Catholic News Service
Nov 30 2014

Pope urges Muslim leaders to condemn violence done in name of Islam

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

political and religious leaders across the Muslim world to condemn
violence done in the name of Islam.

The pope said he told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Nov. 28
that "it would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders -- whether they be
political leaders, religious leaders, academic leaders -- would say
clearly that they condemn (terrorism), because that will help the
majority of Islamic people to say, 'that's true,'" and show
non-Muslims that Islam is a religion of peace.

Pope Francis answers questions from journalists on his flight to Rome
Nov. 30 after a three-day trip to Turkey. (CNS/Paul Haring)

"I sincerely believe that you cannot say that all Muslims are
terrorists just as you cannot say that all Christians are
fundamentalists; every religion has these little groups," the pope

The pope made his remarks Nov. 30 during a 45-minute news conference
on his flight to Rome after a three-day visit to Turkey.

In response to other questions, Pope Francis said:

-- During a televised moment of silent prayer in Istanbul's Blue
Mosque Nov. 29, alongside the city's grand mufti, "I prayed for
Turkey, I prayed for the mufti, I prayed for myself because I need it,
and I prayed above all for the peace and an end to war."

-- The "substance" of controversial language on "welcoming
homosexuals" in the midterm report at the October 2014 extraordinary
Synod of Bishops on the family survived in the corresponding section
of the final document, even though the latter was widely considered
more conservative. He said the synod was not a parliament but an
"ecclesial space where the Holy Spirit can work" and was just part of
a process to be continued through the coming year of preparation for
an October 2015 worldwide synod on the same subject.

-- Although difficulties remain in relations between the Catholic and
Russian Orthodox churches, the pope is ready to meet with the Orthodox
patriarch of Moscow as soon as the patriarch wishes to invite him.

-- Both the Catholic and Orthodox churches include conservative
members resistant to ecumenism, who must nonetheless be treated with
respect: "A conservative has a right to speak, you don't expel him."

-- The pope would like to visit one of the camps housing refugees from
the civil wars in Syria and Iraq but cannot do so now because of
security concerns.

-- He speculated, without naming names, that at least one of the
governments that denounced the use of chemical weapons in Syria's
civil war may have been the source of those very weapons.

-- He praised Erdogan's 2013 statement on the 1915 mass killings of
Armenians by Ottoman forces -- a statement criticized as inadequate by
many Armenians, who consider the massacres a "genocide" -- as an
"outstretched hand." The pope voiced hope that other gestures over the
coming anniversary year would bring the two nations nearer, and he
specifically voiced hope that Turkey would open its border with