'God's Rottweiler's' First Crisis

Not exactly what the Pope wants to hear but neither he nor the Vatican appears to be giving up. The papal visit to Turkey, planned for the end of November, is going ahead. At least for now.

Is the Trip a Bad Idea?

Many quarters of that predominately Muslim country still seethe over Benedict's remarks, and there are very real fears the pope's visit will lead to violent demonstrations. But there is also a sense that the intensity of the anger will drop somewhat by then and some senior Turkish leaders say the trip may even help repair the damage.

The head of Turkey's foreign affairs committee, Mehmet Dulger, told The Associated Press: "His trip will provide a window of opportunity to rephrase what he said, to show that he does not accept the negative stereotypes of Islam often found in the Western world."

Some have questioned the decision to press ahead with the Turkey trip. There is still a great deal of anger and, in some circles, hatred, directed at the pope. It seems as if one of the last places his holiness should go. But the possibility for a significant first step in the healing process is as real as the danger.

It will most certainly be a leap of faith for this embattled pope.

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