Pope Francis Disagrees with Identifying Islam as Violent

Pope Francis, global head of the Catholic Church, has questioned the claim that Islam should be identified with violence. “I do not believe it is right to identify Islam with violence,” the Pope told journalists during the July 31 papal flight to Rome following a journey to Poland. “This is not right and it is not true.” “I don’t like to speak about Islamic violence,” the Pope said, taking into account that one sees violence every day in the newspapers, even at the hands of baptised Catholics. “There are violent Catholics!” he said. “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.” The Pope expressed his belief that every religion has its fundamentalist groups, including Catholicism. Such fundamentalism, when it is present, can “kill with language,” he said. “Terrorism is everywhere”, the Pope said. “You think of tribal terrorism of some African countries,” he said. “Terrorism grows when there are no other options, and when the center of the global economy is the god of money and not the person – men and women – this is already the first terrorism!” “You have cast out the wonder of creation – man and woman – and you have put money in its place. This is a basic terrorism against all of humanity! Think about it!”

Pope Francis has urged hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Poland to show compassion for migrants. He told young people gathered in Krakow “a merciful heart opens up to welcome refugees and migrants”, a statement that puts him at odds with Poland’s anti-immigrant right-wing government. He urged young Catholics to show compassion, saying a “merciful heart is able to be a place of refuge for those who are without a home or have lost their home; a merciful heart is able to build a home and a family for those forced to emigrate.”

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