Michigan Religious Leaders Respond to Challenges Posed by Pope's Remarks

September 19, 2006

Source: The Detroit News


On September 19, 2006 The Detroit News reported, "In a Sept. 12 homily in Germany, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who criticized the Prophet Mohammed. He has apologized for reading the statements, 'which do not in any way express my personal thought.' The following are reactions from Michigan's religious community: Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Michigan chapter: Pope Benedict XVI's comments are extremely disappointing. It appeared that he was affirming the negative and historically incorrect statements of the 14th century emperor concerning Prophet Muhammad. The pope wields influence that is unequaled among world religious leaders; hence, he should be extremely sensitive that his comments not trigger his followers to distance themselves from Muslims in a unhealthy manner... Samuel Gregg, director of research, Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, Grand Rapids: One irony is that Pope Benedict's address was not even directed to the Islamic world. Benedict focused on explaining why many in the West have lost not only faith in God but also a comprehensive understanding of human reason and its ultimate orientation to truth. I suspect that some Muslims, equally repulsed as serious Christians are by the dominance of post-modern relativism in the academy and popular culture, would resonate with his thesis."