Rorate Caeli

Cardinal Dolan to Muslims: don't lose your faith!

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told a group of infidels this week that they should not convert to the One, True, Catholic and Apostolic Church and save their souls.

On a recent visit to a mosque, he told the Muslims there that their plight was similar to that of Catholic immigrants 150 years ago, and they face the same challenge of "how to become loyal, responsible, patriotic Americans without losing their faith." 

His Eminence went on to say how the Muslims take their "faith" in the one, true God.

Below is the video, and here is a link to a story with more direct quotes from the Cardinal (cue the spokesman to "clarify" once again what His Eminence really meant):

(h/t reader)


Dan Hunter said...

Yes, because Mohammet is "The Way the Truth and the Life."

Jeanne Holler said...

I am so sad and disappointed because I think this scandalous...we do NOT worship the same GOD , is that correct! Muslims do not worship Jesus Christ , they do not have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass , as far as I know they are outside the TRUE FAITH and the ONE TRUE CHURCH so why would Cardinal Dolan make these statements ??? WHY I ask , WHY! Is he not aware of the TRUTH...outside the Catholic Faith there is NO SALVATION . SAD very sad and disturbing !

john said...

Why would they lose their faith? They (or anyone else) certainly won't be inquiring about embracing Catholicism with our pitiful leadership. I wonder how long and hard they laughed at the mosque after Cardinal Dolan departed. SSPX is correct. These guys don't know sound doctrine, and if they do, all the worse. They are leaving so many confused, and driving many away from The Catholic Faith. This is an outrage, but not a surprise after witnessing the actions of Pope Francis on Holy Thursday.

john said...

What's next, he'll invite those guys below along With those from the mosque to St. Patrick's for a talk on ecumenism?

Dan Hunter said...

Again, Loss of Faith [or they never had it]
and, or Fear.

Liam Ronan said...

"18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28: 18 - 20

"But Jesus cried, and said: He that believeth in me, doth not believe in me, but in him that sent me." John 12: 44

What in the world could the Cardinal have been thinking?

JB said...

It's really even worse than this. He again repeated the falsehood that muslims and Catholics "love the same God." No, we don't. Our God is a trinity. And that is the truth of the matter. There is no other truth about it than this.

Their God is Genie-like irrational power who is basically a projection of the personality of the guy who founded it all.

I well understand the need to be diplomatic when talking in "inter faith" circles, but this almost made me lose my breakfast. There is no need for someone at that level to affirm all these people in their mistaken beliefs. As one scholar once said, the first victims of Islam are muslims.

Eugene said...

No sane person can deny the obvious any longer: schism has already happened within the Holy Roman Church. Is Cardinal Dolan even Catholic?

Angelo said...

I wonder if the Cardinal would kindly encourage us traditional Catholics not to lose the Faith? Not to even dream of it, we all know the answer.

Charles said...

Your post and the comments remind me of a line by Gilson: "you will not civilize a tribe of Bedouins by teaching them metaphysics." Likewise, theological preaching on Trinitarian is less likely to convert someone than the good example you show them, the kindness you show them, the good deed you do -- and lots of prayer for them. If the missionaries did not go out and meet the non-Christians, they would have had no converts. Cardinal Dolan is a good and prayerful man.

Michael Ortiz said...

Clear, His Eminence has a little trouble with logic--the same God has revealed Himself to both of us?

Wow. Even a sophomore in high school should be able to see that doesn't fly.

Ferrotomb said...

Cardinal Dolan talks and eats and talks and drinks and talks and laughs and talks. That's what he does.

Royce Cardinal Reed, STD said...

And this in light of Turkey's recent decision to turn Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. Very sad, indeed.

Royce Cardinal Reed, STD said...

And this in light of what's going on in Turkey. Let us stand in solidarity with our Christian brethren.

Dan Hunter said...

"Cardinal Dolan is a good and prayerful man."


I wish this were true but the words of His Eminence speak otherwise.

