July 8, 2013
Comparing Ratzinger and Bergoglio would be wrong. Also unfair. These are two Popes who we respect and appreciate.
However, it is hard not to notice the images and words, which also changed in the age of communication. Personally, I still think of the scene, broadcast on television around the world, of the baptism of Magdi Allam, made personally by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Basilica during the Easter Vigil of 2008.
The same Allam that, after the election of Bergoglio, five years later said: “My conversion to Catholicism is no longer. The legitimacy of Islam as the true religion Allah as the true God, Muhammad as a true prophet, and the Koran as the sacred text and the mosque as a place of worship, these things more than any other factor drove me away from the Church. I’m rather convinced that Islam is an inherently violent ideology. Even more I am convinced that Europe will end up being submissive to Islam, as has already happened since the seventh century. Christians will not have the vision and the courage to denounce the incompatibility of Islam with civilization and the fundamental rights of the person.”
Today in Lampedusa, the Pope came to bear witness to the tragedy of migrants. Most of them are Muslim; men faced the risk of death (and many die) to escape from hunger, misery and despair. To them the Pope sent his best wishes for the start of Ramadan. Horror, for many. But not for the ideals of the Church of Pope Francis.
From Magdi Allam in full regalia to the choice of being among the poor and the outcasts of Lampedusa. The pope’s presence is a blow to the globalization of indifference and intolerance.