Vatican official says Anglican head naive on Sharia

Vatican official says Anglican head naive on Sharia

By Philip Pullella

The Vatican's top man for relations with Islam on Tuesday criticized the Archbishop of Canterbury as mistaken and "naive" for suggesting that some aspects of Sharia law in Britain were unavoidable.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, in a wide-ranging discussion with reporters about Christian-Muslim relations, also said he was confident that a new, permanent body between the Vatican and Muslims would help defuse misunderstandings in the future.

"I think it was a mistake, a mistake because, above all, one has to ask what type of Sharia. And then, it was a bit na," Tauran said in answer to a question at a breakfast meeting.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams sparked a religious and political storm in Britain and beyond last month when he raised the prospect of Islamic law in the United Kingdom.

Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, provoked a string of tabloid headlines with the best-selling Sun launching a campaign for him to quit.

"One can understand his good intentions but it seems to me he did not take into consideration either them (the Muslims), the English juridical system, or the reality of Sharia," said Tauran, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Sharia, the body of Islamic religious law based primarily on the Koran, as well as the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Mohammad, has been attacked by many in the West over its treatment of women and punishments for adultery and apostasy. [...]


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