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Why converting Muslims is taboo in the Catholic Church

Christianity does not contradict Middle Eastern culture

By on Monday, 22 October 2012

VATICAN EASTER

What are they talking about at the Synod for Evangelisation? This article by Sandro Magister tells us that the Bishops have broached the taboo subject of conversions from Islam to Christianity. It makes interesting reading, despite the rather ponderous translation, (read the original here ) and I was particularly struck by this section of it, which I beg readers to consider carefully:

Particularly well developed was the reflection of Archbishop Joseph Absi, auxiliary and protosyncellus in Damascus of the Greek-Melkites in Syria, who noted that the “openness of some Muslims to Christianity, undoubtedly helped by today’s means of communication” and the fact that “some of them have even reached the point of discovering in Christ the loving face of God the Father.”

But since, he added, “The Muslims do not see the difference between Christians and Westerners, because they do not distinguish, themselves, between what is religious and what is political and social. What precedes the Westerners is perceived by the Muslims as preceding the Christians. Now, Western behaviour, especially on the cultural and political level and in a general way, harms the religious and national sensitivity of the Muslims, their values, their ethics and their culture. Consequentially, this forms an obstacle to their openness to Christianity and to their possible evangelisation.”

In fact, he explained, “The majority of Muslims are convinced that the relaxing of mores, the exploitation of weak and poor peoples, the disdain of the Muslim religion that they feel from Westerners, comes from Christians. What can be done to stop the Muslims from confusing Christianity and the West, Christians and Westerners, and to not feel ridiculed and frustrated? The Synod, in its configuration of new evangelisation, should lean towards this question, to learn how to avoid, as much as possible, tensions and misunderstandings and what to do so that the Muslims may be more receptive with regards to the Church and to the Gospel.”

What the Archbishop pinpoints is the problem of inculturation, which is a major point of interest for all missionaries. If Christianity is perceived as a Western phenomenon then it will not be welcomed by people in the Muslim world. But of course Christianity is not a Western phenomenon, but a universal one, and can be joined to any culture without destroying what is good in that culture. Being Christian and being, for example, Syrian or Egyptian, can and do go together. It is simply not true that the Christians of the Middle East are somehow Western plants or the agents of the Great Satan, the United States. In fact, the Christians of the Middle East predate the rise of Islam by many centuries.

History proves this point about inculturation. The Church’s most successful mission was that to the lands of the former Aztec Empire, which were converted to Christianity within a generation, because the missionaries presented the faith as something that would complement and complete the Aztec culture, rather than replace it. The Church’s least successful mission, which made scant progress despite huge efforts in the nineteenth century, was the mission to Japan, which won over few Japanese, who perceived Christianity as a foreign faith, and as alien to their culture.

There has in fact been, I have read, a very successful mission in certain parts of the Muslim world, where many have been won over by Evangelical Protestant missionaries who have presented Christ and Christianity as the fulfilment of Islamic culture, rather than its contradiction. As Catholic missionary theologians always say, Christ comes to fulfil culture, not replace it. Nor do we, in inviting people to become Christian, impose any one culture on them. But this successful mission is not trumpeted abroad, because converting Muslims is, as Sandro Magister observes, a taboo subject.

It is worth pointing out that the Catholic Church has an absolute and God-given right, indeed a duty, to proclaim Jesus Christ everywhere, in season and out of season. So, there should be no taboos. This I think was the reason the Holy Father baptised Magdi Cristiano Allam  at the Easter Vigil in 2008, to show us all that this was a perfectly legitimate act. And where the Holy Father leads, we should all follow. We should certainly all of us pray that he word of God be proclaimed ever more insistently among all peoples, Muslims included.

  • Nebeneinander

    “The Church’s most successful mission was that to the lands of the former Aztec Empire” 
    Well the church succeeded in buttressing that murderous regime of slavery and rapine, is that  what you signify by “successful”?

  • Clivecopus

    Father,

    Interesting article – but does that God-given duty to proclaim Jesus Christ extend to the evangelisation of those Jews who do not accept Christ as their Messiah, and, if not, why not? That is the real taboo subject.

