Cardinal William Levada's comments on Islam


#1

I was just reading a wikipedia article which states that Cardinal William Levada, who is the Prefect for the congregation of the doctrine of the faith said the following:

If both Islam and Christianity view themselves as universal and missionary, it does not mean an impasse but an opportunity to search further into the mystery of that faith to see how it resonates and relates to the other’s faith.

Could anyone clarify what he meant?


#2

One liberal from one faith speaking to liberals in another faith (of course there are no liberals in Islam so Levada is taking to himself).


#3

Ummm, ok… Do you actually know what he was talking about? He IS the Prefect to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the position that the current Pope once held, and he is a strong advocate of the Catholic Church.


#4

Sounds like a call for peace and understanding, instead of insults, violence, and oppression.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight


#5

Wikipedia does not cite its source so context/accuracy is unknown…as are many things on wikipedia.

I found this:10 Questions for William J. Levada

how do you respond to the spread of violence in the name of another world religion, Islam?
If a religious leader is preaching violence, he has mistaken his religion. Religion is about our vision and worship of God, and recognition that we are part of God’s family. Violence cannot be a religious tenant. The Holy Father made an important declaration to Muslim leaders, that we need to hear them telling their people that God does not sanction violence.

I think the Church is carefull and in her efforts to be the cause of peace rather than conflict only ever promotes the concept of a mutual similarity between the faiths be they true or not.


#6

If there were in fact no similarity at all between Islam and Christianity, then the Church would not be peddling a falsehood that there are similarities.

After all, the Church even recognizes a commonality with members of non-Abrahamic religions which have far less in common with Christianity than Islam does. If Islam were indeed as “alien” as, say, Hinduism or Buddhism, the Church could talk about it in the same was as it talks about those religions and still be promoting peace.


#7

The similarity is scant and the Church is not the one peddling falsehoods. Only because Islam falsely associates the God of Abraham to allah, and illigetimately puts Mohamed among the prophets of God- since Mohamedeans believe this lie- the Church seeks to use that common ground, false as it is in having Moslems adopt from the true faith things that are obviously missing in theirs whcih is war is not and should not be sanctioned by God.

After all, the Church even recognizes a commonality with members of non-Abrahamic religions which have far less in common with Christianity than Islam does. If Islam were indeed as “alien” as, say, Hinduism or Buddhism, the Church could talk about it in the same was as it talks about those religions and still be promoting peace.

Islam is violent heresy, the others are just wrong but more benign.


#8

If a religious leader is preaching violence, he has mistaken his religion. Religion is about our vision and worship of God, and recognition that we are part of God’s family. Violence cannot be a religious tenet.

I know I shouldn’t speak rudely about a leader of the Church, but this really is blithering nonsense. Anything at all can be a religious tenet. +Levada has no authority to tell Muslims what they can and can’t believe (unfortunately!).

For most Muslims historically, the waging of war on infidel governments and the subjection of the whole world to Islam are religious tenets. Fortunately, not all Muslims believe this today. But it is just plain bizarre to say that something believed by most Muslims historically is not a religious tenet, and that +Levada knows what real Islam is better than actual Muslims do!

In Christ,

Edwin


#9

duh…what? err…huh? :shrug:


#10

Why should the Church compromise its Truth to placate Islam? What would serve better- saying Islam is the obvious lie it is based upon the teachings of the Church, or to give Islam an opportunity to practice peace?

For most Muslims historically, the waging of war on infidel governments and the subjection of the whole world to Islam are religious tenets. Fortunately, not all Muslims believe this today. But it is just plain bizarre to say that something believed by most Muslims historically is not a religious tenet, and that +Levada knows what real Islam is better than actual Muslims do!

In Christ,

Edwin

What blitering nonsense you speak. If even you acknowledge the waging of religious war is a tenet of the Mohamedean faith, it is you who assume most Moslems do not believe it today…who are you to conclude that? The reality that many do not practice jihad as their tenets dictate is not for the Church to correct for them, but rather promote what we believe the nature of God to be.


#11

Yeh, that’s why I wanted people to tell me what they thought he meant.


#12

Tell the victims of the caste system that Hinduism is “more benign.” Tell the people crushed in the wars of Hindu “god-kings” that Hinduism is “more benign.”

Buddhist clergy fully backed Japan’s imperialist adventures leading up to and including its aggression in WWII – do you consider that “more benign”? Buddhist monarchs throughout the ages have waged war in defense of the Buddhist Dharma (Law) - does that sound “more benign”?

It is actually Westerners (very often with an anti-Christian agenda) who make Hinduism and Buddhism out to be purely “religions of peace.”

No matter what their religion, people have used religion to justify their own agression – this is not confined to Islam – or to Christianity or Judaism.


#13

I am as anti-Islam as any reasonable person, but it is silly to say there are scant similarities with Christianity.

After all, Mohammed stole most of the Koran from the Old Testament. Islam is a combination of the Gnostic heresy, Judaism and Arab pagan religion. It has a lot of similar elements to both Christianity and Judaism.

That is not to say it is not a false religion. It is. However, perhaps what the Cardinal is getting at, it that by understanding the overlap, we can lead the Moslems to the truth of Christianity.

God Bless


#14

Dear victims,

We know your religion can be quite violent, but we thank all of you hindus for not bringing violence outside of India. In that sense your religion is more benign than Islam. :slight_smile:

Lovingly yours,

Agnos


#15

It shouldn’t.

