What is to be done, however, when the black sheep is actually the shepherd in charge of the flock..?
A controversial Dutch Catholic Bishop, Tiny Muskens, who has previously raised eyebrows with his decidedly un-catholic pronouncements on the acceptability of using condoms, is back in the news, this time for asking his fellow Dutch Catholics to appease muslim immigrants to Holland, by praying to allah.
From Radio Netherlands:
The Bishop of Breda, Tiny Muskens, wants people to start calling God Allah. He says the Netherlands should look to Indonesia, where the Christian churches already pray to Allah. It is also common in the Arab world: Christian and Muslim Arabs use the words God and Allah interchangeably.
Speaking on the Dutch TV programme Network on Monday evening, Bishop Muskens says it could take another 100 years but eventually the name Allah will be used by Dutch churches. And that will promote rapprochement between the two religions.
"Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa (Almighty God) for eight years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years. In the heart of the Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can't we start doing that together?"
[Several years ago the bishop] also suggested abolishing Whit Monday as a national holiday in favour of an Islamic religious day.
Are we going to start seeing a schism within the Catholic Church similar to the one brewing in the Anglican Church over doctrinal issues? Are Catholics in store for a modern-day Avignon Papacy? Or is Bishop Muskens a lone wolf in sheep's clothing?
Reasonable people are perfectly willing to accomodate reasonable requests by reasonable guests, but adopting the arabic name of God is not an accomodation that many traditionalist Catholics are likely to follow.
Bishop Musken, I think your recommendation pushes your diocese One Bridge Too Far.