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October 29, 2014

Peace Be Upon the Irish Catholic…

A few days ago, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.”

A friend of mine was so incensed by a silly article in the Irish Catholic on  dialogue with Islam, written  by a Columban missionary nun, that he wrote a letter to the editor and was given to understand that the paper was going to carry it the following week.   (This nun must be a brave woman; she has spent a long time in Pakistan, presumably at considerable risk to herself. But she really should have known better.)

Here’s the letter:

Dear Editor,

Sr Rebecca Conlon is naive in the extreme when she writes about dialogue with Islam in Pakistan (Notebook, 16/10/14).

She talks about “reaching out to marginalised women”. Has she not read Sura 4:34 in the Islamic holy book, the Koran? My copy translates the Arabic as saying that, if a man fears “disloyalty or ill conduct” from women, he should admonish them, refuse to share their beds and beat them”. Not much room for “reaching out” there, I should have thought.

The man whom Sr Rebecca describes as a prophet, Mohammed, even took a six year old girl (Aisha) as one of his wives. Oh, but he didn’t  consummate the relationship with her until she was 10 (and he was 53). Sr Rebecca even ventures to dignify him with the Moslem phrase “Peace Be Upon Him”!

And, as Sr Rebecca knows full well, Islam teaches that the penalty for a Moslem becoming a Christian is death. The Catholic she cites, Shahbaz Bhatti, paid the ultimate  price, with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claiming responsibility for his killing as “a blasphemer of Mohammed”. Others, particularly in areas of Syria and Iraq controlled by Islamic State, have suffered a more gruesome fate.

Islam is now the greatest danger faced by Catholics, both outside and in Europe. The sooner people like Sr Rebecca realise that, the better.

Please don’t print my full address; I don’t want to get my head sawn off.

Yours etc.

In the end the Irish Catholic decided not to print the letter after all. Presumably a case of discretion being the better part of valour?


Alive Sees No Evil

Ì picked up  the Catholic freesheet Alive this morning with considerable anticipation, hoping to find something helpful on that Synod on the Family.  But the only relevant item came on page 5.  It was a quotation from the American theologian Fr Robert Barron, taking the line: “Nothing to see here, people, move along now.”

Fr Barron told worried Catholics not to be upset about the “hysteria and distorted media reports”, insisting that that–as in general councils of the Church–consensus would evolve after lengthy and often acrimonious debate.

It’s not good enough. You can’t just brush under the carpet a determined and almost successful attempt to subvert the constant teaching of the Church on marriage and  the Eucharist–an attempt, moreover, which is certain to be renewed before long.

Sometimes I think the problem with “conservative” Catholics is that they are just too nice. Unlike us curmudgeonly trads, they  can’t accept  that there is a rottenness in the Church reaching  to the very highest levels. The fact that they can’t see it does them credit, in a way…





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