Albany Catholic and Muslim Leaders Respond to Comments by the Pope on Islam

September 18, 2006

Source: Capital News 9

On September 18, 2006 Capital News 9 reported, "The Pope's recent comments have Muslim leaders up in arms. He quoted a 14th century Byzantine text that calls the Prophet Muhammad 'evil and inhuman.' And it refers to the spread of Islam as 'by the sword.' But Father William Pape at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, said the Pope's comments were taken out of context. 'He was talking about religious tolerance, and it's unfortunate that a quote is taken out of context,' said Father Pape. The Pope now has said he's 'deeply sorry' his comments caused such controversy, but some Muslim leaders said the apology wasn't enough. The Imam from the Islamic Center of the Capital District called the Pope's choice of words inappropriate... Local Catholic and Muslim leaders said there is no animosity between the two religions. In fact, the Imam said Vatican leaders and leaders of Islam have fostered a relationship of mutual respect... Even with that understanding, the Imam said he would like the Pope to clarify his comments... The Imam also said he condemns any violent retaliation against Catholics because violence has no place in Islam."