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Burning the Quran is a Bad Idea and a Sin

September 7, 2010 191 Comments

It is a bad idea to burn the Quran, a book considered holy to over a billion people, and it’s a sin. Do I really need to say this to a fellow Christian? But Pastor Terry Jones wants to publicly burn copies of the Quran this Saturday, September 11. You can read more here: Pastor Wants to Burn Quran

I know he is trying to illustrate some important things. He is trying illustrate the western value of free speech, usually lacking in the Islamic world. He is trying to illustrate religious freedom here in the west and the lack of it in the Islamic world where Bibles have in fact been burned. He is trying to draw attention to the violent threats that have continued to emerge related to his plans.

Intentionally giving offense is wrong – I do not deny that there are problems in the Islamic world. But I also know that it is wrong to intentionally and grievously give offense to the religious traditions of others. Proper discussions, even debate about religious differences are healthy and part of evangelization. But ridicule and offensive practices directed against others is not of the Christian faith. Scripture says: Always be prepared to give an account to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

Further, to tempt others to sin is wrong. It is a true fact that Pastor Jones’ plans have incited anger and threats. There are many in the Islamic World who have, in fact, a violent sense of their faith. Their view is morally wrong. But to needlessly incite that anger is also wrong. Knowing that there are violent tendencies in sectors of Islam, it is wrong to inflame those tendencies and draw others to anger and violence. In effect Pastor Jones is tempting others to sin. He may have a right to do this but it is not necessary for him to do this. This compounds the sinfulness of the planned book burning.

It is also wrong to endanger the lives of others by reckless behavior. It is a strong likelihood that hundreds, possibly thousands may die if rioting occurs. It is easy for us to say, “Well they shouldn’t get so worked up about it….see the problem is theirs.”  That is a debate for another time. But this action is sure to inflame passions. General David Petraeus has warned that our troops will also be endangered by these reckless plans. He has urged Jones to back down. Pastor Jones says he will “pray about it.”

Pastor Terry Jones is gravely misled if he thinks Jesus might tell him to do this. Jesus had a different notion: You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? (Matt 5:43-47)

We need to have an on-going discussion with the Islamic world about religious freedom and about the violence in growing sectors of Islam. But buring the Quran, a book they consider sacred, is no way to further such a discussion.

I’d like to know what you think of this. I hope all of us will be careful in this discussion to make necessary distinctions and maintain a respectful discourse. Issues such as this inflame passions. Further, it is helpful to see this issue not merely as a referendum on Islam. There are areas for appropriate concern when it comes to Isalm and how it interacts with the non-Islamic world. But a primary issue for us here should also be, is what Terry Jones plans to do what a Christian ought to do?

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Comments (191)

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  1. Jan says:

    Definitely a gauntlet that should not be thrown down. Fighting extremists of any sort is not really a little guy, grassroots-type challenge. I can’t believe anyone would be rash enough to go along with this. I read the link and the pastor sounds a bit childish to me.

    The problem here is that burning anyone’s books or flags or desecrating objects sacred to Christians doesn’t really “hurt” anyone. But get the emotions inflamed and you’ve got a real problem on your hands. And in this case, it’s not just the radicals who are being taunted or punished or whatever; it’s the peaceful Muslims as well.

    All in all, a bad idea.

  2. Daniel says:

    According to the video, this stunt has little to do with Christianity, and more to do with some perverse sense of “nationalistic” vitriol. It is shameful that the term Christianity has played any part in the discussion, and that the flames are being fanned so much by the media. I agree that we all need an ongoing discussion about violence, not just within islam, but also about the violence displayed by Christians, and even Catholic Christians in their attitudes and comments about Islam and especially recently about a mosque near the WTC site. Catholicism has a clear statement about our proper relationship with non-Christian religions including Islam (Nostra Aetate) and there is no place for bigotry, hatred or violence. You will know we are Christians by our love…

    • KM says:

      ya, you know Daniel, I’m not sure if what you said about the mosque business has any merit. First, the mosque is the second stab, the first one was 911, in the back, and now the mosque is right in the heart. Second, you might wanna calm down with the ‘live and let live’ dictum you seem to be advancing in your comment.

      P.S. I do not think burning the Koran is a good idea. Dialogue must never stop. But simultaneously, let’s just be wise and keep things in perspective here before we go round bashing each other for the sake of a sinful book that has already passed a verdict on us and labeled us as “infidels,” “swines and apes,” along with a whole range of illustrious labels.

      • Karen says:

        It is my understanding that the proposed site for the mosque is at least four blocks from ground zero and on private property. Either we uphold freedom of religion or we don’t. As a teacher of history, it seems like the NYC Muslims are being treated like the NYC Catholics of not so long ago …

    • Daniel says:

      Claiming that the Qu’ran is “sinful” is not the beginning of a real dialogue, and is illogical (since it is a book and not a moral agent). Claiming that the building of a place to worship God is a “stab in the heart” to someone or some group also doesn’t seem to make sense–who is getting stabbed? Your own advice to “keep things in perspective” is the beginning of true dialogue, and requires openness to Truth, and the overcoming of ou prejudices.

      • KM says:

        If the Quran was not considered to be a “moral agent” to Muslims, then they need not follow its teachings (to the letter). It definitely is a moral agent to them. There is your talk of logic.

        As far as the Quran being “sinful,” then you should know that it cannot be classified as anything else by a faithful Catholic who, while upholds the principles of dialogue and co-existence, must maintain that all dialogue must be conducted with great respect to the Truth. The Church’s role is to proclaim the Truth (John 14:4) at any cost. It is not to flatter and make people who follow false religions happy.

        The stabbing makes perfect sense if you were even slightly involved in this tragedy. But obviously as an American who has not been under any form of persecution by Satanic teachings (i.e. Sharia) and who feels he needs not entangle himself in such quarrelsome affairs, then you begin singing love songs (and I wish these love songs were emanating from a loving heart, if they were then you would feel for every lost Muslim soul, and for those who on daily basis are kidnapped, raped, and forced to disown Christ, by the very religion you seem to be championing).

      • Daniel says:

        KM,
        As Nostra Aetate makes clear, our fundamental posture as a Church towards Islam is not one of competition or animosity but one of dialogue and respect for Truth.
        “Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom. ” There is much that is True in Islam. I do not champion Islam, as I am Catholic, but I try to be open to Truth wherever it may be found.

    • Travis Blalock says:

      I don’t think it is a good idea to burn a Quran and yes Nostra Aetate speeks of good relations with other religions. However, Catechism of the Catholic Church is also clear that the Catholic Church is the true faith outside of which there is no salvation:

      846 CCC “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.”

      We Catholics need to pray for the conversion of all Muslims that they may enter the true faith – the Holy Catholic Church! Islam is a false religion, let us not forget! Islam is also very militant and if Islam becomes the dominant religion in the US, just wait and see how tolerant they are to Christianity!

      Travis Blalock

      • KM says:

        Thank you Travis, you stole the words right out of my mouth. I’m willing to trade off all the social virtues cited by Daniel there for one Muslim soul to come the TRUTH, and I don’t mean the fragmented truth that may be found in the Koran, I mean the TRUTH, our Lord Jesus Christ.

        If you, as you claim are open to Truth wherever it is found, then you should present your faith as a package and not as an open buffet to pick and choose commonalities for the sake of false ecumenism and earthly peace.

      • Daniel says:

        “You say Islam is also very militant”–is it any worse or different from the idea of the “Church militant” as it is being proposed in so many posts here?

  3. Randall says:

    I agree that the Quran, burning is reprehensible. It is America at its worst.

    That being said I think it is vital to notice how mild our worst actually is. In a Muslim society a Bible burning would pass without comment. Here a Quran burning has created an uproar.

    Our worst appears to be better than their best. We need to keep this in perspective because they certainly will not. I think the best thing is to ignore it.

    • anon says:

      We should be careful of making broad statements like, “in a Muslim society.” Many Muslims do not condone Radical behavior and do not teach their children that it is okay to have blatant disrepect for the religious values of others. I wouldn’t like being equated with the group of Christians behaving like Pastor Jones’ group.

      When you know better, you are called to do better. We live in a nation where we have the freedom to learn about the lives and beliefs of others. We should use that freedom to promote understanding rather than disparity. It seems to me that we’d have more peace in the world if we could appreciate the ways in which we are more alike than different.

      • GNW_Paul says:

        I don’t think Randall is being overly broad. In what Muslim country would burning bibles be a big news story or raise any attention. Turkey is in the process of strangling out the last of the Orthodox. Read the news on “Religious Freedom” for Christians in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Sudan….

        Burning a bible would pass without comment pretty much everywhere in the Islamic world. In Pakistan there have been several Churches burned with the people still inside!

    • Lil' Sis says:

      Randall, I agree with you that the best thing to do is to ignore “it”. Except, we can no longer do that since the obnoxious media made a point of inflaming the issue by drawing attention to this minor pastor of an obscure off-shoot of Christianity, thereby drawing us all to the bonfire of this misguided man’s vanity.

      So, what to do now? Precisely that which is being done: Christian “churches” (I know, I know, just for the sake of this argument we’ll refer to them as “churches”) that recognize a hierarchy within their denomination must be vocal in there objection to this inflammatory suggestion and call it what it is: and unjust provocation.

  4. CastingCrown says:

    His logic is baffling. Would he think it would be okay for a Muslim congregation to burn copies of the Bible “to send a message to the radical Christians who would be violent towards Islam”? Of course not.

  5. Nick says:

    Some people say that because the Jews destroyed pagan idols, burning books is okay. I don’t think this comparison is just, but than again, a man full of unjust anger who turns to a book doesn’t think justly.

  6. Geremia says:

    Islam …..contains some truth, albeit distorted, but not the fullness of truth necessary for salvation that is found only in the Catholic Church—so why is burning a Quran wrong? Burning it is like burning Harry Potter.

    • The wrongness is in the grevious offense it gives to others. To equate the Quran with a Harry Potter book is absurd. It may not be a sacred book to us but it is revered by many. Burning it is gravely offensive, unecessary and just plain mean.

      • Geremia says:

        If St. Paul is able to burn deceptive books at Ephesus (Acts 19:19), why cannot we burn the Quran to save souls from being misled and deceived by it? Book burning can be an act of charity with the sole intent of saving souls. I agree that it should not be an incitement to war, etc.; it should simply attempt to make rarer the errant book.

      • ***** Paul did not bun the books. The former magicians who had renounced their practices burned the books of their own accord.

        In the abstract I suppose one could argue that a book burning to save souls from being misled might be of some avail. However, the provacative burning of such a “holy book” in this situation would not have that effect. Generally in our culture book burnings have the effect of making the burners look fearful or different ideas and uninterested, unwilling or, worse yet unable to defend their own teachings in a pluralistic setting. It tends to put the burners in a bad light. So while your point in the abstract may have some merit, in the reality of this culture of ours it is just a bad idea.

      • David Ulmer says:

        Msgr. Charles Pope, if we take your logic and apply it to other sacred objects in other religions I think you would have to hold that killing cows is gravely offensive, unnecessary and just plain mean. Not only is a book not alive, but cows are believed to be reincarnated persons by a very large number of sincerely religious folk. Since they do not believe it is right to take our lives we kill and offend without consequence. The real difference is the murderous response that Muslims will take in regards to their offense. Drawing their leader’s image is offensive to them as well. Isn’t eating pork an offense and having dogs as pets an offense? Isn’t the fact that you are not Muslim an offense to them? True it is unwise for a Christian to take a blatant swipe at their foolishness but how can you call it a grave offense. This is over the top. We should take offense at the fact that Mohammed married and had sexual relations with prepubescent girls. We should take offense at the fact that Christians are tortured and murdered under Islamic rule perhaps daily. It is unwise but has nothing intrinsically evil about it. It shows how ridiculous our nation has become that we tolerate murdering human babies without a blink of an eye and get all up in arms about burning a book that is intrinsically false and perhaps evil itself. I really don’t understand how you can call this gravely offensive. Is it because of political correctness that so many Catholics are speaking up? I can see why we would get upset about cutting down 200 year old trees, leaving abused children in our disgusting welfare system where they continue to get abused and neglected, spending money we don’t have, and all the sexual perversion on TV, but upset about the Koran getting burned is crazy. I’ll defend their right to burn it ESPECIALLY if they own it and believe it is evil. In fact they should be burning it and we can talk reason to them and hopefully persuade them that it is foolish and even counterproductive. Catholics missing Mass is sin. Catholics voting for Obama and other abortion politicians is sin. Catholics supporting homosexuality, contraception, cohabitation, immodest dress, gambling, and drunkenness is sin, but burning the Koran is not a sin. We should talk about the gravely offensive behavior of about every single Catholic parish with a school promoting this type of stuff just to raise money.

      • I do not intend to give offense by eating pork, beef, of having a pet. The Pastor intends to offend and provoke, to tempt and incite. Now I am not aware what to do in the case of beef and prok. I suppose if I were in a part of the world where this was considered offensive I would not eat it. Paul in the Letter to the Romans said, if eating meat causes my borther to fall then I will not eat of it. Nevertheless Paul goes on to state that he and we are free but that we should not use our freedom as a pretext for sin or causing our brother to fall (cf Rom 14). Now I am not sure what it even done in India in regard to beef. I seem to recall eating beef in an Indi restaurant but perhaps my memory fails. When I was in Israel no prok was available and I gladly did without given my locale.

        I agree that there are many other things to get upset about and to discuss and if you’ve read the pages of this blog you’ll see that I’ve discussed with this group just about every topic you’ve raised.

  7. Bender says:

    I don’t know this guy, I don’t know what he has said are his reasons and motivations, so I know I am coming from a position of complete ignorance, but I would guess that, given his purposely making his plans public, this is more about intentionally being provocative, intentionally trying to get a reaction (perhaps presuming that it would get an adverse reaction), rather than being about burning some book that he believes to be false. Perhaps this is his idea of a tit-for-tat to the WTC Ground Zero “mosque” controversy.

