Catholic World News

Islam not tied to violence, Pope tells reporters

August 01, 2016

Pope Francis denied that Islam is tied to terrorist violence, during an in-flight press conference on his return trip from Poland.

“If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence,” the Pope said, observing that there is violence in Catholic countries like Italy. “I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists,” he continued. “We have them.”

Responding to another question, about the sex-abuse charges that have been lodged against Cardinal George Pell, the Pope said that he would “wait for justice.” Reminding reporters that every accused person has the right to the presumption of innocence, the Pontiff said that he would not judge before the investigation has run its course. “Once justice speaks, I will speak,” he said.

Questioned about his silence on the dangers facing Christians in Turkey after an abortive coup prompted a resurgence of Islamic power, the Pope reminded his questioner that he had issued a strong statement about the Armenian genocide, in the face of Turkish opposition.

The Pope also said:

  • He enjoys speaking with young people because they “tell me things that I haven’t thought of, or that I’ve partly thought of.”
  • He does not expect to attend the next World Youth Day, which will be held in Panama in 2019. Suggesting that he may no longer be the Pontiff by that time, he said: “Peter is going, whoever it is.”
  • He feels no lingering effects at all from falling down during the processional at his Mass in Czestochowa. He explained that he tumbled because he was distracted, “looking at the Madonna,” and forgot a step down.
  • He had sent his condolences to the family of Anna Maria Jacobini, an Italian journalist who died suddenly while covering the papal trip to Poland.


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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Aug. 23, 2016 3:41 PM ET USA

    Ken: Even your argument from proportionality is invalid. If Catholics killed abortionists with impunity, it would not be the equivalent of Muslims killing Christians for no reason related to moral purpose at all.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Aug. 02, 2016 3:32 PM ET USA

    What Catholic violence? Beheading people in the name of Christ? Slitting peoples throats? This is a false moral eqivalence the Pope tries to create as an ideologue would. The Pope is in denial and he us failing the persecuted Church. So sad and dangerous.

  • Posted by: Jason C. - Aug. 01, 2016 11:15 PM ET USA

    Sorry, this one didn't pass the laugh test--i.e. If you can't make an argument without people laughing at it, it's probably not a good argument.

  • Posted by: Ken - Aug. 01, 2016 9:11 PM ET USA

    I wonder what the Pope would say if 10 - 30% of the Catholic faith believed that violence against abortion providers was an acceptable answer to their actions? There is a cancer in the Muslim faith that must ultimately be addressed by the members of that faith. Comparing (daily) Islamic inspired violence with (rare) "Catholic inspired" violence is beyond the pale.

  • Posted by: John Holecek - Aug. 01, 2016 8:16 PM ET USA

    Evidently Pope Francis is ignorant of history, or chooses to ignore it, as Islam, since it's inception, launched one campaign after another against Catholic Europe.In 1683, a Muslim army nearly conquered Vienna.