It’s not often that some small, fringe pastor and his version of Christianity receive papal attention. Fortunately, the Vatican has stepped up to the plate and clearly condemned the planned “Koran Burning Day” being sponsored by Terry Moran and his Dove World Outreach Center (Gainesville, FL), which proudly proclaims the reasons for burning the sacred text of the world’s 1.5 billion followers of Islam.
“Over the Pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority [emphasis added]. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official Church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism.”
Joseph Ratzinger in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II ,Vol. V., pg. 134 (Ed) H. Vorgrimler, New York, Herder and Herder, 1967.