How to answer Muslim friend


#1

Hi!

I have a question regarding some points a Muslim friend raised. You see, I was having a friendly lunch conversation with this friend who is from another country and is actually a nice guy and a gentleman (we normally eat out when he’s visiting my country).

Our conversations are friendly and we tend to emphasize on the common things—like being good, decent people. I have no qualms about eating pork when I’m with him and talking about Christmas as he himself talks about their holidays and he just orders something else. I must say that, I think we are both, good people, though of different religions that have become unlikely friends.

However, last conversation, I just mentioned that Pope Benedict was in Turkey—he said that he was the most stupid Pope there is because of his speech in Regensburg. I said I disagreed. Close to an argument—I just told him that the Pope already issued an apology–that we should move on from there. He seems to think that what Pope Benedict said was not enough as it hurt a lot of Muslim sensibilities.

He also said that there were many books that prove that the Church helped the Nazis during World War II. I said that it was not true because there were many Catholics who died with the Jews during that time.

He seemed so sure that his sources were correct. I said that I will look up his allegations.

Anyone here, please help me know the Christian way to answer these points my friend raised. :confused:


#2

#3

#4

Here is some info to refute accusations that Pope Pius XII was in cahoots with the Nazis.

catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0101fea1.asp

catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0101fea1sb.asp

The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII and His Secret War Against Nazi Germany by David G. Dalin

Hitler, the War, and the Pope by Ronald J. Rychlak

Mit brennender Sorge (German for “With deep anxiety”) Encyclical on the Church and the German Reich
His Holiness Pope Pius XI March 14, 1937 - www.newadvent.org/library/docs_pi11mb.htm


#5

Muslims are angry with the Pope for his view (implied?) in not agreeing with them that Islam/Mohammad is a peaceful religion. When your Muslim friend said that the Pope is stupid, I think he was merely venting his anger on him. Muslims are especially angry because they have high regards for the Pope, especially since JP2 was a good friends to them. And they don’t expect this Pope to be so diplomatically, politically incorrect. Thus they are kind of disappointed. For someone of the Pope’s position to declare publicly, even somewhat implied, is an act of unfriendliness and contradictory to what the Pope always stand for - regard other religions with high esteem.

But the Pope is not stupid. In fact he is most intelligent, learned and respected theologian of our time. And this is what gall Muslims the most. If any Tom, Dick and Harry say it, most probably not many people listen, but it’s different ball game altogether with Benedict 16.

Sadly not many learned intellectual Muslims stand up in Pope’s defense, who was merely stating an academic discourse which the majority of Muslim mass do not even understand. The big question is, do they just simply flow along with Muslims mainstream thinking for fear of antagonizing them? I think as Christians, that’s perhaps our main perception of them.

On the other hand, from my experience with Muslim friends, it seems they don’t separate their spiritual belief to their secular thought. Everything seems to be tightly mish mashed - Islam is way of life to them. It’s useful to understand that mentality of Muslims.

As friends to them, it’s important from the very beginning to agree on the understanding that we believe differently and vice versa, and start from there.


#6

edited for double posting …


#7

Hi everyone!

Thank you for helping me.

I am very proud of our Pope Benedict XVI. I think he’s a brilliant man. When he got elected, my dad asked me, “Habemus Papam!–who do you think is now pope?”

I said, “Ratzinger?”—I was happy because dad did tell me about him as being such as great intellectual, and I believe that God allowed him to be Pope because he was the best man for the job. I believe God takes good care of his Church.

I felt sad that this friend, who normally is respectful, would have strong feelings and be vocally against about a man I admire (Pope Benedict) and say that my Church was in part responsible for the Holocaust.

Thank you for showing me the websites on Pope Pius XII. Reading on what this great pope did makes me proud that I am in the Catholic Church as he was steadfast in Jesus in one of the harshest times in the history of the world. My friend is wrong about him. He read the wrong books made by dubious authors.

