Rorate Caeli

Courage

The following is the Vatican's summary of the written intervention during the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, of the Syrian Catholic bishop Msgr. Raboula Antoine Beylouni, Titular Archbishop of Mardin of the Syrians, Curia Bishop of Antioch of the Syrians. His intervention is an impassioned cry not only against Islamist oppression, but also against the Islamophile syncretism and near-apostasy of some of his fellow Christians. Let us pray that this man will not be martyred for his convictions. Emphases mine. CAP.

For several years in Lebanon we have had a national committee for Islamic-Christian dialogue. There was also an episcopal commission from the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon entrusted with Islamic-Christian dialogue. It was recently suppressed to give more importance to the other committee, also because because it had not produced any results.

Sometimes dialogue occurs here and there, in the Arab countries, such as in Qatar, where the Emir himself invites, at his expense, personalities from different countries and from the three religions: Christian, Muslim and Jewish. In Lebanon the Télélumiere and Noursat networks, and other television networks, sometimes broadcast programs on Islamic-Christian dialogue. Often a topic is chosen, and each side explains or interprets according to their religion. These programs are usually very instructive.

With my intervention, I wished to draw attention on the points that make these encounters difficult and often ineffective. It should be clear that we are not discussing dogma. But even the subjects of a practical and social order are difficult to discuss when the Koran or the Sunna discusses them. Here are some difficulties which we have faced:

- The Koran inculcates in the Muslim pride in being the only true and complete religion, taught by the greatest prophet, because he was the last one. The Muslim is part of the privileged nation, and speaks the language of God, the language of Paradise, the Arabic language. This is why, he comes to dialogue with a sense of superiority, and with the certitude of being victorious.

The Koran, supposedly written by God Himself, from beginning to end, gives the same value to all that is written: dogma that supercedes all law or practice.

In the Koran, men and women are not equal, not even in marriage itself where the man takes several wives and can divorce at his pleasure; nor in the heritage where man takes double; nor in the testifying before judges where the voice of one man is equal to the voice of two women, etc...

The Koran allows the Muslim to hide the truth from the Christian, and to speak and act contrary to how he thinks and believes.

In the Koran, there are contradictory verses which annul others, which gives the Muslim the possibility of using one or the other to his advantage, and therefore he can tell the Christian that he is humble and pious and believes in God, just as he can treat him as impious, apostate and idolatrous.

The Koran gives the Muslim the right to judge Christians and to kill them for the Jihad (the holy war). It commands the imposition of religion through force, with the sword. The history of invasions bears witness to this. This is why the Muslims do not recognize religious freedom, for themselves or for others. And it isn’t surprising to see all the Arab countries and Muslims refusing the whole of the “Human Rights” instituted by the United Nations.

Faced with all these interdictions and other similar attitudes should one suppress dialogue? Of course not. But the themes that can be discussed should be chosen carefully, and capable and well-trained Christians chosen as well, as well as those who are courageous and pious, wise and prudent... who tell the truth with clarity and conviction...

We sometimes deplore certain dialogues on TV, where the Christian speaker isn’t up to the task, and does not give the Christian religion all its beauty and spirituality, which scandalizes the viewers. Worse yet, when sometimes there are clergyman speakers who, in dialogue to win over Muslims call Mohammed the prophet and add the Muslim invocation, known and constantly repeated: “Salla lahou alayhi was sallam”.

Finally I would like to suggest the following:

Like the Koran spoke well of the Virgin Mary, insisting on her perpetual virginity and miraculous and unique conception in giving us Christ; just as Muslims take her greatly into consideration and ask for her intercession, we should turn to her for all dialogue and all encounters with the Muslims. Being the Mother of us all, she will guide us in our relations with the Muslims to show them the true face of Her Son Jesus, the Redeemer of mankind.

If it pleased God that the Feast of the Annunciation was declared a national feast day in Lebanon for Christians and Muslims, may it also become a national feast day in other Arab countries.

14 comments:

J.G.Ratkaj said...

Finally one hierarch who en clair discusses the "dialogue" with Mahometans. What a nice difference to the predominating naive sugarcoating of Naguib et al at this synod.

shane said...

How refreshing! We need to end the "interfaith" gravy train.

dcs said...

