Cardinal says Muslim reaction to Pope validates Quote
Violent Muslim Reaction Justifies Pope's Stated Concerns, Cardinal Says
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
September 19, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - As the Vatican continues trying to placate Muslims angered by Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks, a senior Catholic leader has said the violent response justified the concern the pope had been expressing in the first place.
Citing threats of violence against the pope in Somalia and Iraq, Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell said "the violent reactions ... showed the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence."
"It is always someone else's fault, and issues touching on the nature of Islam are ignored," he said.
"Our major priority must be to maintain peace and harmony within the Australian community, but no lasting achievements can be grounded in fantasies and evasions."
In an academic speech in Germany last week, Pope Benedict, without qualification, quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor's assessment of Islam and its seventh century founder.
"Show me just what Mohammed 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," the pope quoted Manuel II Palaeologus as saying.
"To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death ..." the emperor had said, according to the pope.
The speech at Regensburg University included an appeal for dialogue based on "reason." Read more.