Is it a good and prayerful thing to be uncharitable?

That is exactly what this piece bespeaks of Cardinal Dolan, by his ignoring of the "Spiritual Works of Mercy", namely, "Admonishing the Sinner" and "Instructing the Ignorant".

Is it charitable and good to not point out to your brother the ONLY way to get to Heaven? [Christ in His Church]

Being good is to wish and pray and instruct your brothers in Truth.

In prayer and deed and word.

Would it be good, wise and charitable for a train conductor to let a passenger destined for Boston, who mistakenly bought a ticket to Chicago,to let him believe his error and get off at the wrong destination?

All men in charity must tell his brother the Truth, in Charity, to worship and obey God as God wants, not as man wants.

Cardinal Dolan is not being charitable if HE has done what the piece says.

Edward said...

If i was Cardinal Dolan i would be frightened of judgement day , the way he denigrates the faith of Jesus and ignores the evil of politicians

robert said...

The worst part of losing your faith is not realizing you've lost it. The problem is that there is no realistic way to point this out to a prince of the Church.

Liam Ronan said...


"If the missionaries did not go out and meet the non-Christians, they would have had no converts. Cardinal Dolan is a good and prayerful man."

May I suggest that in this situation the Cardinal was a 'missionary' or at least (as the Americans might express it) had a 'missionary moment'during which opportunity he obfuscated.

I have no doubt that the Cardinal is a prayerful man; however only God is good while men remain imperfect and fallible.

I think it is a great cross for the Church and her faithful when clerics of all description are wont to deliver 'off the cuff' remarks or poorly thought through theologisms which are inevitably destined for public consumption.

Throckmorton P. said...

John 11:35, "And Jesus wept."

Dan Hunter said...

"If the missionaries did not go out and meet the non-Christians, they would have had no converts."


Of course missionaries go out and meet non-Christians.

Christ gave us this mandate.

No one is saying that.

But the missionaries job is to speak the Truth, not falsehood.

Look at St Francis Xavier and St John BreBouf, just to name two saints.

Alphonsus Jr. said...

His position is quite consistent with the scandalous paragraph 841 of Catechism of the Conciliar Church.

Regular Gora said...

It is better for Muslims to remain Muslim than most of the alternatives (excluding Christ's true Church of course). I am a Muslim on my way to Christianity. I am a Catechumen. And believing in Islam was one of the main reasons for this. I have gone through stages. At one point, I believed that Protestantism was the truth and that the Papcy is the anti-Christ. I was an Atheist for a time. In both of those cases, had I continued, I would have never even considered becoming a true Christian. Islam is far better than most other heresies out there because it is so similar to true Christianity and, if one studied Christianity, the Church, and Islam, they would naturally find Christ. This is not so with any other heresy.

That being said, his comments were disturbing to say the least. I was replying to the comments here on Rorate Cæli with my message, not his.

Note: By Islam, I am referring to Shi`a Islam. The Sunni sect is pure evil. They are the terrorist, women raping, child killing, evil animals. They do not follow Muhammad or Christ. They follow a violent sociopath named Umar Ibn al-Khattab.

Supertradmum said...

Allah is not God the Father. The Moslems do not have the sense that they are sons and daughters of God but slaves. I suggest to His Eminence a careful reading of the Koran. We do not worship the same God.

There are only two revealed religions-Judaism and Catholicism. We have lost the missionary spirit in our Church and this is an example, sadly, of that. These good people will not convert because the Cardinal visited them on a particular day. They will convert when they hear in their hearts the real Gospel that Jesus is Lord, God and King and that God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit-the Triune God.

I am so disappointed in this prince of the Church. Those missionaries who went to Moslem lands and the martyrs of those killed by Muslims, such as the Otranto martyrs, pray for Cardinal Dolan.

Father G said...

I don't see how anyone in their right mind can take the Novus Ordo Church seriously anymore. Here's just another example.

As to Charles' comment...I was a missionary in Africa for sometime and I went out and met non-Christians and was always kind to them but I can guarantee you that I never ever confirmed them in their superstitious practices, their false religions or their paganism like Dolan is doing and as are so many others in the post conciliar Church.

Alexander adulescens said...

I personally prefer pagans to heretics. I have converted Muslims - never a Protestant.

They are not Bedouins. Some are. These are called Wahabis. But most Muslims in Europe (think Bosna, Albania, Dagestan and Chechnya) and in English-language countries - no. Not Bedouins. Indeed, in Australia and England they make up a large portion of the students in secular universities.

That is the saddest part. Most Muslim migrants have never actually had our Confession of one God in Trinity accurately or clearly explained to them. Most are unfamiliar with the Gospels and what Christ and His apostles taught. But, in most countries Christians, especially bishops and priests, have no zeal for their conversion.

And, as is the point of this post, not only do they have no zeal to convert them - they encourage them to stay as they are. I have literally had a Muslim I had almost brought into the Church come back from their ostensibly Catholic secondary school having been told they do not need to convert but only to be a good Muslim.

Worse still the heretics are all afire to have them - and they treat them like Bedouins. They go away thinking Christians are bigoted fools who think they are saved just by believing. I will not even go into some of the blasphemous self-styled, entirely self-contrived (emphatically not Nicea) explanations of the Holy Trinity I have heard Protestants offering.

With Muslim migration our thought ought to be Christ's words.

Messis quidem multa operarii autem pauci.

The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few.

- adulescens

Eugene said...

Why did Pope Benedict make this apostate a cardinal?

Robbie said...

Every time I heard a Catholic friend say they hoped Dolan was chosen Pope, I just shook my head.

JB said...

I was just thinking that Supertradum. Someone should gently ask the cardinal if the martyrs of Otranto worshiped the "same" God as the muslims who beheaded them en masse.

John Lynn Gullickson said...

With all good charity, I can only shake my head and think: "What a buffoon." He's a clown.

Joannes Ó Maoldomhnaigh said...

Ps. 95:4-5 "For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils..."

Steve Dalton said...

How long will this man Dolan be allowed to pollute the priesthood?!

Bwangi Kilonzo said...

Its clear to me that Cardinal Dolan is afraid to proclaim the Gospel.

Ioannes Martialis said...

The "patriarch" of the American Patriotic Church speaks.

dmw said...

I do not condone the words of Cardinal Dolan; however, we mustn't have any of this "we don't worship the same God" nonsense. Read Pope St. Gregory VII on the matter (PL 148, col. 450): "Hanc itaque charitatem nos et vos specialibus nobis quam caeteris gentibus debemus, qui unum Deum, licet diverso modo, credimus et confitemur, qui eum Creatorem saeculorum et gubernatorem hujus mundi quotidie laudamus et veneramur."

MusicaSacra said...

Do you not know that what you are doing is bashing a bishop?

He is right within the Catholic Faith.

The saint of our times, Blessed Mother Teresa, set the example which the bishop is following:

"THere is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. i've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls - 30 families are Catholics and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs-all different religions. But they all come to our prayers."

backtothefuture said...

He's not doing anything but following company line

Bwangi Kilonzo said...


I love Mother Theresa, and he life did indeed exemplify Christ, however, a Christians first Duty is to lead people to the truth, which is Christ, which is the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church is Christ. The Catholic Church is Truth. There is no difference between Encountering God and Encountering the Catholic Church.

You might find it difficult to accept, but that is precisely what Mother Teresa was trying to do by inviting these people to pray with her. She was inviting them from their faith, into an encounter with Christ, whom she knew very well.

If they had asked her for Babtism, she would have rejoiced in the Lord.

That was her ultimate goal.

No one lights a lamp and puts it under the bed, no you put it up high so that everyone car see that light.

Elizabeth said...

I thought Dolan couldn't surprise/shock me anymore. Wrong.

Anonymous said...

The Church has taught, as many readers have said here, that the pray to the God of Abraham, Moses, and of Jesus and Mary also. This is traditional teaching.

But to say we share the same "faith" is obviously wrong.

Joannes Ó Maoldomhnaigh said...

Adfero- Is it truly the traditional teaching of the Church that we worship the same God? (prior to the new Catechism, etc.)

dmw- In Pope St. Gregory VII's letter, it does not say that Christians and Mohammedans worship the "same" God, it says we both worship "one God" ("unum Deum"), i.e. both religions are monotheistic. Anyway, this was a personal letter from a pope to an individual. What magisterial worth does it have, even were Pope St. Gregory to be implying we worship the same God?

Anonymous said...

I didn't say "same" God. I believe what the Church teaches, including Pius X in the penny catechism.

Joe Potillor said...

With Bishops' like these, who needs enemies?

JM said...

Cardinal Dolan on Islam... needs to be explained.

The Pope on Atheists and Good Works... needs to be explained.

Cardinal Schornbon on gay parish members... needs to be explained.

Cardinal Ratzinger on Inerrancy... needs to be explained.

JPII on the reliability of Genesis... needs to be explained.

It gets old. Maybe what needs to be explained is why Catholic leaders are now expected to undermine belief, and why we do a happy dance when a few remain orthodox, or call JPII "the Great" for the basic act of showing a manly Christian face to the world.

MichaelP said...

Doesn't the Church teach that they "profess" to hold the same beliefs as Catholics? If so, this is quite different than confirming they are correct in their profession.

Xiansiempre said...

The Church and Islam have a common enemy--secularism. Why not emphasize our commonalities in order to resist this demon? JP II and Benedict have surely done this by praying in mosques and synagogues.
The devil wants a world where believing in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is indeed a thing of the long-forgotten past!

gerald may said...

A priest told me this three times in my RCIA program, "you know, you don't have to do this (convert to Catholicism) because being a protestant you are perfectly fine with God." Another man I knew, who was from India and a former Hindu, was told the same thing in another parish. Is it any wonder that there are so little converts in the Church today? Why are the successors of the Apostles doing this? Isn’t the “court of the gentiles” supposed to bring people to a salvific knowledge of Our Lord?

creaturam istam cerevisiae said...

Two things struck me about the video:

1) Cardinal Dolan meets an (apparently) Muslim woman who tells him that her parents are Catholic. He does not seem to be phased at all that a member of his flock has converted to Islam.

2) He tells the guests at the banquet that the same God has revealed himself to both Christians and Muslims. Anyone who has read the Koran understands the patent absurdity of that statement. Sure, the Koran mentions Jesus and Mary, but only to denigrate Jesus. In the Koran, Jesus "reveals" to Mohammad that he is not God and that Christians are mistaken to worship him. So, my question to Cardinal Dolan is, "how can the SAME God reveal Jesus' divinity to us (Christians) but reveal the opposite to Muslims?"

Obviously, if God is God, that cannot be possible.

GMMF said...

One should not encourage anyone to keep any faith that is not in Christ (see CCC 161; although believing that God exists and is a rewarder of those who seek Him is better than being an atheist, and can lead to faith). But the traditional Thomistic/scholastic position is that the Muslims do worship the one God--this is because they believe that essence and existence are the same in God.

•In God alone are essence and existence identical (this is why God is "I AM," see also St. Paul's discourse to the Athenians in Acts 17).

•When essence and existence are but one thing, we are unable to conceive the one without conceiving the other.

Therefore, to conceive of a being for whom existence and essence are the same, is to conceive of that one being who exists.

(they are never accused of idolatry in traditional sources with regard to "Allah," and idolatry is the worship of anything other than God; also, the Trinity can only be known through faith, but the First Vatican Council definitively taught God can be known without faith, so belief in the Trinity is not needed to acknowledge God--see St. Paul discourse to the Athenians again).

Michael Ortiz said...

Dolan needs prayers and respectful crticism. It's good to remember Our Lord's rebuke about calling down fire.

Clare said...

Maybe the Cardinal doesn't want the Muslims in heaven.

BONIFACE said...

Once again, someone confusing the human act of faith with the content of faith. The human act of faith alone is valueless apart from its content.

Joannes Ó Maoldomhnaigh said...

Adfero- Is this the passage in the Pius X Catechism that you were referring to?:

"12 Q. Who are infidels?
A. Infidels are those who have not been baptised and do not believe in Jesus Christ, because they either believe in and worship false gods as idolaters do, or though admitting one true God, they do not believe in the Messiah, neither as already come in the Person of Jesus Christ, nor as to come; for instance, Mohammedans and the like."

I suppose it's not right to ask if we worship the "same" God. There is only one true God, and either you worship Him or you don't. The Mohammedan "revelation" is either from the devil or from man. If it be the former, even if they believe they are worshiping the one true God, it is possible that they are worshiping someone or something else (especially given the disturbing content of the supposed revelation).

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's the passage.

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

I would be tempted to say that Dolan isn't even a Catholic any more. He is a Baha'i or a Unitarian, except for one thing: the Church will soon canonize John-Paul II, whose many confusing statements and public gestures communicated the same basic attitude toward Islam.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

This cardinal claims : “Islamic values (were) also shared by Catholics”. No, Your Excellency, your thinking is wrong : re-stabilise, re-synchronise, get it right : these have always been CATHOLIC values which may be shared by others, Muslims included. It’s not semantics, it’s the overpowering need for Catholic Truth, which is eternal, impartial, objective. How can you not get that right ? You are supposed to be a cardinal ??? Everyone listens very carefully to every word you utter, since you do not have a great record as a prince of the Church, God forgive us. OK, you might consider it to be semantics, but we need Catholic Truth, the devil needs lies.

@Musicasacra : those bishops who bash our Catholic Faith need to be bashed, figuratively speaking, although I admit to terrible temptations with some pertinaciously pusillanimous prelates, of whom this one, unfortunately seems to be a shining example.
@creaturam istam cerevisiae : I agree with you entirely, very well said.

Barbara said...

From the prayer "Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus" by Pope Pius XI, which I have been praying every day this month of June dedicated to the Most Sweet Sacred Heart of Our Lord:

"Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of the idolatry of Islam,
and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom."

and for the first Chosen People, the Popes's prayer continues:

"Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race which was for so long a time Thy chosen people;
and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance, now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life."

Clearer than that...

Most of our Church leaders have lost it...

Wormwood said...

"i've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic..... and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs-all different religions. But they all come to our prayers."
These words are a product of the post-VII confusion. Confusion begets confusion.

smn said...

Dear God. Could things get any worse?

The past five months have been like something out of a Robert Hugh Benson novel.

Liam Ronan said...

Just read a piece published in Inside the Vatican that "The War between the Liberation Theology Movement and Rome is Over".
Astonishing! The link is here:

Charles said...

I continue to be astounded at the comments (criticisms). Look at this man -- he is wearing a cassock, he has a crucifix hanging around his neck, he talks of holding out against a secularizing world, he talks of "faith" -- and yet there is little but vitriol in the comments here for a man who dares to do what? When invited to visit a Muslim establishment he doesn't start lecturing them on the hypostatic union and somehow that is call for scorn.

This is a kind man who was invited into a house; it is absurd to suggest he compromised the faith by going there or by not holding forth on theology or chiding them for not being Catholics.

With respect to his comment about not losing faith -- Yes, of course they should convert but isn't it good that they are at least culturally able to recognize the supernatural as opposed to rejecting it? Isn't that starting ground? Cardinal Dolan is praising this common ground in encouraging them not to lose faith. It is wonderful when someone converts wholesale with a bang to Catholicism, but the more typical story of conversion comes in steps through observing small and consistent kindnesses of Christian charity and recognizing the sweet aroma of Christian happiness. It comes in seeing a good man, a cheerful man, a kind man and wondering why he is good, cheerful and kind -- and then you learn it is because of Christ. There is only one, true Church, but theology rarely is the interior turning point in conversion.

