A major theme of Pope Benedict's papacy has been the importance of reason and
faith coexisting. Reason without faith, he has said, leads to empty materialism, while faith without reason leads to extremism, as in parts of the Middle East.
Pope Benedict also has spoken out against intolerance in the Islamic world, provoking a violent backlash in the Muslim world with a 2006 speech in Regensburg, Germany. On Easter he baptized a well-known Italian Muslim in a ceremony that drew renewed criticism from parts of the Middle East. "The pope understands the danger of radical Islam," said a former Bush administration aide.
The Pope is right. (And there's a sentence I thought I might never write.) He's taking a huge personal risk of angering the Islamists by telling them that it is wrong to kill people merely because they are angry.
I support Pope Benedict XVI in his valiant stance against irrational extremism.