Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim diplomats Monday that Christians and Muslims must work together to guard against intolerance and violence as he sought to soothe anger over his recent remarks about Islam.
The pontiff also quoted from his predecessor, John Paul II, who had close relations with the Muslim world, calling for "reciprocity in all fields," including religious freedom. Benedict spoke in French to diplomats from 21 countries and the Arab League in his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo near Rome...
..."The Holy Father stated his profound respect for Islam. This is what we were expecting," Iraqi envoy Albert Edward Ismail Yelda said as he left the 30 minute meeting. "It is now time to put what happened behind and build bridges."
Al-Jazeera, the Arab-language broadcaster, carried the pope's speech live...
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I think this who flap over the pope's comments in Germany was actually planned. Granted, I think the reactions were a little bigger than he expected, but nevertheless, they were anticipated. Benedict is trying to break open some new ground here, and he knows that can't happen unless things get shaken up a little. If Muslims had pounded the pope into submission, than we would have seen a direct apology for actually uttering the words he did. But Benedict has made no such apology. Instead he's apologized for "the reaction" and for "being misunderstood." Essentially he's apologizing for Muslim behavior, not for his comments that incited it. This is why some Muslims do not accept his "apology" because they know it isn't one, and even our mainstream media here in the west can see that.
Pope Benedict XVI is trying to provoke Muslims to change by chiding them a little. He knows perfectly well what the consequences of that will be. It's already cost the life of one nun in Somalia. Before it's over, the pope may pay with his own life. I think he knows this, and he's willing to die for the cause if necessary. Could it be that the Church will soon see its first papal martyr in over a millennium?
His remarks were necessary, and they were true. They don't have to be true, and only Muslims hold the power to make them untrue, but for now they are true. Islam and the West are currently set for a conflagration the likes of which the world has never seen. Some Islamic nations have set themselves on a course toward a conflict which they cannot win, and will only result in the slaughter of millions (perhaps tens of millions) of Muslim souls. The Muslims world is like a freight train steaming toward a cliff, while Benedict bravely stands on the tracks ahead of it, waving and flagging for it to stop before it's too late.