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Pope: To end Islamophobia, Muslim leaders must condemn terrorist attacks

2014-12-01

On his flight back to Rome, Pope Francis led a press conference, where he addressed everything from Islamophobia to the Synod on the Family.

As far as the three day trip, the Pope said the most important speech was given at the Catholic Cathedral of Istanbul, where he emphasized the importance of fostering unity between Catholics and Orthodox. He also addressed so called Papal Primacy, which is one of the most controversial issues, which is rejected by the Orthodox. 

POPE FRANCIS
"The primacy. We must continue with the request made by John Paul II, when he said, help me find a type of primacy that you can accept. That's all I can tell you.” 

The Pope also talked about his visit to the Blue Mosque, adding that he truly appreciated the tour the Grand Mufti gave him. 

POPE FRANCIS
"At that moment, I felt the need to pray. I told the Mufti: 'Shall we pray?' Yes, yes, he said. I prayed for Turkey, for peace, for the Mufti, for everyone and for myself, because I need it. I prayed a lot, and I prayed for peace more than anything. I said: Lord, let all wars end, Lord... It was a moment of sincere prayer”.

Several journalists asked the Pope about the comments by Turkish President Erdoan regarding Islamophobia in the West. The Pope said he asked him and other leaders to directly condemn the terrorist attacks by Islamic radicals.

POPE FRANCIS
"I think that... Sincerely, I think we can't say that all Muslims are terrorists. It's not true, just as we cannot say that all Christians are fundamentalists, though there are some... It's true that, faced with these terrorist attacks, not only in the Middle East, but also in Africa, many react by saying 'If this is true Islam, it makes me mad.' "I told the President (Erdoan) that it would be good for all Islamic leaders, whether political, religious or academic leaders, to speak clearly and condemn the attacks. This will help the majority of Muslim people to say 'No.' It needs to come directly from leaders.”

Overall, the spoke with the press for 45 minutes.  He thanked Turkey for welcoming more than 1.5 million refugees. In regards to the Synod on the Family, which took place recently in the Vatican, the Pope said it wasn't a  parliamentary assembly, but rather a safe place where Bishops could reflect on what God wants from the Church. When asked about topics such as homosexuality or the Armenian genocide, he didn't directly respond. Instead, he said the purpose of the press conference was to focus on his trip to Turkey. 


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Up: MPI