Turning to mutual respect in interreligious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims, we are called to respect the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values. Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of worship. How painful are attacks on one or other of these!
It is clear that, when we show respect for the religion of our neighbours or when we offer them our good wishes on the occasion of a religious celebration, we simply seek to share their joy, without making reference to the content of their religious convictions.
Regarding the education of Muslim and Christian youth, we have to bring up our young people to think and speak respectfully of other religions and their followers, and to avoid ridiculing or denigrating their convictions and practices.
-Pope Francis's Message to Muslims 10th July 2013
There are religions that are “on hold”. The tribal religions are of this type. They have their moment in history and nevertheless are waiting for a greater encounter that brings them to fullness.
As Christians, we are convinced that, in silence, they are waiting for the encounter with Jesus Christ, the light that comes from him, that alone is able to lead them in a complete way to their truth. And Christ is waiting for them. The encounter with Him is not a barging in of a stranger that destroys their own culture and their own history. It is instead the entrance to something greater, towards which they are journeying. Consequently this encounter is always at the same time a purification and a maturation. Furthermore, the encounter is always reciprocal. Christ waits on their history, their wisdom, the way they see things.
- Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI , October 2014
The content that Francis ignores is essential. Because that content is the Lord and Saviour of all, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
This is not the first time that these two men have disagree over false and authentic ecumenism.
In 2006, as his Catholic brethren were being murdered in reaction to Benedict XVI standing up to Islam in his Regensberg address, for which he was entirely vindicated in years hence, then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio threw his own Holy Father under the bus to the media and Muslims baying for his blood when he stated:
Pope Benedict's statements don't reflect my own opinions.... These statements will serve to destroy in 20 seconds the careful construction of a relationship with Islam that Pope John Paul II built over the last twenty years.
What relationship? The one in Mosul? Kobane? If they are not killing Catholics, they are recruiting them to their death cults in London and in other disaffected and alienated cities. Pope Francis needs to forget about the world and love the Church and the Church only, and with it her truth and her glory.
As for the unbelievers, they need Christ. But they will not go looking for Him in a Church that seems ashamed to profess dependence and trust in Him. Benedict has broken his silence regarding the Synod with an oblique reference to distorting truth for the sake of not being nagged by the world. Please God, Francis reads it and agrees. After all, his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi was brave enough to offer a trial by fire before a Sultan, surely stating the practical implications of his faith is the least that we can expect of Pope Francis?