Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Holy Father's comments about Islam

The following are excerpts from an editorial written in National Catholic Register, a Catholic newspaper. To see the full text, please go to:
"On Sept. 11, the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States, Benedict XVI prayed for peace with 60,000 pilgrims in Germany. In doing so, he joined mourners all over the world who remembered those killed by Islamic extremists who plowed jet airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands.

Then on Sept. 12 the Holy Father gave a lecture about faith and reason — and the need to reject violence — at the University of Regensburg. In it, he quoted a 14th century emperor’s words about the incompatibility of faith and violence. But he also quoted the emperor’s words about Mohammed, the founder of Islam.

It’s important to get a few things straight. Western media and Islamic leaders seem to have made the same mistake: They assumed that the Pope meant to agree with the assessment of Mohammed from the ancient text he quoted.

This is not what Pope Benedict says.

Pope Benedict took umbrage with Emperor Manuel II’s words even as he delivered them. He said: '[H]e addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness which leaves us astounded, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general.'...

Benedict goes on to quote Manuel saying: 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'

Days after delivering the lecture, the Pope reiterated that he disagreed entirely, saying the emperor’s words 'do not in any way express my personal thought.'

Catholics need to support the Pope — by agreeing with the Pope, not the media and the imams who misinterpreted him. Pope Benedict doesn’t believe that Islam’s only legacy is violence — and he doesn’t want us to believe that, either...

Pope Benedict... on his last trip to Germany in August 2005, (said) that a dialogue between Christians and Muslims 'cannot be reduced to an optional extra,' adding, 'We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other’s identity.'

These are the things the Pope believes about Islam, and they are the things we should believe..."

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