Catholicism and Islam: Seeking Common Ground

The Catholic Church, its leadership if not its flock, seeks common ground with Islam. It has been said that the Church sees in Islam a ray of hope for the re-spiritualization of Europe. Priests see empty churches while mosques are bulging with true believers. They see the secular society addicted to pornography, abortion, and sexual promiscuity, while the Islamic society is tightly controlled. They see the French State divided by "laïcité", while Muslim nations do not recognize separation of Church and State. And they admire Islam to the point where they overlook the dark side and delude themselves into believing that the two religions can not only co-exist, but become strengthened through mutual contacts and understanding.

Here are excerpts from the comments of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, published in the Vatican newpaper L'Osservatore Romano, on the reactions of the Muslims who heard the Pope's speech at the Collège des Bernardins on September 12:

The Pope spoke of the Holy Scriptures, of the Christian book which certainly is not the Muslim book. I believe however that the representatives of the Muslim community followed it with much interest.
I noticed, for example, that they shared openly the urgings of the Pope to seek God. In that respect, their way of thinking does not differ from our own, and can even constitute a point of contact.
And I can say that, when the Pope finished his meeting, and conversed with them, exchanging a few words with each one as he greeted them, I could tell from their faces that they were in agreement.
They were very happy and congratulated the Pope. So I think they were satisfied.

Cardinal Bertone is one of the highest-ranking officials in the Catholic Church.


Another message from the Vatican goes even further than the preceding comments of Cardinal Bertone, in its conciliatory approach to Islam. Here are excerpts from of a message sent to Muslims by the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The message was sent on the occasion of the end of Ramadan.

Christians and Muslims: Together for the dignity of the family
Dear Muslim friends, […] Christians and Muslims can and must work together to safeguard the dignity of the family, today and in the future. Given the high esteem in which both Muslims and Christians hold the family, we have already had many occasions, from the local to the international level, to work together in this field. The family, that place where love and life, respect for the other and hospitality are encountered and transmitted, is truly the 'fundamental cell of society.'
Muslims and Christians must never hesitate, not only to come to the aid of families in difficulty, but also to collaborate with all those who support the stability of the family as an institution and the exercise of parental responsibility, in particular in the field of education. I need only remind you that the family is the first school in which one learns respect for others, mindful of the identity and the difference of each one. Interreligious dialogue and the exercise of citizenship cannot but benefit from this.
Dear friends, now that your fast comes to an end, I hope that you, with your families and those close to you, purified and renewed by those practices dear to your religion, may know serenity and prosperity in your life! May Almighty God fill you with His Mercy and Peace!

I didn't realize that polygamy, forced marriages, honor killings, using children as human shields, etc... were family values espoused by the Church.
In February 2006, I posted a long article by Anne-Marie Delcambre on Europe's infatuation with Islam. Here is one excerpt from that essay:

First of all, these "ecclesiastics, alarmed by the loss of interest in faith and church attendance in Christian countries, particularly Europe, admire Muslim devotion. [...] They feel it is better to believe in something than in nothing at all [...]" They see the near-empty churches and in contrast, they note that the mosques are full, even if these mosques are cellars or run-down buildings. The churches three quarters empty, the triumphant secularism, the contempt for the religious life all have become unbearable to Catholic priests [...] they feel sympathy for the community of Islam where everyone is close, where "the believers are brothers"! But they forget rather quickly, or they don't realize that "the Muslim is the brother of the Muslim", not the brother of the non-Muslim.

Meanwhile, in France, the number of converts to Islam is roughly 18X that of the converts to Christianity. Between 150 and 200 Muslims convert to Catholicism each year in France, compared to some 3,600 people who convert to Islam every year. However, Muslim converts to Christianity face a lot of difficulties.


Martin Luther was right!

The same church that is working for the Mexicanization of my country is also giving in to Islam in Europe. With a church this evil it is no wonder that millions are choosing atheism, evangelicalism, or are simply giving up on life and not having children.

Heck, it isn't just in the US or in Europe that the Romanists are causing problems. In Latin America the Church has a history of preaching 'Liberation Theology,' spreading misery, poverty and revolution to millions of innocent mestizos and mulattoes.

Some of the Catholics on this thread may cite some obscure lecture given by a member of the hierarchy or even the pope himself, but actions speak louder than words. The Church could have excommunicated Ted Kennedy for supporting abortion or engaging in adultery, but has instead let the leading advocate of Mexican immigration into the United States receive communion from popes, his bishop and his local priest. Ted must be doing something the Church approves of, since he is in such good standing with it.

RC Church advocating immigration

The Church in the U.S.A. makes the same calculation on immigration as the labor unions and the Democratic party: more members = more power, regardless of the harm to our constituents.

@Tb: Common ground? ..common mistake

I honestly think that author Tiberge who posted this newsflash on his blog and - as others have already suggested - should also take into account the Regensburg lecture by B-16, eh.. that this topicstarter could have done a better job at interpreting the statements made by members of the Roman Catholic clergy.

Pfew, was that long enough for an opener?

From the very beginning Tiberge is off to something that closely resembles a perfect piece of suggestive writing. First there's the pretty much foregone conclusion, then some "it is said.." lines that probably refer to the opinions of Mme Delcambre and after that the story continues with some illustrations to fill in the details and provide some anecdotal support for the claims.

When reading those statements, I find it very hard to regard them as compelling material upon which to base any warnings about collaboration, voiced by the author. In fact, it isn't all that difficult to come up with quotes that defuse the alarming title:

".. The Pope spoke of the Holy Scriptures, of the Christian book which certainly is not the Muslim book.."

