Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Variety is the spice of (eternal) life

Do you feel that our tired old Christian religion needs freshening up? Bishop 'Tinybrain" Muskens of Holland thinks so.
He suggests praying to Allah for a change.

Here's the gen, from Catholic World News:
A Dutch Catholic bishop has suggested that Christians should refer to God as "Allah" to promote better relations with Muslims.
Bishop Martinus "Tiny" Muskens of Breda told the "Network" television show that "God doesn't really care how we address Him."
Pointing out that "Allah" is a term already used by Christians who speak Arabic, Bishop Muskens said that humans are needlessly divided over such terminology. God, the bishop said, is above such "bickering."
The Dutch bishop admitted that his suggestion was not likely to gain widespread acceptance. But he predicted that within a century or two, Dutch Catholics would be addressing prayers to "Allah."

So this will result in promoting better relations with Muslims? Shame the New Yorkers in St Patrick's Cathedral didn't know that on 8/11.


Anonymous said...

will have a word later with Anton a Dutch seminarian staying at the Oratory for a couple of weeks..check my blog..i don't think he'd approve!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it 9/11, Father?

Anonymous said...

"God doesn't really care how we address Him."

What a sad irritating old git!
But I didn't Jeusus tell us to God "Our Father..."

Christianity has spent 2000 years discussing exactly how we address and name God. Certainly Arab Christians address or rather refer to him as Allah and did so before Mohamed was sleeping with his child bride, and killing all those people, but to expect Europeans to take on something which is so not of their culture is absurd.

I await Mgsr Budd to come out with a similar statement.

White Stone Name Seeker said...

If I was Chaldean I would refer to God as Allah-but I'd refer to Him as Abba too...

Ma Beck said...

Sure, when the Muslims start venerating images of Padre
Pio and wearing "WWJD?" bracelets and having Easter ham, I'll hop on that train.

gemoftheocean said...

Bishop Muskens can go climb up a rope and disappear.

Ronan said...

Mmm, I doubt Jesus used the words 'Our Father' in 1st Century Jerusalem ... and if Allah is indeed just the arabic word for God, then what is the big deal?

As for the 9/11 comment, that's just cheap. Who's your next target, Father? The jews, for crucifying our saviour?

Fr Justin said...

Ronan: I have not the slightest doubt that our Lord used the words 'our Father'
And I really think that your jibe about the Jews is not particularly expensive, either. My point, which I'm sure you understood perfectly well, is that there is an awful lot more to improving relations with Moslems than simply using 'Allah' instead of 'God' in Holland! I'm perfectly aware that 'Allah' is used for 'God' in, for example, Malta. That was not the point.

Ronan said...

You're right, i was being just as cheap. As for 'our father', i don't think even Chaucer's english used those particular words, so it'd be amazing if Jesus did!

I don't think pointing at 9/11 is going to improve relations with muslims, though, especially when muslims can point at the two full-scale invasions that purportedly Christian leaders launched in supposed retaliation.

Fr Justin said...

Ronan: I see, you meant in English; I misunderstood you, sorry.
Yes, I take your point about the invasions. I am no fan of those, either. They cannot, of course, justify 9/11, or mean that we cannot still demand that Islam put its house in order. It's just that since the invasions we have less reason to take the high moral ground.