There was much furore yesterday on comments made on Islam by the Pope. The full text of the speech is here (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html). The following sentences are what incensed the muslim world. In his speech he quotes a Byzantine emperor as telling his persian interlocutor - "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".
The statement is understandable as the Pope was making a theological speech to an academical society. But what the Popal advisosrs should have remembered were two things:
a) He represents and is the supreme spiritual leader and that each and every word that he speaks will be taken as the representative of the whole Christian community and that his words would be broadcast and reviewed by a large amount of people.
b) Muslims are very sensitive to Prophet Mohammed and any words spoken against would truly hurt their feelings. Even though he is just quoting the arguments between two people, when he quotes it, it going to be seen by the world as being said by the Pope.
My advice to the Papal advisory is that they should be much more careful, infact extremely careful, when dealing with such sensitive issues.