Michael Curtotti

Bahá’u’lláh’s letter to Pope Pius IX

letter to pope pius ix - breach of walls of rome

In 1869, while in Akka, Bahá’u’lláh wrote to the then Pope of the Roman Catholic Church: Pope Pius IX. History does not record any reply. As with other such messages, no reply was expected. The letter is short. It announces Baha’u’llah’s mission in words again unmistakable, although Bahá’u’lláh was a prisoner of the Caliph and Ottoman…

Only Human

only human

Human beings are prone to error. So much so, that often our messages about ourselves are entirely cynical about our capacity as human beings to foster a just, peaceful and prosperous future. Our popular culture is full of negative assessments of humanity. A recently popularised example is the words J.R.R. Tolkien placed in the mouth…

White Australia Policy

white australia policy

Most us take a multicultural, multiracial reality in our stride – a normal and welcome part of life. It is a very recent development. For a Faith that arrived in Australia when the White Australia policy was the law, it inevitably raised questions for some of the newly enrolled Baha’is. How were they to square…

Constantinople

constantinople

Constantinople was the capital of the 500 year old Ottoman caliphate. And before the Ottomans captured the city and made it their own, it had stood for more than 1000 years as the capital of the Christian Roman Empire. In April 1863 Bahá’u’lláh was exiled again – “summoned” to that capital. As we have seen, the…

Healing the Wounds of War: a Spiritual Axis

spiritual axis

After World War 2 the world was in ruins. The nations that fought against each other in that war were the last people who you would think would naturally cooperate with each other in a common cause. In Australia, when I was growing up, there was still (if fading) a lingering collective memory among some…

The House the Prince Wanted to Build

most great house

After Bahá’u’lláh had returned to Baghdad from his two years of withdrawal to the mountains of Kurdistan, he lived in a house close to the western bank of the Tigris River. This was the period when increasingly the Babi community began to turn to Bahá’u’lláh. Although he had not announced his mission, his writings and presence…

Waging Peace in the Midst of War

a french regiment entrenched at Verdun

As we have already seen, during World War 1 Abdu’l Baha wrote a series of letters to the Baha’is of North America. While the world was waging war, Abdu’l Baha was waging peace. This is the first of a series of articles with the aim of placing these letters in the context of events occurring…

Harmony of Science and Religion: History of an Idea

harmony of science and religion

A Baha’i principle is that of harmony of science and religion.  The use of “harmony” to express the relationship between science and religion is apt – as it captures the idea that each is incomplete without the other. Like notes in music, we don’t experience the beauty of the whole until we hear them together.…