Many Catholics who pray the Rosary begin with an Our Father, three Hail Marys, and a Glory Be for the special grace the Pope needs in the office he holds. Perhaps Catholics should say an extra decade today as opportunists in the media have taken the occasion of a very thoughtful and necessary address by Benedict to distort his message and indulge the worst interpretations of the remarks.
Unlike the cartoon controversy, which did have its genesis in intentionally disrespectful and inflammatory material that was easily used by those who want to flame Muslin anger with the West, the Pope’s speech was neither intentionally offensive nor even particularly provocative.
But the Pope does not want to encourage or empower those who prefer more and not less hatred, so he has humbly offered an apology and an example. He deserves the prayers of those who support the idea of religious freedom and peaceful coexistence between peoples of different religious background.
Before going to the commentary, though, read the entire speech, which was a brilliant exposition of the crisis the modern world finds itself in, caught between a arrogant secularism and a violent sect within Islam.
And then read The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Before critics of the Pope go into round two of Benedict-bashing with the almost certain rejection of his apology as inadequate, perhaps they could spare some high-profile condemnation for the terrorists who have brought the world to this point.