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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dear Pope Benedict XVI: "Du warst nicht da!"


Pope Benedict XVI is about to publish a book where he deconstructs the traditional Christmas nativity scene, the story image of how Jesus Christ was born in a stable in Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago.  

Certainly, I'm not qualified to describe the nativity, because I obviously wasn't there.  As a result, I can unequivocally say to His Holiness, with all the authority of any mortal being, that the Pope wasn't there, either, when these mystical events unfolded.  

In his native German, "Du warst nicht da".  (He was not there.)

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/europe/vatican-pope-jesus-book/index.html

"According to the Pope's research, there is also no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger were actually present. He also debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols. The (Pope's) book, which is being published in multiple languages in time for Christmas, is the third in a series by the pontiff. The previous two volumes dealt with Jesus' adult life and his public ministry."  

With all due respect to Pope Benedict XVI, it makes no sense for him to deconstruct the traditional image of the nativity scene in his book, because, (to make the point in his native German language):
"Du warst nicht da" ie "He was not there".

To coin an age old cliche, if the Bible says angels and animals were present at the original nativity in Bethlehem, then I accept this as being closer to the facts of the actual occasion than anything the Pope has written in the 21st century.  Any historian prefers to accept the recorded description written closer to the occurance of events, over those of another analyst, especially when the revisions are created over two thousand years after the fact. 

Obviously, I have only read the reports about how Pope Benedict XVI has described the nativity, not his original text.  Reportedly, the Pope describes a simple nativity scene in his book, absent animals or angels.  Even the birth year of Jesus Christ has been challenged by Pope Benedict XVI.

Certainly, it seems like a waste of energy and time for Pope XVI to deconstruct the beautifully familiar nativity scene, with Mother Mary, St. Joesph, Baby Jesus, the shepherds, stable animals and angels signing in the star studded skies over Bethlehem.

Although the Pope doesn't appear to take issue with those who prefer the traditional nativity over his stoic reality, it seems the Pope could find other aspects about the life of Jesus to deconstruct, rather than the nativity. Instead, he took time to over analyze the birth scene of Jesus, just because "he can".  Moreover, he is publishing his point of view on this information just prior to the celebration of Christmas.  This is terrible timing!

Well, Pope Benedict is a very holy man and I'm certainly in no position to challenge him on any spiritual subject.  

Nevertheless, I am completely certain, when it comes to describing the nativity of where Jesus Christ was born, in Bethlehem, "Du warst nicht da".

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