Sunday, March 23, 2008

Benedict Gives Them the Old Time Religion

Pope Benedict XVI has taken yet another deliberate step in reversing the trend in Europe and the Christian West to lie down and submit to Islam without a fight. At the Easter vigil on Saturday night in St. Peter’s in Rome, Benedict baptized “Magdi Allam, 55, an outspoken Egyptian-born critic of Islamic extremism and supporter of Israel, who has been under police protection for five years following death threats against him over his criticism of suicide bombings.” (“Pope risks Muslim anger by baptising controversial journalist”).

The Easter vigil is the traditional time when catechumens and converts are welcomed into the Church. There isn't anything unusual in an convert, Allam included, being baptized in this way. But because Benedict has already been the target of “Muslim outrage” over his speech at Regensburg University in 2006, when he implied that Islam was “violent, inhumane and irrational,” people seem to think that he is now on a short tether lest he anger Muslims all over again.

But it's turning out that Benedict feels his duty to make disciples: “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matt 28), takes precedence over bridge-building with Islam.

According to the Times Online, Allam had this to say about his conversion:

in a combative article for Corriere della Sera, the Italian paper of which he is a deputy editor, Mr Allam - who has lived in Italy most of his adult life and has a Catholic wife - said his soul had been "liberated from the obscurantism of an ideology which legitimises lies and dissimulation, violent death, which induces both murder and suicide, and blind submission to tyranny".
Instead he had "seen the light" and joined "the authentic religion of Truth, Life and Liberty".

He added: "Beyond the phenomenon of extremists and Islamist terrorism at the global level, the root of evil is inherent in a physiologically violent and historically conflictual Islam." ….

He said that by baptising him publicly the Pope had "sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too cautious in the conversion of Muslims because of the fear of being unable to protect the converted, who are condemned to death for apostasy".

He added: "Thousands of people in Italy have converted to Islam and practise their faith serenely. But there are also thousands of Muslims who have converted to Christianity but are forced to hide their new faith out of fear of being killed by Islamist terrorists."

Good for Benedict, and Allam, and Happy Easter.


Anonymous said...

Happy Easter to you!

Really great posts today! I saw this man being baptized while watching EWTN the other day but at the time did not realize the significance of this particular act. The Pope is an absolute hero.

Long live B16!


Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Magdi Allam! May God bless him. He is very courageous. And thank God for our good Pope Benedict.