Wednesday, September 20, 2006

BENEDICT: First Muslim pope?

Is The Daley Report prescient or what? (We think that’s a good thing.)

No sooner had we urged a bedcheck for papal hitman Mehmet Ali Agca (See Monday’s “Pope must die”) than did This Is London answer with the report, “Papal Assassin Warns Pope Benedict His ‘Life Is in Danger’ if He Visits Turkey.”

Turns out old Mehmet was still in the pokey after all. As This Is London reports:

Earlier this year he was briefly freed from his life sentence after a judge released him but after a huge outcry he was jailed again within days and is now at Istanbul's Kartal Maltepe jail and not due for release until 2012.

In a letter to an Italian newspaper, Agca, who shot Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in 1981, warned that Pope Benedict XVI—who has “insulted” Islam in recent remarks—is as good as dead if he visits Turkey, as planned in November. “Your life is in danger,” wrote Agca. He closed the letter with an appeal for Benedict to resign (he even named a couple of cardinals who would be suitable replacements) and return to Germany to save his neck.

As the British report stated:

For many Muslims, the Pope's attempt to explain himself on Sunday did not go far enough and observers were waiting to see if he would speak about it again at his general audience at the Vatican. ... The leader of the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics said on Sunday he was 'deeply sorry' for the reaction caused - but stopped short of apologising for his words or retracting them.

See, this presents a real problem. If Benny doesn’t grovel in the dust, offer up the obligatory mea culpas and beg forgiveness, there’s going to be a fatwa and some operative of the Religion of Peace is going to rat-a-tat-tat him—or saw off his holy head. BUT if he does apologize to the extent demanded, it will be an admission of fallibility.

Houston, we have a problem here. What happens if a pope—who is supposed to be infallible—is forced to admit fallibility? Can he still be pope? Yikes. Sounds like Benedict is damned if he do and damned if he don’t.

There’s probably only one way out, your Excellency: Apologize, then convert to Islam. You could probably get a gig somewhere as an imam or something. Right?

Well, we try to be helpful where we can. . .


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