Benedict and Public Perception

A poll probing public perceptions of Pope Benedict has arrived, this one from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. It finds that one-half of Americans have a favorable opinion of the pope. But 30 percent don't know much about, and close to one in five have an unfavorable view of him.

The good news for the Pope is that he's popular among his constituency. Close to three out of four Catholics have a favorable view of him, and only 11 percent don't like him.

But he's got a ways to go before he catches up with the man who held the job before Benedict. "Pope Benedict is considerably less well known, and less favorably viewed, than his predecessor John Paul II was in the 1980s and 1990s," the Pew report finds.

When it comes to promoting interfaith relations, the current pope also has some work in front of him. Forty percent of those who've heard of the pope say he has done a fair or a poor job in fostering good relations with other faiths.
When he gets to town in two weeks, he is going to work on that issue. On April 17, he is meeting with 200 leaders of different faiths at the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington D.C.

By Jacqueline L. Salmon |  April 4, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
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This Pope is wearing a mask of spirituality with a keen nose for global political winds.At heart and sometimes more manifestly,when unguarded,this guy is more like Pope Urban II of the 11 th century that gave a call for the crusades.Inwardly he endorses G.W.Bush's crusade to permanently weaken Muslim countries politically and economically so that they will NOT ever pose a threat to Christianity.Instead of living harmoniously keeping our faiths at home,this Pope & Bush are taking us backwards with crude methods of coercion till the Muslims in Afghanistan & Iraq surrender in a physical sense as any human being will do normally when faced with the fire power of USA.

Posted by: GNS | April 6, 2008 5:01 AM

imagine fighting for the Nazi's, then being head of the Catholic Church.

somehow it's fitting.

Posted by: Trey | April 6, 2008 6:57 AM

imagine fighting for the Nazi's, then being head of the Catholic Church.

somehow it's fitting.

Posted by: Trey | April 6, 2008 7:04 AM

For GNS who wrote at 05:01:

"Inwardly(,) he (Pope B. XVI) endorses G. W. Bush's crusade to permanently weaken Muslim countries ...... "

Where did you get that ridiculous idea? Do you have supernatural powers to tap into the "Inward" mind of this Pope?

The writings and speeches made by Popes B. XVI, JP II and the USCCB (Catholic Conference of Bishops) have *ALL CONSISTENTLY CONDEMMED* our invovlement in Iraq. They would not write this way if they were (inwardly) thinking otherwise.

Your assumption that Pope B. XVI "endorses G. W. Bush's crusade" inwardly or otherwise is pure folly. This Pope like JP II or the USCCB are not "inwardly" or otherwise supportive of Mr. Bush's Iraq efforts.

You wrote: "Instead of living harmoniously keeping our faiths at home ...."

Again, your subjective opinion is not valid.

During his week long visit, B. XVI will have an ecumenical meeting with Jews, Muslims, Hindus, others. Additionally, he'll be attending Passover in an NYC synagogue with our OT brethern. Later this year, he'll have a conference with Muslims at the Vatican to initiate a dialogue with them.

The above suggests an attempt for "harmony" vice "Instead of living harmoniously" as you wrote.

Where do you get your information to base your opinions??? ??? ???

Posted by: Dave | April 6, 2008 8:46 AM

Benedict comes across as cold and punitive - a stark contrast from his predecessor.

Posted by: Roy | April 6, 2008 9:37 AM

I find it interesting that some people put so much energy into criticizing things that they don't take the time to understand. My opinion--(from the standpoint of someone who has taken the time to learn about him, and form a REAL opinion based on fact).
1)The Pope is a loving man who abandoned his post with the Nazis because he did not believe in what they stood for, and later spoke out sincerely about what Germany was doing at that time in history.
2)The church should never changes it's teachings based on popular sentiment. Christ would never change his message because someone didn't agree with it.
3) The Catholic church's position on the Iraq war has always been that it should have never taken place. That message has been consistent from the beginning.

Please make sure your facts are correct next time you post.

Posted by: Dan Minter | April 6, 2008 10:00 AM

As the saying goes: "You can not teach an old dog new tricks", this pope is a reflection of his past, and I think he is still connected to that past with comptent and bitterness. He looks arround him, and sees what is happening to Europe and wonders why in the world, the "civilized cultured Europeans" are leaving his lead to follow a supposedly "backward and barbaric religion from the desert of Arabia".

