I do not believe that Pope Bennedict’s comments on Islam were a mistake that he has to apologise for ..
I think his remarks were deliberate, and with full understanding of the implications of those remarks in the Muslim world. It was not am impromptu speach. He was reading from a text, and I am sure that when the Pope, as with any head of state, reads from a text, the matter has been carefully whetted by his advisors and the full understanding of how the words will be interpreted in a world on the brink of communal war.
So why did he make those remarks ? Or more to the point, why did the Vatican believe that these remarks needed to be stated today, unless they represented a statement of the Vatican’s position on Islam ?
More to the point, is this the first call to Christians to rally aorund the church ? Is this the begining of a call for fundamentalism from the Vatican ?