Two stories out of the Washington Times caught my eye yesterday:
The first was Pope Benedict XVI reminding the world that Catholicism is IT in the world of Christianity. That whole Protestant Reformation thing was irrelevant to Christianity, and the Real Church is all that matters. `
The statement brought swift criticism from Protestant leaders. “It makes us question whether we are indeed praying together for Christian unity,” said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants in more than 100 countries.
Yeah, it does sort of go against the whole “Unity of Christendom” theme resulting from the Second Vatican Council back in the 60’s. I wonder if the Communion bulletins you get at mass will change:
“Non-Catholic Christians: You’re not welcome here; Protestantism is a Bastard Religion, and you should go back to worshiping sticks or whatever you people do.”
The second story comes from none other than Benny Hinn, who orchestrated a meeting between Evangelical Christian and Muslim leaders in Egypt. Billed as an “historic” meeting, it was still the first of its kind, which means there was a little talking past each other:
The meeting…focused on two issues, though the two groups had differing priorities. Whereas the Americans wanted to discuss the lack of religious freedom in Muslim countries, the ambassadors wanted to know whether Christians could become more “balanced” in their support of Israel.
The Christian attendees were almost all famous evangelists (or their sons: Falwell, Robertson, Crouch), or executives from the NAE (National Association of Evangelicals), but the article wasn’t able to produce names from the Muslim side of the table, just countries they represented: Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt…plus the Arab League.
SO, to sum up: While the Pope was doing his dead-level best to insult people within his own faith of Christianity, the Right-Wing-Christian-Fundamentalist-Idealogues were starting a dialogue with Islamic leaders.
Update: By the way, today is Orangemen’s day. So if you’re part of the British Commonwealth and Protestant, I believe you’re supposed to run around and antagonize Catholics. And even though I’m not in the Commonwealth, I feel obliged to antagonize my Catholic wife all evening in honor of the holiday.