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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:32 (2011)    Sujet du message: UNIVERSITY FEDERATION TO LOOK AT POSTMODERNITY Répondre en citant



Rector Says Church Must Present Truth to Anyone Seeking It

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Catholic universities are not just for Catholics, but rather for anyone who wants to develop a "free and responsible personality."

This was the affirmation made today by Jesuit Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, rector of the Gregorian University, when he assisted in presenting the 23rd general assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC), which will be held next Monday through Friday.

The assembly will focus on "The Catholic University in Postmodern Societies."

This year's assembly marks the 60th anniversary of the approval of the FIUC statutes. The federation is made up of 207 Catholic universities or institutions of higher education, coming from 56 countries. In total, there are 1,210 Catholic universities in the world.

Preserving tradition

In presenting the assembly, Father Ghirlanda noted how the search for truth is a "constituent element of man's nature, and of his dignity and vocation."

"The Church," he added, "must offer the means for the truth to be discovered by everyone who seeks it. [...] This is why the mission of Catholic universities is not only aimed at the Catholic faithful -- in many of them, in fact, Catholic students are a small minority -- but to all men and women who wish to receive an integral education for the development of a free and responsible personality."

The adjunct secretary of the FIUC, Pedro Nel Medina Varon, spoke of three responsibilities of Catholic universities.

The first, he said, is preserving Catholic intellectual tradition: "the reflection that the Christian community has been developing for the last 2,000 years concerning the most profound questions about life and the human condition, as well as the beliefs and values transmitted by the Gospel."

The second task, Varon suggested, is "the integral education of the person." And the third is "service to the Church."

The FIUC played a key role in preparing the apostolic constitution "Ex Corde Ecclesiae," approved by Pope John Paul II in 1990. That document explains the essential characteristics a Catholic university should have in order to guarantee a Christian presence in the academic world.


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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:32 (2011)    Sujet du message: Publicité

PublicitéSupprimer les publicités ?
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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:35 (2011)    Sujet du message: NOUVEAU PRÉSIDENT DE LA CONFÉRENCE DES PROVINCIAUX JÉSUITES D'EUROPE Répondre en citant


ROME, Mardi 12 Janvier 2010 (ZENIT.org) - Le père Mark Rotsaert, actuel président de la conférence des Provinciaux jésuites d'Europe a annoncé que le père général avait nommé son successeur, en l'occurrence le père John Dardis, provincial de la province jésuite d'Irlande, a indiqué l'agence catholique belge "Cathobel" (cf. www.cathobel.be) le 11 janvier.

Ce dernier entrera en fonction après la Conférence des Provinciaux européens qui se déroulera à Bad Schönbrunn en octobre 2010. A son tour, le père Dardis devra présenter une « terna », liste de trois noms pour permettre au père Général de désigner un nouveau Provincial pour l'Irlande.

Le père Rotsaert exprime sa gratitude pour la disponibilité du père Dardis qui assumera sa nouvelle responsabilité avec créativité et courage. Le père Rotsaert demeure au service de la Compagnie de Jésus où il est aussi assistant du père général, Adolfo Nicolas.


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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:36 (2011)    Sujet du message: VATICAN ASSASSINS Répondre en citant


VIDEOS : http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Vatican Assassins&search_ty…

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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:38 (2011)    Sujet du message: JESUITS (New World Order) OBAMA 1 OF 2 FREEMASON, ILLUMINATI ... Répondre en citant


PART 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c2E76FbBT4&feature=related

PART 2 :

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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:39 (2011)    Sujet du message: INVISIBLE EMPIRE : A JESUIT NEW WORLD ORDER RE-DEFINED Répondre en citant


VIDEO : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoaY6E9c8rE

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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:41 (2011)    Sujet du message: NIGHT VISIONS Répondre en citant


A 3 day interview with Leo Zagami (33rd Degree Freemason, European Illuminati Grandmaster)

VIDEOS : PART 1 TO 16 : http://www.youtube.com/user/TheForerunner777#p/u/97/6BIws6oyRt4                            

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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:44 (2011)    Sujet du message: ROMAN EMPIRE RULES TODAY Répondre en citant


VIDEO - PART 1 TO 21 :

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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:46 (2011)    Sujet du message: HOLY SEE ON EDUCATIONAL MOBILITY Répondre en citant


"A True Humanism ... Can and Should Allow the Presence of Foreign Students"

ROME, JULY 3, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a greeting sent from the president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers to the members of the Service of European Churches for International Students. The group will meet this week in Namur, Belgium.