  • Jeannine

    How do you know these Muslims are not being converted to Christianity? Many are “closeted” because of their lives being threaten with death. Obviously they are not all “for the Glory of God” martyrs but neither were those Christians who publically paid homage to the Roman gods to save their necks & were later admitted back in to the fold after a good confession.

    To use a quote from St Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” The Catholic Church in the Middle East is doing just that & exceptionally too.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    I can’t agree with the reading of history in this article.

    ” … The Church’s least successful mission, which made scant progress despite huge efforts in the nineteenth century, was the mission to Japan, which won over few Japanese ..”.

    In fact, enormous strides had been taken in converting the Japanese to Catholicism well before the 19th Century, prior to that country shutting itself away in the period of the Shogunate. Japan’s new rulers then destroyed the Church there by crucifying tens of thousands of Catholics along the roads leading to Tokyo. It was a wipe-out even more effective than that of the Catholics in North Africa during the Arab invasions of the 7th/8th Centuries.

    One of the reasons Boko Haram in Nigeria finds support amongst Moslems there is the success of the Church in Nigeria in making converts. 

    Until Islam accepts that apostasy from their false religion is not an act that automatically marks down the new Catholic for death, conversion of its adherents will be patchy at best. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Very good point indeed.

    This for sure is one of the real Church taboos since Vatican II and its “New Theology” on the Jews, where their conversion is no longer sought. Too many Churchmen say – in complete contradiction of Scripture and the constant teaching of the Church – that the Old Covenant is still operative. 

  • Mr Grumpy

    Jeannine quotes St Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Where evangelising the Jews is concerned, the Church needs to earn the right to use words.

    I recently discovered that in Nazi Germany between 200 and 300 Jehovah’s Witnesses were martyred for their refusal to be conscripted into the armed forces. And how many Catholics? I know the name of just one.

  • Mr Grumpy

    “As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation, nor did the Jews in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading. Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.” – Nostra Aetate. Also plainly the view of Pope Benedict. Re the “taboo”, see my earlier comment.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    What’s the point you’re making though?

  • Deesis

    The Church’s least successful mission, which made scant progress despite huge efforts in the nineteenth century, was the mission to Japan, which won over few Japanese, who perceived Christianity as a foreign faith, and as alien to their culture.
    This is not true! The Catholic missions in Japan were very successful. These ties were severed once Christianity was outlawed by the Shoganate; at this point, Catholicism went underground, its rites preserved by the Kakure Kirishitan, or “hidden Christians”, who continued practicing their faith in secret. Though Christianity was allowed to grow until the 1610s, Tokugawa Ieyasu soon began to see it as a growing threat to the stability of the Shogunate. As Ogosho (“Cloistered Shogun”),[6] he influenced the implementing of laws that banned the practice of Christianity. His successors followed suit, compounding upon Ieyasu’s laws. The ban of Christianity is often linked with the creation of the Seclusion laws, or Sakoku, in the 1630s. The role of government is pivotal in the spread/ acceptance of Christianity or any ideological system.
    Islam’s founder knew this and used religion as part of his religious/ military dictatorship. Islam is the conquest by Arabs ob the Middle East. Christianity is actually more indigenous for those outside the Arabian peninsula.

  • Pancho

    Are you referring to the Aztec Empire, which had already been conquered at that point, or to the Spanish Empire which was no worse than other European colonial powers, perhaps in some ways slightly better, and where missionaries actively fought against abuses by the colonists (see Bartolome de las Casas)?

  • Wally Ballew

    Whether we are perceived by Muslims as Christians or as Westerners won’t make that much difference because no matter how you “market” us to the Shia and the Sunni, we are all a bunch of infidels. Accept Allah and the Prophet Mohammed or it’s off with our heads.

  • ejcm

    Here is 108 from Poland alone, just for starters:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/108_Martyrs_of_World_War_II

  • richardclifford

    Jesus told us to proclaim the Good News to the whole world, including Jew and Gentile, as well as the Muslim.  After all, Jesus is the Only way to salvation; Allah only leads to death.

