Dr. White, at the time of this interview we are still dealing with the aftereffects of Pope Benedicts Regensberg address. I have two questions: 1) What was your opinion of his remarks, and 2) What does the Muslim response mean?
In a way I was not surprised by the Popes remarks insofar as he still views himself as an academic and an intellectual. I seriously believe he pulled out the quotation to prove his scholarly credentials and ignored his other role, if you will, as the leader of the Catholic Church. He did not consider the potential for anger erupting among the Muslim community. The Pope was probably as surprised as everyone else by the reaction of the Muslims to that particular remark that he made, but he shouldnt have been.
He has not yet directly apologized for it. But instead he is again trying to use the equivocation that connects with everything of the post-Vatican II Church, i.e., not making clear statements, not making a clear denial, even coming out and making the outrageous statement that Muslims worship the one true God, which sounds to me like heresy. It certainly borders on heresy, but clearly he defends it, which means its an equivocation.
The Muslims have right now what they call in football Big Momomentum. And for the leader of the severely weakened, apparently nearly-dead Catholic Church to provoke the Muslims at their moment of their great strength seems to me foolhardy, and I believe it was an act of foolishness.
I dont think the Muslim response was surprising. If you had been living in Medieval France at the height of the Catholic Faith and someone made a public statement attacking the Catholic Churchyoud expect a huge reaction. The Muslims have the energy, a faith, sadly, a heretical faith, they dont hold the true Faith by any means but they have a faith that they are committed to and they believe in. They actually believe in their religion to the point of dying for it. One would be hard pressed to find many 21st-century Catholics who would be willing to die for their faith. Would that the Catholic faithful would take offense on behalf of the Triune God, the true God, of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is insulted daily everywhere around the world!