* * *

As you gather together once again for your annual meeting, I am delighted to send you my greetings and good wishes for your deliberations.

Today Educational mobility within the world's universities is ever on the increase having grown almost three fold since 1975.  The development of funding and scholarships for third world countries, together with the emergences of China and other Asian countries is set to change the patterns of movement of international students and professors hitherto not experienced.

In particular the development of a ‘European Higher Education Area' through the Bologna Agreement and an extension of existing exchange schemes and programmes will have effects beyond the borders of Europe itself.  These are both interesting and exciting times for the development of tertiary education. Moreover, recent projections put the global number of international students set to rise from 3 million in 2010 to 7.2 million in 2025.

The topic you have chosen for your meeting, "Language of faith and language of Sciences, a challenge for international students in a market driven economy" is an  important one that goes to the heart of the Church's pastoral mission within universities. Your particular concentration with the specific pastoral care offered towards foreign students in Europe can help to open up this significant topic between the relationship of faith and reason and a particular vision in the formation of young adults.  Indeed, the Second Vatican Council reminds us that the future of humanity "is in the hands of those who are capable of providing the generations to come with reasons for life and optimism".[1]

Pope John Paul II, in his important Encyclical "Fides et Ratio"[2] explains that truth is known through a combination of both faith and reason. The absence of either one will diminish man's ability to know himself, the world and God.[3] Human reason, he wrote,  seeks the truth, but the ultimate truth about the meaning of life cannot be found by reason alone.[4] The search for knowledge - the search for the meaning of life - is essentially a search for God. This search, at its best, is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and responds to his calling. The honest searcher learns from others, as for example a philosopher learns from a scientist, taking into account his own point of view. Indeed, the same learning should mark the relations between philosopher and theologian.

Part of the mission of those who have both academic and pastoral responsibility in the student world should be to foster collaboration between not only different disciplines but also cultures.  It is in this way that a true ‘humanism' can grow.  Pope Benedict XVI knows only too well of this need when he said recently:

"I want to stress the importance of the education of young intellectuals and of scientific and cultural exchanges between universities in order to propose and enliven integral human development....In this context I have entrusted to you in spirit, dear young people, the Encyclical Caritas in Veritate in which we recall the urgent need to shape a new humanistic vision."[5]

In order for there to be ‘love in truth', the Pope asks for an "authentic human development" calling for a new humanism that as a "fruitful dialogue between faith and reason cannot but render the work of charity more effective within society."[6]  In fact it is only in a dialogue between ‘the language of science and the language of faith' that we can properly arrive at the truth. Indeed the truth is embedded, waiting to be discovered, so that each human person may come to their fullest potential.  For, as Pope John Paul II reminds us,

"The truth and everything that is true represents a great good to which we must turn with love and joy. Science too is a way to truth; for God's gift of reason, which according to its nature is destined not for error, but for the truth of knowledge, is developed in it."[7]

The danger that education can be reduced to a mere functionalism, rather than being in essence a search for the truth, is particularly present for many foreign students, principally if their return is linked to future economic and industrial productivity. A true humanism pervading academic pursuit can and should allow the presence of foreign students - along with students of host countries - to bring a richness and diversity that should be at the heart of the university fostering an education that touches the whole of a person.  Moreover, in this search for and the living out of discovered truths and the dialogue between science and faith also has positive repercussions for the mission of the Church as Pope Benedict XVI reminds us:

"The dialogue between faith and reason, religion and science, does not only make it possible to show people of our time the reasonableness of faith in God as effectively and convincingly as possible, but also to demonstrate that the definitive fulfilment of every authentic human aspiration rests in Jesus Christ. In this regard, a serious evangelizing effort cannot ignore the questions that arise also from today's scientific and philosophical discoveries." [8]

I would like also to mention, having now passed this last year which has been dedicated to priests, the work of fostering vocations with university communities.  The opening up of individuals, to one another and to God, is part of the process of the vocational search to find the purpose God has for a person in their life. The search for truth must also be one for the truth about ourselves and God's call.  The encouragement for all to discover the will of God and, for those for whom it is discerned, a specific call for the priesthood, should never be absent.  Moreover it should be a prominent and frequent cause for deliberation and reflection, including those who are foreign students.