To him this "Muslim invasion of Europe and Europeans" has to stop at any cost, even at the cost the previous pope's accomplishements in terms of interfaith relations. Now realizing his mistakes, and realizing that even his followers would not go along with him on this, he is playing catch up; have an interfaith meeting in Washington DC, invite Muslims to the Vatican and so on.

I worked with many times with catholics in interfaith and found them very genuine in their openeness, help and fairness. I still work with them, but this pope does not seem genuine to me...

Peace every one.

Posted by: Omar Bouderdaben | April 6, 2008 11:47 AM

"interfaith relations", Omar? While the West is open to allowing all faiths to worship as they wish, muslim nations prohibit Christian worship - and issue fatwas on any muslims who convert from islam. Seems to this observer that the only "interfaith relations" in which muslims are truly interested are those relations which see the beheading of infidels.

And as far as the Pope is concerned, one thing I have always admired in the Catholic church is the unwavering steadfastness to the ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Unlike some denominations with their "ten Suggestions" and the 'deletion' of politically-incorrect admonitions in the Bible, the Catholic church remains 'the rock' upon which Christ founded HIS church. And this Pope continues that tradition of Peter.

So while Pope Benedict may not have the same persona as Pope John Paul II, he certainly does share the same beliefs.

Posted by: pjvm | April 6, 2008 12:16 PM

I'm fascinated by this pope. He's part of a dying generaton, so probably the only opportunity we'll have for a pope who was also a Hitler Youth (instead of just a Vatican collaborator).

I wounder if he's ever said, "Ve have vays of making you talk."

Posted by: Cletus | April 6, 2008 2:24 PM

I am, once again, appalled and amazed at the amount of: a) ignorance; b) intolerance; c) nastiness that some on these Washington Post blogs spew forth. Most of the comments seem to come from one or all three of those perspectives, few are rooted in any actual knowledge of the subject at hand.

To all of you, I ask that you get your facts straight before you start slandering the Pope. It's really shameful, you talk about his intolerance? That's really laughable.

p.s. thank you to pjvm for some informed words

Posted by: lisabe | April 6, 2008 2:39 PM

The Washington Post should be ashamed of itself for letting these bigoted comments and offensive language on this page.

If it was anti-semetic rather than anti-catholic people would think twice.

In any case, an illogical, stereotyping bigot (found about) is still a bigot...

PS - all German youth were co-opted by the Nazi war machine .... suggesting that this holy man (teenager at the time) was a willing participant is despicable slander!

Have you no shame?

Posted by: speed123 | April 6, 2008 2:49 PM

Sad . . .that so many still embrace viewpoints based on Dark Ages mentality.

Posted by: Lu Franklin | April 6, 2008 3:53 PM

I find it amazing that proponents of a religion that used to burn people at the stake and torture them until they converted are so thin-skinned. Especially when I regularly read religious people say that I, as an atheist, share responsibility for Hitler, Stalin and Pol-Pot. I think the pope recently made such a connection.

Ratzinger heads one of the more malign organizations in the world, spreading ignorance, misery and death throughout the 3rd world while allegedly celebrating a culture of life.

And he was a Hitler Youth.

Posted by: Cletus | April 6, 2008 4:55 PM

For all you religionists who so love your papa, all of humanity will be better served when we no longer need to discuss the relevance of such people as the popes, preachers and the dalai lamas; when we begin to actually deal with the realities of this world as educated, thinking, and compassionate human beings. All of these so-called spiritual leaders have political intentions. Will we never be done with them?

Posted by: G.D.Wymer | April 6, 2008 5:24 PM

Benedict was not just in the Hitler Youth; he was a soldier in Hitler's army. He was in an artillery unit that shot down the US planes that were trying to liberate Dauchau concentration camp. He explains he "never shot his rifle" because he "had an infected finger." Is that the stupidest BS you ever heard or what? He didn't desert his post because he had any objection to Nazism; he deserted to save his sanctimonious little butt.

If he ever gets into heaven, Franz Jaegerstatter will spit in his face.

