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Naivety in Christ's Church


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Light and darkness have nothing in common.   Christ is not the ally of Belial, nor has a believer anything to share with an unbeliever.

2 Cor. 6:14-15

On Wednesday, 1 st April 2004, at the instigation of the State's atheist Premier, Bob Carr, the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, permitted a Muslim cleric from New York, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, to preach in St Mary's Catholic Cathedral.   The action was unprecedented.   So was the congregation.   It consisted, according to one newspaper, 'of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and non believers' and was 'a thousand strong'.   The Imam said--

We are Christians, Jews, and Muslims. We are Roman Catholics, Protestants, and members of other faiths, some practicing and some not.   We are from diverse cultures of the world.   But today we have come together, at the invitation of two inspired men of Sydney--our Premier Bob Carr and our Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal Pell, to confirm the common ground of our faiths, on which we all stand united, to assert our common values, values that constrain us to act in the highest and truest sense of what it means to be human.[w]e intend to deepen our belief that effective public engagement around difficult issues can include, and in fact, requires, religious voices.   From our own experience, we affirm that multiple religious voices praying and working together can serve our deepest common good when joined together to represent the conscience of our communities.

Notwithstanding that he invoked 'religious' values, the Imam's appeal was not to anything religious, not to placing our trust in 'God'.   It was an appeal to nothing higher than human cooperation.   Amongst his religious hearers he appealed to the lowest common denominator--

In the Córdoba Initiative which we are pursuing in America, we began a simple exercise: we called it The Children of Abraham Break Bread Together.   The event was held at St Bartholomew's Church in New York City ten months ago.   Over three hundred Christians, Jews and Muslims came together to break bread, eat together, and share stories about the primary role that bread has played in the Abrahamic religions and cultures.   Beginning with fresh delicious challah bread and salt that our Jewish brothers and sisters broke to begin and honor the sacredness of the Sabbath, to the bread that represents the body of Jesus Christ that our Christian brothers and sisters symbolically ingest in the moving transformational power of the sacrament of the Eucharist, the evening demonstrated --through words, music and theatre --how something as simple as bread can teach us profound truths, transcend differences and evoke an atmosphere in which interfaith dialogue occurs spontaneously.

Interestingly, he did not include in this encomium the significance of bread to Mohammedanism.

The New York based Asma Society of Islamic Culture & Arts organised the Córdoba Bread Fest.   On its website [ ] its Executive Director, Daisy Khan asserts--

[t]he history of Córdoba is an important reminder of how a pluralistic, tolerant society can flourish..   It reminds us not only that different religions can live together in peace, it shows that when we do, we are capable of enormous things.   Cordóba produced two of the most notable scholars, the Jewish scholar called Maimonides and the Muslim scholar, Averroes, or in Arabic, Ibn Rushd.

Long after the conquest of Spain by the Muslims in the year 711 AD the Spanish city 'Córdoba' [Cordova] became a cultural centre.   The two scholars mentioned lived in the 12 th century.   They were, indeed, great philosophers [1].   Both were born in Córdoba--Averroes in 1126, and Moses Maimonides in 1135.   Averroes spent much of his life there but the Rabbi Moses was driven with his family from the city by the fanatical Almohads in 1148, just 13 years after his birth, and never returned.   The assertion that Córdoba represented a pluralistic, tolerant society is unfounded.   The society was Muslim dominated; the Jews were tolerated; a perpetual enmity divided Muslim and Christian, only ended when the Mohammedans were driven from their last stronghold in the Iberian Peninsula, Granada, by Queen Isabel of Castile in 1492.   That enmity has revived with the return of Muslims to Spain as witnesses the slaughter committed by Muslims in Madrid this year.

The Offence to Christ in His Church

Jesus Christ is God.   There is no salvation apart from Him.   The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ; every other religion save Judaism is the invention of men and the dispensation of Judaism has, by Divine decree, been superseded with the coming of His Son.   The Catholic Church is the only way of salvation for mankind.   The Catholic Church does not claim to be one church among many.   It claims that there is only one way to heaven, the way chosen by Almighty God and all other ways are illusory.

There is no peace in the world which does not come from Jesus Christ, that is, from Almighty God .   A Catholic bishop who involves himself in a gathering whose asserted aim is to further the process of peace among men while ignoring Jesus Christ manifests, at best, a marvellous naïvety, and at worst, utter irresponsibility.

The permission for this gathering by, and its conduct under the auspices of, the Archbishop of Sydney was an abuse of Christ and of His Church.   The foolish permission having been given, the evil consequences flowed, three of them in particular.

The Imam preached a quasi masonic syncretism in which he sought to reduce Christianity, Judaism and Mohammedanism to one-'the Abrahamic religions' in which 'differences are transcended' and ''dialogue occurs spontaneously'.   This suits the Mohammedans' claim that their religion comes from Abraham and that Abraham was a Muslim!   Mohammedans have no difficulty with other religions provided these acknowledge their subservience to 'the one true religion' of Mohammedanism.   They are like the masons in this for masons have no problem with religion either, provided the believer understands that his religion must be subservient to masonic doctrine.   Both manifest the hallmarks of gnosticism.