As you embark upon your symposium, be assured of our prayers and support.  I am confident that your work will bear much fruit, and that aided by the prayers of Mary, Seat of Wisdom, the Lord will bless you abundantly in this encounter.

Antonio Maria Vegliò


Agostino Marchetto

Archbishop Secretary

From the Vatican,  1st July 2010

--- --- ---


[1] Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, no. 31: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/va…

[2] Cf. Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, September 1998: http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0216/_INDEX.HTM

[3] Ibid., no.16.

[4] Ibid., no.42.

[5] Pope Benedict XVI, Address on the occasion of the Marian Prayer Vigil "with Africa and for Africa", Saturday 10th October 2009: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2009/october/docume…

[6] ID., Encylical Letter "Caritas in Veritate", June 2009, No. 57: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben…

[7] John Paul II, Science and faith in the search for truth, Address to teachers and university students in Cologne Cathedral, November 15, 1980: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/sci-cp/sci80111.html

[8] Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the participants of the Plenary assembly of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, 10th February 2006:


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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:51 (2011)    Sujet du message: OBAMA'S WHITE PAPAL MASTERS Répondre en citant


Posted by admin on Aug 5th, 2009 and filed under Gallery, News, The Black Pope. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

The most comprehensive list of the Chain of Command leading and controlling Obama and his administration. See who really runs the show from the top to the bottom (Obama). Read their credentials and connections.

Obama’s White Papal Masters:

   Chain of Command

Obama’s White Papal Masters

Posted by admin on Aug 5th, 2009 and filed under Gallery, News, The Black Pope. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

The most comprehensive list of the Chain of Command leading and controlling Obama and his administration. See who really runs the show from the top to the bottom (Obama). Read their credentials and connections.

Obama’s White Papal Masters:

   Chain of Command

Adolfo Nicolas
30th Superior General, Society of Jesus
“The Black Pope”

Pope Benedict XVI
Vicar of Christ/Vicar of Horus
“The White Pope”

     “The White Pope”
     The Evil Emperor

     “The Black Pope”
     Darth Vader

     Masters of “The Matrix”

James E. Grummer, S.J.
American Assistant to General Nicolas
     Borgo di Santo Spirito #5, Rome
Master of US Jesuit Conference
Master of American Jesuit University Presidents
Master of 10 American Provincials
Master of New York Provincial

Thomas H. Smolich. S.J.
President, US Jesuit Conference
Former California Provincial
Former Master of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Conspirator: Present Chinese-Mexican Invasion
Conspirator: Future Sino-Soviet-Muslim Invasion

David S. Ciancimino, S.J.
New York Provincial
Overseer of Archbishop of New York City
Occult Overseer of New York City
Wall Street, Federal Reserve, NYSE

Joseph M. McShane, S.J.
President, Jesuit Fordham University
Bronx, New York
“Penholder for Cardinal Egan”
Notice: Equilateral Triangle Pendant
Masonic symbol for the Risen Horus

Pope Benedict the XVI
     Roman Papal Caesar
     Egyptian Osiris
     Vicar of Christ/Vicar of Horus

Edward Cardinal Egan
     “Prince of the Pope’s Church”
     Roman Papal Senator

Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York City
“Archbishop of the Capital of the World”
“The American Pope”
Head: American Branch of the Knights of Malta
Head: Knights of Columbus

Occult Master of:
     Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree
             American Scottish-Rite Freemasonry
     Council On Foreign Relations
     B’nai B’rith/Anti-Defamation League
     Central Intelligence Agency
     National Security Agency
     Federal Bureau of Investigation
     Office of Naval Intelligence
     The Pentagon

Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J.
President Emeritus, Jesuit Fordham University
     Bronx, New York
Member: Knights of Malta
Presider: Council on Foreign Relations
Advisor to Knight of Malta David Rockefeller, CFR
Advisor to Knight of Malta Henry Kissinger, CFR
Advisor to Michael Bloomberg
     Mayor, New York City
Papal Knight of the Vatican’s Revived
     “Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem“—Israel

John J. DeGioia
President Jesuit Georgetown University
Member: Knights of Malta
Member: Council On Foreign Relations
Adminstrator: “Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem“—Israel

Richard N. Haass
Chairman: Council on Foreign Relations
New York City
Servant of Edward Cardinal Egan
Overseer of AIPAC:
   American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Freemasonic Jewish Labor Zionist
   Court Jew for the Pope
Adminstrator: “Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem“—Israel

Zbigniew Brzezinski
Member: Knights of Malta
Member: Bilderberg Group
Member: Council On Foreign Relations
Member: Trilaterial Commission
Advisor: Jesuit Georgetown University
Polish Roman Catholic Socialist-Communist
Professor: Columbia University, New York
Recruiter of Barry Soetoro, 1981
Creator of “Barack Hussein Obama”

George Soros
Member: Council on Foreign Relations
Member: Carlyle Group
Major Stockholder: Halliburton
Hungarian Jew: Socialist-Communist
Financial Backer of Barack Hussein Obama
Friend of Rupert Murdoch
Freemasonic Jewish Labor Zionist
   “Court Jew for the Pope”

Rupert Murdoch
Member: Council on Foreign Relations
Member: Knights of St. Gregory
International Media Mogul
Owner: Fox News Network
Friend of George Soros
Occult Protector of Barack Hussein Obama
   Bill O’Reilly – The O’Reilly Factor

   Sean Hannity – Hannity & Combes

Joseph R. Biden
Papal Knight; Jesuit Temporal Coadjutor
Vice President: Rome’s “Holy Roman”
   14th Amendment American Empire
Alter Ego: Jesuit Advisor to
   President Barry Davis Obama
Promoter: Council on Foreign Relations
Honorary Degrees:
   Jesuit University of Scranton, Scranton, PA
   Jesuit St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA

           Barry Davis
           “Barack Hussein Obama”
           32nd Degree Prince Hall Freemason
           President of Rome’s “Holy Roman,”
               14th Amendment American Empire
           Sunni Moslem, Pretended Protestant Christian
           Mulatto: Mulatto Father, White Mother
           Father: Frank Marshall Davis, Jr.
           Wife: Michelle, Member: Chicago CFR
           Obama: CFR-Controlled and CFR Spokesperson
           Obama: Promoted by the late William F. Buckley, Jr.
               Buckley: Knight of Malta, Bonesman, Bilderberger, CFR Member
               Buckley: Promoter of Reverse Discrimination against Whites
               Buckley: Promoter of a Coming Black President
           Obama: Trained in Romanism, Islam and Apostate Protestantism
           Obama: “Nimrod”; Pretended Unifier of Whites and Blacks
           Obama: Promoter of the Papal Crusade against Shia Islam
           Obama: Promoter of Bush’s Papal Inquisition
               Against Protestant American Liberties
           Obama: Jesuit Temporal Coadjutor
               Promotor of the Black Pope’s Counter-Reformation
           Barry Davis: “Boy” of Pope Benedict XVI


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MessagePosté le: Mer 15 Juin - 11:54 (2011)    Sujet du message: AN ARAB SPRINGTIME? (Part 1-2) Répondre en citant


Springtime or new season like a new world who emerge??? Understand the dialectic language and saw how the army of Lucifer is lying to all of us. - Maria

Egyptian Jesuit Analyzes Revolution Wave

By Inma Álvarez

ROME, FEB. 24, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The revolution under way in the Arab world began Dec. 17 when Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old Tunisian, set himself on fire to protest a policewoman seizing the scale he used to sell fruit because he didn't have a permit.

