The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has issued greetings to Muslims on the occasion of the feast of Eid al-Fitr. The Very Reverend Denis Stanley, Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for the Melbourne Archdiocese, wrote:
The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne would like to extend its best wishes to the Muslim community in Victoria and Australia on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast, celebrated at the end of the sacred month of Ramadan.
The Holy Qur’an was first revealed in the month of Ramadan and had a special purpose:
And We sent down of the Qur’an that which is healing and mercy for the believers…” (Qur’an 17:82). The Prophet Muhammad was also sent as an instrument of God’s mercy: “And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the worlds.” (Qur’an 21:107).
Ramadan, therefore, has been a time of reflecting on God’s mercy and preparing oneself to receive it….
Note that Stanley doesn’t write that Muslims believe that the Qur’an was revealed, or that Muhammad was sent as an instrument of God’s mercy. He states these elements of Islamic belief as if they were universally accepted facts.
Does the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, then, believe that the Qur’an was revealed by God, and that Muhammad is a true prophet? Stanley, if challenged (which he will not be) on this point, would probably say no, he was just being generous and ecumenical. Very well. But then why not speak precisely, rather than sow confusion by making what appear to be affirmations of Islamic faith? And when have the Melbourne Archdiocese Muslim partners in “interfaith dialogue” ever made affirmations of Christian faith in a likewise generous and ecumenical spirit? Why, never, of course. They’re more careful, and more aware of what the purpose of the “dialogue” really is.
What’s more: the issuance of such a fulsome and fatuous message, with no reference whatsoever to the Christians being exiled and massacred by believers in the Qur’an and Muhammad and in accord with their teachings, is nothing short of obscene.