I think Jimmy Akin’s analysis of the Pope’s original speech and subsequent clarification is spot on, especially his ending note.
This is an intense time of suffering for him and for all those Christians who are at risk of Muslim violence.
Let us therefore unite ourselves with the Holy Father in prayer for peace.
Sandro Magister, as always, is quite worth reading in his article Islam’s Unreasonable War Against Benedict XVI.
Via Roman Catholic Blog is this reminder that not all Muslims have a knee-jerk reaction to media coverage.
Damascus Sept. 15 (BNA) Syria’s Grand Mufti Dr Ahmed Bader Al Deen Hasoon sent a letter today to Pope Benedict XVI demanding a clarification on what has been reported by international news agencies on his statements against Islam.
Mufti Hasoon said he hoped that the reports were inaccurate and that the Vatican would be a source of world peace in the same way that Islam is a source of affection and goodness. He said he was looking forward to joining efforts to spread heavenly teachings that call for harmony and cooperation. The letter was delivered through the Vatican Embassy in Damascus.
Though you would think somebody could have googled the original speech for him or the subsequent clarification.
The Detroit Free Press does an article on responses by several people who never even read the Pope’s original speech and some didn’t even know about the reaction.
Parishioners at a few local Catholic churches said they were unfamiliar with the controversy.
The Rev. Timothy Pelc of St. Ambrose in Grosse Pointe Park said he had heard secondhand about the pope’s remarks.
This summer, his parish conducted a series on Islam in its adult education classes and book clubs. Pelc said his parishioners "really didn’t know a lot about Islam. … We made a deliberate choice to learn."
"It’s sad, because so much of what we see of violence has been done in the name of religion," Pelc added. "It’s a scary time."
Joy Ford, a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Detroit, called the pope’s reading of the text "ill-advised" and said it likely misrepresented what the Catholic Church, as a whole, believes about Islam.
"Whether it’s part of a text or not, you have to be really careful what public statements you put out there in today’s climate," said Ford, 37, of Detroit.
You could hope that a parish doing adult education on Islam had already thoroughly catechized its members on the Catholic Church. Like I said you could hope, but I wouldn’t lay money on it. A Muslim lady goes on to prove that it does not matter what the Pope has said or will say in reaction to his comments.
Some people said Sunday that the pope should apologize for what he said, not just for the way people have reacted to it. But Baydoun said she wouldn’t believe such an apology.
"We’re all going to know it’s not coming from his heart. It’s not going to be sincere."