This won’t go over well with Islamic fundamentalists: Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese Christian whose death sentence for apostasy sparked outrage in the West, met with the Pope this week. Ibrahim was raised Christian, but because her father was Muslim, she was considered Muslim under Sudan’s Sharia law. Her Christianity was thus seen as apostasy—a crime punishable by death. After international pressure on the Sudanese government led to her release and the withdrawal of the death sentence, she face a few more obstacles and criminal charges, was she eventually was able to leave the country for Italy. Now safe, she has had an audience with Pope Francis. The BBC has more:
Mrs Ibrahim met Pope Francis at his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican soon after her arrival.“The Pope thanked her for her witness to faith,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi was quoted as saying.The meeting, which lasted around half an hour, was intended to show “closeness and solidarity for all those who suffer for their faith,” he added.
The pope’s high profile greeting of this refugee from bigotry and fanaticism is as clear a challenge to the violent wing of Islam as the famously controversial Regensburg lecture by Pope Benedict. The evidence continues to accumulate that the Pope is Catholic. Sooner or later even the press will figure this out.