    On the one hand, yes, it is wrong to intentionally seek to offend someone for the purpose of offending them. It is a gross violation of our call to charity. In that sense, publicly burning the Koran would be wrong. On the other hand, there are a great many Muslims who would consider any treatment of the Koran other than treating it as a sacred holy book is offensive. They would take great offense that my copy of a Koran is sitting on the bottom shelf collecting dust. And if I should ever desire to get rid of that copy by, say, throwing it in the trash, as one might any other old book, there are some who would riot because of that.

    That “turn the other cheek” thing goes both ways. And we should not draw a false moral equivilence between (a) the destruction of a book that contains ideas that are, by every Christian measure, false and heretical, even if that burning is done in hate, and (b) rioting and violence in reaction to that action, including burning churches, burning non-Muslims, and killing and causing injury by other means, or threatening to do so.

    • Bender says:

      I also think that if this guy had thought that he would receive a ho-hum reaction by the entire Muslim community, if he thought that they would ignore this and simply dismiss it as the idiotic action of some idiot, he would not be doing it.

      Meanwhile, the risk of being offended by entirely non-violent acts of free expression is the price that is to be paid in a free society. Sorry, but people are just going to have to suck it up and not turn violent simply because some book is burned or because an American flag is burned or because someone draws a cartoon figure and says it is Mohammed or because someone writes a book on the Koran’s “Satanic Verses” or because someone translates the Koran into a language other than Arabic or because a Muslim wants to convert to Christianity. I would not have this guy do this, but even more, I would not reduce him to the status of dhimmi either.

      Moreover, if it were not the MSM who gave this guy a voice, if it were not the media opponents of this guy’s actions publicizing it, no one would have ever known about it, and Muslims world-wide would not then be offended by what they don’t know.

      Doing an offensive act is wrong. But advancing and perpetuating that offense by publicizing it is wrong as well.

  8. Marie says:

    I don’t think burning the Quran is a good idea. But at the same time it’s sad that the freedom of this great nation is being challenged. America is a good role model for the world in freedom of speech, democracy, equality, respect for people and so forth. However, my fear is that some of us have brought with us here to the USA, the very same oppressive systems from which we have fled and took refuge in this country and want to establish them here just because we have freedom. If that happens, where are those of us who want to live in peace going next, including the peaceful Americans themselves?

    Secondly, I think Americans, especially Christians have to keep in mind that it is not without a purpose that all these people of the world have come here. The words of Jesus Christ in Mark 13:10, which says: “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations”, was spoken as one of the signs of the End of the Age. Now the world have come here to America where they freely have every opportunity to hear the Word of God. Now they don’t have any valid reason for ignoring the Gospel, because now they are in the country that doesn‘t hang them for choosing life – the Gospel of salvation.

    • Yeah, I think you and Bender are saying something similar here with which I agree. That Jones is free to do this is not in dispute. But the question I am raising is whether it is moral or right to do this. It’s a hard freedom that we enjoy but I agree, he is free to do it.

  9. Danny says:

    This is a childish and idiotic act. Certainly will damage harmonious relations between religions which have been built with great difficulty in my country. What will happen after the burning? Obviously, it won’t solve anything; but creating a bigger problem for sure, especially for Christians (very shameful this term involved) and Americans who live in other Islam majority countries.

    – An Indonesian Catholic, live in this country of world’s most populous Muslim.

  10. Vijaya says:

    Burning the Qu’ran will only incite violence towards Christians. There is no logic to his actions and it’s a terribly unChristian thing to do. In India there have been attacks against Christians and they have responded by gathering and taking care of themselves. Some Hindus have come to their aid as well. This is how inter-faith dialogue begins. Not by burning holy books.

  11. Mark says:

    Thank you once again for your wise words, Monsignor. Everyone: please pray for this man, his congregation and everyone being misled by his behavior.

  12. Robin Sherwood M Div. says:

    This is highly offending every member of the Muslim community by expressing a hate crime. This important act of great hate does not stand for truth rather it aggravates a delicate balance of pyschology, theology and sprirituality that all men of peace strive for. Thts destructive urge activates hostility and hate, blind anger and uncanny pleasures of cruelty and decay.On the other hand, the creative urge drives us to constructive goals giving rise to generous love and giving, ardent procreation and joyful building up. What happens depends a great deal on these urges, the aggressiveness on which they are expressed and the way we try solve the conflict between them. The problem of society is to nurture the creative and put down the destructive ones. We need to become aware of just how much our feelings affect our behaviour, our experiences and our ideas of the people and things around us, so as to avoid unreasonable actions, excessive worry and mistakes in judgment. From the Christian experience, the suggestion comes that never a doubt it is always more comfortable in the long run to act, feel, and think from saving love of Christ than ever from a position of hate.

  13. Sandra Jones says:

    Msgr. Pope, I agree that burning the Koran is wrong and not presenting a good Christian witness. Maybe a better demonstration would be to organize a day of fasting and penance in atonement for the sins of Christians against Muslims. Please ask all Catholics to attend Holy Mass on Patriot Day (September 11) and pray for peace and the return our great Nation to its former faithfulness to God’s laws.

  14. Lank says:

    Burn the Koran until churches are permitted to be built in Muslim countries, bloggers like you only see the sin one-way. Never again! Deus Vult.

  15. Dan Krischke says:

    Let’s see……the good reverend has certainly garnered a bunch of media attention. That translates into more money (for Jesus?), nahhhhh, for himself and his fleeced flock. This is a desperate act by an illogical man. So many “ministers” are doing it for a job and not for the true intentions of a religious ministry. Look at the prosperity gospel advocates and I believe you can see his motivation. All of these guys follow a “cafeteria” version of the Bible. Peace and God bless.

  16. Karen says:

    I wonder if people (in particular, this pastor) realize that the Koran contains many (all?) of the Hebrew Scripture/Old Testament writings. I understand it also contains more references to Mary by name than the Bible. Muslims accept Christ as a holy man, and His virgin birth is a tenet of their faith; is it so hard to accord Muslims equivalent respect and understanding?

    • Russ Miller says:

      “Muslims accept Christ as a holy man”

      Yes. But the Koran says that if you believe in Jesus Christ, you are an infidel and are to be coerced into 1)accepting Muhammad and Islam 2) or enslaved as a muslim slave, or dhimmit, or killed.

      The “holy” Koran also says it is ok to torture infidels. Muhammad was a warlord who led over 75 raids and advised his soldiers to loot, rape, and mutilate the enemy.

      Note: I do not agree with burning the Koran, I wish every Catholic and Christian would read it carefully.

    • Travis Blalock says:

      The Muslim Faith is NOT equal to Christianity it is false! It is OK to be respectful but were are not equal!

      Travis Blalock

  17. Christopher says:

    I think several distinctions must be made. First of all, one must distinguish between acts which are sinful in and of themselves, and actions which may become sinful on account of circumstances. An example of the former is direct abortion. Such an action is always and everywhere a gravely sinful act, regardless of the circumstances (the culpability for the act is a different question). An example of the latter is driving a car. It is not sinful to drive a car – but it may become sinful in certain circumstances. If someone is intoxicated, driving a car would be sinful.

    In this specific case, burning the Quran is NOT, per se, a sinful act. All of the reasons alleged for the sinfulness of burning the Quran relate to the circumstances surrounding the act. It might be worthwhile to look at each of these reasons individually.

    First: “Intentionally giving offense is wrong.” This reason seems imprecise. Someone may do something that he knows will give offense, without intending the provocation. So, for instance, in his address at Regensburg, Pope Benedict may have reasonably expected that his words would offend Muslims. The fact that he went ahead and spoke anyway, despite knowing that some people would be offended, does not make his actions sinful. There are countless examples from the history of the Saints and Fathers of the Church of people doing or saying things that offended others. Indeed, our Lord Himself said things that He knew would offend His audience. So the sinfulness of *knowingly* giving offense seems to lie in the intention behind the action, not in the action itself.

    Second: “To tempt others to sin is wrong.” This is true. Obviously, to directly ask or encourage someone to sin (“Bobby, go steal that DVD”) is itself a sin. But in cases like this, there is no direct encouragement. No one wants Muslims to be respond violently. Now, Msgr. Pope seems to recognize the need for some qualifications when he says that it is “not necessary” for Pastor Jones to burn a Quran. Here again, we can look at the Scriptures. In John, chapter 8, our Lord responds to the Jewish leaders by saying “Before Abraham was, I am” – knowing this would incite a violent response (“They took up stones, therefore, to cast at Him”). The question, then, seems to be one of double effect. Is the good that one is trying to accomplish proportionate to the foreseen negative consequences? It is certainly possible to answer in the negative – but again, this is not the same thing as saying that the act is per se sinful.

    The final objection is similar. It argues that the foreseen consequences – that peoples’ lives will be endangered – are disproportionate to the good accomplished. Again, Monsignor appears to acknowledge the need of qualifications when he adds the phrase “by reckless behavior.” But again, one can acknowledge likely negative consequences of an act, without intending them, and in good conscience proceed to commit the act if there are proportionate reasons for doing so.

    [As is clear, most of these observations are related to the theory of double effect.]

    Basically, what I want to argue is that burning a Quran is NOT intrinsically sinful. Our debate should be on the grounds of whether or not, in these specific circumstances, and foreseeing these negative consequences, one should proceed with the book burning. I don’t think that that question is nearly as clear-cut as some people are making it out to be.

    • Fr. Johnosn says:

      Excellent comment, Christopher. Everyone would do well to read over your remarks carefully.

    • Daniel says:

      You rightly bring up the question of motive as part of moral activity. Questions of sinfulness involve not only the act but the intention as well as the circumstances. Jesus may have known his answer might provoke a reaction and decided to proceed, but his intention was to convey Truth about his role in the salvation of the world and the institution of the Reign of God. Is there possibly a good intention for burning a Qu’ran? Is it a thoughtful action directed towards building the Kingdom of God? It is hard for me to see a loving motive.

    • Gary says:

      Excellent analysis.

    • Well Christopher to some extent I think you are quibbling. To intentionally give offense vs intending to provoke are not really all that far apart but if you insist upon adding the word fine. Pastor Jones does clearly intend to provoke, part of his motivation is to illustrate the falsity of claims that Islam is a peaceful religion. To do this he is provoking people to anger, intentionally to make his point. If I figure you’re basically a hot head and want to to prove this others I will push your buttons, provoke you intentionally. I am not sure it is right for me to do this. I am not so sure your make your point that Jones is only indirectly tempting them. What he is doing is to directly provoke them to anger, a sin to which many sectors of Islam are prone, with something he knows will inflame them. It seems pretty direct to me espeically when the action is not required by some duty of ours. Burning a Quran is not intrinsically evil but it seems to me that inciting anger and endangering others unecessarily is wrong. Apart from phariscaical scandal which need not be avoided, we ought generally speaking to avoid drawing others to sin if it can be reasonably avoided and in this case it can.

      • Ryan says:

        This seems to fall under the species of vice which are discord and contention, both of which are not categorically sinful. I hate to be a sophist, but.., you seem to have made assertions only. Offending people has not as far as I know ever been nor ever will be a mortal sin by reason of its genus. The fact that we exist and worship as Catholics offends people and I intend to offend them as long as God wills.

        I hate doing this too, because you are a priest, but since you are a priest I request more precise teaching, in accord with Catholic truth because, 1) I don’t want to be led astray, nor do I want the other people reading your blog to be led astray, 2) I don’t want you to have a millstone strung around your neck, so here are the most relevant parts of the Summa [second part of the second part questions 37-38] which I ordinarily refrain from using as a bat against bloggers, but the pastor has room to do as he is doing:

        A}The accidental in human acts is that which occurs beside the intention. Hence when several intend a good pertaining to God’s honor, or our neighbor’s profit, while one deems a certain thing good, and another thinks contrariwise, the discord is in this case accidentally contrary to the Divine good or that of our neighbor. Such like discord is neither sinful nor against charity, unless it be accompanied by an error about things necessary to salvation, or by undue obstinacy, since it has also been stated above (29, 1,3, ad 2) that the concord which is an effect of charity, is union of wills not of opinions. It follows from this that discord is sometimes the sin of one party only, for instance, when one wills a good which the other knowingly resists; while sometimes it implies sin in both parties, as when each dissents from the other’s good, and loves his own.

        B} Accordingly if we take contention as denoting a disclaimer of the truth and an inordinate manner, it is a mortal sin. Thus Ambrose [Cf. Gloss. Ord. in Rom. i, 29 defines contention: “Contention is a disclaimer of the truth with clamorous confidence.” If, however, contention denote a disavowal of what is false, with the proper measure of acrimony, it is praiseworthy: whereas, if it denote a disavowal of falsehood, together with an inordinate manner, it can be a venial sin, unless the contention be conducted so inordinately, as to give scandal to others. Hence the Apostle after saying (2 Timothy 2:14): “Contend not in words,” adds, “for it is to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.”

        As to the fostering of discord, the pastor, has clearly stated that he does expect provocation and foresees it, but his intention is to send a message of perseverance in the face of violence, and has clearly stated that he does know it will offend but that the defense of the truth that radical Islam is dangerous is more important than the offense given. For him to gravely sin against charity by discord, he would have to intend something contrary to God’s honor, which Islam is clearly false if we believe that we have received revelation (I know the whole deal about Islam containing some truth, but the part he is disparaging is clearly contrary to Catholic truth), so I do not see how the question of God’s honor is pertinent because it is not blaspheme or heresy to say Islam is a lie, or he would have to intend something not to his neighbors profit, which he clearly believes he is intending so I do not yet see how it would be the sin of discord.

        As to the sowing of contention, it would be at most be venial unless it involved the grave sin of scandal which would also be a grave sin. As far as scandal…

        Active scandal, if it be accidental, may sometimes be a venial sin; for instance, when, through a slight indiscretion, a person either commits a venial sin, or does something that is not a sin in itself, but has some appearance of evil. On the other hand, it is sometimes a mortal sin, either because a person commits a mortal sin, or because he has such contempt for his neighbor’s spiritual welfare that he declines, for the sake of procuring it, to forego doing what he wishes to do. But in the case of active direct scandal, as when a person intends to lead another into sin, if he intends to lead him into mortal sin, his own sin will be mortal; and in like manner if he intends by committing a mortal sin himself, to lead another into venial sin; whereas if he intends, by committing a venial sin, to lead another into venial sin, there will be a venial sin of scandal.