What would serve better- saying Islam is the obvious lie it is based upon the teachings of the Church, or to give Islam an opportunity to practice peace?

Islam is not wholly a lie. We cannot say that it is without saying that Christianity is a lie as well. We should not back off from criticizing it–that is why I have problems with the quote from Levada–but we should certainly give it an opportunity to practice peace.

What blitering nonsense you speak.

Interesting. I make a rather rude criticism of a Catholic Cardinal when he utters PC nonsense about Islam, and the anti-Islamic folks, instead of applauding me, attack me just as rudely (but with worse spelling) for not going far enough. Or did I misunderstand you?

If even you acknowledge the waging of religious war is a tenet of the Mohamedean faith,

I said it had been believed by most Muslims historically. And there’s no “even I” about it.

it is you who assume most Moslems do not believe it today…who are you to conclude that?

I did not say that most Muslims don’t believe it. I said that many Muslims do not believe it. I do not know how many, but I have frequently encountered this opinion expressed by Muslims. Ask the Muslims on this board if you want a rough estimate.

The reality that many do not practice jihad as their tenets dictate

No, their tenets clearly do not dictate it.

is not for the Church to correct for them,

Exactly. It is not for us to tell Muslims what their “tenets” are. If they choose to reinterpret their tradition in a more nonviolent way, that’s a good thing.

Edwin


#16

The fact that it might be rude to say this to a given person doesn’t make it false.

It is simply not true that all religions are equal in terms of violence. Hasty and prejudiced generalizations (such as are abundant on this board) should be avoided. But religions really are different, and violence is one of the ways in which they are.

Edwin


#17

It means that nobody close to Cardinal Levada has been blown to smithereens by an Islamic suicide bomber lately.


#18

Scant is accurate in the similtude between the faiths. Any similarity is only surface deep whether it is how they speak of Mary, Jesus or any past biblical Prophet and figure.

After all, Mohammed stole most of the Koran from the Old Testament. Islam is a combination of the Gnostic heresy, Judaism and Arab pagan religion. It has a lot of similar elements to both Christianity and Judaism.

Can you describe them? I reject the nature of allah to be the same as God. I reject every quote from Christ in the Quran as well as any other biblical character.

That is not to say it is not a false religion. It is. However, perhaps what the Cardinal is getting at, it that by understanding the overlap, we can lead the Moslems to the truth of Christianity.

God Bless

To give even the surface similarity credit as a shared trait I think is wrong and perpetuates the false legitimacy that so many give Islam. The Church says Moslems share the Oneness of God. While I believe that, it is the Moslems who say we are wrong in the Trinity. The Church says Moslems venerate Mary, but they diminsh her and Jesus their rightfull due.

The Church is Wisdom, and in that wisdom do they offically only say these things but without the qualifiers I have noted. The qualifiers are legitimate and each one diminishes the veneer of similarity.


#19

Yes, Islam is wholly a lie and the lie that is Islam does not diminish the Truth of Catholicism/Christianity in any way.

Interesting. I make a rather rude criticism of a Catholic Cardinal when he utters PC nonsense about Islam, and the anti-Islamic folks, instead of applauding me, attack me just as rudely (but with worse spelling) for not going far enough. Or did I misunderstand you?

You look for applause when you should be seeking wisdom.

I said it had been believed by most Muslims historically. And there’s no “even I” about it.

You are making illogical PC judgements FOR Islam when they do not make it themsleves.

I did not say that most Muslims don’t believe it. I said that many Muslims do not believe it. I do not know how many, but I have frequently encountered this opinion expressed by Muslims. Ask the Muslims on this board if you want a rough estimate.

Most Moslems that respond to such threads are rejected by the 99% of all other Moslems because they reject the violent verses and are considered heretics. I wish they would speak up so you would no longer be deluded. Those that have quickly get banned for espousing the truth of the false faith.

No, their tenets clearly do not dictate it.

Then you do not understand clarity or the Quran.

Exactly. It is not for us to tell Muslims what their “tenets” are. If they choose to reinterpret their tradition in a more nonviolent way, that’s a good thing.

Edwin

Why the need to reinterpret if their tenets clearly do not dictate it?


#20

We should worship idols? It’s OK to oppress widows and orphans? God did not really send Moses to call Pharaoh to repentance? The world is not created by God?

What religion to you belong to, that teaches these things?

You are making illogical PC judgements FOR Islam when they do not make it themsleves.

What arguments? And who are “they”?

Most Moslems that respond to such threads are rejected by the 99% of all other Moslems because they reject the violent verses and are considered heretics.

On what scholarly source do you base this figure of 99%? You are simply asserting things that fit your prejudices.

Then you do not understand clarity or the Quran.

Clarity of what? Of the Qur’an? I certainly don’t find the Qur’an entirely clear. But the point is that when Muslims say that they believe something, well then, I believe them unless there is good evidence that they are lying. (And no, the fact that Muslims allow for lying in certain circumstances does not constitute evidence that they are lying in this circumstance.)

Why the need to reinterpret if their tenets clearly do not dictate it?

Why the need to reinterpret “extra ecclesiam nulla salus”? People reinterpret their traditions all the time. It’s how religions develop.

By “their tenets” I mean what Muslims actually believe. Obviously by saying that certain Muslims don’t believe in a duty of making war on non-Muslim governments, we are saying that their tenets do not dictate it. Since the major schools of Islamic law do (unless I’m mistaken) all teach traditionally that war against infidels is a duty (though to different degrees and under different circumstances), this requires some reinterpretation.

Edwin


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