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Ratzinger denies Christianity 'superior' to Islam

The Vatican's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has reacted to "conventional wisdom" that "the Christian faith must give up its claim to truth" in the wake of 11 September.

The Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made his observations on Friday when addressing a conference in memory of Bishop Eugenio Corecco of Lugano, Switzerland, on the topic Faith, Truth and Tolerance.

Ratzinger praised Islam for upholding the values of monogamous marriage and the dignity of women, which "undoubtedly demonstrate a cultural superiority".

"It is true that the Muslim world is not totally mistaken when it reproaches the West of Christian tradition of moral decadence and the manipulation of human life," he said. "This imposes on us a serious examination of conscience."

"The truth of the Christian faith appears to us in all its depth, but we mustn't forget that, sadly, it has been darkened many times by the concrete behaviour of those who called themselves Christians," he said. "Islam has also had moments of great splendor and decadence in the course of its history. "

Cardinal Ratzinger stressed that it is "important is to go to the roots of the values proclaimed by the different religions". This, he said, is where "a real interreligious dialogue can begin".



6 Mar 2002