Cardinal Schönborn is “shattered” by the Turkish president’s recent threat to “tear off his enemies’ heads” and “crush” who are against him.
In his weekly column the free Viennese paper, Heute, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who is currently archbishop of the Austrian capital, was aghast at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s public threat to “crush the heads of those who betrayed him” on the the first anniversary of the 16 July putsch.
In the column, published on 21 July, Cardinal Schönborn describes the present situation in Turkey as “deeply worrying” as thousands of suspected political opponents are being imprisoned and there has also been talk of reintroducing the death penalty.
The cardinal also added that Erdogan’s behaviour is in contradiction with the teachings of the Koran.
According to the Muslim holy book, Cardinal Schönborn argues, one of the most rewarding ways to live one’s life was to reconcile coreligionists.
The Bohemian-born Viennese cardinal also quoted Prophet Mohammed’s son-in-law, Ali bin Abi Talib, who was recoded as having said “forgiveness is the best victory.”
The cardinal also quoted Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, both of whom had pointed out that forgiveness was a sign of strength not weakness.