Pope’s Speech Exposes Severe Attitude
Posted on Sep 16, 2006
The pope’s recent comments signal a divergence from the religious outreach of his predecessor John Paul II, who was the first pope to enter a mosque. Benedict XVI has since apologized for his speech, which quoted a Byzantine emperor who said the prophet Muhammad had brought only “evil and inhuman” things to the world.
Aides of Benedict XVI are dismayed that a quotation used to illustrate a philosophical argument should have provoked such anger from Muslims.
But for others, the row has highlighted their concerns about the Pope’s attitude towards the Church’s relations with the Islamic world.
The first year of his papacy passed off without controversy. Yet he was quietly planning a number of key changes in the Vatican hierarchy.