Some Jesuit who lost his Vatican job gives us the "woulda/coulda/shoulda" answer:
Jesuit Father Tom Michel, who served on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from 1981 to 1994 as the Vatican's top expert on Islam, writing in the Turkish political journal Yeni Asya this week said "the deeper question is, why did the pope say what he did in Regensburg?"
...One of his "most useful tasks" while serving on the pontifical council, he said, "was to look over the late Pope John Paul II's speeches to Muslims to see if there was anything that might be considered offensive in them, and if there was something of that nature, to propose changes for the Pope."
...Father Michel also pointed out that John Paul II "had trained scholars in Islamic studies on his staff," citing Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald as well as himself. Archbishop Fitzgerald was president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue until Pope Benedict reassigned him earlier this year as nuncio to Egypt and the Arab League.
(Duhhh...THAT was a hint to Abp. Fitzgerald, twit...)
Some observers say "the Pope did not intend to offend Muslims," Father Michel noted. He too believes this, but it is "beside the point," he said.
"Most of the time when we offend others, we do not intend to do so," he explained. "Rather, we do so because of ignorance or lack of sensitivity. In such cases, an apology is required." For this reason, "it is also proper for the Pope to ask forgiveness for his offensive remarks, even though, as I believe, he did not intend to offend."
(Gee, THANKS!!!, Father)
As our most Protestant blogger Owen said yesterday--(I paraphrase) 'now and then you expect the Pope to call a spade a spade. That's his job.'
Not Fr. Michel's job, we note....
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