Mixed response to Pope's comments in Germany

15th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

15 September 2006, BERLIN - Pope Benedict XVI's controversial remarks about Islam's relation to violence drew a mixed response in his native Germany on Friday. Politicians from the staunchly Catholic party Christian Social Union (CSU) defended the pontiff from criticism levelled at him in the Muslim world, saying he didn't mean to offend. The pope was exploring theological and philosophical opinions, said CSU parliamentary leader Hartmut Koschyk, "it's unacceptable to accuse him of hostile motives." "The r

15 September 2006

BERLIN - Pope Benedict XVI's controversial remarks about Islam's relation to violence drew a mixed response in his native Germany on Friday.

Politicians from the staunchly Catholic party Christian Social Union (CSU) defended the pontiff from criticism levelled at him in the Muslim world, saying he didn't mean to offend.

The pope was exploring theological and philosophical opinions, said CSU parliamentary leader Hartmut Koschyk, "it's unacceptable to accuse him of hostile motives."

"The reaction from the Muslim world is disproportionate, especially if the context of the remarks is taken into account," said Ingrid Fischer, spokeswoman for religious affairs in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

In a speech made during his visit to Germany on Tuesday, the pontiff quoted from the writings of a 14th-century Christian emperor to the effect that the Prophet Mohammed had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things.

Volker Beck, a member of the opposition Greens, called the pope's remarks, "peculiarly one-sided and historically blind," and said he could understand the outrage they caused among Muslims.

The director of the Centre for Turkish Studies in Germany, Faruk Sen, said "such remarks can only cause harm," and regretted that the pope had made them.

"But the Vatican has today released a statement saying it wasn't meant that way. I accept that. There's no reason to make an issue of it. Otherwise it will only result in damage to both sides," Sen said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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