PopeWatch: Song of Roland

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The Pope was singing his same old song again:

 

Interreligious dialogue is an important way to counter fundamentalist groups as well as the unjust accusation that religions sow division, Pope Francis said.

Meeting with members of the Argentine Institute for Interreligious Dialogue Nov. 18, the pope said that in “today’s precarious world, dialogue among religions is not a weakness. It finds its reason for being in the dialogue of God with humanity.”

Recalling a scene from the 11th-century poem, “The Song of Roland,” in which Christians threatened Muslims “to choose between baptism or death,” the pope denounced the fundamentalist mentality which “we cannot accept nor understand and cannot function anymore.”

Go here to read the rest.  This is fairly common for the Pope, fundamentalist bashing and Christian bashing.  PopeWatch doubts that the Pope could define who are fundamentalists to save his soul, but for his purposes it is simply a handy insult for people who take religion a good deal more seriously than he apparently does.

His use of the Song of Roland is interesting since it is a completely fictional account of a battle which occurred in 778 where the rearguard of Charlemagne’s army, under Count Roland, was massacred by the Basques, not the Muslims.  Somehow  this fairly humdrum military mishap got transmuted in the twelfth century into the Song of Roland, a completely fictional account.  PopeWatch wonders if the Pope understands that it was a work of fiction.  Does the Pope further understand that the Church never approved of forced conversions under threat of death, as such conversions would be worthless? PopeWatch cannot recall such incidents occurring in real life, as opposed to fiction, during the period of the Crusades when the Song of Roland was written.

That the Pope digs up this fictional account from the Middle Ages, at a time when Christians face world wide violence from Muslims, is all too typical of this papacy where the Pope has a need, at all costs, to depict Christians  as persecuting villains and Muslims as innocent victims.  Future conclaves, here is a thought.  Try electing as Pope someone who actually likes Catholicism and Catholics.  A radical concept PopeWatch knows, but it might just work.

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4 Comments

  1. “Yes, Prime Minister” comes to mind after reading this post. Pope Watch: Song of Roland has the bones of a good comedy script. The stolen and retrieved Pachamama episode might win an Emmy. There’s already enough material from this pontificate to make several seasons. Sir Humphrey could be a bishop striving to be named a cardinal and Bernard perhaps a monsignor. It would have to be written by the Brits though.

  2. “today’s precarious world, dialogue among religions is not a weakness. It finds its reason for being in the dialogue of God with humanity.”
    Dialogue with God is called religion. Religion is an intimate and personal, individual relationship with “their Creator”.
    Dialoguing with God though a commission not based on the prefect truth of God, Jesus Christ, is called communism.

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