  • Martin

    Hundreds of priests died in concentration camps because of their opposition to Nazism. 

    This fact is generally unknown to those who do not dig deeper into the history of Germany during the Third Reich.

    I know this from personal experience. Before I read more about this topic the only victims I knew about were the Jews, Jehova’s Witnesses and homosexuals. I was informed about the pink triangle but I never heard about St. Maximilian Kolbe from the media. The mainstream media is very selective in its presentation of the facts.

  • mollysdad

    Robert Spencer recently wrote a book entitled “Did Muhammad Exist?” He found that, for 60 years after the reported death of Muhammad, neither the Arabs nor the people they conquered ever mentioned that the Arabs had a prophet, a holy book and a new religion. Rock inscriptions and the ruins of public buildings from the period make no mention of Muhammad much before the year 690. The earliest biography of Muhammad was written no earlier than 150 years after his reported death. The earliest hadiths (traditions of what he said and did) date from the 8th century. All these sources purport to narrate the deeds of Muhammad every month of his life except for the leap months that the Arabs ceased to insert into their calendar in 629. This indicates that the stories about Muhammad were concocted long after the Arabs had forgotten that they ever had leap months. What does all this mean? Robert Spencer has succeeded in dispelling the objective moral certainty of the primary facts on which the truth claim of Islam depends. Ergo, it would seem impossible any longer to profess Islam in good faith.

  • daldred

    I think the Archbishop is right here; and immediately jumping to the word ‘inculturation’ is not.  The problem is that the West has shed – or is shedding – its Christian culture; but that is not immediately apparent to an Islamic world which sees the decadence of western culture as a result of, rather than a rejection of, its past Christian foundation.

    Thus a Muslim, rejecting (rightly) much that is wrong with Western culture, sees this as involving the rejection of Christianity; even though Christianity rejects many Western attitudes just as strongly as does Islam.  

  • Gelfo

    The Spanish christians destroyed and wiped out the Aztec culture. They murdered thousands.
    I feel that everyone should keep his own religion and NO efforts at converting done!

  • Valentin Boyanov

    One of my strongest ( I think ) argument of the righteousness of the Faith in Jesus Christ, is that each lie and fake religion or political movement, all made by humans, dies in certain period of existence. Only the Holy Catholic Church still exists already 2000 years, because it is founded by the Jesus himself. But I am wondering, if so, why Islam still exists and even becomes stronger. it is not sporadic, but very much organized.

  • Neodlr

    Then why was the battle cry of the Mexican Revolution against those Spaniards “Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe?”

    You’ve proved the article’s premise; you are unable to separate Christianity from the West even though Christianity predates the West.

  • http://twitter.com/Simon_Gardner Simon Gardner

    It’s downright insulting to be considered a Christian just because you are occidental and I demand an apology forthwith.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    None of the tribes who allied themselves with the Spaniards against the Aztecs would agree with you for a moment. In fact, they would have thought you mad. The Aztec “civilisation” was based on the hunting of men as prisoners and their sacrifice on top of those (literally) bloody pyramids. Sometimes thousands a day. Ever wondered why the Aztec gods look like demons? Because they were. To these peoples, the Spanish were liberators. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    On any visit to Auschwitz I you will quickly become aware that tens of thousands of Polish Resistance men and women were executed there. 

    May God rest all their souls. Poland lost 20% of its entire population in World War II. No country suffered anything like Poland did, certainly in terms of percentage population killed. 

    May God rest all their souls.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Some people Valentin think it is in its last throes, buoyed up only by oil money. I think there is yet to come a great upsurge from the Moslems – and then collapse.

  • Rizzo the Bear

    The disabled (one of them being a cousin of Pope Benedict XVI), lay Roman Catholics and Gypsies were also sent to extermination camps.

  • tz1

    You don’t understand why those stupid, evil, terrorist towelheads cannot see that Jesus loves them so would convert by your example radiating his love?

    They dress modestly.  We accept dressing like sluts.

