It’s not right to equate Islam with violence, pope says

Pope Francis speaks with journalists aboard his July 31 flight from Krakow, Poland, to Rome. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-POLAND-PLANE-PRESS July 31, 2016.

Pope Francis speaks with journalists aboard his July 31 flight from Krakow, Poland, to Rome. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) — An economy that focuses on the God of money, not human beings, is the foundation of terrorism, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to journalists aboard his return flight from Krakow, Poland, July 31, the pope also stressed that violence exists in all religions, including Catholicism, and it cannot be pinned to one single religion.

“I do not like to speak of Islamic violence because everyday when I look through the papers, I see violence here in Italy,” the pope told reporters. “And they are baptized Catholics. There are violent Catholics. If I speak of Islamic violence, I also have to speak of Catholic violence,” he added.

Spending about 30 minutes with reporters and responding to six questions, Pope Francis was asked to elaborate on comments he had made flying to Poland July 27 when he told the journalists that religions are not at war and want peace.

The pope’s initial comment came in speaking about the murder July 26 of an elderly priest during Mass in a Catholic church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. Two men, armed with knives, entered the church during Mass. The attackers murdered 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, slitting his throat. The Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the murder.

Although the death of the French priest was committed in the name of Islam, the pope said that it is unfair to label an entire religion violent because of the actions of a few fundamentalists.

“One thing is true. I believe that in almost all religions, there is always a small fundamentalist group. We have them, too,” the pope said. “When fundamentalism goes to the point of killing — you can even kill with the tongue. This is what St. James says, but (you can kill) also with a knife. ”

“I do not think it is right to identify Islam with violence. This is not right and it is not true,” he said.

Instead, the pope said, that those who choose to enter fundamentalists groups, such as the Islamic State, do so because “they have been left empty” of ideals, work and values.

The pope was also asked about accusations of sexual abuse made against Australian Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

Pope Francis said the accusations are unclear, but are in the hands of investigators. He also warned against deeming alleged accusations true or false before they are investigated thoroughly.

“If I would give a verdict for or against Cardinal Pell, it would not be good because I would judge prematurely,” he said.  “We should wait for justice and not judge beforehand (or) a verdict by the press, a verdict based on gossip.”

Pope Francis was also asked if he was all right after he stumbled and fell during Mass outside the Marian shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa July 28. He missed a step as he was blessing the altar and an image of Mary with incense.

“I was looking at the Madonna and I forgot about the step,” he recalled. “I had the thurible in my hand and I just let myself fall. If I had tried to resist, then there would have been consequences.”

Regarding his ability to speak and relate to young people, the pope told journalists that he likes to talking them “because they tell me things that I never thought about before or that I never thought through.”

He also emphasized the importance of a “dialogue between past and future” and said older and younger generations must learn to speak to and learn from each other.

“Listen to them, speak to them because they must learn from us and we must learn from them. That is how history is made, that is how we grow.  Without closing them off, without censuring them,” Pope Francis said.

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Categories: Christian extremism, Christianity, Extremism, Islam, Islamophobia, Terrorism

12 replies

  1. What does Pope mean by “that those who choose to enter fundamentalists groups, such as the Islamic State, do so because “they have been left empty” of ideals, work and values.”

    Those who have joined the Islamic State,30,000 men and women,come from every imaginable group:the highly educated, the very poor and illiterate,the middle class,Muslims from the West,Western converts,Muslims from Muslim countries,professionals,doctors,peasants,etc.

    Muslims who know a lot about Islam,Muslims who don’t,etc.

    The Pope can’t say what seems to be a stereotype without presenting serious,sociological studies,surveys,etc.The Pope seems to be ignorant that proclaiming a caliphate in itself is something of enormous symbolic value to Muslims,since the caliphate was eliminated in 1924 by Kemal Ataturk,the Turkish ruler,in effect,dictator.

