Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bishop urges Dutch Catholics to pray to allah

Every group tends to have its black sheep; it’s an inevitable challenge to working as a team. Every family seems to possess its black sheep as well, which helps us develop the grace to live with disappointments, and accept the reality that not everything (or everyone) will always go our way.

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.


truepeers said...

Well this Bishop sounds like a bit of a fool. But in principle, Christians can invoke God in any language - Christianity, as it converts new populations, is the religion that translates the Bible into the local vernaculars and thus helps combine monotheist religion and national identity, strengthening both (a combination this Bishop seems out to destroy though he may not understand it at all). Islam is the religion that wants to Arabize the world and have everyone praying to "Allah". Why should we encourage that?

It is of course a theological question. But this Bishop seems more interested in p.r. stunts. I wonder if he really thinks that one day will be his judgment day.

Dag said...

I hurt so much I must go to bed. I'm going to laugh all night long.

All the Netherlands needs is more Tiny Munchkins to ruin a flat-land even further. And Christianity? Well, let's sort out the wheat from the chaff, even if it is a three popes, a lunatic and a drunkard on the throne.

Tiny Munchkins!

I will dream of them tonight flying across the dikes and coming to take me away.

reliable sources said...

I am just recovering from reading an article where UBC spokesperson, Janet Mee, says UBC is "keen" to accomodate Muslims. She was talking about the decision to install foot baths in the bathrooms near a prayer room where Muslim students from Saudi Arabia pray five times a day.

Now I read this priest's suggestion that we all use the word Allah for God. The words you use help shape the way you think.

All of this multi-culti accomodation for a woman-hating religion makes me think of a friend of a friend who used to constantly say, in his Scottish accent, "What'll it be next? What'll it be next?"

maccusgermanis said...

Boortz gives a counter-offer.

"But while we're busy changing the names of our churches to the So and So Church of Allah, maybe there's a few things that our lovely peace-loving Muslims could do to meet us halfway."