    They pray five times daily.  We say attend church once a week, but will forgive if you cant.

    They have Ramadan where they don’t eat or drink during daylight hours for a lunar month.  We have Lent where we don’t eat meat, but can attempt gluttony with all-you-can-eat seafood.

    They shot a woman who tried to preach what they consider Heresy damning their women to hell.  We are really nice to Melinda Gates while she attempts to spread a class-1 carcinogen contraceptive to the poor in Africa.  And the transcontinental abortion holocaust.

    They don’t accept usury.  We allow people to become debt-slaves.

    They are strict about charity for their poor.  We instead demand government rob (tax) instead.

    They consider Miriam (Mary, mother of Jesus) the woman who has the highest place in heaven.  Read almost any protestant literature.

    If we were shining brighter than them, they would consider the ascent.  They correctly perceive that the average Catholic is less modest, less pious, less faithful, less courageous, less chaste, … than they are.

  • Howard

    That quote, attributed to St. Francis, appears to be spurious.

    There may have been more Jehovah’s Witnesses killed for their *pacifism* than Catholics, but then pacifism is not a doctrine of the Church, as it is for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  There were many Catholics martyred for what the Church does teach, though.

  • Howard

    Careful there.   “Allah” is just Arabic for “God” (itself an Anglo-Saxon word).  As such, it is used in some Eastern liturgies.  Sure, it’s a loaded word, but so were the Latin words referring to pagan gods — and the Greek, and the Latin, and every other language — before the Christian meaning totally eclipsed the pagan one.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    “Allah” is a word derived from a pre-Islamic Arabian moon god.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    I don’t know about this at all.

    I’ve lived in three Moslem countries and their moral lives are pretty iniquitous from what I have seen. 

  • Blake Maly

    Can we make a clarification here bec St. Francis more than likely did not say these words. These words come from a legend about him that was written long after his death. Also we must remember that one of St. Francis’ charisms is that he Preached the Gospel from town to town. The Church’s primary calling is evangelization which is to actually speak the words of the Gospel. We live in a broken world, God through his great love showed to the Israelites his yearning to be in relationship with him. He then sent his only Son to live among us and die so that we may not die but have eternal life. He even wanted a “theosis” meaning to be a part of us here on Earth where we receive him Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist. This is made complete in heaven where we are perfectly united in communion with him.

  • scary goat

    Converting muslims should not be in the least bit taboo to Catholics.  And it is not at all alien to their culture. (In case anyone forgot, Jesus wasn’t born in Birmingham or Paris).  Most muslims I know would make lovely Catholics…..if they only knew.  The problem is more the other way round……you’ll have a hard time trying to convert them for more than one reason.  Firstly, their religion is very rigid….not much wiggle room for ideas….and when you are indoctrinated in a belief that views it as blasphemy to say that God has a Son,  which is a central tenet of their beliefs,  it is very difficult to get past that.  Also, converting to Christianity is a huge risk in practical terms.  At very least you would be disowned by your family in most cases, and depending on the country and the family you could well be risking your life. 

    Then there is the link in their minds between the west and Christianity.  They look upon western culture with all our bad behaviours with scorn, and mistakenly (or sadly sometimes not so mistakenly in modern times) think that this is the way Christians behave, so it doesn’t say much for their religion, does it!

    Having lived in the middle east for many years, although I am Catholic by faith, I struggle with western culture, sadly, even within Catholic circles at times.  The muslim people in general are far more “religious” than their western (even Christian) counterparts. I’m not at all surprised they are not impressed. Pity their “religiosity” couldn’t be re-directed to the Catholic Faith…..they could probably teach the “westerners” a thing or three.

    And here is part of the problem with ecumenism.  Respecting muslim people as people of faith is not at all unreasonable.  But the Islam as a religion is a big problem.  It hinders all those decent people from having access to the True Faith. Any suggestion that the Islam per se is a quite acceptable religion is deceptive. We need to sort out our own “watered-down” version of religion first and behave like decent Catholics  before we will have any chance of converting muslims…..and even then it’s not easy.