Before igniting himself, it's said he yelled, "How do you expect me to make a living?" Countrymen sharing his discontent took to the streets in a series of protests that brought the downfall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled Tunisia on Jan. 14.
The movement extended rapidly to Egypt, where a million people gathered for days in Cairo, bringing about the forced resignation of Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11.

In recent days, protests have succeeded one another across the region, the bloodiest so far in Libya, where the Moammar Gadhafi regime is murdering scores of protestors.

Despite the bloodshed and the uncertain future, Jesuit Father Samir Khalil, a native of Egypt and a leading expert on Christian-Muslim dialogue, thinks the unrest implies a "springtime" in the Arab world. Father Samir spoke to ZENIT on this issue.

Part 2 of the interview will be published Friday.

ZENIT: What is your reading of the recent protests in Egypt, which brought down the Mubarak regime, but also those of Tunisia, Algeria, Iran, and now in Libya, calling for an end to the old regimes?

Father Samir: These movements were born more or less spontaneously. One notices that in the main they are made up of young people. There are no political parties or organized groups. It is a massive reaction of the people.

A second point common to all these movements is that they are directed against regimes that have lasted for decades, as in the case of Tunisia (21 years), Egypt (almost 30 years), Libya (42 years), Yemen (21 years), etc. All this almost everywhere means that the people are fed up; they want a change and express it with a "go away!" The mottoes in Arabic say "irhal," which means "go away," as if saying "enough now!" The opposition movement to Mubarak is also called in Arabic "enough," "kefaya!"

The third aspect that impresses me, also common to all these countries, is the motivation, which is essentially to be able to find a job, to create a family, and to live with a minimum of decency. In the case of Tunisia, it all began with the young Tunisian who had studied and couldn't find work. In the end he decided to buy, with the little resources he had, some vegetables to sell on the street. And it was then that the police arrived and said to him: "You don't have a permit," and confiscated all his goods. His life truncated by one blow, when he was struggling to live, he then burned himself alive. And this is what aroused such a movement in Tunisia.

In Egypt we have almost 30 million Egyptians who live on less than $2 a day, unable to live even simply. And this situation is found everywhere.

We see meanwhile the contrast with the leaders, with the rulers -- not that they are exempt from problems in life, but that they lead a luxurious life; we have learned that they are very rich, that they have not millions but billions of dollars. Up to now it was all accepted, but now the reaction has come: This cannot be, it isn't just.

A fourth characteristic that surprised me is that there has been no aggressiveness, as is typical, against anyone. I mean that America hasn't been attacked, the American or Israeli flag hasn't been trampled; the people were simply concerned about their particular fate. And there has been no attempt to kill or imprison the heads of government: they are condemned but they are allowed to go. It remains a movement that isn't against anyone, but for life -- for a more decent, more fitting life.

All this leads me to say that it is a real springtime that is being proclaimed in the Arab world and that we hope will end in something positive.

ZENIT: Is it the beginning of a path toward democratization or, instead, to give power to the radicals?

Father Samir: I am inclined to say that we are moving toward a greater democracy. Seeing the photos and videos it is clear that they are not young men manipulated by radical movements, by extremists. It was quite clear in Egypt, for example, that Muslims and Christians were going hand in hand, and the extremists have not succeeded in pitting them against each other. The politicians have been unable to do this; they have disappeared. They tried to a degree to foment a counter-revolution, and then they left. They're not at all radical extremists.

There was almost an atmosphere of celebration, a celebration of the people. I think they want more democracy. There is a fact that is not noticed in Europe, in the West, and it is that the people in the Arab world are aware, and they write about it every day, that the Arab world is not well at all. That we are among the worst in the world. This feeling is very widespread among intellectuals: What have we done for the good of humanity? And there is an aspiration to be able to live as the other countries do.

The people are very conscious of Europe. The Arab world is very close to Europe. All have relatives who live in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Belgium, in England, etc. and they know that here life is different. They know that here, despite the economic difficulties, there is more justice, that if one needs to go to the hospital for an operation, one can do so even if one is poor: The European democratic system allows it even if one doesn't pay. One knows that one can be defended by a lawyer, even if one can't pay. Justice functions both for the poor as well as the rich, or almost! They know all this through friends, and also through the Internet, which people use more and more, or they hear other friends say it. This is creating a very strong call for democracy. This is why I believe that the radical movements (whether religious, communist or other) are not representative in this revolution. And they are not represented.

