Vatican City, Oct 16, 2012 / 13:13 pm
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council on Peace and Justice, has apologized for rankling brother bishops with a video making alarmist predictions about the growth of Islam in Europe.
"This was never meant to call Christians to arms. I sincerely apologize. I never meant to do this," Cardinal Turkson told yesterday afternoon's free discussion period of the synod on the New evangelization, according to Father Thomas Rosica.
Fr. Rosica relayed the comments at an Oct. 16 briefing for English-speaking journalists covering the synod.
Cardinal Turkson showed the seven-minute YouTube clip, entitled "Muslim Demographics," at another free discussion period last Saturday evening. The term "free discussion" is used by the synod to mean free-wheeling and off-the-record, versus the prepared statements typical of the formal sessions.
Viewed over 13 million times on YouTube since it was anonymously uploaded in 2009, it makes questionable demographic claims about various European countries, such as, "In just 39 years France will be an Islamic republic" and that "Islam will overwhelm Christendom unless Christians recognize the demographic realities, begin reproducing again, and share the gospel with Muslims."