Pope Benedict XVI during his weekly Wednesday general audience at the Vatican, February 22, 2006.
Reuters: Vatican to Muslims: practice what you preach
After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammad cartoons row, the
Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities.
Roman Catholic leaders at first said Muslims were right to be outraged when Western newspapers reprinted Danish caricatures of the Prophet, including one with a bomb in his turban. Most Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous.
Well, the Roman Catholic leaders were wrong with their views on freedom of expression and the Muhammad Caricatures but are RIGHT with regards to religious TOLERANCE in many Islamic countries.
Saudi Arabia bans all public expression of any non-Muslim religion and sometimes arrests Christians even for worshipping privately.
Pakistan allows churches to operate but its Islamic laws effectively deprive Christians of many rights.
Morocco is tolerant of other religions, but like all Muslim countries frowns on conversion from Islam to another faith.
Iraqi Christians say they were well treated under Saddam Hussein’s secular policies, but believers have been killed, churches burned and women forced to wear Muslim garb since Islamic groups gained sway after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
And what the Roman Catholic Church desires is reciprocity……..
Reciprocity — allowing Christian minorities the same rights as Muslims generally have in Western countries, such as building houses of worship or practicing religion freely — is at the heart of Vatican diplomacy toward Muslim states.
Pope Benedict signaled his concern on Monday when he told the new Moroccan ambassador to the Vatican that peace can only be assured by “respect for the religious convictions and practices of others, in a reciprocal way in all societies.”
“If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us,” Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State (prime minister), told journalists in Rome.
“We must always stress our demand for reciprocity in political contacts with authorities in Islamic countries and, even more, in cultural contacts,” Foreign Minister Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo told the daily Corriere della Sera.
“Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It’s our duty to protect ourselves,” Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Vatican’s supreme court, thundered in the daily La Stampa. “The West has had relations with the Arab countries for half a century, mostly for oil, and has not been able to get the slightest concession on human rights,” he said.
Bishop Rino Fisichella, head of one of the Roman universities that train young priests from around the world, told Corriere della Sera the Vatican should speak out more.
“Let’s drop this diplomatic silence,” said the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. “We should put pressure on international organizations to make the societies and states in majority Muslim countries face up to their responsibilities.”
And did the Islamic community REALLY think that Christians would take the murder of priests lightly – especially over Muhammad Caricatures?
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Muhammad Caricature Watch: A Demonstration in Libya Has Left Nine Dead and the Italian Consulate Ablaze
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Muhammad Caricature Watch: President Bush and King Abdullah of Jordan Urge an End to Violence over Muhammad Caricatures
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Muhammad Caricature Watch: French Weekly Charlie Hebdo Reprints Muhammad Caricatures
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Muhammad Caricature Watch: Demonstrators Attack Norwegian Embassy in Tehran, Iran
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Day by Day by Chris Muir on CNN
Day by Day by Chris Muir on Muhammad Caricatures
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