Pope Urges Religious Tolerance in Meeting with Islamic Leaders

September 25, 2006

Source: The Washington Times

Wire Service: AP


On September 25, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "Pope Benedict XVI told Muslim diplomats today 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 circumstances which have given risen to our gathering are well known,' Benedict said, referring to his remarks on Islam in a Sept. 12 speech at Regensburg University in Germany, which set off protests around the Muslim world. He did not dwell on the contested remarks, in which he had quoted the words of a Byzantine emperor thusly: 'Show me just what [prophet] Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.' Benedict's five-minute speech today touched only briefly on religion and violence. He said Christians and Muslims 'must learn to work together -- to guard against all forms of intolerance and to oppose all manifestations of violence.'"