ZENIT: Your article "Imam e intellettualli egiziani: Rinnovare l'Islam verso la modernita" [Egyptian Imams and Intellectuals: Renew Islam Toward Modernity] awakened great interest on the Internet. In one day it was published by more than 12,400 Arab sites. That document speaks of separation between religion and state, the remodeling of the role of women, and other topics. Is this document symbolic in regard to the spirit of the protests?

Father Samir: I sent the document, published by AsiaNews, to which you refer. It came out on Jan. 24, that is, the day before this revolution [began in Egypt]. That wasn't planned. As you say, it aroused great interest. In a few hours I found it on 12,400 Arab sites, sparking more than 160 responses in the forum of the weekly review. Then the revolution focused attention on other things. That is why, after the 25th, there are few comments on these sites. Our mind is on other things.

However, also in these movements, separation between religion and state always comes up again; it's not only in the document with the 22 points. It is an appeal everywhere! In fact I was just reading in a Tunisian forum about secularity, and the majority of the comments are saying: "I am for true secularity in Tunisia." Some reply, "But Tunisia is quite secular," and the answer is, "Yes, but on some points it isn't secular, it does not give liberty not to practice one's religion openly," "it does not treat men and women equally in inheritance," and similar things.

What I mean to say is that this desire to make a distinction between religion and state is a common sentiment. Religion is something good in itself, and we don't want to impede it, but it must remain in its field, as something private in a sense, which does not enter into national law. Human rights, on the other hand, yes! People are beginning to distinguish between religion, which has ethical principles, and rights, which are the essential foundation of life, both of the individual as well as of groups. They are saying here that we cannot give up our human rights. And if religious law were to go against human rights, then we prefer human rights before Sharia. I see that more people are expressing themselves along this line. I think that there is a more generalized awareness of human rights, of true democracy and of liberty.

[Translation by ZENIT]



Egyptian Jesuit Analyzes Revolution Wave

By Inma Álvarez

ROME, FEB. 25, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Though the so-called Jasmine Revolution has unsettled the future of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and perhaps the whole Arab world, there's a feeling that it's all the beginning of a springtime.

Jesuit Father Samir Khalil, a native of Egypt and a leading expert on Christian-Muslim dialogue, is one person who is optimistic about the revolution wave.

He told ZENIT that all of this could be "a real springtime that is being proclaimed in the Arab world and that we hope will end in something positive."

For the Jesuit, one of the most interesting aspects about the revolution is the unity being experienced between Muslims and Christians. In this second part of his interview, he proposes that youth are ready to leave behind the interreligious tensions that plagued their parents' generation.

Part 1 of his interview was published Thursday.

ZENIT: One of the "surprises" of this civil movement has been the participation both of Muslims and Christians. How do you assess this?

Father Samir: It's something that has surprised me, above all in Egypt. In Egypt, Christians are 10% of the population and in early January that tragedy took place in which 23 Christians died in a church. And yet, three weeks later we see Christians and Muslims together, hand in hand, who raise the cross and the Quran, or who carry symbols, for example a flag with a large cross and a large crescent, or also a Muslim praying on the ground covered with an Egyptian flag, laying in front of him his sunglasses marked with the cross and the crescent. Or also when on Friday, Muslims knelt down to pray in front of the tanks, while Christians, the Copts, surrounded them to protect them, making a chain with their hands. These are all gestures of solidarity. The posters said: "Muslim and Christian, Only One Hand," or also "Muslims and Christians United Against the Government."

I think this also comes from the fact that it is a movement of young people. Young people no longer wish to live in hatred. They are also fed up with these conflicts of their parents, of the older generation, and they say: "Leave us in peace!" They don't want to drag these struggles around in their lives. I think this is the background; people want to live in peace, to build their own family, their village, to have a more open, more developed nation.

