US pushed pope to welcome Islam

2010-12-23 22:27
Madrid - The United States initially saw Pope Benedict XVI as a "eurocentric" pontiff who was "unlikely to cut a prominent figure on the world stage", according to WikiLeaks documents published on Thursday.

The confidential US diplomatic cables obtained by the whistleblower website were quoted by the Spanish daily El Pais.

German-born Benedict XVI would face a "steep learning curve" on international issues, US diplomats wrote after the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005.

Some of the cables focus on a 2006 academic lecture given by the pope, who quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor saying that the Muslim prophet Mohammed had brought "only evil and inhuman things". The quote sparked furious criticism in the Muslim world.

"It taxes the imagination" to suppose that such a reference by the pope "would pass unnoticed", a US diplomat wrote.

Didn't foresee consequences of statement

According to his assessment, the pope made the reference on purpose, but without foreseeing the consequences, which were followed by apologies by the Vatican.

The pope's "approach toward Islam and toward inter-religious dialogue is cooler than that of his predecessor" John Paul II, the diplomat observed.

The controversy was followed by the pope's trip to Turkey, during which he toned down the uneasiness he had expressed about Turkey's eventual European Union membership while he was still a cardinal.

The Vatican's official stance now is that it is not opposed to the membership as long as Turkey meets EU conditions including religious freedom for its Christians.

The Vatican agreed with Washington that the possibility of Turkey - a US ally - joining the EU had the potential to promote greater rights for religious minorities in the country, US diplomats wrote.

Unofficially, however, top Vatican officials told diplomats they were sceptical about Turkey's commitment to religious freedom.

"The Holy See does not believe theological agreements with Islam are possible, but is convinced that better mutual knowledge will allay suspicions and facilitate peaceful co-existence," US diplomats wrote in 2009.

- SAPA

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  wikileaks  |  pope benedict xvi  |  vatican  |  turkey  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Milnerton - 13:26 PM
    Road name: Koeberg Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Racecourse Road - expect delays
  • Wednesday Goodwood - 12:40 PM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound
    DELAYS approaching Voortrekker Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DStv Walka Handheld TV

The Walka Handheld TV is a slim, lightweight device with...

From R199.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.