It is not only a “Christian conscience that is unsure of itself,” but a general Western conscience, so dulled by multiculturalism and the politically correct dogma of moral equivalency, that has left nonbelievers, and especially apostates, in Islamic countries unjustly deprived of support and of uncompromising insistence on their safety and civil rights.
From Chiesa, with thanks to Hugh Fitzgerald:
ROMA – Broken by the very well-informed agency “AsiaNews” of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, the news of the arrest in Egypt of citizens guilty only of being ex-Muslim Christians sheds new light on the dangers encountered by those who convert from Islam to another faith.
The dangers are there even in the West, for Muslims who convert. These protect their decision with a thousand precautions. And the Church does the same toward those who convert to the Christian faith. About their preparation for baptism, the Italian bishops’ conference published in 2000 a booklet of instructions. The first:
“From the initial greeting, it is important to guarantee discretion.” Even the total number of baptisms is kept secret. It is known that, in Italy, approximately one half of the converts are Albanian: and these face the least danger, because in Albania Islam is almost exclusively a nominal religion, with very little social command. But for the Maghrebs, or the Syrians, or the Pakistanis, the risk is serious. Both the Muslim community at home and their own family ban them like apostates. It can happen that their very lives hang by a thread.
The tendency to conduct dialogue without evangelizing has its own negative repercussions on those who become Christian nonetheless. The complaint of a Maghreb woman named Nura made its way last September all the way to the Vatican: “We feel abandoned. After our conversion, we have no one to support us. We ask the Church for help: protect us, defend us.” Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, responded to her with a bunch of hot air – even worse, with mistrust. “One must always ask for the reasons for this change. It often presents itself as the desire to be a real Italian. But on can be Italian and Muslim at the same time. I would be concerned from the beginning, in the sense of the welcome within the Christian community.”
A few days later, on September 28, John Paul II published the list of the new cardinals. Fitzgerald, who was thought would surely get the red hat, was not there. A few weeks later, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger added in an interview, “we must have the
courage to help these people,” and get rid of a certain “Christian conscience that is unsure of itself.” The authoritative periodical “La CiviltÃ Cattolica,” an unofficial organ of the Holy See, refreshed the public memory about the living conditions in
Islamic countries, with an unprecedentedly tough article. So there’s been a leap forward. Who knows if Nura will feel any less alone?
There’s more at the link above.