As Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes on his new title Pope Francis I, one of his many challenges will be to foster relations with Islam. Preceding him, Pope Benedict XVI offended Muslims in a 2006 speech quoting an emperor who called Islam an evil religion. “If we’re going to have a real friendship, brother and sister relationship, we cannot be hypocrites,” said Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic relations at George Washington University. “We must base our self on the truth.” The cardinals wanted a pope who can both engage with Islam and defend the Catholic Church, said David Gibson, author of “The Rule of Benedict." Gibson, who is in Rome reporting as national correspondent for Religion News Service, previously spoke with Odyssey about how the new pope was chosen and the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI.
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