Malaysian Christians have been forbidden to use the word “Allah” for God, although in Arabic-speaking Muslim countries, Christians have used this word since before the advent of Islam. Archbishop Marino sided with the Christians, whereupon Muslims started calling for him to be expelled from the country. So Marino has now duly apologized and affirmed his commitment to “dialogue,” which always and everywhere apparently means Christians apologizing for daring to point out anything remotely redolent of Muslim persecution or harassment of Christians.
It’s the spirit of the age. But I wonder, 100 years from now, what fruits there will be to show for all this “dialogue,” beyond a large number of Christians who were persecuted and then betrayed by their dialogue-seeking brethren.
KUALA LUMPUR: Vatican envoy to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino has conveyed his apologies to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman for his comments on the “Allah” issue and any misunderstanding it has caused.
In a statement released today, Marino said that it was never his intention to interfere in the internal affairs of Malaysia.
“The comments were never intended as an attempt to intrude into the internal affairs of the country,” the statement said, adding that Marino extended his apology for any misunderstanding over it.
It was learnt that Marino attended a closed-door meeting with Anifah at Wisma Putra here on Tuesday afternoon.
Here is the full text of the statement.
At noon today (16 July 2013), the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Joseph Marino, had the opportunity to speak directly with the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who had called him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the comments recently reported in the local media.
He was grateful to the Minister for the meeting during which he assured him the comments were never intended as an attempt to intrude into the internal affairs of the country. In that context, he asked him to convey apologies for any misunderstandings and inconveniences that it may have caused.
In fact the Apostolic Nuncio happily told the Honorable Minister, that as the former Holy See’s Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh, a country whose majority population is Muslim, he firmly believes that inter-religious dialogue is the means to promote good relations among peoples of different faiths, who can discover the beauty of each others’ belief. Consequently, he assured the Minister of the commitment of this Mission to promote closer relations among all religions.