Posted by: Sam | April 6, 2008 8:52 PM

I was stunned when Benedict XVI was elected. Yet now I cannot conceive of a better choice.

One just has to follow his messages to the Catholic flock to recognize he is a brilliant, clear thinking man of true Christian faith at a time when there is so much confusion in the world and in the Catholic Church.

It is unclear however whether those attacking him are really aiming at him or at the Catholic faith.

Posted by: Enrique | April 6, 2008 8:53 PM

Remember the Cathars!!

Posted by: Joe | April 6, 2008 9:26 PM

pjvm,
I honestly wish and pray that you really do not believe what you just said!

I do not want to go into an endless give and take about history and who did what and who was more barbaric than the other. I encourage you to go back and review your history, sincerely, and don't quote me the "Johnny come lately" media or the self claimed experts in Islam.

As for your statement, and I quote:

""interfaith relations", Omar? While the West is open to allowing all faiths to worship as they wish, muslim nations prohibit Christian worship - and issue fatwas on any muslims who convert from islam."

Keep in mind, my dear, that I am part of that west, and proud of it.

However that statement is not true at all. While the pope represents all catholics, those Muslim outcasts who are bound on destroying us, and yes you and I, a Muslim, do not represent all Muslims.

There are about 2 billion Muslims in the world! Even if I go as far as accepting may be 10 to 20% Afganis supported Al-Qaeda, which is not, 3 million out of 2 billion, is hardly all Muslims.

Looking at those so called Muslim goverments, we find the majority of them are there holding to their thrones because of your and my tax dollars. Those kings and dictators we support, are the ones responsible for lack of freedom. Yet we turn a blind eye.

We also ignore all condemnations the Muslms all over the world issue against such heinous acts, and shine the spotlight on the likes of Bin-Laden.

We have to be sincere with ourselves, and realize that we live in a world so dependent on each other, that if we do not work together sincerely, we will all lose. It is not Christians against Jews, Jews against Muslims, or Muslims against Christians.

We are in the same baot and we have to work together to get back to our Lord the best we can, and the Lord, who we all believe is just, will reward each one of us accordingly.

Peace.

Posted by: | April 6, 2008 11:28 PM

Why doesn't he go to Iraq, where he is needed.

Posted by: Who needs him here | April 7, 2008 12:10 AM

Warning: this comment is not directly responsive to the article, but more to the other comments.

If only the other comments included such disclaimers...why is it that any article, no matter what, about anything to do with religion, automatically turns into blather about everything bad religions have done, what about atheist communists and nazis, don't forget the crusades, but muslim countries don't have freedom of religion, etc., etc.

When it's actually relevant, it's worth discussing -- e.g. an article about how Qatar recently permitted several Christian churches to officially open (in part due to a desire to support an Olympic bid?) would seem the appropriate article to comment on differences in religious freedom between different countries or regions. But why EVERY single article? Have some discretion, people!

If I recall correctly, a recent book "I Don't Believe in Atheists" by Chris Hedges notes that there is a history of intellectually rigorous atheists who criticize religious beliefs knowledgeably and make compelling arguments deserving of consideration and responses. But most modern-day atheist commentators are too disgusted by religion to learn enough to criticize it meaningfully, as some of the comments here demonstrate.

Not to mention a disinclination to actually read anything about history that might lead them to at least question some of their "facts".

I have had interesting, educational (both ways) discussions with friends who are atheists, who are Christian but not Catholic, who are Catholic but not big fans of the current Pope, etc. I had hoped the Washington Post comments might have such discussion, but alas, I'll have to engage in real-world conversation.

Posted by: df | April 7, 2008 12:37 AM

Benedict is the foremost theological scholar of his time. There is no one who comes close. TIME called him a walking theological encyclopedia. He was written numerous books that offer brilliant insight into Catholicism and other faiths. Some of the anti-Benedict blogs display a breathtaking ignorance bordering on imbecility.

To Benedict, Faith without reason is a myth, just like the worship of the sun gods. And reason alone without faith is limited by the scope and gene of the human intellect and an intellect unwilling to fathom the experience of the supernatural. Try reading the Miracle at Lourdes and Fatima.

Islam and Hinduism cannot escape the searing intellectual scrutiny it must receive today just as Catholicism has endured and survived the scrutiny of scholars, historians, artists, scientists and discoverers for over 2000 years.

