years of teenage the pope had flirtations with Hitler and Nazism; how would it surface in times to come, and how would Universal Church function? Wait and watch.
We have heard that one of the disciples of Jesus came to India. In two thousand years how many were converted to Christianity? But when the Portuguese landed at Mumbai, they had a war at Mahim Fort and they won. After the war they went around the place and butchered the civilians to strike the terror among them; the conversions of the locals followed by the missionaries.
The news about the pope appears while I am reading M. N. Roy’s “Historical Role of Islam: An Essay on Islamic Culture”, a dispassionate study published seventy years ago, and Sayyed Hossein Nasr’s book, “Islamic Art and Spirituality”, in the context of writings on Hassan Fathy’s architecture. Both books, so also Hassan Fathy, deserve the attention of Muslims as well as people of other faiths, in India as well as in the rest of the world, particularly in the West. I have neither read the text of the Pope’s talk nor do I have intention to procure its copy. I am only a Native Roman Catholic (native: not to mix-up my identity with European race/s, despite my name and surname) of India, a layperson; I have no say in Church’s affairs or its hierarchies. Spare me, O, Brethren!
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Remigius de Souza
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