        So it might be a grave a sin, but he doesn’t seem to intend to lead people into violence, as much as sees it as possible, and all he has is the assertion that our general believes it very likely that it might incite violence, which is not a definite statement and with which it isis difficult to make a conviction. We could believe merely in Patreus’ authority, but Patreus still has not definitely proven that the actions of the pastor will cause at least one person grave harm. I feel like I am stitching together moral theology, but I would like you to more thoroughly, if you think it prudent, teach us why this is gravely sinful, instead of just being an error in judgment, or if it is more convenient, since I believe my email is given you upon submission of this comment, email me a response.

      • Christopher says:

        Thank you, Monsignor, for your response. The distinction I was trying to make was the distinction in the theory of double effect, between intending a known consequence of an act and merely accepting the consequence of an act. The Regensburg Address can again serve as an example. The Pope might reasonably have expected that his words would cause offense, but his intention was definitely not to cause offense, but to make a point and to call for dialogue.

        Although I expressed it poorly, especially in my comments on the second point, my intention was not so much to comment on this specific case (I have not followed the story closely enough to know the Pastor’s intentions), but to provide some considerations about the moral analysis of any such act. A human act is judged on the basis of its object, the intention behind it, and the consequences. It is important to emphasize that the object involved here is not an intrinsically evil act; that is, one cannot say that burning a Quran is a sin in the same way that one can say that adultery is a sin, or that abortion is a sin.

        It seems that the case against burning the Quran in this instance must be made on the basis of (1) the intention (Pastor Jones intends to provoke people to sin); and (2) the foreseen negative consequences (it will provoke violence and bloodshed without a proportionate benefit). Both of these are strong arguments. My point is simply that it is on these two grounds that the evaluation of Pastor Jones’ intended actions must be argued.

  18. Diane says:

    Good post, as usual Monsignor.

    The Holy See spoke this morning on the matter via the Pontifical Council fir Interreligious Dialogue

    http://press.catholica.va/news_services/bulletin/news/25987.php?index=25987&lang=en#TESTO%20IN%20LINGUA%20INGLESE

    • Good, thanks for this link. The statement is brief but clear, indicating that this offensive act cannot be acceptable and reaffirming that the violent acts against this country in 2001 in the name of religion are also to be stringly condemned.

  19. Diane says:

    I will add that I’m a little surprised that the USCCB didn’t weigh in with a statement. Hopefully, there are no Catholics who condone, or participate in this sort of thing. Consider what St. Francis, a man who for a time worked among Muslims, would say about the poor example it makes out of any Christian engaging in it.

  20. Kinana says:

    Dear Msgr Pope,

    You say much here about causing offense.

    I am glad you say that ‘He may have a right to do this…’

    May I assume that you actually mean that you believe that he HAS the right to do this?

    If so, my next point is this: Are our actions to be determined by the perceived offence it may or indeed actually cause others? You surely do not agree with that because as a priest you will stand up for the Gospel and that in itself offends many people! You also directly offend Islam and are a blasphemer because you uphold the truth of the Trinity

    ‘They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.’ Qur’an 5:73

    Thank you

    • It is not possible to avoid giving offense at times. This can happen at times because what is required of us, namely our Christian proclamation of faith offends, believers of other systems. Or it can happen merely because a person is unreasonably thin-skinned and takes offense at what they should not. However, to directly intend to offend when it is not necessary or counter-productive and, in this case dangerous, is not right.

      • Kinana says:

        Dear Msgr Pope

        Sorry I could not get back to you sooner.

        Your point about the nuance of causing offence is taken, and is one I agree with. Now I wish to make it even more nuanced. If the pastor has the right to burn the Qur’an, as you seem to imply, let us talk about sin.

        Your objection seems to hinge on whether he ‘directly’ intends to cause offence. But what about this scenario: The pastor knows that his action will definitely offend some people but his intention is to say something about Islam that he believes to be true, e.g. he has said: ‘Islam is of the devil.’ The offence thereby becomes a side issue or an unintended consequence. If this is the case, as I believe it is, would the action still be a sin?

        If not, then that leaves your proposition that it becomes a sin only if the offended people actually carry out the violence they threaten to carry out. But if they do NOT commit violence, then would that make his action NOT a sin? This seems to say that our hope, efforts and prayers to have a good relationship with God depends not on our own faith and will, but on the actions of others.

        Or I am misunderstanding something?

        Thanks

      • My point is that it is wrong to incite violence even if you’re not 100% sure it will happen. If I drive wrecklessly I may think no one will get hurt, and I might even get home with no mishaps. But it is still wrong to endanger others even if I think they or I will handle it just fine.

  21. Sherry says:

    This situation is an embarrassment for the whole country and people of all faiths. The fact that an ego-filled pastor of a very small church can garner this much attention for deliberately antagonizing people is a real travesty. Burning a book that a faith holds sacred is shameful. That the media has hyped it all up and “spread the bad news” is also shameful. To think that this angry and irresponsible person is the center of a media frenzy worries me in thinking who and what might be next? When unstable people see that just anyone can end up a “celebrity” if they engage in outrageous behavior that can fan the flames of an already tense situation, there is no telling what will happen in the future. Maybe this will encourage people of good will to pray fervently for our future.

  22. Woody says:

    You cannot reason with those that are not reasonable. We need more dialog with members of a so called religion that says submit to our ideology or die? I do not see any other religion trying to kill innocent people to evangelize their religion, do any of you? Someone said it above, the worst that is taking place is desecrating their “holy” book. This pastor, right or wrong, is not promoting physical harm to any muslim. But what are we really afraid of if this book burning takes place? The PHYSICAL VIOLENCE that will take place BY MUSLIMS against who knows. Yes, that is the muslim way: Disagree with us and you die. Father, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect that opinion. I may disagree with your opinion but I do not wish you harm for having the differing opinion. That is the difference between civilzed people and the muslim community. I do not hear the the muslim community in the US speaking out against the terrorist ways of their “brothers” who commit or try to commit physical acts of violence against innocent people. And why do you suppose they don’t come out and condemn these actions? Maybe they’re afraid of what will happen to them and their families if they say something that goes against the Quoran. To me, the bottom line is we are more afraid of what the muslims will do rather than how “wrong” it is to burn a book. Perhaps a compromise can be reached. How about they burn only those pages in the Quoran that promote violence against infidels and leave the rest. How much of the book would be burned then?

    • So do you think the Pastor’s planned actions are a good idea?

      • Woody says:

        Well, let’s see what’s going on here. Pastor Jones is going after that “radical element” of Islam. He appears to be saying that he and his congregation are not afraid of that radical element. Everyone else is saying “No, don’t do it, you fool. You will make them mad and they will come after us!” I do not believe that the Quoran is a holy book because it promotes violence. So, I will stand with Pastor Jones on this one. I may disagree with his actions, but I will defend, to my death, his right to do so. Again, he is not physically harming anyone. If he was burning a copy of the Douay-Rheims, I would disagree with him and pray for his soul. I would not threaten him with harm. What are you afraid of, Father?

      • Well I “fear” and oppose a violent response that has been threatened to the book burning. I think innocent people are going to get hurt and die. It may be radical Muslims who do it but it is wrong to unncessarily inflame others. Hence I oppose the pastor’s action.

      • Jesse Toler says:

        I think his actions are an excellent idea. Burning the Quran will incite a great deal of violence, showing without doubt that Islam is a hoax bent on domination. We have got to quit crawling on our bellies before the laughing Muslims.

  23. Mohamed Friji says:

    it is better to seek the truth elsewhere

  24. Roy Parlanti says:

    We can not let Islam dictate our actions. They will throw us into the pits as easy as the Romans did. The Koran is not a “holy book” but full of blashpemies. Christianity needs to take a stand and fight for our beliefs and for the Truth, and that is there is only one path to salvation and that is through the Holy Catholic Church.

    • Daniel says:

      Roy,
      The Holy Catholic Church is founded upon Jesus. Your statement doesn’t seem consistent with the message of Jesus, it builds walls rather than unity, and it may feed the fires of violence against which Jesus spoke.

  25. Lil' Sis says:

    Monsignor, I have a related question.

    How should one dispose of a Koran that was foisted upon them? My mother, who lives in Dearborn, Michigan where the largest arab population in the U.S. is had a Muslim come a knockin’ on her door Jehovah style to try to persuade her to convert. They insisted she take the koran (which was written English, which I have always understood to be one of the first violations of islamic law, anyway). She refused but later found on sitting on her porch. She now doesn’t no the best way of disposing of it. I think she would be offended if someone threw out a Bible. But she doesn’t want it around nor is she willing to go looking for a muslim to give it to.

  26. Philippus says:

    Well, I lived in a country split almost down the middle with Christianity and Islam. That said, if I was ever going to burn a Quran, it would be in private. It is not something to make a spectacle of, lest my other Catholic brethren who are not in a safe neighborhood are used as scape goats by those who are Muslim.

    This is not an argument of whether Muslims are peaceful or not. Every right minded person knows it is quite the opposite. To qualify, these people are capable of committing heinous crimes against Christian “infidels” to state points…we should not resort to such tactics to state ours.

    For me, I do not care that it is a “sacred” book used by people to worship, but that it will incite violence against those that are not able to defend themselves. We should argue any other point because only the bible is sacred.

    Philippus

  27. ejcmartin says:

    Why was there not such an outcry when the holy eucharist was desecrated by the “scientist” who posted it on Youtube? It’s amazing what the Reformation hath rot. One “pastor” with 50 followers becomes an international representative of Christiantity?

  28. Grandpa Tom says:

    When will American’s ever show some backbone. We are like jellyfish. We can’t even win a war because of our political correctness. Islam means submission which is exactly what we are doing on every issue.We need to show some intestinal fortitude and stand-up to Islam. When will the flag with the cresent moon of Islam fly over the White House? A war is won by winning battles, we are losing every engagementj and issue. The sublime message we send to the Arab countries is we are divided and can be conquered. How does this place our troops in harms way when it is the troops who are there to step into harms way, this afterall is the very reason the Army is there.

    This division is how we lost Vietnam. Will our silence really sway them, or embolden them because they think we are cowards? I for one will never say “Uncle” to Islam. We never show this sort of solidarity when they disrespect our Country and Religion and behead us. I say burn the Koran with bacon grease. Fight to win, or go home. Remember, Spain was under Islam for almost 800 years from 711 to 1492. “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight (Psalm 144).” Signed: A Vietnam Veteran.

    • I understand your anger but can’t agree we should burn the Quran. I think we’ve shown some backbone, maybe to a fault, eg. in Iraq and Afganistan. Culturally we are in a bit of a “weaker” position due to our religious and cultural premises. Despite this I am not sure I am ready to sanction hateful and incindiary actions.

      • Jesse Toler says:

        This division isn’t just how we lost Vietnam, it is how we lost Constantinople. The city of our first Christian Emperor, who brought peace to the Church and presided over the Council of Nicea, is held by Muslims who have desecrated the Hagia Sophia. They even dug up Constantine’s grave when they took the city. But, once we habd over America to the Saudis, they’ll be nicer to us. After all, Muslims never lie.

  29. Waitful one. says:

    There is a day coming when the owners of the Quran will burn the Quran themselves and they will either turn to the Holy Bible or throw themselves into the fires as well. We do not need to burn books or anything else which leads the flock astray. Jesus is the good and faithful shepherd. Those who know His voice will come when He calls. Those who do not will be lost and no one will go to look for them.

    Instead of burning books pray for your brothers and sisters. Pray that God has mercy on them and our self and our families. How long can His holy justice be held back from stinging all of humanity? Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, O Lord.

  30. Russ Miller says:

    “appalled by such disrespect for a sacred text.”

    Is the Koran a sacred text?

    “Qur’an:8:12 “I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle.”
    Qur’an:8:57 “If you gain mastery over them in battle, inflict such a defeat as would terrorize them, so that they would learn a lesson and be warned.”
    Ishaq:326 “If you come upon them, deal so forcibly as to terrify those who would follow, that they may be warned. Make a severe example of them by terrorizing Allah’s enemies.”
    Qur’an:8:67 “It is not fitting for any prophet to have prisoners until he has made a great slaughter in the land.”

    • SOme pretty bad stuff in our Bible too. Raed up on the “Ban” texts. I’m not saying that the Quran is a sacred text but we need to be careful not to cast too many stones here.

      • KM says:

        with all due respect Msgr, I don’t think violence in the Koran is comparable to that of the Bible. Biblical accounts are historical and cannot be used as a source of legislation, social or religious. Koranic verses are legitimate source of legislation, both social and religious. Violence in the Bible was directed towards tribes that no longer exist, Koranic violence is directed towards Christians, Jews and Pagans, people who will always exist on earth, Koranic violence is perpetual and always applicable, Biblical violence is not. Those four citations by Russ only scratch the surface.

      • Jan says:

        The difference being that the New Testament does not advocate nor promote violence against those who disagree…

      • Russ Miller says:

        I’m guessing you haven’t read the Koran. You should. Underline the violent orders and actions of Muhammad to kill. Not exactly Jesus Christ.

  31. Fr. Anthony Cekada says:

    Burning books that contain heresies, blasphemies or doctrinal errors was a practice that the Catholic Church officially approved, as can be seen from the Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on the censorship of books. (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03519d.htm)
    In itself, there is nothing wrong with the practice. It’s only the modern we-all-believe-in-the-same-God ecumenism that’s turned it into a sin.

    • David, Chicago says:

      Then, Reverend Father, how do you explain this Vatican statement calling the burning of the Koran “an outrageous and grave gesture”?

      “The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue received with great concern the news of the proposed “Koran Burning Day” on the occasion of the Anniversary of the September 11th tragic terrorist attacks in 2001 which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and considerable material damage.

      These deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community. Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection. We are speaking about the respect to be accorded the dignity of the person who is an adherent of that religion and his/her free choice in religious matters.

      The reflection which necessarily should be fostered on the occasion of the remembrance of September 11th would be, first of all, to offer our deep sentiments of solidarity with those who were struck by these horrendous terrorist attacks. To this feeling of solidarity we join our prayers for them and their loved ones who lost their lives.