  • scary goat

     Correct. Arab Christians refer to God as Allah. (Allahoma: plural of respect….note the linguistic connection to the Hebrew Elohim).  Also in arabic (Christian) Jesus is Yesua (Hebrew – Yeshua) = Joshua = Saviour.  Jesus is the romanized version of the name.  Muslims call Jesus Isa (which loses the meaning of saviour).  Muslims also refer to Jesus as almaseeh (the messiah….literally “the anointed one”) for muslims this denotes a prophet.

    There is only one God.  Allah does not lead to death.  Following the religion of mohammad and the denial of Jesus as the Christ crucified and Saviour probably does (with exceptions…..God knows, we don’t…..there is the question of ignorance)

  • scary goat

     Well, that depends.  Depends which country for one thing. My experience is in Arab countries where I would say moral standards are high. It also depends on what you mean by morality….according to whose standards. For example male polygamy is allowed in the Islam, so while it is immoral to Christians, it is not to muslims.  (Which is another concern about viewing muslims, or rather the Islam with too much respect…which is why I have previously argued against allying ourselves with muslims on the question of gay marriage because their view of marriage differs considerably from ours).

    In my experience, in muslim countries it is rare to find drunk teens (or anyone for that matter) unmarried mothers, girls or women wearing immodest dress, divorce is rare (although allowed), tv is censored….no easily available porn, low crime rates, homosexuality is rare, child molesting is virtually unknown, no knoodling in public etc etc.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    My three were one Gulf fleshpot and two former USSR Central Asian “stans”.

    I think Islamic morals (remember the fatwas issued by the late unlamented Ayatollah Khomeni about when it is right for parents to have sex with their infant sons and daughters?) stink and I am sure many, many Moslems think so too in their hearts. 

    What keeps them from converting is mostly fear, and the Soviet-like isolation from the Light of Christ their mullahs insist upon. 

  • JoFro

    Child molestation is virutally unknown – that made me laugh out loud! What bubble are you living in? The Islamic countries that are the most strict about Sharia laws pretty much allow men to marry prepubescent girls and the Islamic countries where those laws have been revoked due to pressure from Western nations, they are at the moment being attacked or ignored – check out Libya which just allowed polygamy after Gaddafi banned it and Iraq which pretty much looks away as Jihadis implement Islamic law. Just because they are not openly immoral does not mean there is none. The only reason the West you know is immoral is because it has an open media. The Islamic world doesn’t and anyone daring to report on such matters needs to be careful. Please, wake up!

  • Parasum

    “It is worth pointing out that the Catholic Church has an absolute and God-given right, indeed a duty, to proclaim Jesus Christ everywhere, in season and out of season.”
     
    ## According to the Vatican, that does not apply to the Orthodox or to the Jews. To put it bluntly, today’s lot know better than Christ (not that they have the decency or guts to admit that that is the logical implication of their position). Christ trumps the old villains in Rome any day.
     
    “As Catholic missionary theologians always say, Christ comes to fulfil culture, not replace it. ”
     
    ## All they do is babble – they sit around converting the unwary to their sesquipedalian blethering at those endless conferences, assemblies, synods, talking-shops & other time-wasting activities; but they can’t, and don’t want to, convert a single human being to the True Faith. It is these creatures who find ways to justify allowing Hindus who convert to Catholicism to pose as Hindus. Fortitude is not required of today’s converts – only the virtues of cowardice & deceit. What a shame the English Martyrs did not have the same exalted morality as these perverters of mens’ souls ! 
     
    “This I think was the reason the Holy Father baptised Magdi Cristiano Allam  at the Easter Vigil in 2008, to show us all that this was a perfectly legitimate act. ”
     
    ## That is called tokenism. People who can be impressed by the stat of one baptism of a single former Muslim, are not likely to notice that the CC is now useless at missionary work. They are probaly intended not to, for  it has re-named its negligence, laziness & cowardice “evangelisation”. Missionary work is now left to Evangelicals, and – what is really bad – to the cults; to saying nothing of the Muslims & others. The Church may not want to preach the Gospel any longer, regardless of Christ’s command that it must - it doesn’t follow that Jehovah’s Witnesses & SDAs are equally idle. Muslims are very “missionary”, so to speak.  Such is the burning zeal for souls  of the Church’s “pastors”. St Paul said “Woe is me, if I preach not the Gospel”. 
     
