I say good for him! Why should the pope apologize for preaching the truth? His criticism was mainly of Secularism and not of Islam. The citation of an exchange between a Byzantine Emperor and a Persian scholar was simply for illustration sake. (Though I would add the Byzantine Emperor made a good point.) You can't very well expect the pope to apologize for something he didn't do. He never criticized Islam directly, the Byzantine Emperor did, and just because he quoted him doesn't mean he agrees with every single thing that Emperor wrote. If the rioting Muslims have a problem with the words of Emperor Manuel II Paleologus, perhaps they should dig up his skeleton and rattle his bones until they fall apart. At least then they'll be addressing the source of their contention. What are we to make of current protests and demonstrations against the pope? Is the Muslim world effectively telling us that in addition to not criticizing Islam, you can't even cite or quote a person who has criticized Islam in the past? I think that is EXACTLY what the Muslim world is telling us. "No Criticism Of Islam Allowed!" All history of criticism must be erased. You can't even mention the writings of somebody who criticized Islam, even if the author died some 600 years ago. Thus says the "religion of peace."
POPE “SINCERELY REGRETS” THAT HIS WORDS HAVE OFFENDED
Vatican City, Sep. 16, 2006 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI regrets that his recent comments have been misinterpreted in an offensive way, thus spurring outrage among many Muslims, according to the Vatican’s Secretary of State. On the second day in his job, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone released a statement clarifying that the Pontiff regards Muslims “respect and esteem,” and calling people to give his remarks a “complete and attentive” reading.
Bertone said that it was necessary to release a statement in addition to the one released by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, due to the reaction by many Muslims to a short passage in the Pope’s recent address at the University of Regensburg. The reaction of the Muslim world has moved from the expression of displeasure by Muslim clerics to the burning of effigies of the Pope and attacks on Christian churches in the Middle East.
The cardinal emphasized that Benedict holds the same position on Islam as the Church expressed in paragraph 3 of the Vatican II document “Nostra Aetate.”...
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