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December 01, 2005



"if we really are sure that they have found the right answer." This does not sound like anti-relativist Cardinal Ratzinger.

sharon d.

I read the "if" as a different sort of conditional, not implying some sort of relativist doubt; as in, "If I love my kids, I'm going to want to do the best for them"--which takes for granted that I do love my kids.


I understood "if we are really sure that they have found the right answer" as "if we are really sure they are serious." Not that there is more doubt in the case of a Muslim than there is for anyone else, of course; it's something a wise pastor of souls must consider for any catechumen.


If the Catholic Church in Italy or anywhere else fails to provide support to converts from Islam or any other religion then it is not only failing those people but Christ. Islam prescribes death to apostates and is not tolerant of members of other religions, even "people of the Book." The very best that Christians can hope from in Islamic dominated societies is second class citizenship.
This said there are converts to Catholicism from other Christian denominations who have experienced ostracism and worse right here in this country.

Tom Haessler

Well, I thought too that mainstream Islam decrees death for apostates (after reading half a dozen books like Robert Spencer's ISLAM UNVEILED), but this Jesuit applies something analogous to the historical critical method to the two hadith containing this punishment and shows (convincingly to this person unlearned in the area) that the Quran and that reliable hadith do NOT support the death penalty for apostasy. It's critical that we get smart Jesuits and others to be involved in the dialogue with Muslims - those who know Arabic and can argue from knowledge with Muslims.

Tom Haessler

Joseph D'Hippolito

Wait a minute! We have nothing to fear from Islam! Mark Shea said so! See this link:


Since the National Catholic Register published it, it must be true!


Actually, Shea's piece is, as usual, a model of intelligence and good sense. He's not sugarcoating the problems endemic to the Muslim world or the threat radical Islamists pose to the civilized world.

Rather, Shea calmly refutes the battier elements among Christians who extrapolate from this that Allah (the word Arabic-speaking Christians as well as Muslims use for God) is really a "Moon God." How and where is Shea's reasoning wrong -- and where does he say anything like "we have nothing to fear from Islam?"

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