Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Consider the Remarks of the Archbishop of Mosul in the Light of Pope Francis

From the Archbishop of Mosul:

 "Our sufferings today are a prelude of those that you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future," said the Archbishop of Mosul in an interview with Corriere della Sera.  "I lost my diocese.  The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead.  But my community is still alive.
"Please try to understand us.  Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.  You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims.

He warns us, "Also you are in danger.  You must take strong an courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.

The archbishop continues:  "You think all men are equal, but that is not true:  Islam does not say that all men are equal.  Your values are not their values.  If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home."

From Pope Francis:
252. Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”.198 The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy to- wards those most in need.

253. In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence. 

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