- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Letters to the editor
Question of the Day
The pope on the Koran: A clarification
I think it is important for me to give context to and clarify the remarks I made recently in a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, reported in Diana West’s column in The Washington Times (“Silence that speaks volumes,” Op-Ed, Friday).
The most important clarification is that the Holy Father did not say, nor did I, that “Islam is incapable of reform.”
What I did say — and it contains an unfortunate ambiguity — is that “in the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it’s an eternal word. It’s not Mohammed’s word. It’s there for eternity the way it is. There’s no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it, whereas in Christianity, and Judaism, the dynamism’s completely different, that God has worked through His creatures.”
Note first that it was the Koran that was referred to, not Islam. The comparison was between the Christian Bible and the Koran, not between Christianity and Islam. I said, paraphrasing the Holy Father, that “there’s an inner logic to the Christian Bible, which permits it and requires it to be adapted to new situations.” Then I maladroitly alluded to this comparison, referring to “that distinction when the Koran, which is seen as something dropped out of Heaven, which cannot be adapted or applied, even, and the Bible, which is a word of God that comes through a human community.”
I made a serious error in precision when I said that the Koran “cannot be adapted or applied” and that there is “no possibility of adapting or interpreting it.” This is certainly not what the Holy Father said. Of course the Koran can be and has been interpreted and applied. I was making a (too) crude summary of the distinction that the Holy Father did make between the inner dynamism of the Koran as a divine text delivered as such to Mohammed, and that of the Bible, which is both the Word of God and the words of men inspired by God, within a community that contains divinely appointed authorized interpreters (the bishops in communion with the pope).
The meeting was an informal one of the Holy Father and his former students. The presentation and the discussion were in German, and the Holy Father was not speaking from a prepared text. My German is passable but not entirely reliable. My later remarks in a live radio interview were extemporaneous. I think I paraphrased the Holy Father with general accuracy, but it was an indiscretion for me to mention what he said at all, and my impromptu paraphrase in another language should not be used for a careful exegesis of the mind of the Holy Father.
The Rev. Joseph Fessio
Provost, Ave Maria University
Editor, Ignatius Press
Horse slaughter and property
The letter (“Appalling decision to allow horse slaughter,” Thursday) demeans the Department of Agriculture for “kowtow[ing] to the wishes of the three foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses rather than abide by the will of the American people.”
By Scott Pinsker
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Computer glitch caused odd Saturday release of D.C. guns ruling
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq