Thursday, May 04, 2006

Cardinal Pell's Suggestion

This isn't a liturgy story, but I cannot but help pass comment on it: Cardinal Pell of Sydney encourages Catholics to read Koran

In this story, we find the following:

"Cardinal Pell gave his own personal experience on Islam, particularly in the aftermath on September 11. "I recognized that I had to know more about Islam” he conceded.

"I decided then to read this book for myself as a first step to adjudicating conflicting claims. And I recommend that you too read this sacred text of the Muslims, because the challenge of Islam will be with us for the remainder of our lives – at least".

I get the idea the Cardinal is going after, and it seems clear to me that he is not being a syncretist or any such thing. But a thought goes through my mind:

Most Catholics have never read the Bible or the Catechism, and many of the younger generation have never even heard of the Catechism.

It seems a touch imprudent to advise such Catholic people, many of whom aren't terribly well formed in their own Faith, to pick up the religious text of another religion. Without a good solid formation in their own Faith, how can they compare, or read critically -- or for that matter, not come out with a mish-mash of ideas?

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