      Each religious leader and believer is also called to renew the firm condemnation of all forms of violence, in particular those committed in the name of religion. Pope John Paul II affirmed: “Recourse to violence in the name of religious belief is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions” (Address to the new Ambassador of Pakistan, 16 December 1999). His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, similarly expressed, “…violence as a response to offences can never be justified, for this type of response is incompatible with the sacred principles of religion…” (Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI, to the new Ambassador of Morocco, 6 February 2006).”

    • Tom says:

      The principle of double effect, which Christopher mentions above, predates modern ecumenism.

      Imprudence remains a sin.

    • Daniel says:

      There is much that is wrong with the practice by virtue of the intention of the burner in this case. That the Church has done things in the past does not canonize the actions (obviously there is much we ought not to be proud of in our history). The irony is that burning books as a way of censorship was meant to prevent people from being scandalized or led astray by the content of certain books (as determined by a “competent” authority). I have not found many people who are defending the Qu’ran burning (on moral grounds) who have actually read the Qu’ran seriously, beyond passing along a few lines out of context. How can people be led astray by something they haven’t read? We might also be in trouble if people took a few lines of our Scripture out of context and took it to represent the entirety of our faith Tradition.

  32. Brian English says:

    “It is my understanding that the proposed site for the mosque is at least four blocks from ground zero and on private property. Either we uphold freedom of religion or we don’t. As a teacher of history, it seems like the NYC Muslims are being treated like the NYC Catholics of not so long ago …”

    It is actually two blocks, and the landing gear from one of the planes crashed through the roof and the top two floors of the building. The opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque has nothing to do with freedom of religion (which is only implicated when the government is involved). The opposition is consistent with freedom of expression and is protesting an act that most Americans feel is offensive. Sensitivity to the feelings of others is something both the Mosque developers and Pastor Jones should consider.

  33. Brian English says:

    “So, I will stand with Pastor Jones on this one. I may disagree with his actions, but I will defend, to my death, his right to do so. Again, he is not physically harming anyone. ”

    But no one is saying Pastor Jones does not have a right to do this. As with the Ground Zero Mosque, having the legal right to do something does not mean it is the right thing to do.

    What point is Pastor Jones trying to make? That Christians can behave as badly as the thuggish elements within Islam? And I find it highly unlikely that you will have to forfeit your life to protect Pastor Jones’ right to burn the Koran, but there are Christians in Muslim-majority countries who very well may lose their lives because of him exercising that right.

    If Pastor Jones really wants to strike a blow for religious freedom and against radical Islam, he should travel to Saudi Arabia and try to preach there. That would impress me.

    • Woody says:

      And say he does and is put to death because he preaches against allah. What would you do then, Brian? Impress me with your thoughts on when YOU will stand up and strike a blow for freedom from radical islam. How has islam changed your life since 9/11/01? Been on an airplane lately? Will you fly on a plane with a muslim who carries a quoran with him/her? I didn’t start this war and it is a war. Muslims started it centuries ago. They continue it today just as they did in the past. And what is it that they want of you, Brian? Submission. The more I read the posts on this blog, the more I think Pastor Jones is right. As a fellow Christian, I’m not afraid of the muslims. Let them know we are not afraid. They can kill my body but not my soul. However, I’m not going to smile at them as they try to kill me. St. Joan of Arc, defend and protect me. St. Michael the Archangel, defend and protect me in battle.

  34. Cynthia BC says:

    Making a point of destroying something serves only to give the middle finger to those who value what that something is and/or symbolizes. No one interested in a productive discussion would engage in such an act. It’s just plain hateful.

  35. Boniface says:

    I say he should definitely proceed with the burning. Every copy of that ….book should be destroyed.

  36. David, Chicago says:

    Official church teaching: “The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to human beings; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

    “Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Muslims, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.” (Nostra Aetate)

    No “but” here. No “it’s a bad idea to burn the Koran, but…” here. Muslims deserve our respect. Period. As for selective outrage (because some scientist desecrated the eucharist and there was no uproar, thus there ought NOT be uproar over burning another faith’s scriptures; Saudi Arabia bans Christian churches so why should the USA allow for the building of mosques, etc etc ad nauseum): The first law (canonical and otherwise) is the law of charity, and Jesus’ command is that his baptized followers love their enemies and do good to those who persecute them. There is no wiggling out of this.

    • Woody says:

      If prophets do not lie, then why are they not Christians? Jesus Christ told the truth, did he not? If they truly believe he was a prophet, this would not be happening. The muslims would not be killing us if they truly believed that Jesus was a prophet. Someone is not telling the truth here. I believe Jesus did tell the truth, always. As for your comment to love my enemies, what about St. Joan of Arc? Was she getting her instructions from mohammed? What about the “just war?” No wiggle room? I don’t know if that is correct.

    • Kinana says:

      ‘Muslims deserve our respect. Period.’

      Agreed, and I have not read here anyone saying otherwise. All people deserve the same respect regardless of their beliefs because they are first of all human beings.

      In your quote, the Church speaks of Muslims and Islam. But what is not clear to me is the connection between the two. They are not one and the same. Not all Muslims believe the same thing or are even aware of what Islam teaches.

      For me the greatest respect we can show Muslims is best expressed in this quote from the French historian Ernest Renan:

      “Muslims were the first victims of Islam. Many times I have observed in my travels that fanaticism comes from a small number of dangerous men who maintain others in the practice of this religion by terror. To liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render him.”

  37. Jean says:

    This will not be the first time a book has been burned. And it likely will not be the last time. But it has never been right, in my opinion, to burn a book. The burning of any book does not rid the world of what was written. It does, in my opinion, show the world how small the person is who promotes the burning of books. The one person in history whose name pops into my mind as one who burned books is Adolph Hitler. Does this “man of God” wish to have his name on the same page as Hitler?

  38. James Kevin Richardson says:

    Dhimmitude comes to the Archdiocese of DC. Why am I not surprised? The only thing about your cesspool that surprises me is why Jesus does not fry that entire archdiocese to protect the sanctity of the Basilica erected to His Mother’s Immaculate Conception.

  39. Shacoria says:

    As someone who lives in Florida(Orlando) I’ve been hearing about this a lot lately and I think it’s a bad idea to do this because it seems pointless to me. It seems like this man thinks that all muslims are terrorists which is really not true.

  40. Ricky Vines says:

    Just to clarify, the sinfulness is derived from the wilful offense against charity. If has nothing to do with the sacredness of the Q’uran because it is not in the canon of inspired texts nor does not have any transubstantiative properties beyond paper. So, if I shred it then burn it in my grill privately, I do not sin. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    About the high regard of the Church with Islam, I wonder if it is way too kind. Other studies show a sinister face of this religion http://divine-ripples.blogspot.com/2010/07/revealing-patterns-of-behavior-by.html So is the truth perhaps somewhere in the middle?

    • I’d agree with your first point. You would not personally sin in a purely private grilling. Perhaps the words of the Second Vatican Council was more optimistic in its assessment than you would like? I think more recent statements such as the one issued by the Vatican today is more prone to deplore the violence that stems from some sectors of Islam

      • James Kevin Richardson says:

        Msgr,
        Violence flows from the very root (hence the term radical Islam) of Islam. Those who do not actually enter into it either support it (actively or passively) or cheer it, or deny that it exists. You write all that nonsense about one heretic (protestant) pastor wanting to make a mean point by burning their stupid book.
        How much have you written to deplore the lack of Islam’s willingness to even agree to token reciprocity in religious talks with Christians? The Vatican has been banging its head against the Muslim stone wall for centuries and has absolutely nothing concrete to show for it.
        You come across just like the moral cowards at the Vatican while the Israeli’s were erecting their security fence. Prattling on about disruption of people’s traffic patterns and employment options and wailing at the top of their lungs over disadvantaged religious communities (many of whom were known openly to support the actions of the terrorists), while allowing murderous attack after murderous attack by Muslime belly-bombers to go unremarked.
        You have the moral authority of a rattlesnake.

  41. Bender says:

    Rather than burn the Koran,
    Rather than argue about whether or not publicly burning a Koran as an act of provocation is a good or bad idea, or morally wrong,
    Rather than simply assume that because Muslims are monotheists that they are little different than Christians in their outlook,
    Rather than simply assume that the Koran is merely a modified restatement of Christian principles,
    Rather than conflate the Church’s teachings regarding Muslims (as individual persons) with the substance of the religion of Islam,
    Rather than having the audacity, as a non-Muslim, to presumptuously judge what is the true Islam and what is the false Islam, to say that the real Muslim is one with Christianized views, rather than the real Muslim being a “radical Islamist,”

    I would strong urge and advocate that everyone simply pick up a Koran and read it yourselves. Read it all the way through, cover to cover, even if you have never read the Bible all the way through. Read all the surahs that say that the Koran is perfect and true, while the Bible is corrupted and wrong, that Christians and Jews need to accept Allah and his Prophet, that Jesus was not really killed or crucified, that belief in the Trinity is blasphemy, that saying that Mary is the Mother of God is blasphemy, that calling Jesus the Son of God is blasphemy, that the all-powerful and all-knowing Allah is simply unable to comprehend how God could be a Trinity or how He could have a Son, and that it is the duty of the Muslim to fight Christian unbelievers and blasphemers.

    Rather than continue in presumption and ignorance regarding Islam, even if you are ignorant of your own Christianity, go and read about the life of “the Prophet” Mohammed. Ask yourself, what is it about Islam that would lead one to become Muslim? What is it that led the Christians of Christendom to reject Christ in favor of the Prophet? Read a few of the hadiths (sayings) of Mohammed. Ask yourself how one would act and think if he were to model himself after Mohammed.

    If we wish to dialogue with Islam, we need to know who and what it is that we are dealing with.

    • James Kevin Richardson says:

      I agree with you. However, as you point out, there are also the AHadith, the Sunnah. The words and example of the “prophet” carry almost as much weight in Islam as do those of the Quran. this is because the Big Mo is considered the exemplary human, the one who knows most closely the mind and heart of Allah- who we are told cannot be known (go figure that out).
      Another major stumbling block for many is the doctrine of abrogation. Not all Quranic verses continue to hold claim to being Allah’s final word on the subject. You can’t do this in a week or a month. Go to Jihadwatch.org, Robert Spencer has done the work. It is by no means a short read, but he goes thru the Quran and walks the dog so that we with other jobs won’t have to.

    • Daniel says:

      I agree that reading the Qu’ran is a fine idea. However, just like in Christianity, not all are Muslims are literalists. You certainly wouldn’t get a grasp of Catholicism by simply reading the Bible cover to cover without studying the language, history, cultural context, and other Tradition. If one really wants to understand the other it takes an investment of time, effort, and openness. A cursory reading might just give ammunition to bias, as we’re seeing in some entries.

  42. Jesse Toler says:

    Sharia law comes to Ameristan. How sad.

  43. Terence Filmore says:

    I pray that this pastor, and his disillusioned supporters, see sense. They are acting out of hatred and spite – surely the devil’s work, not that of Jesus. While I support his right to burn the Koran (just as I’d support someone’s right to burn the Bible), it is an ignorant, despicable, and immature act. All of us should pray for his conversion.

    We should also pray for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq – for surely one or more of them will be killed in direct retribution for the pastor’s actions, should he proceed as planned.

    • Amen, pray for the troops indeed.

    • James Kevin Richardson says:

      Amazing how those threatening to kill Americans either before or in retaliation to this “outrage” are not acting out of hatred or spite.
      You are Dhimmis, you are conquered, you will one day sacrifice other westerners (Jews, gays, your fellow Christians) and not just your dignity and self-respect.
      Do you folks actually mean to suggest that the barbarians would not have been killing Americans if only none of us ever considered burning their Satanic terrorist porno?
      Good luck with that one.

  44. Mack says:

    Vulgar — a gentleman would never do such a thing — but hardly a sin.

  45. Brian English says:

    “And say he does and is put to death because he preaches against allah. What would you do then, Brian? ”

    I would write the same thing I have been writing about Islam for the past few months, with a new and horrifying example: the Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia (which is being spread around the world by Saudi money) is outrageously intolerant and Muslims need to guarantee religious freedom for everyone in Muslim-majority countries, including the right of Muslims to convert. (And I have been writing these things using my real and full name, Woody).

    The point you are missing is that Pastor Jones is acting as if he is performing some kind of courageous act when he is actually endangering others based upon what is basically a publicity stunt. What is he accomplishing by burning the Koran?

    “How has islam changed your life since 9/11/01? Been on an airplane lately? Will you fly on a plane with a muslim who carries a quoran with him/her? ”

    Several times, but I did not inspect my fellow-passengers’ reading material. What does that have to do with burning the Koran?

    “I didn’t start this war and it is a war. Muslims started it centuries ago. They continue it today just as they did in the past. And what is it that they want of you, Brian? Submission.”

    You are exchanging comments with a guy who has a seven-foot bookcase filled with books about the Crusades (the good ones by Thomas Madden, Jonathan Riley-Smith, John France, Thomas Asbridge, etc., not the ones by Karen Armstrong and her ilk) and the wars against the Ottoman Turks, so I know all about the history here. How does Pastor Jones burning the Koran help us fight aggressive Islamists?

    “As a fellow Christian, I’m not afraid of the muslims. Let them know we are not afraid.”

    I think our armed forces have sent that message in a way that could not be ignored. Also, the opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque sends that message. What message does Pastor Jones Jones burning the Koran send? That we have people who can behave just as badly as the mobs in the streets of Muslim countries? How does that help?

    • Woody says:

      I just measured my bookcase and it is 8 foot high and 12 feet long. Not all the books are about the Crusades, though. And what is it about my name you don’t like? Feel free to call me “Woodrow” if that makes you feel better. You are not going to sway me by your “my bookcase is bigger than yours” argument nor will you win with your “I’m smarter than you.” It’s not the point I am missing, Brian. I don’t agree with you and your reasons. However, I bet you’re a pretty good guy. Don’t ever forget, though, that MY bookcase is bigger than yours!

