The Passion of the Pope

With his blunt talk on Islam, Benedict XVI is altering the debate between the Muslim world and the West. On the eve of his visit to Turkey, TIME looks at the roots of the Pope's views--and how they may define his place in history

For the traveling Pontiff, it was not a laid-back Turkish holiday. The citizens of the proud, predominantly Muslim nation had no love of Popes. To the East, the Iranian government was galvanizing anti-Western feeling. The news reported that an escaped killer was on the loose, threatening to assassinate the Pontiff when he arrived. Yet the Holy Father was undaunted. "Love is stronger than danger," he said. "I am in the hands of God." He fared forward--to Ankara, to Istanbul--and preached the commonality of the world's great faiths. He enjoined both Christians and Muslims to "seek ties of friendship with other believers...

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