Posted by: Stanislaus Pulle | April 7, 2008 1:05 AM

Amore-Love-Habib-אהבה רוחנית ∞

Be the Change element

Peace and Serenity Prayers to All

Pax Mundus

Posted by: Marcus | April 7, 2008 1:15 AM

"Au royaume des aveugles, le borgne est roi"...

Having said that, Islam and Muslims revived the Aristotelian philosophy and gave it new life despite the church. Avicenna and Aviroes are but two examples. All types of sciences flourished under Islam, Medecine, Mathematics, Astronomy, Algebra, Physics, you name it! When Europe was living in the Dark ages, Islam was creating a new civilzation that nothing compares to it since...

As from the spiritual side, it is enough to say, despite the "apparent" backwardness of the Muslim/Arab world, we in the West experience the highest growth of Islam than in any other religion. We do find peace, love, integrity, freedom, justice, self respect, ... in Islam.

These and other values, are not mere words! If it were not for the sincere belief in an Almighty, Just, Merciful, all Seeing, All Hearing, I would not be able to take the daily onslaught of ignorants against me just because I am a Muslim.

I honestly do not want to seem like I am preaching, but all this I hear about Islam being barbaric and backward, comes, I believe from people who never read an honnest book about Islam.

There are books written about Islam by sincere non-Muslims. Pick up Ms. Armstrong, Dr. Espisito, read what fair people say about Islam, even Bernard Shaw...

Read for yourself, don't let others read for you...

Peace...

Posted by: Omar B. | April 7, 2008 1:49 AM

Why does the Post claim to have these "rules governing commentaries and discussions" when clearly anything and everything goes, no matter how hate-filled or bigoted?

And why should such commenters take such gleeful pride in their hate and bigotry?

Posted by: Bender | April 7, 2008 2:34 AM

"judgemental Clowns are over compensating for the choices THEY made in THEIR lives!

"if ignorance is bliss, this board is multi-orgasmic!"

Posted by: Chuckles the Clown | April 7, 2008 5:08 AM

I'm amazed at how the antireligion, secular libs always blame religion for the world's ills; "the cause of more suffering in the history of the world", I once her religion called. Add up the death toll of the last 150 years. Start with the American Civil war, WW1, WW2, Hitler, Mao's purges, Pol Pot, Stalin's murderous rampages......The death toll is staggering and motivated by godless extremist ideologies, many leftist. So don't expect us to submit to your secular atheism which is an ideology of death.

Posted by: Jose | April 7, 2008 6:11 AM

This Pope is a typical, prada wearing closet case. Let's see, a former Nazi moving the church towards a rigid, single-minded enforcement of dogma and a purge of those who disagree---- maybe he learned these tactics from his days in the Nazi youth. Go home Pope- we don't want u here!

Posted by: Dave | April 7, 2008 6:38 AM

Most of the negative comments here obviously come from that 30% who don't know much about Pope Ratzinger.

Anyone who has read even 50 words the Pope has said would know he is as far from the Nazi mentality as you can get.

Posted by: Mitch | April 7, 2008 7:19 AM

Truly, there is no freedom of religious practise when it comes to being a christian catholic. The intolerance and 'hate speech' so clearly evident above is clear proof that the age of persecution is on us poor catholics yet again. The Millard Fillmore Brigade is on the march.

Posted by: R.S.Newark | April 7, 2008 8:26 AM

This pope is a mutation - a throwback to the middle ages. When the Catholic Church wants to commit itself to the ideals of the New Testament, sacrifice its vast wealth for the good of human kind, and pledge forever to stay out of politics, it may become relevant again. Of course, with the election of this guy to pope, they have demonstrated once again they are firm disciplines of King Charles I of England and the divine right of kings.

Posted by: cougartonyusa | April 7, 2008 8:37 AM

I wonder when the pope opens his arms with staffin hand before the people {sheep} is he welcoming Latinos Americans Black and whites and all the starving masses shelter in the Vatican city? Would he sell the worldly possessions of the church to clothe and feed them, or is it all about the money and control! I think the latter!

Posted by: jackmax | April 7, 2008 9:26 AM

Be not surprised that the Post should allow such outrageous Catholic bigotry on its pages.

