Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Is the Pope Catholic? Yes, thank Allah!

Waleed Aly’s piece in today’s edition of The Age makes a good point.

He says the assumption “that fruitful and harmonious interfaith relationships can exist only in a world of post-modern relativism” is “a comprehensive misunderstanding of the basis for interfaith dialogue” based on “a false dichotomy: that people either agree or live in hostility”.

He calls the Pope’s new emphasis on “reciprocity” (ie. if the Saudi’s can fund a large mosque in Rome, why can’t Catholics build churches in Saudi Arabia?) “more an even-handed observation than vitriolic belligerence”.

And finally, regarding Dominus Iesus, he says: “It is emphatically unremarkable that a cardinal would make an exclusive claim to truth on behalf of Christianity, which by definition implies deficiencies in other theologies. Indeed, as much is claimed by proponents of most great religious traditions.”

Thanks, Waleed. Sometimes the great benefit of interfaith dialogue is that an outsider’s point of view is able to shine the light of clarity on our own internal arguements.

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