The Pope comments on jihad
The Holy Father made some interesting remarks yesterday, the New York Times:
He began his speech, which ran over half an hour, by quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, in a conversation with a “learned Persian” on Christianity and Islam — “and the truth of both.”The Holy See has not posted this speech in English yet. But, I really want to read his opinion. Not that I agree with it. But, I want to read it.
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread the sword by the faith he preached,” the pope quoted the emperor, in a speech to 1,500 students and faculty.
He went on to say that violent conversion to Islam was contrary to reason and thus “contrary to God’s nature.”
But the section on Islam made up just three paragraphs of the speech, and he devoted the rest to a long examination of how Western science and philosophy had divorced themselves from faith — leading to the secularization of European society that is at the heart of Benedict’s worries.
This, he said, has closed off the West from a full understanding of reality, making it also impossible to talk with cultures for whom faith is fundamental.