      • Brian English says:

        ” And what is it about my name you don’t like? Feel free to call me “Woodrow” if that makes you feel better.”

        I don’t have a problem with your name. I was just pointing out that I use my full name.

        ” It’s not the point I am missing, Brian. I don’t agree with you and your reasons.”

        I think you did miss my point. The reason I mentioned my bookcase is to let you know that I know all about Islamic aggression. It is a serious issue that has to be acknowledged and dealt with. Pastor Jones’ Koran burning strikes me as a very unserious (I think you could even say childish) approach to the issue.

  46. Ammazzamoro says:

    It is no sin to burn a mass-market paperback copy of the most unholy-Koran nor is it blasphemy.

    If I were to have a stack of pornographics novels and I intended to burn them as a display of my detestation of their vile message, it is no sin to let the authors and readers of those same books now of my righteous indignation toward the message of death contained therein.

    If the said literature were historic copies made by early scribes of the heresy known as Islam then perhaps we could begin to investigate that it were a sin to burn them. But, let us remember that when early copies of the Koran were recently escavated; copies that deviated from the authorized versions, the archiologists were instructed to leave the site immediately under pain of death.

    Giving offence while instructing righteousness is not a sin. It is how one learns detachment from the world.

  47. Allan Wafkowski says:

    Pastor Jones is not burning the Koran to illustrate free speech. He is doing it to show his contempt for a false and violent religion that has been at the heart of violence against Christians.

    Mohammedanism is and has always been an enemy of the Catholic Church. Saints and popes have rightfully preached against this demonically inspired false religion. Crusades have been fought against it, and miracles worked against it to proclaim the evil of this man-made religion.

    To say that it is a sin to burn an intrinsically evil book because it will offend its adherents is using a logic that would make it a sin to burn Mein Kampf because neo-Nazis would be made unhappy. In fact, the Koran promotes a greater evil than Mein Kampf did because it attacks the divinity of Christ making Jesus not our Lord and Saviour, but just another prophet.

  48. Steve Kellmeyer says:

    The Council of Nicaea burned Arius’ books.
    The Council of Constance not only burned Jan Hus’ books, they burned Jan Hus.
    This was the direct cause of the Hussite Wars.
    The Church followed on by burning Luther’s works
    AND burning the heretic Giordano Bruno a century later (1600, to be precise).

    So, are all the councils that burned books (not to mention heretics) sinful?
    Were the Fathers of the ecumenical Council of Constance all sinners by their act?

    I’ve got a couple of posts on this at
    http://skellmeyer.blogspot.com/2010/09/dial-911-quran-is-burning.html
    and
    http://skellmeyer.blogspot.com/2010/09/call-911-quran-is-burning-part-2.html

    This particular man may be a nut (quite probably is), but take a look at the history of book burning before you start throwing stones at the action.

  49. John says:

    I am a Christian. Obviously I do not believe Islam or the Koran to be true, since the Koran denies Jesus was the Son of God, and denies the Incarnation. For Christians, God becoming human in the Person of Christ is the fullest revelation to humankind. However, Christians should reach out to Moslems in love. Burning the Koran or forbidding the building of a mosque near ground zero are just forms of persecution. Christians are to reach out to others with God’s love not with persecution or actions meant to incite hatred. There is also the very real possibility that this action will cost lives, probably hundreds, maybe thousands. And how many Moslems will turn to Christ because of this Koran burning? There is no upside to this action only the danger of alienating Moslems and pushing them farther from Christ and inciting violence that will cost many lives.

  50. Robert William Robinson Jr says:

    ISLAM IS OF THE DEVIL. THE QURAN IS EVIL. I SAY BURN IT!!!
    LOOK AT HOW MUSLIMS TREAT CHRISTIANS EVERYDAY IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES.

  51. a says:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right. September 11th or burning a Koran.
    To answer the last question: “what a Christian ought to do?”

    Believe in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
    Believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    And on Saturday, September 11th I will pray, for all of God’s children to be open and accept that Truth into their hearts. Maybe that’s what we all should do.

  52. Grandpa Tom says:

    God bless you Msgr. Pope, for you are a man of peace. I however do not believe this act of burning the Koran is hateful or incindiary, but is rather a useful tactic. History shows that during WW-1 when British troops entered Iraq and were faced with an insurgency, they placed pork into the carcasses of the dead Islamic soldiers. This slowed down the insurgency because the Islamic martyrs felt they would not get to those 72 virgins in heaven because the pork descrated their bodies. Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan who ruled under the name Muawiyah I (661-680 A.D.) succeeded Ali and was the first leader of Islam after four caliphs. Muawiyah began to rise an anti-Ali following in Syria. In order to stop this uprising, Ali led his armies against Muawiyah in the Battle of Siffin. Although Mauwiyah was losing the battle, he convinced Ali’s soldiers to stop fighting and hold an arbitration; according to tradition, Muawiyah convinced Ali’s troops to submit to arbitration by placing Qurans on his army’s lances. Ali’s soldiers, unwilling to harm the (alleged) holy book, stopped the fighting (from; The Intellectual Devotional – by Kidder and Oppenheim). So burn, or destroy a few now, then seek arbitration.

    Mohammad built his new religion on the foundation of Arabian paganism which had 360 gods. The greatest of these gods was Allah originally known as ‘al-Iiahi’, the Moon God, and the God of War, like Zeus before him which was the war god of the Greeks and Romans. Mohammad choose Allah, and destroyed the other 359 gods. The Koran – Quran was written about 500 years after the death of Mohammad.

    It behooves us to remember the core issue is the covenant between Abraham’s two sons Isaac, son of Sara, and Ishmael the son of Hagar. Our greatest enemy is our ignorance. In Hosea 4:6 it says: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Our lack or knowledge together with our aquisence when we sound like Jane Fonda only gives aid and comfort to our enemy. Remember, Abraham favored Isaac to inherit the covenant. The descendants of Ishmael are today’s arabs and believers of Allah, god of war and the moon. Their belief in Jesus, is that He will come back and break the cross, and declare us infidels. Also remember we, (U.S.A.) are in their eyes, the Great Satan. But if we call them Satan, we are worthy of death by the sword.

    There is only One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Jesus Christ was His Beloved Son, and our Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns together with the Holy Spirit, One God, Not the god of the crescent moon. The battle is for our souls, that is what the day of judgement will be all about.

    Pastors, and other leaders, have a duty to lead the sheep and warn us of certain danger. In Ezekiel 33:6 it says: “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take away any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” Stay alert and stay alive.

    • Tayib says:

      “Quran was written about 500 years after the death of Mohammad” — Really?? ha ha ha ha..grandpa tom, at least get your fact’s right,.

      • Tina says:

        Tom, ummm…facts are a bit skewed…and this is a hateful and pointed act. There is nothing good that could ever possibly come out of this little tactic on Saturday.

        Everyone is touting the constitutional right to free speech….but the constitution also protects us from speech that can incite violence…so the burning of the Quran would incite violence and that is protected. I am hoping that Rev. Jones realizes what a horrid thing he is promoting and will consider the backlash…if not, then federal authorities should move in to stop this event since the burning of this holy book is infalmmatory and hate based at best…the constitutional rights of Muslim Americans must be protected.

        This tempest in a teacup is ready to set the stage for international violence.

    • johny says:

      grandpa tom should we really be so sure that we should destroy books (ever read fahrenheit 451). Though it is undeniably efective so are NUKES! I only say this because i wouldn’t want 15% of the world trying to kill me and catholics will be muslim enemy number 1.

  53. Jane Doe says:

    those who read the koran felt “led” to drive planes into buildings and destroy 1000’s of lives.

    Those who read the bible feel “led” to burn books………………..

    SCRIPTURE does say this: IF you confront, or correct or rebuke the MOCKER, the FOOL, the UNBELIEVER, you will be mocked, you will be hated, you will be harmed…..

    SCRIPTURE also says that we are to live “apart” distanced, a safe way away from the unbeliever and from those that worship idols and other Gods. There are tons and tons of verses that tell us to REMOVE ourselves from temptation, to stay out of the company of these people, to not eat with them, to not interact with them………….for a little leaven leavens the whole loaf………….there is EXTREME danger to the Christian to not be able to be seperated from the unbeliever……………………

    Loving the enemy does not me accepting their sin. Loving the enemy does not mean turning the cheek to sin, nor covering up sin, nor tolerating it, nor condoning it, nor ignoring it…………..THAT IS NOT LOVE AT ALL……..

    You cannot be a friend of Gods and be a friend of the Worlds………….

    Loving the enemy means to OBEY GOD in every matter on how to treat the enemy, and to pray for them, and to do what you can so that their souls can be saved……………TO let them live peacefully next to you and remain in their sin is the MOST unloving, ungodly, unchristian thing a person can do.

    Jesus is our example. HE did not do the politically correct thing. He did not try and keep the peace, he never once HELD his tongue when it came time to speak TRUTH……………He was not interested in the polls, he was not interested in being liked or popular, he wasn’t interested in position, in memberships, in appearances…HE was interested in ONE THING only……….speaking the truth……………..at all costs.

    HIS way of interacting with the enemy was SUCH that it got them so angry, so disturbed, so incited that they MURDERED him…………….

    so don’t tell me that I am to conduct myself any differently then Jesus and not aggravate anyone.

    GET RID of the asherole poles, the idols and have NOTHING to do with any of these things…………….

    AMERICA proclaims to TRUST IN GOD, but they do not. AMERICA says we have freedom of religion, and the true CHRISTIAN has no freedom at all to practice faith because AMERICA won’t let them honor any of God’s laws……………America is a HUGE Hypocrit…………how can you say “we trust in God” and legalize abortion? how can you say “we trust in God” and have a legal system that boldface lies, false witnesses, and stirs up strife 24/7? how an you say you “trust in God” and be 13 trillion in debt? How can you say you Trust in God and allow ponography all over? How can you say you trust in God and let all of our media have unbridled tongues? speculate? project? and speak anything but what is good and pure and trustworthy? How can you say you trust in God when you do not teach GOD, make it an essential requirement of LIFE? You can’t even take a bible to school yet you are outraged someone wants to burn a Koran?

    • So should he burn the Quran?

      • Araceli says:

        This sounds terrible and bigoted, but yes, I think he should proceed to burn the Qur’an. Please be patient for my rather lengthy explanation. I am from the Philippines. While I have no personal contact with Muslim Filipinos, lowland Christian Filipinos have for centuries suffered from Muslims. We have a Muslim secessionist insurgency which cannot be wiped out because we are a Christian outpost in a predominantly Muslim population, and Saudi Arabia, from which we get our oil, keeps a protective eye out for our Muslims. If our clueless president gives in to Muslim demands and carves out a portion of Mindanao for the Muslims, will that mean peace and prosperity for the Muslims? I doubt it. For more 20 years the Muslims have had their autonomous region, money has poured into this region and the result has been the illegal and callous enrichment of a few thieving “royal” clans to a degree and grinding poverty to the rest of the population – the worst in the Philippines. Right now, in Manila, a trial is going on for the barbaric massacre of Muslim women and journalists – about 50 people in all – who had the temerity to think that the husband of one of the women could run for mayor.

        And everything, everything, is the fault of Christian Filipinos.

        Historically, the Muslims were never conquered by the Spaniards, but they came to a respectul accommodation with the Americans. Why? Because of their superior firepower. Muslims respect force.

        When the Pope made his Regensburg address, there was a large outcry, and people were killed, but in the end, some Muslim scholars opted for dialogue. Why? Muslims respect opposition coming from strength of mind and character.

        The mindset of Muslims – with the exception of a few moderate Muslim leaders like Abdurahman Wahid of Indonesia (now deceased) who was Sunni but read widely of Sufi teachings – tends towards the primitive. I noticed this even with an American Muslim who was interviewed on Fox tv. He spoke with an American accent, was dressed in a suit, but again, faced with opposition to the mosque, showed that he was completely incapable of understanding how offensive having a mosque near the 9/11 site would be. Tolerance and understanding is strictly a one-way street – towards Muslims, never the other way.

        I do not see anything in the Ten Commandments or the Cathechism of the Catholic Church that specifically bans the burning of the Qur’an. Yes, it is offensive to the Muslims, but it is not a sacred book to us. We are not committing sacrilege.

        Since human life is not valuable to the Muslims, who believe that they will go to heaven if they blow themselves up, as long as they can kill Christians also, I think also this fundamentalist pastor should threaten that for every Christian life that is taken, they will burn 10 Qur’ans. If they do not value human life, then at least they value their Qur’an. At least it might be a successful strategy. I recall that British governor who ended the practice of suttee. When the Hindus told him that it was their custom to throw widows on the pyres of their dead husbands, he replied that it was the British custom to hang people who did that from the nearest tree. Sometimes a degree of firmness is needed.

        • johny says:

          this is kinda rude because was it not a christian tactic to break into muslim cities and rape and murder muslim civilians so the christians sins would be forgivin. so are we so different at all?

      • Sabbir Salim says:

        hello araclei i am sabbir salim from the philippines and i do not understand that you said that muslim dosent honor life then you are wrong for only the act of one muslim you think that all muslim are dangerous i am really disappointed in you cause as a highschool student i cannot believe you would sa y that.

  54. Thomas says:

    To be honest, I view Islam not as a distinct religious tradition instituted by Muhammad, but as a Christian heresy. Its central tenants are borrowed from the Judaeo-Christian tradition, albeit in a distorted form, most of which find some precedent in the Christian tradition. Heretical works have been burnt throughout Christianity, and since the Qur’an is not divinely inspired, it is not sacrilege to do so. If we say it is objectively sinful because it gives offense, then proclaiming the fullness of the Truth, which offends quite a few people, could be held to be sinful as well. Such a position is absurd: the truth is quite offensive. Christ is the Sign which will be contradicted, and many take offense at Him. We shouldn’t let this bother us in the least.

    As to the wisdom of such an action, it probably isn’t very wise. The man is a protestant heretic, first of all, and is not a representative or leader of anything of importance. But neither is the Islamic persecution of Christians the world over wise, nor were the hundreds of years of Islamic aggression toward Christendom. Yet we have many more serious issues to contend with than a few hurt feelings. Western civilization is collapsing around us from an inner decay due to materialistic decadence; perhaps we should drop the false ecumenism and turn our attention toward the new Evangelization instead.

