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Pope Apologizes, Sort Of

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Posted on Sep 17, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI said he was “deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages” of the address he gave last week.

  • Note: He’s sorry for the reactions—not for saying what he did.

  • N.Y. Times:

    ROME, Sept. 17 ? Pope Benedict XVI sought Sunday to extinguish days of anger and protest among Muslims by issuing an extraordinary personal apology for having caused offense with a speech last week that cited a reference to Islam as ?evil and inhuman.?

    ?I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address,? the pope told pilgrims at the summer papal palace of Castel Gandolfo, ?which were considered offensive.??

    ?These were in fact quotations from a medieval text, which do not in any way express my personal thought,? the pope, 79, said in Italian, according to the official English translation.


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    By Marina, September 18, 2006 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The Pope’s statement has been taken out of context and used by anyone and everyone (Truthdig you are even reporting it erroneously) to push their agenda. For the war party and the mainstream “news” it is to gain support from Catholics for more war against Arab nations. For Israelis it is being used to make them look good (by critizing the pope) See “Chief Rabbi unhappy with Pope’s condemnation of Islam” at the Jerusalem post. For atheists it is to ridicule the Catholic Church and all religion, and for *some* fundamentalist Muslims it is to give them ammunition to wage violence or justify what they have already carried out. I am no one in particular but it took me four minutes to find the truth of what was said by the Pope and HOW it was said. If I can find the truth in four minutes then so can the rabbi, Truthdig, the mainstream media, and war-mongers.

    READ “In Defense of Pope Benedict
    The Catholic Church is an enemy of the War Party” by Justin Raimondo at

    Muslims are being lied to about what the Pope said EXACTLY and why he said it. People everywhere need to inform themselves at deeper levels. Ignorance is why we are living in such times of distress, war, and suffering.

    Report this

    By C Quil, September 18, 2006 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The pope should have known that anything he said, even if it was not in public forum (I believe he was addressing a university gathering) would be dissected for meaning and reported if anything controversial was said. Someone should have checked his speech.

    That being said, it’s too bad that some Muslims had to react to the words by attacking churches and possibly even murdering a nun in Africa.

    I’m not religious, so none of this stuff makes sense to me, in particular violence in the name of religion.

    Report this

    By Fadel Abdallah, September 17, 2006 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    A Brotherly Advice to My Fellow Muslims:
    In the Qur’an God speaks to the believers saying, “And you will certainly hear from those who were given the Book before you as well as from the idolaters much hurting words; in this case if you bear patiently, armed with consciousness of God, that would be the way most desired by Him.” (Qur’an: 3:186)

    This Qur’anic quotation shows that the price for a firm and strong faith would be insult and ridicule by people of other faiths as well as by atheists and idolaters. God puts this in terms of the tests and trials true believers must endure. He urges patience and perseverance in the face of such mean-spirited verbal attacks.

    In light of this, I would like to urge my fellow Muslims to be patient and not react out of control.

    Certainly, when a person of the caliber of a Pope, representing 1.3 million Catholics says such things, it is a serious matter and it could be perceived as almost a declaration of war against Islam, or at least an incitement for hatred and violence that might lead to a larger war.

    But Muslims should also think of this as a sign of the insecurity and nervousness of the Pope when he sees his followers leaving his church in large numbers and many of them embracing Islam, as is the case in traditionally Catholic Brazil.

    Moreover, the Catholic Church is plagued by the moral disease of child-molestation. So attacking Islam can also be perceived as scapegoating for the ills of the church! And we know that scapegoating has been at the root of world conflicts and wars, of which the Nazi and Fascist experiences were recent classicall examples. George Bush, with his war in Iraq and Afghanistan has started taking America down that path.

    Even when their lands had been occupied and their resources exploited, Muslims should resort to patience and wisdom in handling these aggressions and not play in the hands of those who want Muslims to be seen as the one to start WWIII. Let the world of non-Islam take the “honor” of starting WWIII as they had the “honor” of starting WWI And WWII; after all Muslims will never be a match for producing their weapons of mass destruction. My advice to Iran is to come clean on the nuclear weapons issue and let America, Europe and Israel have their monopoly! I’d rather be oppressed and even humiliated rather than my religion going down in history as responsible for any big war, let alone WWIII. Human life, even that of non-Muslims, is sacred in our religion. Let not any intimidition, no matter how great, make you forget this essential fact. God will be the Ultimate Judge!

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