In his Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique [25.8.1910] to the French archbishops and bishops St Pius X condemned the French Sillonist movement because it promoted--

a democracy which will be neither Catholic nor Protestant nor Jewish. It will be a religion . more universal than the Catholic Church, uniting all men, brothers and comrades at last, in the 'kingdom of God'. [and] the establishment of a One World Church which will have neither dogmas, nor hierarchy, neither discipline for the mind, nor curb for the passions.

The notion, the saintly pontiff taught, was contrary to the Catholic Faith because it denies implicitly that there is only one true religion. Pope Pius XI in his encyclical Mortalium Animos [On Religious Unity, 6.1.1928] condemned the opinion--

which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgement of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but . they reject [true religion] and, little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism . [and abandon] the divinely revealed religion.

Secondly, the Imam's preaching of Mohammedanism was aided by the Cardinal, if not before, certainly after the event when he made the admission that he had arranged that the crucifixes in the Cathedral should be covered.   It was Lent.   The crucifixes are often covered in Catholic churches in Lent.   But in the week before this event, the Fourth Week of Lent, in St Mary's Cathedral they were not covered.   When asked about this later, Cardinal Pell said that this covering of the crucifixes was done 'partly out of respect for Imam Feisal'.   In surah 4 of the Qu'ran it is denied that Christ was crucified or killed.

Thirdly, the Imam mistated the reality of the Eucharist.   The bread of the Eucharist does not 'represent' or 'symbolise' the body of Jesus Christ .   It is Jesus Christ.

Three insults were given Almighty God--the Church He instituted was denied; the Cross, the instrument of His Salvation of mankind was denied; the Sacrament of our salvation was denied.

Bishop's Oath to Christ

In the course of the oath he took on becoming a bishop, Cardinal Pell promised inter alia that he would preserve the Catholic Faith in its entirety, hand it on faithfully and make it shine forth; that he would follow and foster the discipline of the Church and see to the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law ; that he would associate himself with the teaching and practice of the Church; and that he would faithfully assist his fellow bishops so that the Church's apostolic activity was carried out in communion with the Church.

Canon 1210 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states:

In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion.   Anything out of harmony with the holiness of the place is forbidden.   The Ordinary may however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place.

The word 'religion' in this context, does not mean 'any religion': it means the Catholic religion, the One True Faith.   How did this gathering constitute a use which served to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion?   How did the permission for it not run contrary to the sacred character of the place?--especially when the Ordinary involved apparently thought it more important to pay respect to a Muslim cleric than to Jesus Christ Whom he had sworn to serve?

Loss of Sense of Office

The Cardinal's conduct reminds one of the conduct of other bishops in the past who have thought it appropriate to subordinate the dignity of their high office and march in Marxist inspired Palm Sunday 'Peace rallies'.   But his conduct was worse.   Those others merely degraded themselves but the Cardinal degraded Christ's Church because he allowed a sacred place, St Mary's Cathedral, the mother church of Australia, to be misused.

At the heart of the problem is a loss of understanding of the dignity of the priesthood, of its fulness in the office of bishop, descendent of the Apostles, and of the office of Cardinal, prince of the Church of Jesus Christ.


There is a wide spread naivety among the ministers of the Catholic Church about Islam.   They have never bothered to read the Qu'ran or to draw the consequences of its teachings.   They have lost any sense of cause and effect; of principle and consequence.   The root cause for this has been dealt with in an earlier paper on this website: it is the loss of any sense of metaphysics.

Is the slaughter in East Timor forgotten?   There Muslim Timoreans massacred their countrymen for no other reason than that they were Christian and predominantly Catholic.   Mohammedanism is a bullying and hateful religion.   Any attempt at rapprochement with it is folly and panders to its desire for dominance.   Not many days after the gathering in St Mary's Cathedral another Muslim cleric addressed a meeting, also one thousand strong, in Bankstown Town Hall and, to the cheers of his audience, poured scorn on Christianity.

A further consequence of the loss of metaphysics is the inability to make distinctions such as that between per se and per accidens .   There may be loving and humble Muslims but if so this will be accidental.   Per se , or essentially, the religion of Mohammedanism inclines its followers to hatred and to pride.   It is the antithesis of Catholicism, the religion established by Almighty God.

How significant that this gathering should have occurred on 1st April   The playing of jokes on our fellows on that day has faded with the passing of the years.   But it is clear that the devil has not forgotten April Fools Day!

Michael Baker
Easter Sunday 2004

[1] Both philosophers were followers of Aristotle and the works of both were fruitful sources for the Church's greatest philosopher, St Thomas Aquinas, in the following century.