From IslamOnline, “Pope Pays Homage to Jews, Ignores Muslims”
VATICAN CITY — In a homily marking his inauguration, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday, April 24, paid homage to “my brothers and sisters” of the Jewish people, but failed to make any reference to Islam or Muslims.
Greeting representatives of other faiths attending the ceremony, the pontiff extended a message of welcome to “the Jewish people, to whom we are joined by a great shared spiritual heritage, one rooted in God’s irrevocable promises,” reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
A few days following his election, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to Rome’s chief rabbi vowing to foster and strengthen dialogue with Jews.
His immediate predecessor John Paul II, who died on April 2, won widespread admiration in Israel not only for being the first pope in history to visit a synagogue but also for his work in reconciling the Roman Catholic Church with the Jewish people.
Some observers fear that Jewish lobbies might blackmail the new pope for his wartime membership — which he confirms was enforced — in Nazi Germany’s Hitler Youth.
Jewish leaders have already showered Pope Benedict XVI with praise over his swift and firm commitment to follow in his predecessor’s path of Catholic-Jewish reconciliation, saying it was “a very powerful signal” for the future.
The new pontiff’s known opposition to an EU membership for Muslim Turkey has also raised many question marks.
In an interview last year with France’s Le Figaro magazine, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said Ankara should seek its future in an association of Islamic nations, not with the EU, which has Christian roots.
He said Turkey had always been “in permanent contrast to Europe” and that linking it to Europe would be “an enormous mistake.”
After his a Jews-directed message, Pope Benedict XVI greeted Catholics present here and elsewhere, before extending his message to other Christians.
“With great affection I also greet all those who have been reborn in the sacrament of baptism but are not yet in full communion with us,” he said.
The pontiff pledged to work towards Christian unity as he set out the priorities of his pontificate in his first homily.
“Grant that we may be one flock, and one shepherd,” the 78-year-old pone told an audience in St. Peter’s Square that the Vatican estimated at 350,000 people.
“Yes, the church is alive — this is the wonderful experience of these days, and the church is young.”…