Papal Candidates and the Role of Islam

April 11, 2005

Source: The New York Times

On April 11, 2005 The New York Times reported, "One is from Nigeria, a man who grew up among Muslims and says there is no clash of cultures. Another is from Germany, who believes that it may be useful to talk to Muslims but that it is better to revitalize Christianity. Others speak of the need for Muslims in Europe to integrate better or even to become more secular. By coincidence or not, many cardinals mentioned as candidates to be the next pope have strongly expressed positions on Islam, and on whether the Roman Catholic Church's relations with Muslims should be conciliatory or a notch more confrontational... Now, although relations with Islam will not be the decisive issue for the 115 cardinals who will meet to select the next pope, the debate is seen as vital because it intersects centrally with other major issues facing the church: increasing secularism in Europe, contrasting with the religious revival in the Islamic world; relations with other religions; and the rising number of Muslim immigrants in Europe."