Liam Ronan said...

Have a second look at the photograph of the Cardinal and the President which appears at the masthead of this particular article.
Cardinal Dolan was seeking common ground then too.
If one's intentions are good can one make common ground with the Antichrist?

Mike said...

Charles, your comments on this thread are beautifully stated, thoughtful and modest, and most importantly, filled with Catholic truth. God bless you.

Liam Ronan said...

Last comment on this thread...I promise.
Consider why Cardinals wear red for a moment. It is because they are expected to profess unto martyrdom the unvarnished fullness of the Catholic Faith in season and out.
Can you for a moment imagine St. Paul preaching to the Greek or Roman pagans that they should strive to be the best idol worshippers they could be? God in Heaven! That such things even need pointing out to a layman much less to a Cardinal, Bishop, priest, or other cleric is at once both stupefying and terrifying.

JM said...

"There is only one, true Church, but theology rarely is the interior turning point in conversion."

But leaders need to be careful to state it clearly and not perpetually have to have their comments explained. That is the calling of leaders, and it is one ours default on routinely.

NBW said...

Pray, pray and pray for Cardinal Dolan. If he were in a Muslim country I don't think he would last long by saying Catholicism is the same as Islam. He would be accused of blaspheming against Islam.

Tom Policinski said...

Perhaps if the Cardinal would follow up his friendly visits with an ever present teaching of the necessity of Catholic faith for salvation, then such stunts like this could be seen as a way to convert people. However, as it is, he not only doesn't insist the infidel converts, but he affirms them in their errors. That is why these types of things are not going to win souls for Christ, and why they are so terrible.

Anchorite said...

C'mon, guys. Card. Dolan is just earning his bread under Bp. Francis's regime (before he enounces that Islam is a "Religion of Peace"). There is nothing new.
What interests me is that ""how to become loyal, responsible, patriotic Americans without losing their faith" implies that it is Islam in the way of becoming those "how to become loyal, responsible, patriotic Americans" - but we all knew that ...

Anchorite said...

C'mon, guys. Card. Dolan is just earning his bread under Bp. Francis's regime (before he enounces that Islam is a "Religion of Peace"). There is nothing new.
What interests me is that ""how to become loyal, responsible, patriotic Americans without losing their faith" implies that it is Islam in the way of becoming those "how to become loyal, responsible, patriotic Americans" - but we all knew that ...

Alexander adulescens said...

@ Charles

Gushy nonsense by someone who has probably never had a single intelligent discussion with a Muslim. Too much Mother Teresa. Besides, I wonder if that comment was not made before Father John Hardon S.I. was appointed to train her and her sisters to hand the Faith on to those they worked with.

Dolan is a bishop and this was not a residential home with a set table but a house of anti-Christian worship (read surah al-Iklhas; they repeat this five times a day minimum). He was probably with the better intellectually prepared of the local Muslims in being led around the masjid. In any event, his responsibility ante tribunal Christi is for the conversion of all such people that he has any contact or influence with.

A layman can be forgiven for failing (not for not trying) to have any success with hearers in a similar situation. A layman can do his best to use personal example and friendship as the means to bring a pagan into the Church. But I will tell you right now that this is not the main means by which people, especially Muslims - who have a rich philosophical history, are converted. Indeed, I wonder if it is really "charity" or not rather a tendency to see them as a priori mentally inferior that leads you to be so shy about engaging them in discussion.

Most conversions come out of long, repeated conversations and over hours of instruction, correction and clarification. Presbyteries in most countries used to have people in large groups regularly for such discussion and instruction; back when bishops and priests wanted to bring men into the Church.

The laity could be forgiven. Cardinal Dolan is a bishop - a direct successor of the apostles who were commanded by Christ to go out and preach the Gospel to all nations, teaching them all that He commanded them. And besides, I do doubt any of those present are going to be seen regularly by him for dinner (he is najis) or tea on the veranda.

He is not a layman and they are not his friends.

- adulescens

JB said...

I agree with the earlier commenter who noted no reaction when the muslim woman says her parents were italian catholics. just the usual hale fellow well met exaggerated bonhomie.

this is a serious problem people. "same God." affirming them in their desire to stay islamic. and I don't care that he is a bishop. i am not a potted plant. we are the vox populi as VII people like to say. listen to us.

New Catholic said...

That is an excellent comment.

When we, the "People of God", are scandalized at the words of one of our shepherds (those supposed to look after us, not despise us), then suddenly, for the neo-conservative folk, they become Über-Triumphalistic Prince-Lords of Ecclesiastical States who can't ever, ever be criticized. Give me a break.


Person of God on the Earthly Pilgrimage (© Vatican II)

Alexander adulescens said...

It is worth mentioning as well that Father Hardon was appointed to train Mother Teresa and her sisters to hand on the Faith to those they work with by then cardinal Ratzinger.

The new evangelization to Benedictus at least is not a passive "be like a flower whose scent carries slowly" approach.

- adulescens

Charles said...

@Alexander: "Too much Mother Teresa"? All I can say is please, please, too much Mother Teresa.

I disagree with you about Islam having a rich philosophical history if you are implying that has continued to today. They used to have a rich philosophy but then it was suppressed and did not continue much past Averroes' immediate followers. This is one of the reasons why theological discussions are so difficult with Muslims; they lack common language of categories and Western metaphysics. This was one of the important points in Pope Benedict's Regensburg Address.

JTS said...

Well said.

mortimer zilch said...

Dear Cardinal Dolan: please read over these comments and reflect that maybe these comments see you as you do not see yourself.

Armando Ortiz said...

Life is just too easy in America. There aren't enough muslims around to really show Dolan what "Interfaith Dialogue" means to them, like they do to the Copts in Egypt, like the Chaldeans in Iraq, like the Christians of Darfur and Sudan and Pakistan. Why don't you keep THEM in your thoughts and Prayers Dolan? Why don't you ask your precious Mohammedan friends about how they explain burning churches, raping and kidnapping Christian Women, Honor Killings, mob terror against Christians? I pray that when the muslims come for us here in the US, that God will send us some REAL leadership.

mwk3 said...

The Cardinal also has a vested interest in the salvation of every human person within his diocese. Our Lord commissioned Peter to look after both the sheep and the lambs, which, if I am not mistaken, was interpreted by one of the patristics as applying both to members of the Church and those outside of the Church. Indeed, for example, a Mass said 'pro populo' does not simply mean the people within the church at a given moment, or all the people within the parish, but all of the souls - Catholic or not - within that parochial area. When I watched that video, I saw an alter Christus bring the love and solicitude of Our Blessed Lord to those who do not know it, and who are (unknowingly) yearning so desperately for it. Perhaps the Cardinal's visit was a first taste of it.

And what, forsooth, is your alternative? Do you think we will make converts by bashing people over the head with a catechism, by rending our garments at the very sight of a non-Christian religious symbol? Surely, we should glare at them until they get themselves into our churches and start praying the right way. I don't think these are particularly helpful or effective strategies for evangelisation. Nor do I think that we will make converts through our indignation, however righteous it may be. Excuse me if this seems like a strawman, but what I have read in the comments lend themselves to such an interpretation.

Let me conclude with the following example. A good Monsignor (God rest him) from my parish as a child was well-known in the local community for, inter alia, his outreach and friendship to non-Catholics. In fact he was considered a saint not just by the Catholics but by others as well. Yet at the same time he was traditional and did not look kindly upon, e.g., altar girls (he did not allow them whilst he was pastor, to the angst of some parishioners), versus populum liturgy (though he tolerated it). He maintained a stern discipline in the parish and emphasised the importance of catechesis and teaching the true Faith. Furthermore, he was one of the few priests I have EVER seen use the canonical fingers in the new rite (which in my opinion speaks volumes). And yet this (dare I say) saintly man (who has had an enormous impact on my family and me) was a great friend to those outside of the Church.
I don't see anything *fundamentally* problematic about what the Cardinal did, that is, visiting a mosque and dialoguing with Muslims in a spirit of fraternity. Things that he said or did within that context could be a different story.

