Pope Benedict XVI at the Hagia Sophia: Was it a good idea?




A good idea in what way? All I know is I’d go see it if I had the opportunity.


Hi Noah,

Do we get credits for this course?



I think it was a good thing. The fall of Constantinople is one of the great tragedies of the world, as devastating to our Eastern brethren as the fall of the Temple was to our Jewish brothers and sisters.

There are still Christians in Constantinople—imagine how heartened they were to see the Pope!


Let us view some facts:

**Benedict XVI “Hailed for Praying like Muslims Toward Mecca,” Dec 1, 2006 — ISTANBUL (Reuters) **– “Pope Benedict ended a sensitive, fence-mending visit to Turkey on Friday amid praise for visiting Istanbul’s famed Blue Mosque and praying there facing toward Mecca ‘like Muslims.’… ‘The Pope’s dreaded visit was concluded with a wonderful surprise,’ wrote daily Aksam on its front page. ‘In Sultan Ahmet Mosque, he turned toward Mecca and prayed like Muslims,’ the popular daily Hurriyet said, using the building’s official name… ‘I would compare the Pope’s visit to the mosque to Pope John Paul’s gestures at the Western Wall,’ said veteran Vatican mediator Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, referring to Pope John Paul II’s prayers at Jerusalem’s Western Wall in 2000. ‘Yesterday, Benedict did with the Muslims what John Paul did
with the Jews.’” (Reuters.com, Fri, Dec. 1, 2006.) reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL2862679720061201

We must adhere to St Thomas (doctor of the Church) in Summa Theologica:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Pt. I-II, Q. 103., A. 4: “All ceremonies are professions of faith, in which the interior worship of God consists. Now man can make profession of his inward faith, by deeds as well as by words: and in either profession, if he make a false declaration, he sins mortally.” (newadvent.org/summa/2103.htm)

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Pt. II, Q. 12, A. 1, Obj. 2: “… ***if anyone were to… worship at the tomb of Mahomet, he would be deemed an apostate.” ***(newadvent.org/summa/3012.htm)

I think St Thomas is very clear as he always is. Feel free to view the links. It was, as can be seen by the references and to St Thomas, obviously a mistake. But then again the Pope is an extremely intelligent man, and should have been aware of what he was doing, should he not? It is something akin to when Pope John Paul II kissed the Koran on that dark day of May 14, 1999 (Catholic World News) (cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=10415)

May God Bless You.


Just to let you know the Hagia Sophia is a museum now not a mosque. Of course it was a great Christian church, built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century, before being turned into a mosque in 1453. I would think any Christian visiting Istanbul would visit Hagia Sophia. I think the visit this thread is actually meant to refer to is the visit to the Blue Mosque.


‘In Sultan Ahmet Mosque, he turned toward Mecca and prayed like Muslims,’

He was facing the same way as the people accompanying him were and he closed his eyes for two minutes to pray. I’m don’t know as much about Muslim worship, but this doesn’t sound very Muslim to me.


They would have been a lot more heartened if he’d had the courage to cross himself in the Hagia Sophia.:frowning:


Or he could have had his bodyguards slay Turks left and right and become a martyr.

If this Pope strikes you as a coward or a fool, you simply don’t know his background.


Please review post #5 more carefully and visit the links, especially the Catholic Encyclopedia and St Thomas Aquinas (SUMMA THEOLOGICA), I think you have totally missed what the saint, also a Doctor of The Church, has said about praying in a Mosque (and the Pope at that). It is clear, so what is your argument with regards to what St Thomas Aquinas has written? Elaborate with your **references **so that all may view it on this thread. :wink:


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