ZENIT: In your opinion, is separation between religion and state possible in these countries, or is more time needed to form consciences?

Father Samir: Some time will be necessary, but it progresses, it goes forward. For example, I was reading another article of a Saudi woman, based on an event in history, which is that Aisha, Mohammed's young wife, in one of the famous wars, was riding on a camel on her own, to encourage the men of her tribe in the war. And then the Saudi journalist wrote saying: "Young Aisha rode the camel on her own and did not need men, and we, the women of today, after 14 centuries, cannot drive a car. Where are we?"

There are imams who reply: "She wants to reinterpret the whole religion," and they criticize her, and others who respond: "How is she mistaken? If you're not in agreement, explain why not." Already through the Internet, through these continuous debates that are open to all, a path is being made in the Muslim world. People are asking, "Why do we have to accept this? The foundation of everything is equality. God has created everyone equal. Why can't we go forward with this idea," etc.

The Internet is changing mentalities, bringing people closer together. Real globalization is not through the economy, but through the Internet. It is there where the young people of America and of Yemen can approach one another, and have opinions that are not identical, but close.

ZENIT: In fact one of the challenges, along with the issue of minorities, is the role of women in Muslim countries. What points of view are there right now?

Father Samir: There are two currents that are in conflict. There is a current of women, supported also by men, who say that they are neither superior nor inferior to men, but equal, and they don't accept that a woman can't do this or that, as they see women of other countries in all sectors of life, and they ask: Why not among us? This current is increasingly strong.

Against it is the rather religious current, which states that between men and women God established a difference of quality, because as the Quran states, men are a degree higher than women (wa-fima baynahuma daragah) because God preferred men to women. And the women answer yes, but the preference in this verse is motivated by the fact that the man is the one who maintains the family. But today this is no longer true, because there are women who maintain their families. Hence, it isn't a fact in the nature of man or woman, but a sociocultural fact.

And it is along this line that things are changing, though slowly, in some countries. And there is no doubt that we have seen Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan, who was head of state, and in other countries many ministers who are notable women, also Nobel Prize recipients, as in Iran. There is greater awareness that if women are given the liberty to act, they can even be superior to men. However, it isn't easy. It is a struggle that will still last some decades.

ZENIT: What can we expect of this “Muslim version of 1968" (acknowledging the difference with that movement)? What can Catholics expect? And Christians in general? We’ve seen that Patriarch Antonios Naguib of Alexandria, Egypt, is appealing to Catholics to be involved in public life.

Father Samir: As I said earlier, this is a springtime in the Arab world. It would be absurd for Christians to remain on the outskirts, because truly, without false humility, we already have all these principles, in the letter and the spirit of the Gospel: that of openness to the other, of the quest for justice and peace, and perhaps a Muslim can say the same.

Hence, it is certain that this current proposes a society that corresponds more to evangelical criteria than the preceding societies. Therefore, welcome, Christians! Yes, having such a strong support from their faith, they go together with the Muslims and do not form a movement apart, if they struggle for more justice, more democracy, more liberty, more equality among all; an equality that makes no distinction between the sexes, races or religions, that does not place the believer above the non-believer or the Muslim above the Christian, then they will be welcome!

This is the principle, and given that peace is the foundation of civil society and that peace doesn't exist without justice, and that justice also implies knowing how to forgive ... all these are principles that we hear every day in the Church, and which have also been repeated by the Supreme Pontiffs. All these principles are also valid for Muslims. And I think it is the occasion for the new generation, Christians, Muslims, atheists, it doesn't matter. It is the occasion to say: We fight for the rights of the human person, and we want to propose, all together, a project for a new society. It seems to me that this revolution, this springtime of the Arab world, is going in this direction.

ZENIT: Hence, on the whole, you see what is happening as something positive?

Father Samir: I am very optimistic, optimistic with realism, in the sense that there is a question: Until there is a clear government, until one knows along what lines it decides to go, while there is no identifiable organization, one cannot be sure. Structures are needed. For the time being we are still in the phase of explosion, of discovery. I hope, however, that it will pass rapidly to a society based on the principles we have enunciated.

[Translation by ZENIT]


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