Sunday, September 17, 2006


Since Wednesday, September 13, many brothers from Islam religion voice anger against the Pope Benedict XVI because of a Lecture he has given to the University of Regensburg in Germany about Faith, Reason and the University.

Just after this speech, the breaking news of the majority of the media about this Lecture was: “ Pope Benedict XVI: the Jihad (Holy War) offences God and the Reason”. The condemnation from many Muslim group around the world followed this news. But What the Lecture of the Pope is about?

I can summarize in these words: God without Reason leads to Fundamentalism and Reason without God leads to Enlightenment atheistic. What does it mean?

Fundamentalism is a danger for all religion especially Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Unfortunately sometimes, there are some people in these religion who have a great desire to live in the depth God’s Word. Therefore, the accurate thought about God and his divine way upon the world is neglected. This attitude reveals an narrow-mindedness of these people and creates a situation of intolerance in the community.

Enlightenment atheistic is nowadays a specific danger of the West because several people try to cancel God from the society. The Church should be a private affair and Faith must be hidden. This is what the Pope seriously denounces in his Lecture according to the secularism of the society. Here is the genuine meaning of the Lecture of the Pope.

Sure, the Pope has quoted a Quran using a well known verse: “There is no compulsion in religion” which means the authentic spirit of the Quran is freedom of conscience. And the Pope has added: “According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.” Benedict XVI, with this assertion, is in synthesis with Islam tradition which considers this sura as the first proclaimed just after the Prophet Muhammad fled to the Mecca.

Moreover, the words about Islam represents 10% of the speech of the Pope in the original version (German) that is 373 words over 3565. Therefore, this Lecture is firstly for the West which try to get rid of God and secondly invites, urges all the Religion in the whole world for a true dialog about the sensitive issues of our time.

The Pope have no interest and no intention to offend a given Religion especially Islam. He himself has cleared his opinion today in the traditional Angelus in Castel Gandolfo (Italy).

Let’s understand each other. One thing is the original words a given person has said. The other one is how the media present in their own language these words. We must be aware of that and be careful.

For those who want to read entirely the Lecture of the Pope Benedict XVI, here is the version in English or see bellow. Please, take your time.

Father Maxime KOUAKOU (Graduate student)
School of Church Communication
Pontifical University of the Holy Cross