Holy Week is a time for the world’s Christians to pause and ponder the mysteries of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Reuters news agency is reporting today that Benedict XVI is part of a conspiracy on the part of the European Union to antagonize and publicly undermine Islamic interests throughout the Moslem world, especially the would of Al Qaeda.

Unfortunately, this derogatory rhetoric comes during the most holy observation of the Triduum for the world’s Christians. The Islamic world needs to recognize the great gift it has received in the person of Benedict XVI. During the papacy of Benedict, the Catholic Church has initiated unprecedented diplomatic and theological negotiations with the Islamic world. Religious tolerance and unilateral theological and political harmony are the desires of Christian’s world wide, and their spiritual leader makes this goal most evident.

In the past few months, the Holy See at the instigation of Benedict XVI has established firm dates for the convening of a symposium between Islamic and Catholic scholars. It will be held in the Vatican in November. Benedict’s diplomatic corps are actively negotiating the possibility of Christian restoration in parts of the Islamic world in a peaceful and prayerful manner.

This manner is distinctly different from centuries of Christian/Islamic violence and marks the beginning of a new chapter of cooperation between our faiths. Benedict has even visited a mosque in Turkey and prayed in the direction of Mecca as a sign of continued hopes for more significant relationships between the two faiths. Any suspicion that the Holy See, in the person of Benedict XVI is actively involved in a derogatory campaign against the sacred precepts of Islam is just ideological and sectarian propaganda. The goal of such propaganda is clearly to disrupt the developing path of harmony and understanding between East and West that is resolute on bringing extremist fundamentalism of any kind to its end.

Christians and Moslems share a common deity. Christians and Muslims direct the ministry and message of Benedict XVI towards healing old wounds that have been inflicted on each other and the world. If Al Qaeda is fearful of Benedict XVI and his religious message of peace and religious harmony for the world’s peoples, the ideology of Al Qaeda is truly the message the world’s religions should fear.

During this most sacred week in the Christian calendar, our Christian fundamental purpose is to pray for the healing and forgiveness of all peoples towards each other’s transgressions. Benedict XVI is a bridge builder and a messenger of developing world peace. Islamic believers can be assured that the only motivation the Catholic Church has in addressing Islamic fundamentalism, is its peaceful realization of the need for a peaceful world and religious order. If that message is what Al Qaeda fears then the preaching and message of Benedict XVI are successfully working.

Hugh McNichol is a Catholic author that writes on Catholic topics and issues.

He writes daily @ http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com

Comments are welcome at hugh.mcnichol@trinettc.com

Be Sociable, Share!