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Fundamentalism Breeds Behavior Contrary to Christianity


Buried like a Fine Pearl within the Message of the late Pope John Paul II for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace [1 January 2002], we find the much overlooked and frequently ignored key which Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us for a successful Evangelization.

This priceless gem may be found in Paragraph No. 6.

For ease of reading and effective understanding we have: (a) Added space between sentences; and (b) Used underscoring to highlight key elements.

Said paragraph follows:

You shall not kill in God's name! [Paragraph 6 of Document]
Those who kill by acts of terrorism actually despair of humanity, of life, of the future. In their view, everything is to be hated and destroyed.

Terrorists hold that the truth in which they believe or the suffering that they have undergone are so absolute that their reaction in destroying even innocent lives is justified.

Terrorism is often the outcome of that fanatic fundamentalism which springs from the conviction that one's own vision of the truth must be forced upon everyone else.

Instead, even when the truth has been reached — and this can happen only in a limited and imperfect way — it can never be imposed.

Respect for a person's conscience, where the image of God himself is reflected (cf. Gen. 1:26-27), means that we can only propose the truth to others, who are then responsible for accepting it.

To try to impose on others by violent means what we consider to be the truth is an offense against human dignity, and ultimately an offense against God whose image that person bears.

For this reason, what is usually referred to as fundamentalism, is an attitude radically opposed to belief in God.

Terrorism exploits not just people, it exploits God  because it makes him an idol to be used for one's own purposes.


COMMENTARY

The above teaching is not new. Frequent examples of it may be found in the Old and New Testaments.

It is a tragedy that we, Catholics from the Church of the East and Church of the West, as well as other Christian denominations, have wasted nearly two thousand years trying to impose Our Current Version of the Truth on others by force and coercion - physical and psychological.

What is a greater tragedy is that, even today, there are certain groups - sect like groups - within the Catholic Church who are bent on imposing their interpretation of the Truth on others; perhaps in a more dangerous and devastating way - utilizing damaging brainwashing techniques.


EPILOGUE

An even greater message may be found in the title of this fine exhortation by the late John Paul II:

NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE - NO JUSTICE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS

We must remember that Peace is the fruit of Justice and Justice is the fruit of Love and Forgiveness, a Love and a Forgiveness that only God can give and cannot be wrestled from Him with empty ascetic practices.

In addition, we must also remember that Forgiveness does not necessarily entail the avoidance of Temporal Punishment nor grants a license to continue a behavior which is contrary to the Teachings of God as the alleged Pope Francis implies in his exhortations.


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For Related Documents

Fanaticism IS NOT a Divine Trait

The Misuse of Holy Ascetic Practices

A Call to Forgive and Forget and to Return Home

A Perfect, and NOT An Isolated Example on Imposition of the "Truth" Through Coercion



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