Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict’s Blunder
The Roman pontiff’s recent statement about Islam, and it’s connection with violence, was wrong headed for any number of reasons, not the least of which was his failure to acknowledge Christianity’s own blood stained history. No Christian leader is in any position to condemn the sins of other world ideologies without first confessing the evils of his or her own tradition, asking for forgiveness and entering into a long process of reconciliation.

Many Christians understand this. In fact, Pope John Paul II had begun this process of reconciliation with both Muslims and Jews. Not a few devout Catholics are far ahead of the Pope on this. Take a look at the pastoral letter to Benedict written by Sri Lankan priest, Tissa Balasuriya, and published here in June. “Benedict Rouse Yourself” could have been written as a direct rebuttal of the Pope’s recent comments about Islam.

About the author

Charles is a Presbyterian minister, writer, editor, activist, publisher and public theologian.

Comments

  1. What did the Pope say? That religion should not be promoted through violence or any kind of force. He refered to the FACT that Islam did that in the past. Was he wrong? No, it’s fact. Now, is Islam a violent religion NOW?
    What was the Islamic world’s reaction to the factual statement? A nun was shot and killed and church buildings were burned. Threats were made on the Pope’s life.
    So is anyone going to deny that Islam is a violent religion?
    How about forced conversions? 2 news reporters recently taken hostage by Muslims were only released after they “converted” to Islam, under threat of death.

  2. What did the Pope say? That religion should not be promoted through violence or any kind of force. He refered to the FACT that Islam did that in the past. Was he wrong? No, it’s fact. Now, is Islam a violent religion NOW?
    What was the Islamic world’s reaction to the factual statement? A nun was shot and killed and church buildings were burned. Threats were made on the Pope’s life.
    So is anyone going to deny that Islam is a violent religion?
    How about forced conversions? 2 news reporters recently taken hostage by Muslims were only released after they “converted” to Islam, under threat of death.

  3. What did the Pope say? That religion should not be promoted through violence or any kind of force. He refered to the FACT that Islam did that in the past. Was he wrong? No, it’s fact. Now, is Islam a violent religion NOW?
    What was the Islamic world’s reaction to the factual statement? A nun was shot and killed and church buildings were burned. Threats were made on the Pope’s life.
    So is anyone going to deny that Islam is a violent religion?
    How about forced conversions? 2 news reporters recently taken hostage by Muslims were only released after they “converted” to Islam, under threat of death.
    About violence in Christianity’s past: no-one ever denied this, in fact it is frequently thrown out in the face of the world, with little explaination and much less debate; but NO violent reaction by Christians!

  4. What the Pope misses is that many Muslims see our occupation of Iraq as an example of “Christian violence” and that historic examples of Christian violence against Muslims were not even mentioned in the Pope’s remarks. For the leader of world Christianity to criticize Islam in this way without framing his remarks in a way that made it clear he was opposing ALL violence committed in the name of religion was a big problem.

    Further, while some Muslims reacted in violent ways to the Pope’s words, most did not. Many are, in fact, eager to engage in conversation within the Muslim world and with Christians over these very issues. The Pope’s words did not invite such constructive conversation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *