The controversy about the Pope's speech raises an issue that's been bothering me. Does the Internet make it too easy to react to information out of context?
This article from the Christian Science Monitor has a link to the whole speech. I read the speech, and I have to say that the Pope's intent was not clear to me. This lecture is highly academic - weaving history, philosophy and theology. He was speaking at the University where he had been a faculty member.
I think I agree with Lord Carey's comment.
Pope Benedict creates international furor with remarks | csmonitor.com
Asked about the Pope's remarks, [Lord Carey] said: "I cannot comment on a few phrases in what was clearly a long speech. The Pope is a distinguished scholar and one unlikely to say offensive things. If he quoted something said 600 years ago, we should not assume that this represents the Pope's beliefs about Islam today.
"But Muslims, as well as Christians, must learn to enter into dialogue without crying foul. We live in perilous times, and we must not only separate religion from violence but also not give religious legitimacy to violence in any shape or form."
What do you think about the Pope's comments? Does a reaction like this stifle meaningful dialogue instead of encouraging it? You can read the whole speech in the Guardian here.