Following a meeting with priests and deacons of Italy’s Valle d’Aosta region, where he is currently vacationing, Pope Benedict told reporters that he does not think the recent rash of terrorist attacks can adequately be labeled as anti-Christian.
On his way out of the meeting, the Pope paused briefly to answer reporter’s questions and said it was incorrect to define the terrorist attacks which have marked the last weeks as anti-Christian: "I feel the intention is far more general, and not specifically against Christianity."
Benedict was also asked whether Islam could be considered a religion of peace, to which he said: "I would not like to use big words to apply generic labels. It certainly contains elements that can favor peace, it also has other elements: we must always seek the best elements."
The Pope also commented on prospects for dialogue between the Holy See and China, expressing the desire that they "continue to move forwards."