Yesterday I posted a piece about Catholic leaders contemplating a more realistic stance toward Islam. Here is another in which the dhimmitude option comes in for some gentle questioning. From the International Herald Tribune, with thanks to the Norwegian Kafir:
ROME – One is from Nigeria, a man who grew up among Muslims and says there is no clash of cultures.
Wow. Really? A man who grew up among Muslims says that? In Nigeria? If he really says that, I wonder if maybe he grew up in a lovely padded cell, say, on the outskirts of Lagos.
Another is from Germany and believes that it might be useful to talk to Muslims but that it is better to revitalize Christianity. Others speak of the need for Muslims in Europe to integrate better or even to become more secular.
By coincidence or not, many cardinals mentioned as candidates to be the next pope have strongly expressed positions on Islam and on whether the Roman Catholic Church’s relations with Muslims should be conciliatory or a notch more confrontational.
John Paul II had a consistent, even groundbreaking, strategy for addressing Islam: Talk at all costs, even if there were few concrete results. But in the Vatican, and especially since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, his unbudging advocacy of dialogue had long spawned criticism, mostly quiet, as being not muscular enough.
Now, although relations with Islam will not be the decisive issue for the 115 cardinals who will meet to select the next pope, the debate is seen as vital because it intersects centrally with other major issues facing the church: increasing secularism in Europe, contrasting with the religious revival in the Islamic world; relations with other religions, a priority for John Paul II; and the rising number of Muslim immigrants in Europe. The dwindling number of Christians in the Middle East is also a major concern.
Though the discussion in the church is nuanced,
Oh, that’s good. Muhammad B. would approve.
less a matter of opposing camps than of shades and emphasis, much of it revolves around two questions: How great a danger does Islam, the world’s second-largest religion, present to Christianity, the largest? And how useful would it be to continue, in the same way, John Paul’s policy of dialogue between the
Most cardinals who are considered possible papal candidates lean closer to John Paul’s embracing of dialogue. But there are hints, too, that cardinals want to overcome what has been a major internal criticism of the pope’s efforts at talks with Muslims: that it has managed to reach out only to moderates, not to the hard-liners who pose greater risks.
“I would hope that in the future, the way of dialogue would in fact increase and make inroads in the other parts of Islam,” Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the archbishop of Westminster, England, told reporters on April 6….