Pope Benedict gives response to Muslim Scholars

BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope decries ‘religious’ violence

Pope Benedict XVI has urged world religious leaders not to allow God’s name to be used to justify violence.

He said: “religions must never become vehicles for hatred”. He also said that the Catholic Church would continue to seek dialogue to bridge the gap between the cultures:

“In a world wounded by conflicts, where violence is
justified in God’s name, it’s important to repeat that religion can
never become a vehicle of hatred, it can never be used in God’s name to
justify violence,” the Pope told the gathering.

“On the contrary, religions can and must offer precious
resources to build a peaceful humanity, because they speak about peace
in the heart of man.

“With respect for the differences between different
religions, we are all called to work for peace and an effective effort
to promote reconciliation between peoples.”

Pope Benedict XVI at mass in Naples

The Pope highlighted criminal violence in Naples

The Pope also made it clear that he will never budge on traditional Catholic teaching, that Catholicism alone is the one true faith.

Prior to the meeting of religious leaders the Pope celebrated an open air Mass in Naples, but there was a poor turnout for the Mass. Pope Benedict called for a profound renewal in the city of Naples, a city plagued by unemployment and a high crime rate. He singled out the activities of the local mafia of Naples, the organization that controls much of the city’s economy.

“How important it is to intensify efforts for a serious
strategy of prevention focusing on schools and the workplace and on
helping young people spend their free time,” the Pope said.

“Everyone must intervene against violence.”

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About Maggie54

I am a 50 something married mother with three sons and grandmother to a grandson. I am a graduate of Melbourne University, having achieved the status of Bachelor of Commerce. My interests are varied, including knitting and crochet.
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2 Responses to Pope Benedict gives response to Muslim Scholars

  1. Jim says:

    If “violence” means “unjustified force” the Pope’s right of course. Religion should not be used to justify injustice. If it means something like “force that puts persons and property in jeopardy or even destroys them” what he says seems false. Deadly force is justified sometimes, and if it’s justified then it’s justified from a religious perspective and one ought to be able to say so.

  2. Maggie says:


    I think that the Pope is addressing an issue that we are seeing around the world today. It is violence in the name of Allah.

    The remarks are not addressing the necessity of defense of one’s own country, but could be seen to be addressing those who claim to take action in the name of God (including action that saw our armies going into Iraq).

    If you look at Pope Benedict’s German background, he refused to participate in Hitler Youth, even though every boy and girl had to be a member of Hitler Youth, and when he was sent to defend some factory and man the guns, he deserted. He refused to participate in anything to do with Hitler. I think that the Pope’s background has a lot to do with how he is expressing himself. The late Pope John Paul II had a slightly different background, since he was sent to a camp where he had to work in the mines. The communists even intended sending him to somewhere like Siberia, but someone intervened and he managed to escape and he went into the priesthood. The rest is history. Both men have pleaded with our nations to not provoke a situation of war.

    Whilst I agree with the belief that we have the right to defend ourselves, and especially against an enemy such as the Jihadists, I believe that we do not have the right to provoke a situation that would bring on what some people understand as Armageddon.

    Pope Benedict’s audience was ecumenical and included some Islamic scholars. The scholars had sent a letter addressed to the Pope that contained a veiled threat against the church, and this speech was a response to that threat, it was not addressing a Christian response where there is a need for defense of one’s country. He was addressing the violence through terrorism aka murder-suicide bombers.

    Thanks for the comment and the provocative questions that you raised.

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