Would that it were so . . .


This is from an interview published by Zenit with Britain's Cardinal Murphy O'Conner:

Q: Can you tell us more about another topic discussed, the question of Islam, of great concern to so many church leaders in so many parts of the world today?

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor: The situation is very complex. In mostly Muslim countries there's very little space for Christianity; in other countries, in parts of Africa, there's a conflict of cultures, between the culture of Islam and the culture of Christianity.

In Europe again, it's complex. We need to meet with Muslims and speak the truth honestly, not hold back on the truth we believe.

We must be careful to avoid the position whereby they are blaming war on religion -- terrorism, this is the scourge of religion -- whereas the cardinals would see that we have to meet Muslim leaders and concentrate on the things we hold together: many moral values, matters of family, even if we disagree on the essentials of our religion.

But you know, the only answer to what I would call aggressive Islam is very deep Christianity, deep Catholicism, a faith that is strong; I am sure the Holy Father is very preoccupied by Islam, and certainly its militant tendencies.

So I think particularly we in the West have to impose a kind of reciprocity: We are tolerant of having mosques or of people wearing particular clothing; we expect the same for minority Christians in Islamic countries, that there would be tolerance of us having crucifixes, freedom to worship in church and so on.

So I think there's a feeling to speak the truth in love and honesty with each other.

There is one thing about dialogue that many people seem unwilling to face. For dialogue to be effective, both parties to the dispute must be willing to engage the process in a meaningful way. I don't think that condition exists today among radical Muslims in their dealings with the West. It seems evident that the prevailing attitude among these folks is that they are, in the end, going to destroy the West and all it stands for, therefore, there is no need for dialogue. The more we sit around and talk about entering into dialogue with these radicals, the more likely they are to be correct.

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on March 28, 2006 10:54 AM.

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