Friday Sept 15th 2006
Joanna Bogle defends the Pope....just as I was planning a comfortable evening at home, the phone rang and it was BBC News 24: would I come and talk about the Holy Father's remarks in Regensburg where he had quoted a 15th century Christian Emperor in connection with dialogue with Islam. Had already seen this was being brought to a bubbling row so agreed to do it....had presence of mind to phone a friend to beg for prayer-support, then washed hair, put on new blouse, downloaded material re Regensburg speech and (from Jamie, who was already on the case) re Emperor's remarks and whizzed off to White City. Reasonably civilised discussion tho' I always feel I let the side down and could/should do a lot better.,.......essential problem here has nothing to do with Emperor's remarks - turned out that the (perfectly pleasant and indeed friendly) Islamic spokesman in studio with me felt all could be OK if Pope would simply acknowledge Mohammed as a prophet. "But he doesn't think he is a prophet" I said "Nor do I, come to that". I would have thought it could be understood that this must be the case: after all, if Pope thought Mohammed a prophet, he would resign as Pope and adopt Islam....Our dialogue continued (much to amusement of young TV researcher, with whom I'd earlier been chatting amiably about riding and Sussex and things) with courtesy but vigour in the BBC foyer. Came home to find encouraging comments on this blog, for which many thanks.