Talk of common ground, maybe, but surely also a strong emphasis on difference, n'est ce pas? And again, in the nxt message that allegedly "goes even further", what is actually emphasized?:

".. I need only remind you that the family is the first school in which one learns respect for others, mindful of the identity and the difference of each one.."



So why the alarmist tone, while at the same time the author might be expected to know full well the Pope's position on "reciprocity" for example, featuring prominently in articles by e.g. Daniel Pipes, titled "The Vatican confronts Islam".
The small scale comments quoted in the article above read more like some very polite and - for some who are evidently less capable of reading between the lines - perhaps overly veiled reworkings of this papal doctrine.

The moment the author actually provides something of an analysis of his own is a bit disappointing, to say the least. We are left with a rather sarcastic and really somewhat cheap remark about polygamy and honour killings. If this represents serious analysis, then I guess any local pub in our hood can pass as the next best political think-(and drink-)tank. And it's such a pitty, 'cause the whole issue of uncritically conducted "interreligious dialogue" that so many in the politicial establishment seem to fancy, is a serious one that deserves sharper dissection than the author of this blunted article has chosen to undertake.

Just about the only statement of any interest pops up at the very end, about Muslims enduring hard times (indeed) if they dare convert to the Roman Catholic Church (or christianity if you will). Perhaps nxt time a more balanced piece about that? Or does the author think B-16 was only entertaining some superficial pr-stunt when he baptized Italy's most prominent Muslim the other day?

Or is it going to be the same article but now titled: "Secularism and Islam share common ground" Plenty alarming illustrations on that one ;-)

So what's the deal here with Tiberge and this sort of reporting about Islamization? Is he one of those people who believe any serious problem only acquires really scary proportions once "The Vatican" is involved?

Hope not.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,


Cardinal Bertone

Perhaps, the article of Tiberge is exposing not so much a problem with the "catholic church" as such, but rather with the personality of cardinal Bertone.  At the same time, it must be recognised that he is "one of the highest-ranking officials" of the catholic church. There have been other indications of disturbing bias in the past record of Bertone.  "The church" better deal with its Bertone problem.  And, of course, this problem is linked to the wider problem that Paganini already mentioned.

the problem is not the

the problem is not the catholic church, but the problem is europe (or european christians)

Many of them are starting to hate our society that (sometimes very virulent and nasty) mocks the church and catholicism. Their hate turns into love for islam that is able to enforce 'respect' from leftish-secular authorities/media/etc. But ofcourse, those christians are weak and stupid, they don't see that islam is the violent and oppresive ennemy of anything that isn't islamic. Their 'love' for islam isn't real caritas anyway, it's hate in disguise for european society.

common ground

Although I understand your premise and concern (that it is worrying Catholic clerics are getting too cosy with Islam), I do not think the example of Cardinal Bertone is a good one.

The Common ground Christians have with non-Muslims is that we are all brothers (from God the Father) and we are called to love all. What good is it for a Christian to love only those who love you? And did not Christ come for the sick, not the healthy?

snubbing the Muslims, or the militant secularists, because you disagree with them is unchristian. However, a Christian can speak to a Muslim and tell them their religion is violent and heretical etc., yet still have openness and love for them.

Maybe you need to re-read the regensburg speech; was that not calling a spade a spade by the Pope, yet it was done without hate?


roger1 - good points.

The Catholic church has no delusions about Islam. Catholics, whose numbers are growing, in Africa are most at risk and the Church knows it. Europeans rejected Christianity, replacing it with leftist secularism where there are no moral absolutes and each person can be narcissistically his own Higher Power. This isn't a good thing for humans. What's the Catholic church going to do when Europeans themselves refuse to take a hard stand against their Islamization? I'll change my mind about their inevitable dhimmitude when I see spontanenous riots by native Europeans. Unfortunately like the Russians as long as Europeans are cared for by the state and ingest the state's media garbage without skepticism they remain serfs, then, dhimmis.

You only have to read kappert's predictable nonsensical posts with his undigested socialist mantras and naive worldviews straight from the state's lefty media to appreciate what mental serfdom looks like.

May the Moslems return to Christianity

Arabs, Syrians, Egyptians, North Africans, Illyrians, and Anatolians were leading Christian nations before they were conquered and forcibly converted by invading and plundering Moslem armies.  They should return to the fold of Christianity, recover their love for God in Christ, and shed the envious, hateful heresy of Islam.  Their love of God, His Law, purity, and justice, which Islam perverts to savage purposes, will find its true calling when it is redirected to love of Christ instead of rage at infidels.  As Christians--prodigal sons and daughters, or returning lost sheep--re-converted Moslems could add a great deal to Christendom. 

The re-conversion of Moslems should therefore be the goal of the Church, not confirmation of their heresy. Unconverted Moslems will interpret confirmation, coexistence, or approbation as "submission" and will be encouraged to persist in their heresy, at the peril of their souls, and at the peril of the peace and security of their neighbors.

The re-spiritualization of what was formally known as Europe

Any re-spiritualization will be done as a reaction to Islam's invasion by invitation of the continent. There is common ground between the Catholic Church and Islam, however: oxygen. From there, no commonality exists and it's foolish to think that it does. Of course, that has not slowed them down before, nor will it this time. A conciliatory approach to Islam will result in Orwell's vision of the future, " If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human(infidel's)face--forever."