Ten years since the Regensburg lecture, relevant as ever after ISIS’s attacks on European soil, another Pope, Francis I, has tried in many ways to separate Muslims and violence and always avoided mentioning that forbidden word: Islam.
As Sandro Magister, one of Italy’s most important journalists on Catholic issues, wrote: “In the face of the offensive of radical Islam, Francis’s idea is that ‘we must soothe the conflict’. And forget Regensburg.” The entire Vatican’s diplomatic body today carefully avoids the words “Islam” and “Muslims,” and instead embraces a denial that a clash of civilization exists.
Returning from World Youth Day in Poland last August, Pope Francis denied that Islam itself is violent and claimed that the potential for violence lies within every religion, including Catholicism. Previously, Pope Francis said there is “a world war,” but denied that Islam has any role in it.