    I don’t know if the Pope,or any Western journalist,knows,that the Muslim belief is that Jesus will return a second time,but declare Islam to be true,and Christianity false.Or if the Pope even knows that Jesus is accepted as a prophet in other religions,like the Bahai faith,the Rastafarians,the Druzes,the Hare Krishnas,and by Manicheism(in the past,now dead).

    Or if the Pope knows that many Muslims believe in the coming of a descendant of Muhammed,called the Mahdi or Guided One,who will be the supreme ruler or caliph of all Muslims,and be helped by the Muslim Jesus.


  2. A true Christian!

    Interestingly, Nabeel recently shared an event with Christians of different persuasions, what many Baptists would call heretics, including the Pope (albeit in the case of the Pope it was via satellite)

    Hopefully there will be some progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yahya,you said:

    “What many Baptists would call heretics, including the Pope ”

    Baptists and Evangelicals believe that Catholics teach a false gospel,they say the Catholic Church teaches salvation by works,while the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox position is salvation by faith and works.

    I have never meant a Protestant,even pastors who are supposedly educated in theology,who knows this.They always repeat that Catholics believe salvation is only by works.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Muslims and Christians can live in peace together. Christians and Jews are mentioned in Qur’an explicitly as those who have the right to be Dhimmis.
    Muslims and secularists however cannot live together. Muslims have to eliminate all secularists.

    The problem that arises today between Muslims and Christians is not the theological problem between Islam and Christianity but the fact that most Christians are secularists and democrats. They reject their Biblical and Christian law and subsequently reject Islamic law while thinking secular law is compatible with Christianity.
    Christians who are able to reject secularism and democracy will be able to accept Shariah law and live in peace with Muslims. But those Christians who call for democracy and secularism have to be eliminated too.


    • “eliminate all secularists”

      “those Christians who call for democracy and secularism have to be eliminated too.”

      you mean kill them all??!


    • Not necessarily. What would you suggest?


    • Tell me what do you mean exactly by “eliminate all secularists”?

      Don’t avoid explaining your meaning by asking me questions

      Liked by 1 person

    • By eliminating I mean to deal with the problem these people are making. If they are able to accept Islamic law they will be allowed to live. If not a final solution has to be found. That could be killing but also an alternative solution as long as it solves the problem.


    • Nadir, I have tolerated you making outrageous comments like this before in the hope that Muslims on this blog can bring you to your senses. We have done are best, but this strategy has clearly failed.

      I do not believe you are really a Muslim, but a sick troll, an agent provocateur.

      Either way you are henceforth banned from Blogging Theology.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Richard, thanks for that.


    I must state, I have listened to the a podcast by Dallas Theological Seminary’s Dr Bock on the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism. They did teach Catholics believe in faith and works when it comes to soteriology.

    They got it right and presented the Catholic position fairly.

    I assume you refer to the anti-catholic vile types who spit anti-Catholicism propaganda and/or the types who really havent looked into it much and just pass on misinformation out of ignorance. We have the same problem from the evangelical types – if you thought Catholics got it bad just have a look at the nut-jobs from the evangelical camp spitting propaganda against Muslims and Islam. 😦


  6. Well done Paul for banning that idiot, nadir.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Pope is living in a PC fairyland. I prefer to listen to Muslims on this question.

    “The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, impriso- ning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our pri- mary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam. Even if you were to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation, we would continue to hate you. No doubt, we would stop fighting you then as we would stop fighting any disbelievers who enter into a covenant with us, but we would not stop hating you.
    What’s equally if not more important to understand is that we fight you, not simply to punish and deter you, but to bring you true freedom in this life and salvation in the Hereafter, freedom from being ensla- ved to your whims and desires as well as those of your clergy and legislatures, and salvation by worshiping your Creator alone and following His messenger. We fight you in order to bring you out from the darkness of disbelief and into the light of Islam, and to liberate you from the constraints of living for the sake of the worldly life alone so that you may enjoy both the bles-


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