Friday, December 05, 2014
Munich) The German Jesuit Hans Waldenfels sees in the fact that Pope Francis was praying in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, "an important signal" that he "welcomed". Above all "Francis relativized with his gestures and his casual words also the importance of theology," said Waldenfels and that is a good thing. The German Jesuit found "disappointing" however, the joint declaration of Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. The retired fundamental theologian from Bonn yesterday gave his opinion to the Catholic News Agency (KNA) on the "personal interior" prayer by the Pope in a mosque: "On Muslims such gestures have a positive effect and improve the atmosphere". It will now be awaited whether Turkey grants relief to Christians.
With the prayer in the Blue Mosque, according to Waldenfels, the Pope had expressed "a sign of great respect for the place"
"The question whether the Pope has now prayed 'for 'or ' with' the Muslims is, theologically pedantic as is also whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God," said the German theologian. Prayer in the mosque was "positive sign" for Muslims, the rest are "niceties".
Finally, according to Waldenfels, who like Pope Francis belongs to the Jesuit order, the Islamic credal statement "There is no God but God" applies in the same way that for Christians, "God is God". The perceptions of God according to human beings while different, apply across all differences : "You can pray everywhere.Also welcome value for Father Waldenfels that Pope Francis relativises the "importance" of theology "with his gestures and his casual words". The Argentine Pope puts the practice of faith and piety specifically over theological debates. "Theology, which is not practical, is good for nothing, in his view," which had only been in this country are not yet sufficiently understood.
The Jesuit Waldenfels on other hand, found the joint declaration of Pope and Ecumenical Patriarch last Sunday disappointing. As in earlier declarations, it emphasised the intention of unity, but did not say anything new.
Waldenfels and his Jesuit kind are modernists in a hurry....they will never get a second chance.