Should the Pope Personally Apologize to the Muslim Community?

Last week in an address in Germany, Pope Benedict, apparently with approval, quoted a Byzantine emperor condeming the prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman” for his alleged command “to spread  by the sword the faith.”Naturally, the Muslim world is outraged demanding a complete apology.  Turkey is threatening to cancel the papal visit slated for November.

       There are two possibilities here. Either Benedict spoke out of ignorance or out of malice.  In either case he personally (not through some papal flunky in Rome) should give the world wide Muslim community a full-throated and clear apology.

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6 Comments »

  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    I will reserve my judgement on the Pope’s motives to such a time when I have read his entire speech in Regensburg. In any case, he did apologize.
    You have to admit though, that for a religion that claims to champion peace and not be violent, they sure have a violent way of protesting any critique. Rather ironic, eh? We Christians have had (and still have) our moments of aggression, yet when we believe ourselves maligned, we find more sedate and rational forms of protest.

  2. 2
    lightcontrast Says:

    He may very well have spoken out of ignorance. But calling Mohammed evil? That’s just not right. His rank doesn’t give him any right to judge others’ God. Turkey compared him to Hitler. He should apologize to all Muslims. He should “bless” others, not heap curses on their heads.

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    I suspect that the Pope has learned a thing or two about pluralism in the larger society. He has spent too long amongst people who think alike, have a common worldview. He can no longer afford to engage in private academic debate because the world is listening and not all will receive his input in the same context.

  4. 4
    lightcontrast Says:

    Did he think no one wouldn’t take his words seriously? The world watches also. Emily Dickinson said, “Some say a word is dead/ once it is said, I think it begins to live that day.”

  5. 5

    Lightcontrast. your quote from Emily Dickenson is most apt in the context of the Pope’s remarks on the Muslim faith.

  6. 6
    lightcontrast Says:

    Thanks, Neil. Check out my blog, I just posted an article on this Turkish man who wanted to hijack a plane to tell the Pope something. I thought it was interesting…


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