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Date: Tuesday, 16-Oct-2012 00:07:01
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A Roman Catholic cardinal has caused an uproar at the Vatican by screening a spurious YouTube video that makes alarmist predictions about the growth of Islam in Europe.
The seven-minute clip, called "Muslim Demographics," was the talk of an international gathering of bishops on Monday, two days after Cardinal Peter Turkson screened it during a free discussion period.
Turkson, a Ghanaian who is based in the Vatican and is president of its Council for Justice and Peace, sparked consternation among his fellow bishops over the clip.
"As we were arriving this morning I was asked several times 'Who planned it? Whose was it? Who is behind it?" Father Thomas Rosica said at a briefing for journalists, who are not allowed to attend the synod sessions, the first since the screening.
He said the clip had sparked "the most animated" discussion so far at the three-week conference, and one bishop said he would rebut Turkson by presenting a report with contrary data.
The clip has brought Islam to the top of the agenda at the synod, attended by 262 bishops. "Islam is the buzzword," Rosica said.
Asked about his reaction to the cardinal showing the video at the Vatican, Yahya Pallavicini, vice president of the Islamic Religious Community of Italy, warned against a numbers war based on scare tactics by any side.
"I think that we should focus, Muslims and Christians, on our common challenges, rather than challenging each other in scary attitudes on who is going to increase or decrease in numbers," Pallavicini told Reuters.
"It's our shared responsibility as brothers and believers in the same holy God," he said.