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Don't be fooled! Hear what Pope Francis REALLY said about Islam and the root of terrorism
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Reporters asked Pope Francis about Islam and terrorism during his flight home from World Youth Day.
Pope Francis takes questions from reporters on his flight home to Rome.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Antoine Marie Izoarde, from i.Media asked the following question:
The question is a little difficult; Catholics are a bit in shock, and not only in France, after the barbarous assassination of Fr. Jacques Hamel - as you know well - in his church while celebrating the Holy Mass. Four days ago you here told us that all religions want peace. But this holy, 86-year-old priest was clearly killed in the name of Islam. So Holy Father, I have two brief questions: why do you, when you speak of these violent events, always speak of terrorists, but never of Islam, never use the word Islam? And then, aside from prayer and dialogue, which are obviously essential, what concrete initiatives can you advise or suggest in order to counteract Islamic violence?
Pope Francis made this reply:
I don't like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy. this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law. and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence . . . and no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there's everything. There are violent persons of this religion. this is true: I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists. We have them. When fundamentalism comes to kill, it can kill with the language -- the Apostle James says this, not me -- and even with a knife, no? I do not believe it is right to identify Islam with violence. This is not right or true. I had a long conversation with the imam, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University, and I know how they think . . . They seek peace, encounter . . . The nuncio to an African country told me that the capital where he is there is a trail of people, always full, at the Jubilee Holy Door. And some approach the confessionals -- Catholics -- others to the benches to pray, but the majority go forward, to pray at the altar of Our Lady... these are Muslims, who want to make the Jubilee. They are brothers, they live. When I was in Central Africa, I went to them, and even the imam came up on the Popemobile. We can coexist well. But there are fundamentalist groups, and even I ask. there is a question. How many young people, how many young people of our Europe, whom we have left empty of ideals, who do not have work. they take drugs, alcohol, or go there to enlist in fundamentalist groups. One can say that the so-called ISIS, but it is an Islamic State which presents itself as violent . . . because when they show us their identity cards, they show us how on the Libyan coast how they slit the Egyptians' throats or other things. But this is a fundamentalist group which is called ISIS. but you cannot say, I do not believe, that it is true or right that Islam is terrorist.
Izoarde: Your concrete initiatives to counteract terrorism, violence?
Pope Francis: Terrorism is everywhere. You think of the tribal terrorism of some African countries. It is terrorism and also . . . But I don't know if I say it because it is a little dangerous. Terrorism grows when there are no other options, and when the center of the global economy is the god of money and not the person -- men and women -- this is already the first terrorism! You have cast out the wonder of creation -- man and woman -- and you have put money in its place. This is a basic terrorism against all of humanity! Think about it!
Pope Francis has delivered an amazing statement on the true nature of terrorism, and the true nature of Islam.
Terrorism is not fueled by the religion if Islam itself. Terrorism is fueled in large part by a lack of work and opportunity for people. When the pursuit of money instead of the well-being of people is the aim of a society, we have the conditions for terrorism. In fact, this removal of God from the center of our lives, and His replacement with money is the first terrorism. This is the root from which all terrorism flows.
Muslims and Catholics can coexist. There are many examples of Catholics and Muslims abiding together.
Muslims have attended Catholic services and are even participating in the Extraordinary Jubilee. How can Islam be to blame?
Indeed, as Pope Francis has pointed out, organizations such as the Islamic State are evil, but they are also not Islam. They are perversions of Islam.
The presence of violent Muslims is no more an indictment of their religion than the existence of violent Catholics. There are violent people in every demographic.
If we wish to fight terrorism, we must resist the temptation to become terrorists ourselves. One way to resist is to avoid violence. Another way is to carry a true understanding of the wonder of creation. When we understand creation, and the role of God at the center of all, we find it is impossible to do harm to anyone. We know that our mission is to care for and love one another. And we do not judge people by the lot.
The media must not be allowed to speak for Pope Francis. The media would have you believe many things that are untrue about Pope Francis and the words he speaks. The Holy Father has issued no condemnation of Islam. Nor has he said the two faiths are on the same level. The ability to coexist does not mean that Islam is equal to Catholicism. As Catholics, we believe the only full and true revelation of the God is present in the infallible teaching of the Church. But despite this difference, we must not judge or terrorize our Muslim neighbors, or scapegoat them for what a misguided minority do. Instead, if we appreciate the primacy of the Catholic Church, then we will strive to coexist and appreciate one another, and we will do no harm no matter the depth of the divisions between us.
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