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The Pope Kowtows A Little More To Muslims

From Reuters:

Pope assures Muslims of respect, dialogue

By Robin Pomeroy

CASTELGANDOLFO, Italy (Reuters) – Pope Benedict assured Muslims on Monday that he respected them and was committed to dialogue, in an unprecedented encounter to defuse anger at his use of quotes saying their faith was spread by the sword.

In a speech to diplomatic envoys from some 20 Muslim countries plus the leaders of Italy's own Muslim community at his summer residence south of Rome, the Pope said both Christians and Muslims had to reject violence.

Several of the envoys who attended said they considered the meeting had gone a long way to help end the controversy that began two weeks ago with a speech by the Pope at a university in his native Germany.

"I think this meeting has resolved many problems … we can close this controversy," said Khalil Altoubat, a member of the Italian Muslim community's liaison group with the government.

The Pope did not specifically mention the quote that angered Muslims worldwide, saying the circumstances that made the meeting necessary "are well known."

"Christians and Muslims must learn to work together … in order to guard against all forms of intolerance and to oppose all manifestations of violence, " the 79-year-old Pope said at the meeting in the papal summer palace.

It was the fourth time he has tried to make amends, without actually apologizing directly, for his speech on September 12…

The atmosphere at the 30-minute meeting, which was broadcast live on Vatican television and radio, appeared cordial. After delivering his speech the Pope greeted each of the envoys personally and chatted with them briefly…

The Pope said Christians and Muslims had to learn from the past and work for a better future.

"I sincerely pray that the relations of trust which have developed between Christians and Muslims over several years, will not only continue, but will develop further in a spirit of sincere and respectful dialogue…," he said…

Palestinian schoolgirls chant slogans against Pope Benedict XVI's recent speech about Islam, in the West Bank town of Hebron, Monday, Sept. 25, 2006.

This must be a huge relief for the world of Islam.

Now Muslims no longer have to worry about the Pope unleashing his legions upon them in a holy war because of their infidelity to the tenets of Catholicism.

Surely peace is at hand.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 25th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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