Pope Benedict XVI Condemns Political Manipulation of Religion

World | May 9, 2009, Saturday // 15:52|  views

Upon arrival in Amman on Friday, Pope Benedict XVI, described himself as a "pilgrim of peace" and stressed his "deep respect" for Islam. Photo by BGNES

Pope Benedict XVI warned Saturday against the misuse of religion for political goals as a possible trigger of violence.

The Pope, cited by BBC, delivered a speech to Muslim leaders on the second day of his visit to Jordan.

Speaking in the King Hussein Mosque in Amman, Benedict XVI admitted the existing tensions and divisions between the followers of different religious traditions, but suggested that violence comes from "manipulation of religion" rather than a clash of religious beliefs.

The Pope is on an 8-day tour to the Middle East. He is also scheduled to visit Israel and the West Bank in an attempt to improve ties with the Islamic world, to encourage the minority Christian community in the region and to create a better dialogue with Muslims and Jews.

Upon arrival in Amman on Friday, the Pontiff described himself as a "pilgrim of peace" and stressed his "deep respect" for Islam.

A 2006 speech, delivered by Benedict XVI, in which he quoted a medieval scholar who criticized the Prophet Muhammad, offended many Muslims. Some groups called for him to apologize, which he did at the time.

In addition, the Pope recently upset some Jews by rescinding the ex-communication of a Holocaust-denying bishop.


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Tags: Pope Benedict XVI, Amman, Israel, Middle East, West Bank


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