  55. Jim Davis says:

    I’m not going cite sources like I should because I can’t, I don’t know them – so here, the Truth in this message is ultimately from Christ regardless of the human vessel He proclaimed it through…and anything I type that is false is from me, may God forgive me for my ignorance.
    Patriotism – I reference it here because I often hear of arguments with “here in the USA, or we in the USA or we in the West should, America this or that”….Is it not correct that we are called to be patriotic but not to be so short sighted that we identify our brothers and sisters by the nation or faith they come from? Regardless of their current country/state of origin or faith, they are God’s children. That is not to say that we are to placate them and leave them in their ignorance, we are to correct them individually as a brother or sister from the heart. How is this action brotherly correction? I am a non-active marine, I have an American flag on my right arm (a reminder that some sins leave lasting scars), I have served this country so I would appreciate my duty to my country not being called in to question. That being said I believe we are taught that our devotion is to be towards Christ regardless of what our man made nation is called today.
    One individual stated they are humans and deserve our respect – yes, but more deeply they are children of God, our family and they deserve our Love. If we believe our Lord loves us more because we had the privilege of being born and raised in a Christian setting perhaps we should meditate more on to who much is given much will be expected. I have not read much compassion in some of these post for the children (God’s children) that are born into a radically Islamic family – does our Lord love them less? Will our example be I really, really love you, see that’s why I am burning your book? Really? Is that Truth w/Love?
    Some one mentioned book burning, I always thought those books and people were burned when there was a great chance that people would be led astray by the printed word. Individuals now have vast resources at their disposal to discern the Truth and come into relationship with our Lord. Are we not fighting against falsehoods still but in a different way now? It does appear, doesn’t it, that this act of burning has the potential to drive some of our brothers and sister farther into radical Islam, farther into false teaching, whose will is that? Ultimately that is the question, whose will is this man doing? We as humans can say Our Lord’s, the adversary’s or frankly we don’t know and then remain silent. Has anyone discerned and can demonstrate how this is the Lord’s will? When we speak out of ignorance are we not entering into the adversary’s play ground? Ultimately doesn’t speaking before listen to our Lord reveal our own pride?

    The only human face that my enemy has is mine. I don’t fear radical Islam because in fact it bears no weight on the eternity of my soul, me on the other hand I hold in distrust and that is still not enough. Ultimately, I believe this is a distraction, to entice more anger and hate on both sides to snatch way and devour. I believe I saw on here someone suggest that we study another faith even if we don’t know our own so we can fully know what we are dealing with. Is that wise, is there time for that, give up the study of Christ? Are we not dealing with concupiscence? Haven’t we already been told what we are dealing with? Are we not taught that our Lord is more concerned with the salvation of our soul then He is with saving people through us? Would it not be more prudent to perfect ourselves through His grace and then go study another faith if He call us to it? How does giving up or study of Christ fullfill our purpose to know, love and serve Him?

    Final questions – did we pray before our post? Did we ask our Lord to show us how our energy (life comes from Him, is His) spent on here might move us or our fellow kinsman closer to Him? What was the ultimate intent of our post?
    Be careful my brethren, blogging is fun but ultimately this is no game that we are playing. The stakes are not where something is built, what is burnt, who is killed, who is shown we are not afraid – it is the final four things!

    May God Bless you!
    Happy Birthday Mother, thank you so very much for your yes.

  56. Robert Klingle says:

    In answer to Jane Doe who said

    “those who read the koran felt “led” to drive planes into buildings and destroy 1000’s of lives”

    Those who read the Bible felt led to kill 12 million.

    Those who read the Bible feel led to deny the unemployed of money to feed their children.

    Those who read the Bible feel led to deny the poor health care.

    Those who read the Bible ………………..

    need I go on?

  57. John L says:

    Msgr. Pope: Pope Gregory XVI, in his encyclical Mirari vos, said; ’16. The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves burned a large number of books. (Acts 19. 24.)’ This seems not to harmonise with your claim that it is wrong as such to burn the Koran. One might say, as you do that it is wrong in certain circumstances to do so, because of the evil that will predictably result, . But you also claim that ‘it is wrong to intentionally and grievously give offense to the religious traditions of others. Proper discussions, even debate about religious differences are healthy and part of evangelization. But ridicule and offensive practices directed against others is not of the Christian faith.’ This claim, which seems to be the basis for your assertion that burning the Koran is wrong as such, is false and directly contrary to the Scriptures. The Scriptures are full of examples of ridicule and offensive practices directed against the religious traditions of pagans; and these are praised and commanded by God. an example is Elijah with the priests of Baal in 1 Kings 18. The reason for this ridicule and offence is that false religions are evil and abhorrent to God, as the Scriptures also make abundantly clear. Respecting such religions is a sin, because it is showing respect to evil.

  58. Woman with a view says:

    Last year our military in Afghanistan burned copies of the Bible. Where was the outrage there?

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/bibles-destroye.html

    I think the pastor can burn the Quran because it is his right. He may be murdered for it…but that’s a chance he’s willing to take. The real shame is that it’s getting so much publicity.

    I’ve lived in Saudi Arabia for the last 30 years and can tell you that in general the average Muslim respects our holy book and would never burn it. Burn the US flag, yes, the Bible, no.

  59. Rebecca says:

    All I can say: love does not mean encouraging others to hate and encouraging others to do in the name og God is a very dangerous thing to do.
    We look to our relious leaders for guidance.

  60. Cotilda says:

    I honestly do not think he should burn the Koran. Its not right for Heaven’s sake. No matter what would happen after that, Its a Holy Book and we should respect all Holy Books whether they are for christians or not. They all belong to God and can some one tell me how many Gods we have? I know of only ONE!!

    • Thomas says:

      The Qur’an is not a holy book because it’s not divine revelation. It contains many theological errors and heresies, such as the claim that Jesus is not the Son of God, disbelief in the Trinity, and corruptions to the Old and New Testaments. These are errors and falsehoods: mistakes and lies do not belong to God.

      You’re espousing a position of religious indifference, which denies authentic Divine Revelation and is condemned as heretical by previous Popes.

      I recommend you find a copy of “The Popes Against Modern Errors,” available from Tan Books. Excellent resource on erroneous/heretical thought in modern times.

    • Bender says:

      The Koran a Holy Book? Hmm. Is the Book of Mormon also a Holy Book?

      Supposedly, the Book of Mormon was revealed by an angel to Joseph Smith, a “prophet” who sought to cultivate a bunch of religious followers, including engaging in military insurrection, as well as pursuing polygamy and marriage to underage girls.

      Hmm. That sounds familiar.

  61. Ten Page says:

    Thank you, Msgr, for your thoughtful words of reason! As a young, 20-something, American, it deeply bothers me that we as a nation think it appropriate to sink to the level of radical Muslims abroad and committ acts that are deeply offensive to others while attempting to cloak ourself in the freedom of worship that we claim to hold dear. Hate begets hate, and even if radical Muslims committ acts offensive to Americans, what gives us the right to committ similar hateful actions? It has to stop somewhere, else it will never stop. I sincerely hope that those who are abroad (Muslims as well as non-Muslim observers) hear your voice and other voices of moderation and understand that folks like Mr Jones may be getting a majority of the attention but are NOT representing the views of the majority in this country.

  62. Seeker says:

    I’ll again bring out here the case of Prof T.J. Thomas of Newman College in India ( a Catholic institution). He had his hand chopped off by Muslim fanatics this July because he had prepared a question paper with a ‘perceived’ insult to Islam. As if that was not bad enough, the College authorities (Catholics) have gone ahead and sacked him for this same reason – to preserve their image of having respect for all religions. It’s painful to see the image of this man sitting in the hospital and humbly stating that he has no ill-will for anyone.
    Sir, while burning Quran or deliberately insulting any religion may not be true Christian conduct, yet there has to be some sense of balance maintained by the Church. Instead of showing compassion for its own who are victimized by fanatics of other religions, you victimize them further in order to appease those who follow the course of violence.
    This conduct is not only outrageous but also hypocritical, since Catholics tend to be notoriously slow in acting against their priests who are involved in sin or wrong-doing – if they act at all, that is. But they rapidly swing into action against this unfortunate man in order to appear politically correct. I have a lot of respect for the teachings of the Catholic church but its conduct leaves a lot be desired.

  63. Brian English says:

    “Those who read the Bible felt led to kill 12 million.

    Those who read the Bible feel led to deny the unemployed of money to feed their children.

    Those who read the Bible feel led to deny the poor health care.

    Those who read the Bible ………………..

    need I go on?”

    The Bible led people to do all those things? Do you happen to have any citiations? I do not recall seeing references to killing 12 million people, unemployment benefits, or health care in the Bible.

  64. Ricky Vines says:

    The Church opposes burning the Koran on 9/11 because it offends Muslims. How about burning a pornographic magazine, the black book of Satanic incantations or instructions on how to make a dirty bomb? I’m sure that will be alright anytime because those cause sin and evil. So, anything that causes evil is OK to destroy -even if it offends the wrong doers.

    However terrorism is evil and the terrorists have been guided and inspired by the Koran. So, shouldn’t the Koran be classitied as an instrument of evil that can be burned just like a book on pornography?

  65. JoAnn Roth says:

    We should carry Korans on planes, if Muslim terrorists believe they are sacred then our planes will be protected.

    I really agree with Grampa Tom – very educational!

  66. Steve on Long Island says:

    Dear Msgr. Pope:

    I often appreciate your writings but I disagree with you here.

    As Jesus instructed, false prophets will come and you can judge them by their fruits. Indeed, this is what we are seeing. The fruits of this false prophet have been on display for 1500 years.

    The Koran is not a “holy” book, unless one is worshipping the prince of this world. This hand-wringing and fretting about the sensibilities of those who would be offended just furthers the devil’s mission to turn us away from God.

    Where was the outrage about placing a Crucifix in a bucket of urine and displaying it as “art”? As I recall, the only public official who stood up to that outrage was Rudy Giuliani. Where was the outrage when US troops burned Bibles in Afghanistan last year? Why did no one stand up for my offended sensibilities? It’s perfectly acceptable to burn the Word of God but not the word of the devil?!!

    I don’t care that these Mohammedans believe it’s a sacred book. It’s not. It’s filled with evil (Read it; it’s in plain sight!) and ought to be burnt often and everywhere. Sometimes it is necessary to confront evil and call it by its proper name. That time is now. There ought to be pyres all over the country on Saturday.

    Appeasement and being Quislings only results in being slaughtered, just in an orderly fashion. Ask the Jews about that strategy in the 20th century. Ask the Christians of the East about that strategy where the demon-mongers came with the sword and turned their churches into temples for the devil, the moon god. Go ask the Christians in Turkey about how that has played out for them, if you can find one of the 3,000 still there, which is like trying to find a needle in a haystack today.

    It’s is well past the time when we need to stand up for the Truth, not cater to the advance of evil.

    As Jesus also instructed, we will have to answer for that, and many will say they are worthy of the Kingdom, but Jesus will send many of them away for being workers of iniquity even though they thought they were being faithful.

    Being a Christian is not to be a coward, an appeaser, or denier of the Truth. And it certainly does not mean that we countenance and accept and accomodate evil in our midst. As Jesus again tells us, we cannot be lukewarm in our Faith and I find much of this discussion and debate to be just that. Rather than being united with a fellow Christian, we allow the devil to divide us and turn us against each other, and further the lie that this false religion is “holy” and worthy of respect. It seems Obama was right about one thing: we are no longer a Christian nation.

    If you are not on fire with zeal for the Faith, then present your extended neck to the sword of the Mohammedans (which none of you Quislings would ever have the courage to do) or start to worship the moon god and prepare for your ultimate fate.

  67. Craig Dennis says:

    All of this is correct except for one thing: we do not merely need to have just “ongoing discussion” about religious freedom and violence in the Islamic world.

    We just need to remember the reason for our “being able to give the reason for our hope” and for doing it with “gentleness and respect”. The reason for this is conversion, evangelization, bringing people to Christ.

    Since everyone is sadly treating that as a lost cause or no longer binding obligation for Catholics and other Christians, we all forget *why* we’re being called to act a certain way. It is to be like Christ, and as much as we can let God convert us to do like Christ: draw people to Christ by being an exhibition of God’s love in the world.

    If we forget the “why” there is little reason for Pastor Crazy down there to NOT be a cafeteria Christian, and more than enough (bad) reasons (vengeance) for him to burn Qurans.

  68. Helen Ruth says:

    I destroy all offensive materials given to me, without fanfare. If it’s pornograhy, heresy, etc. I don’t make a huge deal out of it, I just make sure that it is not out in the world for others to read to be infected.
    If everyone destroyed garbage, it could not fall into the hands of people who are easily lead into sin.
    If you stand for nothing, you are destined to fall for anything!!

  69. Michael says:

    Msgr. Pope,

    Pardon me for saying but, I believe you are getting your political correctness mixed up with your religion. Burning the Quran is no more of a sin than burning the Bible, for they both are only paper and nothing more. Don’t misunderstand me, I truely believe that the Bible contains and presents devine revealed realities but, the Catholic Church is not a “religion of the book”.

    As far as Pastor Jones intentionally giving offense and drawing others into sin. Pastor Jones is no more responsible for the sins of the sinner than you are for the sins of your parishioners.

    Thirdly, I fail to see how Pastor Jones is endangering the lives of American combatants that have invaded another nation to put down a terrorist organization. This statement is beyond absured when looked at from any perspective. The American’s invaded a foreign country. Did it ever occur to Gen. Petraeus that this might be the reason his troops are being shot at and killed?

    Finally, talk is cheap. If you wish to or think that you can dialog with evil you are fooling yourself. I don’t pray to St. Michael the Archangel and ask him to have meaningful and productive discourse with Satan.

    I enjoy reading your blog posts and many have given me food for thought. Please know that you and all of our beloved priests are in my daily prayers.

    • CastingCrown says:

      I’m really quite shocked at these comments.