    When the “Catholic” countries wake up one fine day to find that the Church in those countries has been reduced to a couple of 90-year old priests & half a dozen ageing women, they may finally wake up to the nitwitted idiocy of trying to pretend ecumenism is a substitute for missionary zeal. Possibly.
     
    The contrast between the inactivity of the CC and the beautiful zeal & courage & fearlessness of so many Evangelicals who take the duty of making Christ known to all mankind *very seriously indeed*, is utterly heartbreaking.
     
    “But this successful mission is not trumpeted abroad, because converting Muslims is, as Sandro Magister observes, a taboo subject.”
     
    ## That tells one everything about the NuChurch that needs saying. It is disobedient to a direct Divine command. Yet it complains of the disobedience of others. How pathetic, & how self-deceived !
     
    “The Church’s least successful mission, which made scant progress despite huge efforts in the nineteenth century…”
     
    ## Don’t forget the Chinese Rites controversy. Rome, full of wisdom as ever,stabbed that in the back in 1704. Then in 1939, Pius XI vindicated the disputed missionary approach of the Jesuits. Only 235 years late. And long after the Chinese Emperor Kang Hsi tirned against the missionaries in reaction to the Roman decision. The result was the decapitation of the missions,which had until then been flourishing. 10 years after 1939, that great humanitarian Mao takes over. As ever, Rome is good at wrecking things, and far too late to put them right. That’s what comes of bickering between missionaries – the Dominicans were jealous of the Jesuits, so they made trouble for them at Rome – and of Roman bone-headedness. St. Paul would never have got anywhere, if he had had to contend with the idiocies of Rome.

  • Parasum

    Not as far as Ratzinger is concerned. Jesus got that one wrong, apparently.

  • Parasum

    “The problem is that the West has shed – or is shedding – its Christian culture”

    ## Thanks in large part to the disembowelling of the CC by the bishops at & since V2. There is no sway they can escape their guilt, however much they squirm and wriggle and lie.

  • Parasum

    Very well said. And far too true. Not that the bishops notice.

  • Parasum

    But the hierarchy are *in charge*. We have nowhere to go. We have to put up with them, no matter what evil they do by teaching heresy, apostasy, indifferentism & other evils.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NHS4UG2ZOMGCTP4PQF5FJIY2J4 Allan

    Grumpy, you need to take some time off to research the facts. As a Pole who had family members murdered in Poland during WWII, I find it offensive that you express your ignorance so foolishly. If you don’t know don’t comment.

  • Howard

    And … so what?  How about the Latin word “Deus”?  Or for that matter, the Hebrew word “El”?  Etymology may be fun, but after a certain point it no longer has anything to do with either the denotation or connotation of a word.

    My point is that “Allah” is used in living languages to mean, simply, “God”, and it is used by Christians as well as Muslims with that meaning.  No one, at least no one outside of academia, uses it today to mean a pre-Islamic moon god.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Yes, until the worm in their souls turns. Until then, fight the good fight, and remember Faith, HOPE and Charity!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    I have to agree with the vast bulk of this. 

    ” … sesquipedalian blethering”. That has to be the phrase of the year. Now I’ll look up “sesquipedalian” – first time I’ve ever seen the word!

  • Howard

    What do you care?  I mean, seriously?  If you refer to “Ratzinger”, rather than the Holy Father or Pope Benedict XVI, just what exactly does it matter to a Protestant like you (yes, that is what you are — every bit as much as Martin Luther was, as you both arrogate to yourselves the right to judge the Church established by Christ and to depose His vicar if he is not to your liking) what Catholics do?