While it probably caresses its ego by considering itself a paragon of liberal diversity, let's see how long the comments will last if they include a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed with a Firecracker in his Turban.

Gutless editors indeed. Catholics are easy targets: we don't shoot back.

Viva il Papa!

Posted by: Chris Inwien | April 7, 2008 9:58 AM

Let's set the record straight: The Holy Catholic Church is the only true Church founded by our Lord and Saviour Himself. Pope Benedict is the successor of St. Peter, the rock. The intellectual basis of the western world are to be found on the teachings of the Church. Pope Benedict is a man of an intellectual brilliance matched by no thinkers of this age.
The essence of what defines other creeds is their position toward the Church: be it outright enmity or hatred. Never indifference ("with me or against me said our Lord, the very founder of the true Church). What is to be found true and righteous in other creeds is because they coincide with some teachings of the true Church.
Those who write otherwise open your eyes in all humility to the many teachings and writings of Pope Benedict and, if you truly understand what he says, you'll agree with him. Otherwise with what part of the Church's teaching you disagree: when it says that all human beings were created equal in dignity and destiny? or when it says that the law of love and of the infinite is found in our conscience, the consequence of being created at the image of God Himself? Or when she (the Church, faithful to her Head, Christ) exhorts us to live righteous lives, obey the commandments, feed the hungry visit the webpage of Catholic Charities alone in this country), forgive our enemies (think of JPII and the Muslim who tried to kill him), or when Mather Theresa (one in many of true Catholic saints) cared for those had nothing in the slums of Calcutta?
What part of the truth is that you don't see? While some claim direct salvation from God as a chosen people to the direct exclusion of the rest of the world the Church teaches inclusion. While others say that "anything goes" the Church teaches restrain, and obedience to the eternal laws inscribed in our conciences, even to the point of martyrdom. While Europe leads itself to the pit by rejecting its very mother (Christianity) the Church cries at its ear as John the Baptist did for Europe to repent and mend its ways not to perish.
Pope Benedict is simply a servant in the Lord's vineyard, but as such, he is blessed, kind, and simply a true Vicar of the True Triune God.
Let us open our hearts to Pope Benedict's word when he comes in a few weeks!

Posted by: danfig | April 7, 2008 10:00 AM

Why do people put so much emphasis on the man instead of the man inside the man? He's human and sin everyday like us all.

Posted by: Pagliacci | April 7, 2008 10:07 AM

These intellectual midgets Who denigrate The Pope and the ChurchAlways have a field day When the subject of the pope and the Church are brought up. Of course these humbugs don't realize That the Catholic Church Was found By Jesus Christ and cannot be destroyed. But there is a Prophecy by St. Malachy that said this could be the last Pope!What ever that means.It could mean the end of Civilization as we know it.Time tyo take stock!

Posted by: Lizard2 | April 7, 2008 10:28 AM

If catholics are worried about public perception, they should do as Jesus instructed and pray about it.

www.groupnovena.org

Posted by: Joseph | April 7, 2008 11:32 AM

My words could not do as well as the most- translated American author in history, male or female: E.G. White. The following excerpt is from her book The Great Controversy:

The iniquity and spiritual darkness that prevailed under the supremacy of Rome were the inevitable result of her suppression of the Scriptures; but where is to be found the cause of the widespread infidelity, the rejection of the law of God, and the consequent corruption, under the full blaze of gospel light in an age of religious freedom? Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself. By
introducing the belief that God's law is not binding, he as effectually leads men to transgress as if they were wholly ignorant of its precepts. And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man's consciousness in death, they have rejected the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. And as the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the people, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God's holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.

Yet this very class put forth the claim that the fast-spreading corruption is largely attributable to the desecration of the so-called "Christian sabbath," and that the enforcement of Sunday observance would greatly improve the morals of society. This claim is especially urged in America, where the doctrine of the true Sabbath has been most widely preached. Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan's devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God's law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.