      1. Sacrilege is the sin of treating something that is holy with disrespect – in what way would burning a Bible not be treating God’s Word with disdain and disrespect?

      2. Those who teach others will be judged more strictly (James 3) and Jesus had some very stern words for those who caused the “little ones” to sin (Mark 9).

      3. Do you think that outrage at these actions will cause greater or less civil unrest? Greater, naturally. Cause and effect. I would tend to trust the judgement of those who are deeply involved in the fighting.

      Two school children in a school yard may have a fight, but the group around them chanting “FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!” are only escalating it, making a bad situation worse.

      4. “Dialog with evil?” So all Muslims are outright evil then? Is there is no hope for any of them to reach the fullness of truth? Satan is confirmed in his choice, human beings are not.

      • I too am alarmed with some of the comments that have rolled in. I can only explain them by trying to remember that some of the commenters seem to wish to address Islam in general and the violence they hear from it rather than to address whether it is right to burn the Quran. I tried, but to no avail to redirect the conversation back to the central question.

      • Michael says:

        CastingCrown,

        I am sorry that I have disturbed your political correctness.

        I thank you for your concern and while you have misconstrued what I have tried to convey, you have further taken the liberty to misquote the bible, take it out of context and twist it to suit your purpose. Just because the words fit, that dosen’t make them right.

        What is it about war that you think is or might be peaceful? Are you concerned about civil unrest in your backyard only but have no concern for your brothers and sisters in foreign countries? Further, we’re not at war with a country, we’re at war with an idology that is bent on the destruction of Christianity. Why is that difficult to understand?

        As far as Muslims being outright evil, no. However, if an individual chooses to subscribe to and hold true to the teachings of the Quran they have confirmed their choice. They have acted freely and now are responsible for the choice they have made.

        We are the Church Militant. Sometimes that means more than saying a few Hail Mary’s. It means getting a little dirty and making others uncomfortable. I am sorry that you find it difficult to so.

      • CastingCrown says:

        “I am sorry that I have disturbed your political correctness”

        Where in my answer did I cite political correctness? Rather, I used Sacred Scripture and logic.

        You failed to respond to the logic of (1).

        With regards to (2), you charged me with misquoting, taking out of context and twisting Sacred Scripture. That is an *extremely* serious charge I take *very* seriously, so please explain to me how I did this. I can also quote the Catechism, the Church Fathers and the Councils in my defence of the point I was making.

        > “Are you concerned about civil unrest in your backyard only but have no concern for your brothers and sisters in foreign countries?”

        In (3), what makes you think that I was talking about civil unrest in America? I was actually referring to countries abroad – the ones with soldiers and missionaries whose lives will be put into even greater jeopardy through the incitement of the general Muslim populations through this tiny congregation’s ill thought out demonstration.

        Do you think that the best way to win souls for Christ is through antagonism? Do you think it is wise to give the East yet further confirmation that the West is fallen, callous and disrespectful? How receptive do you think the Muslim I work with is going to be to the Gospel in light of such acts that offend not only his religious sensibilities but his closely-related cultural pride?

        “However, if an individual chooses to subscribe to and hold true to the teachings of the Quran they have confirmed their choice. They have acted freely and now are responsible for the choice they have made.”

        As I’m sure you know in many of these countries most people will have only been exposed to Islam and will have heard very little about Christianity, other than its heresy. Then they are presented with images of these “heretics” burning the Koran, the book they have been told their entire life is sacred. Do you think they will be more or less open to the Gospel the next time they encounter a Christian?

        Michael, your zeal is indeed commendable, but we’re in the business of bringing people to Jesus here. This book burning will achieve *nothing* but enforce cultural stereotypes and put up barriers to the Gospel.

        I’m sure you’re a faithful son of the Church and I am therefore sure that the recent comments by the Vatican will give you pause for thought. I also recommend you take a look at “Nostra Aetate”, beginning at paragraph #3.

        You are right when you say that we’re in a war, but it is not a war against “flesh and blood” (Eph 6:12) and this is a war where our “mission” objective is very clear: to preach the good news to the poor, release the oppressed and set captives free.

      • Michael says:

        Yes I beleive You should Burn the Koran and the Book of Mormons, Ellen Whites Seventh day Adventist Cultic Books, The Jehovah’s Wittness New World Translation of the Bible, The Catholic Catechism, and any other Book that Preaches another Gosple Than the Gosple of JESUS CHRIST.
        Paul the Apostle said: “If any man preach another Gosple unto You than the One You have heard of us, even if an angel comes from heaven preaching another Gosple or another JESUS unto You than that You have recieved of us, Then Let him be Forever CURSED!” (Anathema)

        Catechism: “It is wrong to Vinerate anyone but GOD”
        Catechism contradicting itself: “One day the Church will be joined to Mary the one she Vinerates”

      • CastingCrown says:

        “Yes I beleive You should Burn the Koran and…”

        Nothing in your response engaged with anything I said, which is rather disappointing.

        “Catechism contradicting itself…”

        This is also disappointing. No Catechism paragraph numbers? The catechism does not contradict itself, even if your limited paraphrase may.

        As I’m sure you know, Catholic worship God alone, but venerate and give honour to Saints which include that lady who said of herself “henceforth all generations will call me blessed” – we are just fulfilling those prophetic words.

        As Christians, we are called to imitate Christ and you can be certain that nobody else fulfilled the commandment “Honour your father and your mother” better than Jesus – we are called to do the same.

        Nobody is afraid that, in praising the art, we will detract glory from the artist! Indeed we give the artist *more* glory by praising the work of his hands. And what a work! The woman who would become the New Eve, the Ark of the New Covenant, the Queen Mother – full of grace indeed!

    • I would be responsible for the sins of my parishioners if I incited them to sin, tempted them and misled them. No one who tempts and incites can remain aloof from guilt for what they do.

      • Michael says:

        Msgr. Pope,

        I agree with what you say but, how is Pastor Jones leading his flock into sin? His congregation isn’t threatening violence, civil disobedience or anything else. Pastor Jones is calling into question the teachings of the Quran and proving that the Muslim faith isn’t a true and peaceful faith based on the same teachings of the Christian faith. He has proven it quite the opposite and did nothing more than mention the burning of a book.

        • I think Michael that I addressed this in the article: The sin is threefold: 1. An unecessary and disresepctful act directed at a large group who reverence the Quran. We may not consider it sacred but out of respect for them as human being we ought not treat what they consider holy in this way, we are disrepecting them, that Vatican makes this point. 2. Unecessarily Provoking others to anger. There are times where we cannot avoid inciting others to anger becuase we are doing something good and necessary, such as preaching the Gospel. But this is not a necessary act and hence it is wrong to do it knowing it will provoke and tempt others to perhaps extreme levels of anger. 3. Unnecessarily endangering the lives of of innicent thrid parties. Given the cauldron of anger and retaliation taht exists in extreme forms of Isalm and knowing it is likely to erupt we ought not stir this unless necessary. It is true that some will get angry even when we do good things and we cannot help that or avoid doing it. But Burning a Quran is niether good nor necessary. And forseeing the likely endangerment of others it is sinful to indulge one’s freedom in this regard. We ought to have greater respect for the common good.

          • Christian Minister says:

            This is not a reply as such, but a comment on Pastor Terry Jones re his burning copies of the Koran, the holy book of the Muslims, which says the Prophet Mohammed received the Revelation thru the Angel Gabriel. If this is true then that Pastor has already sinned against the God of Abraham who saved the lad Ishmael thru an angel when the angel pointed out to Hagar, his mother, that the lad would be saved. Ishmael is the forefather of the Prophet Mohammed. If this is so, we, Christians, Muslims and Hebrews serve the same God. There are fundamentalist adherents in every faith, the fanatic. There are thousands of Muslims who do not hold the “ultra-violent view” of some Muslims. Let us look at the newly converted Christian, while he may not want to kill anyone he wants to convert everyone, even the much more mature Christian, THE ZEAL IS THE SAME, THE FIRE IS THE SAME, BUT NOT PROPERLY DIRECTED. Pastor Jones is certain, he is sure, he definitely knows that the result of his action is going to be violence perpetrated on some person or persons located thousands of miles from his abode (God forbid) hence he wants to DO AS HE PLEASES.
            I am certain that, let us suppose, if he knew that his favourite daughter were to go out with a certain red dress the new sex maniac on the block, the one who has eluded the police, would kidnap and hold her for days, he would FORBID HER TO GO OUT with that dress. If he did not he would not be a good father.

            Then, what is he doing. Is HE A TERRORIST ALSO? Note people, The teaching of the Leader of the Christian Faith must guide the Christian. When faced with a situation put your bias aside and look at the facts. Fundamentalists in all Faiths MUST BE PROPERLY TAUGHT. In Peters day proselytes were taught for three years before their baptism. Jesus tells us “we war, not against flesh and blood, but AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS AND SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES” The fundamentalist seeks to kill another person, ANOTHER SOUL WHO HAS BEEN PUT HERE BY THE SAME FATHER OF ALL, THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF HIS SOUL GROWTH INTO MATURITY INTO THE FULLNESS OF THE STATURE OF CHRIST. There are going to be three (3) sure results of burning copies of the Koran 1. Violence is going to be perpetrated on persons by Fundamentalists.
            2. More hate will be felt by Muslims and 3. More young people will join the Muslim Faith.
            YOU SEE, MANY OF US BELIEVE THAT GOD IS UNABLE TO DEFEND HIMSELF, THE SCRIPTURE IS HIS, GIVEN TO US. HIS HAND IS NOT SHORT IF HE IS UNABLE TO DEFEND HIMSELF HE IS NOT WORTHY TO BE CALLED GOD. THAT DOES NOT SAY YOU DON’T STAND UP AND PROTEST FOR WHAT YOU CONSIDER TO BE RIGHT. GOD IS ABLE – BLESSED BE HIS HOLY AND ADORABLE NAME.
            Christian Minister.

          • Moderate Muslim says:

            Hey, Christian Minister, would you mind giving us some comments on burning the Bible? There have been many examples of it in the past, and the practice continues. Even better, referencing the destruction of Christian churches and mass murder of Christians by Islamic “extremists” in the Middle East and Africa would be helpful. I am also curious about your intimate channels of entry to Pastor Jones´ mind. Do you have special access? And, last but not least, could you please stop using capitals? It is annoying and might incite me to anger, which would be sinful.

          • Ah Richtea you are most clever here. But any way, you are right in saying we have been mightily sinned against. I will try to improve on making this news a bigger part of the blog. Also, sorry to have incited your anger over CAPTIAL letters. However as I pointed out, it is not malum in se to incite anger. It is only sinful when it is unecessary.

          • Woody says:

            Would it be a sin to burn the quoran in private?

          • Woody, I don’t think so.

          • Woody says:

            How about if I burn it privately but then someone finds out about it and makes it public. Now the muslim world wants my death. Who is the sinner here? Me, the person who made my private desecration public. or those of the muslim faith who want to kill me because of what I did in private? Not a trick question but is it really a matter of private v. public intention?

          • etc. et alii
            Talk to Jesus, Woody, you’ve gotten pretty far afield.

          • Moderate Muslim says:

            Ah, Monsignor,
            Unnecessarity or otherwise is in the eye of the reader in this instance. No need for apologies, though; my anger will be my sin. That is quite proprietory, regardless of source. Otherwise I think you will be on the right track with your suggestion. God bless!

          • Michael says:

            You say we should respect the Muslems for their Beleif, I have read the Koran and underlined passage after Passage of statements where Mohammed taught his followers that “The Christains and the Jews are the Most Evil people on earth.
            In Surrah 9:5 Mohammed the told every one of his Followers (Not just extreem ones as You suppose) That: “When Your holy days are fullfield go into all the land and Kill the infidels (-Infidel according to Isalm is anyone who has not converted to Islam) lay wait for them, lay snares for them, by any means except they convert and observe the holy days…..”
            Islam is a Murdering Religion. If You turn Your eyes from believing that, then Your decieved!
            I once told a Druid that “I respect you for your belief ” and the moment I walked away The Holy Spirit said to Me: What did You say to Him. He put me in Check because I told the guy that I respected him for his belief.
            Druids steel their neighbors cats and offer them up in blood sacrifice to devils and I told the Guy the I respected him for his belief. Since then I dont tell Catholics that i respect them for Necromancing mary and the other Idols they have in ignorant false teachings. Nor do I show any respect to the false Lies that Mohammed taught against The Gosple of JESUS CHRIST.
            I served as an alterboy for Years in the catholic church and after holding the Bible side by side to the teachings of catholism the Bible shows the Catholic church to be a false religion also.
            Cathololic church teaches: The Preist offers each mass as a sacrifice for the sins of the people.
            Hebrews 1 states that CHRIST JESUS offerd His Blood Once, as a sacrifice for sin, not to be offered again.
            Catholic: “we believe salvation comes through the church to get to JESUS”
            Bible: “There is one mediator between God and Man, The Man Christ JESUS”

  70. Dismas says:

    I’m weary of this thread. Here’s the Roman Catholic Churches’ official position. What church do the rest of you belong to?

    COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING “KORAN BURNING DAY”

    VATICAN CITY, 8 SEP 2010 (VIS) – The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue today released an English-language communique describing its “great concern at the news of the proposed ‘Koran Burning Day’ on the occasion of the anniversary of the 11 September tragic terrorist attacks in 2001 which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and considerable material damage.

    “These deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community. Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection. We are speaking about the respect to be accorded the dignity of the person who is an adherent of that religion and his/her free choice in religious matters.

    “The reflection which necessarily should be fostered on the occasion of the remembrance of 11 September would be, first of all, to offer our deep sentiments of solidarity with those who were struck by these horrendous terrorist attacks. To this feeling of solidarity we join our prayers for them and their loved ones who lost their lives.

