Friday, May 03, 2013

Bishop McManus claims that Catholic-Muslim inter-religious dialogue has produced a good harvest; But has it?

In a previous post, I noted how Bishop Robert McManus (Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts) - the same Bishop who couldn't find the time to dialogue with me regarding my desire to discern a priestly vocation within the diocese - has asserted that the Catholic Church's inter-religious dialogue with Muslims "has produced a harvest of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation throughout the world and here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

This is the sort of statement which is so asinine that only someone whose mind is far-removed from reality can actually believe it.  Islam, as Hilaire Belloc reminds us, "began as a heresy, not as a new religion.  It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy. It was a perversion of Christian doctrine.  Its vitality and endurance soon gave it the appearance of a new religion, but those who were contemporary with its rise saw it for what it was - not a denial, but an adaptation and a misuse, of the Christian thing." (The Great Heresies, p. 42).

This perversion of Christian doctrine, which denies that Jesus is the Christ and that He died on the cross to atone for our sins, makes the claim that it alone is destined to become the religion of all mankind.  Islam divides the world into two camps: those who are lost and those who are the elect, the Dar al-Harb and the Dar al-Islam respectively.

Is an authentic dialogue with Islam even possible?  In any inter-religious dialogue, Pope John Paul II insists that, "There must be no abandonment of principles nor false irenicism, but instead a witness given and received for mutual advancement on the road of religious inquiry and experience, and at the same time for the elimination of prejudice, intolerance and misunderstandings." (Redemptoris Missio, No. 56).

But as Father Piero Gheddo has said, "In no Islamic country are Christians totally free, unlike Muslims in the West...The Muslims should examine their own consciences with regard to their collective behavior: the systematic violation of human rights, terrorism, oppressive practices against women and children, the lack of democracy, religious and social formalism that crushes the individual." ("Islam, accordo impossibile," Global Foreign Policy, March/April 2004).

And Bishop McManus insists that inter-religious dialogue with Muslims has produced "a harvest of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation"?  More like a harvest of shame Bishop.

For some people, the purpose of dialogue is not to attain truth but rather to achieve personal victory and to triumph at any cost. As Dr. Montague Brown explains in his wonderful book "The One-Minute Philosopher" (Sophia Institute Books): "An argument (emotional, not rational) is a disorderly confrontation based on an unwillingness to learn from one another. Desire for victory takes precedence over love of truth, with the result that agreement becomes an argument, I simply want my position to be the right one and you to agree with me. I am, indeed, looking for agreement, but on my terms, not in terms of objective truth." (p. 33). An authentic dialogue (which such people are not really interested in) is, " orderly confrontation based on a mutual willingness to learn from one another. It involves the presentation of evidence by each party and then a good-faith attempt of the participants in the discussion to come to agreement...In a discussion [or dialogue], I do not primarily want to disagree: I want to know the truth.." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 32).

Take note of what Dr. Brown is saying here.  Authentic dialogue involves the "presentation of evidence by each party."  Why then did Bishop McManus rescind Robert Spencer's invitation to speak at the Catholic Men's Conference?  Where is the mutual willingness to learn from each other?


Michael F Poulin said...

Perhaps its time for this bishop to resign. Soft on dissenters, lacks leadership, teaching skills, allows heretics to run wild throughout the chancery and parishes, catechetics a joke in this diocese, priests who don't know Catechism or Scriptures, priests who corrupt the Mass and treat Jesus with contempt, and now worse he seems to have no understanding of Islam at all. What a fool. Is the "rich harvest " of three dead persons and hundreds injured in Boston adequate for the bishop? Can we endure many more such "rich harvests" Mr McManus?
It kills me to have to say this in a public forum, but private letters disappear into some black hole and seem to have zero effect on this man. As far as I am concerned I have no bishop.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I couldn't have said it better Mike. This Diocese suffers from a lack of authentic shepherds. And the Lord's flock is wanting for lack of knowledge.

Michael Cole said...

The Bishop is losing his credibility because of his refusal to dialogue with Catholics faithful to the Magisterium. While he has shown himself to be entirely welcoming to New Age ideology, radical feminists and dissenters, those who embrace the Church's teaching as outlined in the Catechism are either treated with contempt or simply ignored. I have written numerous letters to the Bishop and these were also ignored. And I was always charitable. I spoke with a woman just last week, and she related that her letters to the Bishop have also always been ignored.

This is his modus operandi: ignore and ostracize faithful Catholics and embrace dissent and radical feminism as well as spirituality which is New Age or occult in nature.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I was at Holy Mass at Saint Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg yesterday and once again the Nicene Creed was omitted. It was replaced with the Apostles Creed. This is only permitted under certain circumstances (children's Mass for example). Once again, Fr. Trainor has made an unauthorized change to the liturgy. In a previous post, in which I quote extensively from Dr. Germain Grisez, I note how such unauthorized changes constitute grave matter.

Jonathan said...

Apostles Creed instead of Nicene Creed?

Question from Jackie Manocchia on 7/18/2001:

Dear Fathers & Mr. Donovan:

At my parish, the priest omits the Nicene Creed every Sunday and says the Apostles Creed instead. Is this acceptable? I am uncomfortable with this. If this is not acceptable, could you please tell me how I might approach Father to say the Nicene Creed instead? I believe the Nicene Creed to be an even fuller statement of our Faith and I believe in this current time of liturgical difficulty/confusion, we need the Nicene Creed even more now. Thank you for your internet apostolate to us all. In the love of Jesus & Mary.


Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 8/2/2001:
The bishops are seeking permission to do this during Lent, but until it is approved all priests are obliged to say the Nicene Creed on Sundays and Solemnities. The exception is when rituals such as those for catechumens during Lent make the Mass longer. They may omit the Creed in such instances, otherwise, not.

So, it is not about what you, or I, or Father want or think best, but of fidelity to the Church. The Church tells us when exceptions can be made. If Rome accepts the bishops' request only then will the Apostle's Creed be legitimately substituted.

Source EWTN:

Unknown said...

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The Muslim WORLD does not Bat an Eye or Skip a Heart beat.

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Anonymous said...

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The Muslims Across the Middle East and IN the USA - NEVER Rise Up and Put A Stop to the The Killing and Violence. Because Muslims REALLY Dont Care.. Islam is not a religion OF Peace.. The Muslim WORLD does not Bat an Eye or Skip a Heart beat.

Learn the TRUTH /FACTS about ISLAM Thank You.

Protect Yourself \ Educate Yourself

Please Go to reXes website

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