Has the whole [Muslim] world gone mad? So it would seem from the latest round of outrage over the Popeâ€™s ill judged remarks:
Italian police were yesterday ordered to tighten security at potential Catholic targets across the country as the leaders of the Roman Catholic church anxiously waited to see if a personal expression of regret by Pope Benedict would assuage Muslim fury over his remarks on Islam.
The Pope’s speech in Germany last week, in which he quoted a medieval ruler who said Muhammad’s innovations were “evil and inhuman”, has led to widespread condemnation in the Muslim world. Last night the controversy seemed to have claimed its first victims when gunmen killed a 65-year-old Italian nun and her bodyguard at the entrance to a hospital where she worked in the Somalian capital, Mogadishu.
A doctor said the nun, who was named as Sister Leonella Sgorbati, from Piacenza in northern Italy, had been shot four times in the back by two men with pistols. The attack was linked by some to the Pope’s remarks.
A Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said he hoped it was “an isolated event”, adding: “We are worried about the consequences of this wave of hatred and hope it doesn’t have grave consequences for the church around the world.” [Via The Guardian]
In a sense it shouldnâ€™t come as any surprise that the Pope made these remarks; nor should the reactions surprise. Religions in conflict with each other is nothing new in human affairs. To be honest, Iâ€™m not really interested in whether the Pope did insult Islam or its followers, nor am I really that bothered by the Muslim outrage across the world.
What I do find interesting is this, why did he do it? The Pope (and by that I mean him, his advisors and the Church) is no fool, he wouldnâ€™t have made such a speech without a certain intent in mind. My question to you good Picklers is why? What was his purpose? Was he just being offensive, is he innocent and the â€œMuslim worldâ€ is overacting? Or is it something else?
Iâ€™m going to play Devils Advocate: I think this was a considered political manoeuvre, the Church realises more and more Islam (amongst other things) is growing in followers, attention and thus power. The Pope/Church views this naturally as a threat and wanted to deal them back in the game, so to speak. What better way to re-focus the world attention while looking like they’re defending their flock against the Muslim threat than this? What other way could they dramatically have everyone talking about them again?
Far fetched? Wholly offensive of the Holy Father and his minions? Or just too wide of the mark?
Enter your thoughts below.
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