Pope links violence in God's name to Antichrist

March 10, 2011

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Violence committed in the name of God or religion is
a "favorite instrument of the Antichrist," Pope Benedict XVI writes in a
new book on the life and teachings of Jesus.


"Violence does not build up the kingdom of God, the kingdom of
humanity," Benedict writes. "On the contrary, it is a favorite
instrument of the Antichrist, however idealistic its religious
motivation may be. It serves not humanity, but inhumanity."


The passage appears in "Jesus of Nazareth -- Holy Week: From the
Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection," which was published in
English and seven other languages on Thursday (March 10), with an
initial printing of 1.2 million copies.


According to its American publisher, Ignatius Press, 90,000 copies
of the English edition had been sold before publication.


The book is a sequel to the pope's 2007 bestseller, "Jesus of
Nazareth," which explored Jesus' public ministry from his baptism to the
Transfiguration. In the trilogy that he began before his 2005 election
as pope, Benedict studies the Gospels in light of the work of other
scholars, including those who have sought to discover the "historical
Jesus."


In pre-publication excerpts that were released March 2, Benedict
wrote that the Jewish people were not responsible for Jesus'
crucifixion, and their descendants have not inherited blame for his
death.