    “Each religious leader and believer is also called to renew the firm condemnation of all forms of violence, in particular those committed in the name of religion. Pope John Paul II affirmed: ‘Recourse to violence in the name of religious belief is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions’ (address to the new ambassador of Pakistan, 16 December 1999). His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI similarly expressed, ‘violence as a response to offences can never be justified, for this type of response is incompatible with the sacred principles of religion’ (address of His Holiness Benedict XVI, to the new ambassador of Morocco, 6 February 2006)”.
    CON-DIR/VIS 20100908 (300)

    • Thomas says:

      Yes, this statement released is certainly correct, and approaches the topic from an angle that many miss: that the Qur’an shouldn’t be burned not out of any intrinsic respect owed to it, as it is not authentic divine revelation, but due to the dignity of the person who ascribes to Islam. Though we do not hold that Islam is divine or salvific of itself, nevertheless there is no reason to give scandal to others by needlessly burning their texts.

      At the same time, I do see the point of those wanting to take such an action. They view the current struggle not as extremists vs. moderates, but as a continuation of the ancient struggle between Islamic culture and Christendom. It’s undeniable that those partaking in or inciting Jihaad see it in this manner, and I’d venture to say a good number of Muslims worldwide do as well. We in the West have forgotten the historical motivation for the Crusades and their necessity, and fail to see this conflict as quite a large number of Muslims do: as the Islamic ‘Ummah against its ancient foe, Christendom. These people, though Protestant heretics themselves, sometimes see the issue more clearly than we do. Though I can not condone their misguided actions, I understand where they’re coming from and their frustrations.

  71. Diane at Te Deum says:

    Monsignor – a Florida news source is claiming the pastor has now cancelled plans to burn the Korans. I won’t believe it until 9-11 has come and gone without incident. He is claiming he reached a deal with the imam on the NYC mosque to move it. Several news sources are carrying the story, but I still don’t trust it.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/09/09/2010-09-09_pastor_terry_jones_to_call_off_koranburning_says_he_made_deal_with_ground_zero_m.html

  72. Marie says:

    Look at what Satan is doing through the Quran in all Islamic countries: violence, oppression, ignorance, intimidation and what not. And that is what they want to import here. If the Quran is a holy book, then nothing is really holy. Islam is a religion of ignorance, illiterates, etc. The majority of its followers don’t know their left and right. That’s why Islam has so many followers. It’s just a few educated Islamic leaders who are driving this religion. I don’t understand how educated Americans become Islamic. It just don’t go with the West!

    Whether it is a holy book or not, it is obvious that Satan is using the Quran to destroy world peace. The world could have been a better and a peaceful place to live if there were no Islamic religion. Islam turned this beautiful planet which God created for human beings to happily and peacefully live on it into chaos and bloodshed both on the air and on the ground. There is no safe place anymore. The entire world is filled with fear and terror…thanks to Muhammad. Will we ever get back the old good time? All I am praying for is, the world without Islam!

    ANY AMERICAN WHO UNDERSTANDS THE DANGERS OF ISLAM MUST FIGHT AGAINST THE SPREAD OF IT HERE (USA) SO THAT THIS GREAT COUNTRY WOULD NOT BECOME ONE OF THE ISLAMIC COUNTRIES AS IT IS IN THEIR IMAMS PLAN – TO ISLAMAIZE AMERICA AND GREAT BRITAIN. GOD FORBID IT!!

    • Michael says:

      I agree, Islam is a Murdering Religion, Look at all of Northern Africa where islam has spread by the edge of the sword to total submission today. Want to hear real true stories of real christians dying today and tomarrow? They are: find: “Voice of the Martyrs” Christians are being Murdered every day for not converting to islam.
      In ALL Islamic Countries Muslem parents will drag their Own Children out in the streets and stone them to death if they ask JESUS into their hearts and become Christians.
      And they claim :”allah is gracious” Polygomy and Murder is their rightousness, They are Perverse!
      Mohammed had 22 wives, stole his step sons wife claiming his meccah moon idol allah said to give her up to him (Surah 33) married a 7 year old little girl and molested her when she was only nine.
      I MY Free Country he would have been tried and sentenced to a Prision as a Pedifile.

  73. Steve Kellmeyer says:

    I have read the Quran.
    Now can I burn it?

    In the spirit of ecumenism, shouldn’t we be giving the good pastor matches and kerosene?

    Burning heretical material (and heretics, for that matter) is part of Catholic tradition.
    Even ecumenical councils did it.
    So why are we upset that a Christian is emulating the example of Catholic history?
    Shouldn’t we accentuate the positive here and congratulate him on his grasp of tradition?

  74. IDivineEarthiasia says:

    I believe stooping so low to burn something that is Holy to others in down right ignorant. I understand that people feel that burning the Quran is a good act of remembering the peopl of 911. But this is just going to cause major problems between the Christian and Muslim groups. So would it be right for me to burn your Holy Bible? No! i just stating the the burning of my brotherly and sisterly nation Holy Quran is not going to solve any problems. Your creating something that is going to be hard to stop and it’s not just going to be muslims, responding in a negative way for the insane activity. So your starting something that you better hope your God can protect you, your family and whatever else you consider valuable, because people are going to become upset and they are going to act violently. Because someone feels that burning something valuable to others, is teh proper way to remember people who died in 9/11. People are not thinking about that it was not just christians who died, but other religions too. People shouldn’t be that damn ignorant. and too be so Holy In The Name Of Your God or Jesus, your are commiting a sin, that will lead to other sins, that will defy your ten commandments.. Also people make ignorant comments like how people become Islamic.. To that person Islamic or Islam is a way of living not a religion. Things like Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism are religions, they are based on beliefs and values. You people should become more educated about the Islamic way of life before you decide to make an ignorant comment like that.. Yes everything you do is ignorant because you violate your so called HOLY BIBLE.

  75. Bender says:

    because people are going to become upset and they are going to act violently

    Not to single you out, but I wonder if this is not a rather uncharitable and, dare I say, bigoted belief?

    Is it not rather uncharitable and bigoted for us to automatically presume that Muslims are wholly incapable of responding in a civilized manner, that they are wholly incapable of responding in a non-violent and peaceful way? As a matter of charity, should not we presume the best of Muslims? That, even if their feelings are hurt, they will not reflexively lash out with violence and terrorism, but will instead maintain their dignity and prove that they are better than this idiot from Florida?

  76. Christian Minister says:

    There is an error is number 2 of results of the burning. No. 2 should read: “2. More hate for Christians will be felt by some Muslims.” In addition, I also agree with much of what what was said by the others about disrespect for what is held to be holy by others etc. Would Jesus have taken that course of action if he were here TODAY? The Old Testament, The New Testament and the Koran speaks highly of Jesus.
    Christian Minister. Lastly, softly, tenderly Has the Government approached him on this. What? your hands are tied? broken no law? o.k. but you’ll be wounded, you’ll spend the money, may God help us all!

  77. b says:

    wow! people are fighting over religion! why? i mean lets think here for a minute. has anyone ever met any god that is worshiped? NO!! so why are we fighting? every religion thinks that there religion is the right. so who is wrong? muslims are extreme about there religion and will go to great links to prove an show it is the only way to belive. the burning of the koran proves that. we are so affraid to make any negitive jestures torwards the muslims in fear of what might happen. i say they have achived a powerful tool towards america. fear! and we are playing right into it. dont burn the koran or else. we are going to build what we want, where we want, when we want or else! seriously!

  78. Noname says:

    Maybe you should stop putting these different types of muslim under one group. Muslims in general are no different than other people. They have morales and beliefs just like everyone else. Its the muslim extremists that you should be against, not the muslim population. Burning their holy book is not justified because it offends the muslim people as a whole not the muslim extremists that committed these attacks on our nation. All those that believe it should be burned, just think, what would Jesus do? Would he burn their holy book?

  79. Michael says:

    Msgr. Pope and CastingCrown,

    I beg your forgivness. I have been uncharitable, judgmental, and self righteous. Unfortunately, my anger and frustrations over the matter have gotten the best of me. I have truly taken to heart what you have written and have followed up on the reading recommended. I have been enlightened by both of you and wish to thank you both for your patience and charity. My prayers are with you.

  80. samir says:

    Hello to whoever is thirsty REALITY
    Answer to Grandpa Tom

    The Koran – Quran was written about 500 years after the death of Mohammad !!!!!!!

    You have INFORMATION very well about arbitration
    But your information about Quran and mohamad MESSENGER allah very UNSOUND and TEENY.
    If you like know REALITY about mohamad MESSENGER allah , you can say to me and I can help you.
    You say to me , who written quran 500 years after the death of mohamad MESSENGER allah?

  81. samir says:

    Hello to whoever is thirsty REALITY
    Answer to Grandpa Tom
    The Koran – Quran was written about 500 years after the death of Mohammad !!!!!!!

    You have INFORMATION very well about arbitration
    But your information about Quran and mohamad MESSENGER allah very UNSOUND and TEENY.
    If you like know REALITY about mohamad MESSENGER allah , you can say to me and I can help you.
    You say to me , who written quran 500 years after the death of mohamad MESSENGER allah?

  82. Michael (2) says:

    This is a Typical Responces from The Fake Religious Community who doesent have the backbone to defend their Own Faith against a Lie.
    Here’s the funny Part The Catholic Catechism states that “Muslems are Our fellow brothers in faith for they worship the same One God we do.” -This is the Archbishops Beleif. – How ignorant they are! Mohamed made Mockery of the Gosple of JESUS CHRIST by teaching all his converts That JESUS is NOT the Son of God.
    1st John says: “He that beleiveth not the record that God gave of His Son maketh God a Liar”
    2nd Mohammed worshiped his mother & fathers false meccah moon idol named allah, who in not The God of Abraham, Isacc and Jacob,
    But these Catholics are for sale to appease the world and be polically correct.
    JESUS CHRIST is The Son of The Living God, and Eternal Life is in Him alone.

  83. MichaelP says:

    I have read most of all here about this article and there are along of good arguments on both sides. I am somewhat educated in Islam from a Kafir’s perspective. There is no excuse for any Christian/Catholic to respect and venerate Islam. The CCC only mentions Muslims and does not get into Islam. We are to love and respect all our brothers and sisters, for sure. But allowing them to soak in the tub of crap is not charity. I do, though, agree with Msgr. Pope on this one only because it is unnecessary. However, when they pull their crap again, which they do everyday in other parts of the world, we should round up all the Korans and burn them, and shutdown every Mosque on American soil that supports Shariah Law. Shariah Law directly conflicts with the Constitution of America and should be treated like Communism. Shariah Law also directly conflicts with the Golden Rule in Christianity. Shariah Law is dualistic in how it treats people. The same rules don’t apply to all.

    Although, I agree with Msgr. Pope, I do have a few questions for him. Aren’t we Christians supposed to store our treasures in Heaven and not in earthly things? What I mean is, aren’t we supposed to be more concerned about the spiritual well being of ourselves and others and not whether our/their life is summoned from us? If we burn a Koran for the sake of saving souls and allowing the Kingdom to come to another person, then why should be allow the possible death of another Christian prevent that act? Isn’t spiritual death worse than bodily death? I have heard many stories of Saints that desired to be killed and longed for it so that they could enter into the Glory promised to them, through Christ. Does the lack of this desire prove a weakness in faith or a lack of faith in your fellow Christian?

    and some thoughts on Islam from the real true WORD of GOD…..

    Genesis 16
    The LORD’S messenger found her by a spring in the wilderness, the spring on the road to Shur, and he asked, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She answered, “I am running away from my mistress, Sarai.” But the LORD’S messenger told her: “Go back to your mistress and submit to her abusive treatment. I will make your descendants so numerous,” added the LORD’S messenger, “that they will be too many to count. Besides,” the LORD’S messenger said to her: “You are now pregnant and shall bear a son; you shall name him Ishmael, For the LORD has heard you, God has answered you. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him; In opposition to all his kin shall he encamp.”

    and St. Paul’s take on it….
    “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar [Hagar]. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above us is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freeman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”
    Galatians 4:22-31

    Michael P.

  84. MichaelP says:

    From the “religion” of “peace”……… when will the Catholic leadership start standing up to these attacks? I really can’t wait for these baby boomer priests to retire. The new seminarians are going to have to take up this battle and I know they are preparing for it. The 60s and 70s are still plaguing our beloved Church. There aren’t many St. Peters or Pauls roaming the churches anymore, minus Pope Benedict XVI. He is a man of fortitude and principle.

    **************************
    see Jihadwatch.org
    More madness. “Twelve dead in Kashmir, Christian school torched,” by Izhar Wani for AFP, September 13

    MichaelP

  85. enrique says:

    Why don’t you adore it? love it? worship it? Produce it in mass numbers? read it and teach it to the people?

  86. natalie says:

    i think it is sick to burn the quran. most of my mates are muslim where i am christian and religon dosent come inbetween us so why should it get inbetween nations ? its racist, sick, wrong etc etc if someone i new was going to burn one i would make sure they where punished for doing it. ive never heard of a muslim burn the bible so why should we burn the quran !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! everyone who agrees with burning it is absouloutly sick

  87. Mahdi says:

    I am a Muslim and I believe in Jesus.
    I am looking forward to debate with all of you guys.
    Please visit my blog:

    http://seeking4facts.blogspot.com/

  88. Sabbir Salim says:

    from all the comments that i read i do believe that burning the quran would bring more harm than good.
    all those who says that muslims are the one whose the cause of the death of thousands of men and women in the day of Sept,11. How do you know that muslims are the one who caused all of these. Did you know that burning of our holy book would make us feel bad, especially to those who are innocent muslim who only want to live in peace. I am only a highschool student and i study in a christian school, but in my school they teach us that respect begets respect and that i believe did you know that my christian friends when they heared that you would burn the Quran they felt bad because they know that christian do not act like this. As a muslim i respect christians for their kindness but now i felt dissapointed cause i didnt no that even christians has a mind destroying others holy book. You know instead of making a new world without war you are only causing more problems that would come eventually .thats why many muslim thinks that USA has no repect, but for me i dont believe this so please Pastor Jones think carefully before even me would change my mind about USA please dont wait till the world would end up into chaos for only such act of burning a holy book of the islamic religon….

  89. Peter Wolczuk says:

    People who burn books make me think of those who seek to destroy any achievement which seems better that they can do. Regardless of the stated motive; it seems (to me) more like a desire to make themselves look better by removing anything above their abilities. Any book which becomes vulnerable by being under criticism could well feed this type of motivation. Bible next?

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