interreligious dialogue

Perpetuating the Gender Myth in Sports

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, Serena Williams had a mental breakdown at the US Open women’s finals. Her behavior was inexcusable and demonstrated a great disrespect for the game, the officials, and her opponent, Naomi Osaka. The umpire, Carlos Ramos, issued her three code violations: first, a warning for receiving coaching (which her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, [...]

On Islam Is on Target

One of the interesting aspects of Fr. James Schall’s refreshing collection of essays, On Islam, is that it provides a chronological record. The first essay appeared in 2003, the last in 2018. This allows the reader to see how our understanding of Islam has changed over those years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed much at all. [...]

The Burqa, the Baker, and the Bishops

Denmark has become the latest European country to ban the Islamic full face veil in public. Wearing the niqab, which shows only the eyes, or the burqa, which covers the entire face, will result in a fine of 1,000 kroner ($156) for the first offense. In addition, anyone who coerces a person to wear a [...]

Do Muslims Need the Gospel?

Should Catholics evangelize Muslims? Currently there doesn’t seem to be much effort in that direction. For example, a recent Pew survey shows that 23 percent of Muslims in America no longer identify with that faith, and, of those, only 9 percent convert to a different faith. The other 91 percent effectively become secular. By the [...]

German Bishops Debate Who Can Receive the Eucharist

Protestantism comes from Germany, its original spark with Martin Luther, and its earliest excesses with the Anabaptist rule over Münster; the latter crushed finally by the prince-bishop’s army, the former however enjoyed enduring success. From Germany, Reformation ideas spread to other European countries, and from there into the whole world, creating new epicenters of Protestant [...]

Put Not Your Trust in Trusting Souls

Considering how much emphasis modern churchmen put on trust, it’s worth noting that the Bible does not have much to say about trusting others. Of course, the Bible tells us to trust in God, but there is no corresponding command to trust our fellow men. Of the six references to “trust” in the RSV Reader’s [...]

A “Common Word” Versus Common Sense

If you’ve seen the movie version of Porgy and Bess, you might recall Sammy Davis Jr.’s rendition of “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” At a church picnic, Sportin’ Life, a somewhat disreputable character, tries to convince the others that “the things that you’re liable to read in the Bible, It ain’t necessarily so.” He then proceeds [...]

Why Doesn’t Liberation Theology Apply to the People of Iran?

Liberation theology, which was out of favor under John Paul II and Benedict XVI, seems to have made a comeback under Pope Francis. Francis has rehabilitated several liberation theologians and even appointed some to advisory positions. Meanwhile, high ranking prelates in the Middle East support Palestinian efforts to liberate themselves from the supposedly oppressive rule [...]

Nostra Aetate and the Catholic Response to Islam

I have encountered serious Catholics who have invoked the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions) as seemingly discouraging or even reproving any kind of searching public examination and criticism of Islam. What exactly does this short statement of the Vatican II Fathers have to say about [...]

Islam—The View from Disney Country

The Diocese of Orlando recently reprimanded a sixth grade teacher at a Catholic school for an “unfortunate exhibit of disrespect.” What did he do? He provided printouts to students of St. John Bosco’s negative assessment of Islam. St. John Bosco called Islam a “monstrous mixture of Judaism, Paganism, and Christianity,” and explained that Muhammad “propagated [...]

Catholic Enablers of Islam

I recently wrote a piece about the civilizational struggle with Islam. In response, a reader asked for some specific practical ways that Catholics could resist Islam. I replied with a short list of steps Church leaders could take: Break off dialogue with Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as ISNA and ICNA. Stop lending them legitimacy. Stop [...]

Is Anyone Catholic Anymore?

God is the Most Real Being, so our religion is about what we accept as most real. It’s our basic understanding of the world, to which all our other views must accommodate themselves. That’s a problem. To all appearances, Catholics have pretty much the same basic understandings as other people. Otherwise, our thoughts and actions [...]

Bishops Ignore Laws of Probability, Chase after Red Herring

“Only a blind man can deny that there is great confusion in the Church.” ∼ Carlo Cardinal Caffarra Cardinal Caffarra was speaking about the confusion surrounding Amoris Laetitia and the Church’s teaching about marriage and divorce. But much the same could be said about the Church’s position on Islam. The discrepancy between what Church leaders say [...]

Sacrificing for the Faith vs. Sacrificing the Faith

The Church rightly honors martyrs for their sacrifice. Nowadays, however, there seems to be some confusion about the subject. It’s one thing to lay down your life for your faith. It’s another thing to lay down your faith for the sake of some secondary good such as interreligious harmony. I don’t know of any Church [...]

When Dialogue is a Distraction

Pope Francis has announced a commission to study the female diaconate, following through on a suggestion he made to a group of women religious a few months ago. The announcement has been met with all manner of speculation and punditry, and not a little confusion. The confusion flows from the fact that the topic was [...]

Catholicism and Christian Pluralism

Have you ever overheard people discussing how world religions are basically the same, and only superficially different? “We have different opinions about the small stuff,” someone says, “but when it comes down to the essential beliefs, every religion is the same.” This has been described as the “God on the Mountain” perspective. God (or whatever [...]

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Believe it or not, there really is a religious movement called “Chrislam.” It began in Nigeria in the 1980s as an attempt to foster peace between Muslims and Christians by blending elements of Islam and Christianity. Its followers stress the commonalities between the two faiths and they recognize both the Koran and the Bible as [...]

Retrieving Apologetics

A number of Catholics, including theologians, think that the Church should not engage in apologetics. These critics claim that Vatican II made apologetics obsolete by calling for the Church to embrace, and no longer turn its back on, the modern world. They say theology is supposed to engage pressing contemporary issues that affect everyone, but [...]

How the Sensitivity Movement Desensitized Catholics to Evil

Remember bell-bottoms, beads, and tie-dyed shirts? Remember encounter groups, Esalen, and trust falls? Remember “self-esteem,” “risk-taking,” “self-awareness” and the other clichés that were born with the human potential movement? Both bell-bottoms and human potential psychology became popular in the mid-sixties. Bell-bottoms, however, eventually went out of style. Human potential psychology never did. If you don’t [...]

The Downside of Dialogue

Dialoguers say the darndest things. The conclusion to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, Revelation: Catholic and Muslim Perspectives, contains the following: “Both Jesus and Muhammad loved and cared for all whom they met, especially the poor and oppressed.” Would that include the seven hundred men of the Qurayza tribe who were beheaded [...]

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Slams Islamists

In reaction to the depredations of the Islamic State in Iraq, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issued a statement last week strongly condemning the militants. The statement also called on religious leaders, “especially Muslims,” to condemn the crimes and denounce “the use of religion to justify them.” “If not,” it asks, “what credibility will [...]

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