So PF has agreed with a Moslem cleric that religious pluralism and diversity are willed by God.
I am rather interested in what other Moslem scholars might have to say about this. Some of them are quite sound chaps when it comes to the errors of Relativism.
Fr Zed has given a characteristically fine and intelligent interpretation of PF's words. As have some others.
Having perused them, I am also rather interested in what some parts of the Jewish Community might think of any suggestion that the Holocaust was willed by God as part of His "permissive will".
What Fr Zed and others have done is (this is not irony; I mean it) absolutely essential; it is truly necessary. In the great task which some future pontificate will inherit, of putting the Papal Magisterium back up on its feet after the disasters of this pontificate, it wo'n't do just to say "That man was repeatedly, disastrously, wrong". Because the obvious corollary of this is that any pope may be horribly wrong. The standing of the Successor of S Peter will need to be restored, for the good of the Church and for however much time there will be before the End. So, surely, it will have to be said that there are ambiguities in his texts which need to be interpreted carefully and authoritatively in order to rescue them, and him, from apparent heresy.
But I do think it is outrageous that pastors and academics should have to waste their time dreaming up these 'interpretations' of yet another PF disaster. By the way: was Cardinal Ladaria shown this text?
Blessed John Henry Newman dealt succinctly with this particular heresy in the biglietto speech which he delivered on receiving the official notification that he was to be a Cardinal.
"For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth ... Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining substance and force daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy."
Actually ... come to think of it ... you'd better keep quiet about all this. Newman is due to be canonised later this year; it would be a shame to put a spanner in the works (do Americans use that expression?) at this stage in the proceedings.
I have a terrible vision in my imagination of PF, dear poppet that he is, tottering out of S Peter's, propped up as ever by poor Mgr Marini; tearing up the text prepared for him to read (he quite likes doing that) and shouting "I'm cancelling the canonisation, and actually I'm dismissing this Newman from being a Beatus. I'd never realised what a Rigid Pharisaical Pelagian Sourpuss Elitist Coprophiliac he was. AND THAT'S MAGISTERIUM!!!"
You wouldn't want that to happen, would you? Just when we're all looking forward to having JHN on the Calendar as a Double of the First Class with a Common Octave?
So ... ... 'nuff said ... ... Shhhhhhh!