Pope Benedict XVI 'corrects' controversial lecture

10th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 October 2006, VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has amended his September 12 lecture "on faith and reason" that caused widespread anger in the Muslim world in an attempt to distance himself further from one of its most controversial references - the use of force by the Prophet Mohammed to spread the faith. In a revised English-language text of his lecture, currently available on the Vatican's official website, the pope prefixes his reference to a 14th-century dialogue between Byzantine emperor Manuel II

10 October 2006

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has amended his September 12 lecture "on faith and reason" that caused widespread anger in the Muslim world in an attempt to distance himself further from one of its most controversial references - the use of force by the Prophet Mohammed to spread the faith.

In a revised English-language text of his lecture, currently available on the Vatican's official website, the pope prefixes his reference to a 14th-century dialogue between Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian with the following words: "(Paleologus) addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general."

The phrase "a brusqueness that we find unacceptable" was not present in the original text.

The pope's reference to the dialogue, in which the Christian emperor says "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," sparked angry reactions in the Muslim world, prompting Benedict to issue an apology.

The pope has also added a footnote to his lecture, which was delivered at the University of Regensburg during his recent trip to Germany.

The footnote reads: "In the Muslim world, this quotation has unfortunately been taken as an expression of my personal position, thus arousing understandable indignation. I hope that the reader of my text can see immediately that this sentence does not express my personal view of the Qur'an, for which I have the respect due to the holy book of a great religion."

"In quoting the text of the Emperor Manuel II, I intended solely to draw out the essential relationship between faith and reason. On this point I am in agreement with Manuel II, but without endorsing his polemic."

Italian newspaper reports Tuesday suggested the pope's decision to amend his lecture showed his "deep concern" over the misunderstandings that his speech had caused.

The pope has since met with Islamic religious leaders and ambassadors from more than 20 predominantly Muslim countries in a bid to defuse the row and foster inter-religious dialogue.

DPA

Subject: German news

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