Phi Beta Cons

Pope Benedict and Lawrence Summers

The Pope’s recent quoting of a Byzantine emperor calling Islam “evil and inhuman” left Larry Auster praying that the pope would not apologize, thus turning into “another Lawrence Summers,” but rather that the Vatican would continue to issue “meaningless non-apology apologies.”

The Pope and the Vatican have in fact not backed down, as explained in The Daily Telegraph:

The Vatican explained that the Pope’s choice of quote was meant as a “clear and radical refusal of religion as a motivation for violence”…Pope Benedict XVI announced that the Vatican would go on a diplomatic offensive to try to calm the storm in the Islamic world.

“We have ordered the Apostolic Nuncios [the Vatican’s ambassadors] in Muslim countries to take and explain my declaration to political and religious leaders, highlighting the elements which have been ignored up to now,” he said.
“I hope that this serves to appease hearts and to clarify the true meaning of my address, which in its totality was and is an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect,” the pope added…
…The pontiff fell short of apologizing for using the offending quote in his lecture to theology students in Bavaria. Instead, he apologized for unintentionally causing the violent reactions that followed.
And a subtle difference between the Italian words used by the pope and the English translation issued by the Vatican left his exact stance somewhat unclear. While the official Vatican translation of the pope’s words contained the word sorry, Benedict said “Sono rammaricato,” which normally translates as “I am disappointed” or “I regret.”
If the pope said he was disappointed by the reactions to his lecture, this was far from an apology…The head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Martino, defended the pope in an article in the Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper. He wrote that the pope’s speech was a “rich and complex” lesson and that bits of it “should not be extrapolated or decontextualized.”

The Pope’s magnificent address at the University of Regensburg affirms what the world needs desperately to hear–that free societies will perish without the fusion of faith with reason. All of us believers in the rationality of faith must stand together and with this Pope, a mighty moral leader and intellect. No apology is owed for calling jihadism by its true name–“evil and inhuman”–and denouncing the spreading of faith by violence.