Pope Benedict has condemned violence committed in God’s name and personally exonerated Jews of responsibility for Jesus’ death in his latest book, released on Thursday. The book, the second in a planned three-part series on the life of Jesus, is a detailed, highly theological and academic recounting of the last week in Jesus’ life.
Publishers have printed 1.2 million copies of the book in seven languages. A blaze of international publicity included teleconferences with the media in several countries.
In one section, Benedict writes that there can be no justification for violence carried out in God’s name, an assertion as applicable to Islamist militancy today as to violence that the Catholic Church itself committed in the past as it spread the faith.
“The cruel consequences of religiously motivated violence are only too evident to us all,” the pope writes. “Violence does not build up the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of humanity.”