    Go ahead and have yourself proclaimed pope!  Why not?  You’re already infallible in matters of faith and morals, aren’t you?  Go found a new, “purer church” — and within a hundred years it will be doing all the silly things the Old Catholics are already doing.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Howard, the Church is in the depths of a very, very profound crisis. These are far from normal times. Any serious Catholic will want to know what the heck has happened these last 50 years and will have an opinion about what he has learned. Canon Law by the way (as well as Doctors of the Church) gives us not only the right but the duty to even publicly correct our pastors. This is not “protestantism”. 

  • Warren

    The problem with is not with a word but the meaning which groups attach to a word. Mormons speak of God the Father and God the Son, but they really mean something different from what Trinitarians mean. Allah may be a common word among muslims and Arab christians; however, the word does refer to very different realities. Allah to Christians is the Trinity. Muslims would hardly agree to our Trinitarian understanding of God. The muslim god, while displaying many attributes of the Christian God, differs drastically. The god of the Koran is a being who can contradict himself. Even with the doctrine of abrogation in mind, the god of Islam is irrational. The Allah of muslims is hardly a god that Christians can nor should accept.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     “But this successful mission is not trumpeted abroad, because converting
    Muslims is, as Sandro Magister observes, a taboo subject.”

    SUCH TABOOS ARE OBSERVED ONLY BY COWARDS; THESE APPEAR TO BELONG TO CHRIST BUT IN FACT AND TRUTH DO NOT. THEIR BELONGING IS ONLY BY WAY OF APPEARANCE AND IT REWARDS THEM IN TERMS OF THIS PASSING WORLD.

    NOBODY CAN CONVERT ANY BODY BUT JESUS THE LORD WHEN HE IS WITNESSED TO  AND HIS WORD PROCLAIMED TO PEOPLE OF GOODWILL,  BY THOSE WHOM HE HAS EMPOWERED THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

    TRYING TO CONVERT ANY BODY IS FOOLISH BUT PRAYING CEASELESSLY FOR THE PROMOTION OF APOSTLESHIP AMONG US AND IN OTHERS OF GOODWILL WILL DO THE JOB. THE DOER IS GOD HIMSELF, JESUS THE LORD.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Your penultimate and last paragraphs contradict each other. 

  • Oconnord

    Let’s take your points one by on:

    We don’t treat women like chattel who should be controlled in all ways from their short journey of ownership by their fathers, to ownership by there husbands. We also expect our men to exercise self control and not rape a woman at the barest sight of flesh.

    The vast majority repeat words five times a day, in a language they can barely understand and cannot read or write. They are conditioned to do so in Submission, which is what the word Islam means.

    The do refrain from eating in daylight during Ramadan, but then gorge themselves nightly on meals that could just as easily be seen gluttonous. 

    “They shot a woman who tried to preach what they consider Heresy damning their women to hell.” You then seem to suggest we should do the same to Melinda Gates… You issuing fatwas speaks for itself.

    Two points about usury. (a) Most muslims get over it quickly when they move to the West, and (b) can you name me a successful Islamic economy that is not based on oil or Western knowledge, be it technical or financial?

    It is true that charity is one of the Pillars of Islam, but it also the one most often ignored. The idea that muslims do not accept ” government” money, but instead take care of each other is ludicrous. Muslims living in Western Europe are far, far more likely to be living off the “robbed taxes” than the indigenous people of that country. 

    Miriam is important, maybe even revered, but less so than the wives of the prophet. And in Shia one of his grandaughters is most revered as she was “martyred” during the conflict that led to the Sunni/Shia schism. 

    If you use an argument made up of stereotypes, it can easily be countered by opposing stereotypes. So finally your conclusion, where you assert that “They correctly perceive that the average Catholic is less modest, less pious, less faithful, less courageous, less chaste, … than they are.”

    Well to be honest it doesn’t matter what they perceive to be true. The simple fact is Western culture is better than Islamic culture. Western countries are better places to live than Islamic countries. Ask any of the millions of muslims fleeing to the West in hope of a better life. Then ask the millions flee to Islamic countries…… Oops, do you see the problem there.