National Catholic Register


Vatican Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.

BY John Lilly

October 8-14, 2006 Issue | Posted 10/4/06 at 10:00 AM


Gaza Preacher Calls for Holy War Against Vatican

WORLD NET DAILY, Sept. 24 — Sheikh Abu Saqer, leader of Gaza’s Jihadia Salafiya Islamic outreach movement, said Pope Benedict’s apologies for worldwide reaction to his remarks about Islam and his invitation for Muslim leaders to meet with him Sept. 25 were “mere diplomatic acts” and then called for a holy war against the Pope, the news service reported.

The Holy Father Sept. 17 said he was “deeply sorry” for the reaction to his comments, and said Sept. 20 the words he quoted did not reflect how he himself felt. He said the intent of his remarks were to call for a dialogue on the role of religions in modern life and the need to separate violence from faith.

The imam’s response was to criticize Christian leaders as “afraid” because they realize Islam is Allah’s favorite religion and that they are going to hell unless they convert. The Gaza preacher declared the “green flag of Mohammed” would soon be raised over the Vatican.

Cooler heads prevailed, however, at the Pope’s meeting Sept. 25 with ambassadors from 21 Muslim nations and the Arab League, as Turkey’s top Islamic cleric, Grand Mufti Ali Bardakoglu praised Pope Benedict for scheduling the meeting to get the dialogue between faiths back on track.


Benedict: Tourism Should Help Cultures Bridge Gaps

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Sept. 27 — Pope Benedict said tourism should help different cultures bridge gaps and promote dialogue among the world’s different peoples, reported the Associated Press.

Sept. 27 was World Tourism Day, and the Holy Father made the remarks before about 30,000 pilgrims and tourists gathered in a sunny St. Peter’s Square to attend his weekly general audience.

He said, “I hope that tourism will increasingly promote dialogue and respect between cultures, thereby becoming an open door to peace and harmonious cohabitation.”

Secret Nazi-Era Archives Could ‘Re-Write History’

THE UNIVERSE, Sept. 26 — A Jesuit historian has said that the Vatican’s approach to dealing with Nazi Germany will be justified following the Holy See’s decision to make public its secret files relating to the Pontificate of Pius XI, the British Catholic newspaper reported.

Father Giovanni Sale, a historian from the Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica, said the documents that are now available from the Vatican Secret Archives will allow scholars to erase claims the Church was not a staunch opponent of Nazism, fascism and other forms of totalitarianism.

Speaking to Vatican Radio, Father Sale said the new documents will paint a clear picture that the Church was “steadfast in the fight against totalitarianism, against fascism, against Nazism, but also against communism,” he said. Now, scholars “will have the possibility to truly rewrite important pages of 20th-century history — this time based on solid and documented foundations.”