Dave Heath said...

I suppose the 1st Commandment of God has no meaning in the USA Catholic Church anymore, at least for Cardinal Dolan. He now approves of an ideology that has been slaughtering Christians, Catholics and their own citizens for centuries. They worship not the true God and Cardinal Dolan knows this. Some one should ask him to define what the First Commandment means...and then ask him to resign, for he no longer defends the Faith.

Alexander adulescens said...

@ mwk3

The problem was not visiting them when invited or speaking kindly to them. I do not know where people get this idea that to try to bring someone into the Church you have to be pig-headed and unkind. "What thinkest thou of Christ?"

With the girl who apostatized, although there would be a fire in my deepest heart at hearing it, "Why did you leave the Church? What is it in Islam that drew you to it?" Then you correct her, show her patiently where she errs, tell her the Truth and bring home the importance of her returning to the Church. All without raising your voice or a glare. And if they themselves become angry and unreasonable:

Si quis autem videtur contentiosus esse nos talem consuetudinem non habemus neque ecclesia Dei.

"But if any man be seen to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor the Church of God."

You tried. Cross yourself, hope for a better day, pray for her.

Discussion, conversation - dialogue if you like. All with the aim of bringing them into the Church. It does not have to be loud, gladiatorial or offensive.

"When I watched that video, I saw an alter Christus bring the love and solicitude of Our Blessed Lord to those who do not know it, and who are (unknowingly) yearning so desperately for it. Perhaps the Cardinal's visit was a first taste of it."


Looked to me like a somnolent cardinal eager to please men and utterly uncaring for the Lord's love and solicitude for these people. Solicitude, that they be baptized for the remission of sins and enter into His Church, transferred from the darkness of error, knowing Him the Truth that alone makes them free and having His Peace - Peace the world cannot give.

- adulescens

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Everyone is equal in dignity, but not all faiths are equal. Of course our God is God to all, but only the Roman Catholic Church recognizes Him in His fullness. The others might see varying degrees of glimmers (some next to none at all). I don't know the context in which Blessed Teresa said this so this statement could very well be misconstrued. If I "help a Hindu become a better Hindu" as opposed to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I haven't helped that Hindu at all - who are we kidding?

One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to "Instruct the ignorant", not confirm them in their ignorance.

I regret that His Eminence squandered an excellent teaching moment to proclaim the Gospel, as he was commissioned to do via Sacrament of Holy Orders.

JB said...

Couldn't the bishop have said something like this:

"Thank you for inviting me here. It is such a nice gesture and you are so welcome to visit me at St Patricks any time. It is a joy to meet with people who think about God sincerely. Today, that is counter cultural. We must keep God in the forefront of our minds.

Though we have significant differences in what we believe, and cannot minimize those differences out of any mistaken notion of relativism, we care for you as human beings. We pray for you. We would like to dialogue with you. In the United States we are free to choose our religion.

May God bless you."

Just say that. Nothing more.

azul condor said...

Perhaps the cardinal, who has demonstrated he neither posseses leadership nor earns the respect of his fellow Catholics, think the muslim faith is Catholic.

JTS said...

Yes, because if we ALL had God at the forefront of our minds we wouldn't be killing each other. It's just a PR stunt to show people we can be in the same place together without starting a fight. Don't think it was the right place to start trying to convert anyone though. I can't stand that wishy washy we're all the same rubbish. As you say, better to thank them for their hospitality, invite them to come to St. Patrick's, and remind them ( and us) to keep God at the centre of our lives.