Faith, Reason and the University

On his lecture last September 12, 2006 regarding “Faith, Reason and the University” in the University of Regensburg, where he was formerly a professor, Pope Benedict XVI quoted the opinion of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, saying:

Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

pope.jpgThe quotation from this medieval text drew condemnation from a number of individual governmental representatives and various muslim religious leaders urging the Pope to retract his statement and issue an apology about it. Two cases of bomb attacks in churches in the West Bank in Germany were said to be linked to that statement.

On September 17, Pope Benedict publicly expressed that he was “sorrowed” by the reactions in some countries and stressed that the words which ‘were considered offensive’ were not his own, but were quoted from a medieval text.