In an interview to Italian newspaper “Il Giornale,” Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani reviewed the current situation in the Muslim world, the reaction to the caricatures and the assassination of Fr. Santoro last Sunday.
“These are worrying facts” he said, “but we shouldn’t fall in the trap of those who manipulate fundamentalism.” Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani is the president of the Prefecture for Economical affairs at the Holy See, and a person familiar with the Turkish world. For more than ten years, from 1985 to 1994, he was the apostolic nuncio in Turkey.
“There is concern with the situation, and it is getting worse. There are nationalistic groups who are fanning the flame of Muslim discontent are hoping to bring about a "clash of civilizations."
“I fear that there are terrorists, who are using fanatic fundamentalism. I hope that Islamic countries are realizing that and I believe as this happens this will make the honest and pacific muslims react.”
Speaking on his experience in Turkey, he believes the climate is shifting, and these events prove it, “but we shouldn’t fall into the trap of those who wield protests and violence, who exploit religious feelings and fanaticism for political ends who don’t have anything to do with religion," he added.
On Fr. Santoro, assassinated last Sunday, he commented that the “mission that he lived his priesthood, in Trebizonda is a sign of hope. The Pope’s words were comforting when he recalled that the sacrifice of his life contributes to the cause for dialogue between religions and peace among peoples.”
Those who organize fanaticism want this, they want confrontation. But we do believe in a God who died on the cross saying : “Father, forgive them for they don’t what they are doing.” We shouldn’t cede to those who want to impose hate. We should be able to live, respecting us mutually,” Cardinal Sebastiani concluded.