The Great Controversy, pp. 586-588, E.G. White

Posted by: BWL | April 7, 2008 1:35 PM

My words could not do as well as the most- translated American author in history, male or female: E.G. White. The following excerpt is from her book The Great Controversy:

The iniquity and spiritual darkness that prevailed under the supremacy of Rome were the inevitable result of her suppression of the Scriptures; but where is to be found the cause of the widespread infidelity, the rejection of the law of God, and the consequent corruption, under the full blaze of gospel light in an age of religious freedom? Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself. By
introducing the belief that God's law is not binding, he as effectually leads men to transgress as if they were wholly ignorant of its precepts. And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man's consciousness in death, they have rejected the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. And as the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the people, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God's holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.

Yet this very class put forth the claim that the fast-spreading corruption is largely attributable to the desecration of the so-called "Christian sabbath," and that the enforcement of Sunday observance would greatly improve the morals of society. This claim is especially urged in America, where the doctrine of the true Sabbath has been most widely preached. Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan's devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God's law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.

The Great Controversy, pp. 586-588, E.G. White

Posted by: BWL | April 7, 2008 1:35 PM

The Pope believes, and says over and over again, that his religion, which awards him infallibility--yes, yes, when speaking ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals, which covers a good deal of ground, is the only true faith. There is no doubt about this belief, as he frequently voiced before he became Pope and continues to utter every chance he gets.

Nuff said!

Posted by: David | April 7, 2008 1:40 PM

Jesus said: "Those who have ears, let them hear!" The individual determines if he or she can understand what Jesus preaches. All we can do is deliver the words as faithfully as we can.

Pray for our Churches persecutors, who choose to quote Thomas Paine and Marx rather than Christ and His disciples, which include some of the wisest philosophical scholars and theologians of the Common Era. Such a waste of God's great gift of intellect and reason.

Posted by: bkp | April 7, 2008 2:16 PM

So he belong to the Hitler Youth. Just about everybody in Germany did. It doesn't mean he was a Nazi. My brother-in=law's uncle belonged to the Hitler Youth as a teenager, was captured by American troops and held as a POW, and when WWII was over he came here and became an American citizen, married and raised a family. He certainly was not a Nazi. Saying the Hitler Youth were all Nazi's is just like saying all Americans belong to the Ku Klux Klan.
Get your facts straight.

Posted by: | April 7, 2008 3:25 PM

So he belonged to the Hitler Youth. Just about everybody in Germany did. It doesn't mean he was a Nazi. My brother-in=law's uncle belonged to the Hitler Youth as a teenager, was captured by American troops and held as a POW, and when WWII was over he came here and became an American citizen, married and raised a family. He certainly was not a Nazi. Saying the Hitler Youth were all Nazi's is just like saying all Americans belong to the Ku Klux Klan.
Get your facts straight.

Posted by: | April 7, 2008 3:27 PM

Embrace intercultural dialogue, create and be the instruement of change, as Change-agent, now. Chief-Executive will serve to facilitate progress; all else is to the individual-community responsibility to introduce hope, prosperity & love.
To prideful individuals: All peoples and Civs boast amazing achievements, the one most measured at the final hour, is one's core essence.

Posted by: Marcus | April 7, 2008 6:34 PM

Omar, and others, have you been to Rome's Vatican: Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel, the Duomo, Baldoccino-St. Peter's resting place; Bernini's Collumnade, symbolic of the embrace, Brunelsechi's Dome, the Pieta; the church nave and transcept, symbol of the ark with ribbed, barrel and vaulted arches. The light reflected at various angles. Octagonal-8 fountains-symbolic of baptism, and quatrofolios?
I look forward to visiting Andalusia: Grenada, Toledo, Sevilla, Moorish influence: ornate, intrictae, geometric patterns: Alahmbra, curved archways and passages, delicate pools, fountains, blue-green tiling amidst jeweled gardens; and flora and fruit trees.
Some will appreciate; whilst other, cannot.
Accept these things with serenity.

Posted by: Marcus4 | April 7, 2008 6:50 PM

This is like reading the Huffington Post. This is the reason I stick with the Washington Times.

I just like to check in every now and then, to read the hateful trash that is modern liberalism. Ignorant, reactive, hateful. Yes, it's Christianity's message of peace, understanding, and love that is the problem with the world and the cause of so much suffering.

Secular communism was responsible for over 100 million deaths in the 20th century, but let's blame the Holy Father.

Posted by: Mark | April 7, 2008 8:16 PM

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