Kresta in the Afternoon – November 4, 2008 – Hour 1

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    First Topic - Synod Concludes – Offers 50 Recommendations

    A Synod is a meeting or assembly at which bishops, gathered around and with the Holy Father, interact with each other and share information and experiences about a common pastoral issue. The work of the Synod is consultative.  It has no decision-making authority unless such authority is granted by the Holy Father and its decisions are ratified by him. The Synod of Bishops has concluded with an approval of a list of 55 propositions to be delivered to Pope Benedict XVI as the basis for his apostolic exhortation on the topic. We look at the work and results of this Synod with Fr. Peter Stravinskas.

    Second Topic – Muslim convert criticizes Cardinal – Says violence is a “mature fruit of Islam”

    Vatican and Muslim representatives have opened a new chapter of dialogue in an encounter that is expected to touch on common spiritual principles and perspectives on human rights. It is the first meeting of the Catholic-Muslim Forum and it is happening this week at the Vatican. Robert Spencer is here to discuss the meeting and what we can reasonably expect to come out of an interreligious dialogue such as this. Also, Magdi Allam, the Muslim journalist who converted to Catholicism and was baptized by Pope Benedict has issued an open letter to the pontiff in which he criticizes recent comments about Islam made by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Cardinal Tauran said in August that Muslims who engage in violence have “betrayed their faith.” Allam replies that “Islamic extremism and terrorism are the mature fruit” of Islam. We look at it.

    Third Topic – Madagascar 2 and Stranded

    On Oct. 13, 1972, a plane carrying a team of rugby players from a Catholic school in Uruguay to a match in Chile crashed in a remote section of the Andes Mountains. More than 10 weeks later, two of the 16 remaining survivors, having hiked 44 miles over peaks 13,000 feet high, finally made contact with their first outsider, a Chilean shepherd, and were soon guiding a squad of helicopters to rescue their friends. In the film Stranded documentarian Gonzalo Arijon tells the compelling story and explores the religious implications of their experience as one survivor describes a crisis of faith that was resolved by joining his companions in the recitation of the rosary, while another speaks of his feelings of closeness to -- and total dependence on -- God. Steven Greydanus has the review.

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