I seem to recall Abp. Fulton Sheen suggesting many years ago that the conversion of the Muslims be entrusted to Our Lady. If we encourage them in their devotion to her, his reasoning went, then she will take care of the rest.

LeonG said...

Thank you JG Ratkaj "Mahometans" - This is without insult & who they are.

However, most interreligious "dialogue' is a total waste of time being mere talking shops allowing everyone to have their say. They negate the truth and relativise falsehood. No wonder St Maximillien Kolbe was so opposed to this he called it the enemy of The Immaculata.

While there may be some respect for Her, it would be unwise to overexaggerate Her place in mainstream mahomatensim. The emphasis made earlier of ambiguity and equivocation in the Quranic register is much more significant. Prayers to Our Blessed Lady certainly help in everyday relations working with them but as a major reciprocal talking point this is very doubtful.

Anonymous said...

Inshallah

Anonymous said...

Never trust these Devils!
Our liberial friends will loose their heads frist.

sjgmore said...

LeonG, you are right that "mainstream" Mahometanism is easy to over-exaggerate, devotion to Our Lady is actually pretty common among the Islamic faithful who remain largely ignorant of the history of their religion, and totally ignorant of anything but the most distorted understanding of Christianity.

It is for their sake that even in mainstream dialogue with Mahometans we should encourage devotion to her, because I firmly believe that when the common faithful on their side of things see Christians being devoted to the same person they are devoted to, it serves as a powerful witness to the faith. And "as a major reciprocal talking point" I think it's actually just about the only thing worth entering dialogue into Mahometans with because their beliefs on Mary and her role in the life of the "prophet" Jesus are just about the only thing we actually have worth discussing with them.

I certainly would rather see everyone coming together to pray for Mary's intercession than the alternative, which is usually to see our sycophantic dialoguers kissing Korans and talking about the cultural contributions of the very important historical figure Mohammad.

Anonymous said...

EWTN interviewed a UK Iranian-born convert from Shiite Islam to Catholicism. She offered three factors that heavily influenced her decision:
1. The Gospel of Matthew, with its emphasis on prophecy and its fulfillment.
2. History. She encouraged Catholics to challenge educated Muslims on the rise of Islam after the coming of Christ. "How could God change His mind so quickly in just 600 years?"
3. The Catholic emphasis on MALE chastity as well as female, which contrasts sharply with what men are "allowed" by the Prophet.

In the New Testament it was the women who often came to Christ first, bringing their menfolk afterwards. (My old Irish pastor told us as children that in the Gospels, no woman ever raised her hand against Our Lord.)

Anybody seen any openings for the Church here?

LeonG said...

Certainly where I have worked and lived with Mahometans this situation you refer to of devotion to Our Blessed Lady does not exist at all. As a subject for conversation it is a definite non-starter. She is mother of the prophet not Mother of Almighty od which would cause ensuing anger and rebuke of blasphemy.

Comparative analysis of Holy Scriptures with Quran, particlarly with emphasis on origins would be a much more fruitful sunject bt you wold need to know your participants extrememly well in order to go this deeply.

LeonG said...

Many of my mahomaten colleagues know what I stand for without entering into futile exchanges of beliefs. I know what they believe from studies. When they ask questions I answer them but that is the limit. Dialogue is useless and only ends in intellectual compromises.

shane said...

"Dialogue is useless and only ends in intellectual compromises."

Dialogue is not necessarily useless and not something necessarily post-conciliar:

http://lxoa.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/questions-posed-by-belfast-protestants-at-clonard-missions-1949-59/

Didn't the Council of Trent invite German Protestant theologians to debate and even propose doctrinal formulations?

fidelis said...

Thank God at last someone stands up to the incessant droning of "dialogue" and calls a spade a spade. I remember once watching a muslim cleric talking about converting christians and he said that catholics were the easiest becasue they knew nothing of their faith!!!!

LeonG said...

Indeed Fidelis,

They do not make compromises. Our Blessed Lady accuses The Church hierarchy from Akita!

Inimical division among the Cardinals and Bishops and compromise.

We do not need Mahomatens to tell us what they believe through syncretic public fora. We know already. What they need is salvation which can only come through hearing The Gospel, accepting Conversion and repenting. Less than this is completely unacceptable.

LeonG said...

"Dialogue is not necessarily useless"

In its current post-conciliar form it is.