You’re right. I should have never gotten in this never-ending discussion that would not go anywhere. Best thing for us to do is to agree to disagree but still treat each other with respect.

I will ask him to pray for me as I will pray for him. After all, we are all God’s children.

Thank you so much for all your help. :slight_smile:


#8

Bring up the question of forgiveness in Christianity and Islam. The prophet Jesus taught us to forgive. Ask your muslim friend to explain his concepts of forgiveness. And, share with him Jesus words on forgiveness. And, challenge him to forgive what he precieves as being wrongs by christians.

Matthew 18:21-22 (New International Version)

21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
22Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times

Concerning the pope and hitler, many Jewish leaders praised the Pope and catholic church for their help during that time.

Special Mission: Hitler’s Secret Plot to Seize the Vatican and Kidnap Pope Pius XII (Hardcover)
by Dan Kurzman (Author)

Hitler, the War, and the Pope (Paperback)
by Ronald J. Rychlak

The Myth of Hitler’s Pope : Pope Pius XII and His Secret War Against Nazi Germany (Hardcover)
by David G. Dalin ( a Rabbi )


#9

Thank you, Mr. Marsh, I will suggest to my friend to consider forgiveness. Yes, he believes that Jesus is a prophet. He also believes in Mary as being a very special woman. Example: I told him about the miracle of Guadalupe, he looked it up on the internet on his own initiative.

Thank you too for the other references I could look into regarding Pope Pius XII. I am happy to find out about this great man. :slight_smile:


#10

There are many stories of nuns hiding Jewish children in convents, and of priests smuggling or hiding Jews as well. Many of them are being investigated for cannonization. I think their stories are very inspiring as well, many were martyred (sp?) A quick internet search will bring them up.


#11

There are many stories of nuns hiding Jewish children in convents, and of priests smuggling or hiding Jews as well. Many of them are being investigated for cannonization. I think their stories are very inspiring as well, many were martyred (sp?) A quick internet search will bring them up.


#12

The Chief Rabbi of Rome, Emile Zolli (I think that’s his name), converted to Catholicism in 1944 and took as his Christian name, Eugenio, in honor of Pope Pius XII (it was his baptismal name). That seems a strange thing for Jew to do if the Pope were really in league with the Nazis…


#13

YOu’ll find many stories of individual catholics doing great things for Jews during the Shoah/Holocaust. It was these things that led many Jews to believe the Church was much more involved in helping the Jews than it actually was. Many of these acts were done by individuals, without any action by the Church itself.

The debate over the Church’s actions continues and both you and your friend will be able to find sources to support your positions. I’ve discussed “Constantine’s Sword” by James Carroll on other threads, as well as “Hitler’s Pope”, the “Myth of Hitler’s Pope,” etc. Maybe the best answer to tell your friend is that the Church and Jews continue to strengthen their relationship with each other. Whereas, radical Islam, unfortuantely, continues to damage its relationship and the relationship of moderate Islam with the rest of the world.


#14

Hi everyone!

You know, I’ve (happily) noticed that I have the feminized version of the name Eugenio (Pacelli)–Pope Pius XVI–though, I was not named after him—I was named after a saint found in my grandmother’s Catholic calendar.

Anyway, I’m glad that I posted this thread and learned more about this great man and how our Church shone at one of the darkest moments in the history of mankind. Makes me really proud to be Catholic.

Hopefully, my Muslim friend, who is very intelligent and fair-minded, would understand that there is another version of the story from the one he read.

I would encourage him to read up on it and research on the topics on the internet, as you have suggested.

Thank you very much. :slight_smile:


#15

Sorry, I mis-typed this. I meant, Pope Pius XII. :smiley:


#16

well the pope wasent offenidng muslims first of all he quoted the words of a bizantin guy , that were in a new book that was issued in germany, its awfull how the media is attacking the pope saying so much slanders about him, in cnn they say that the pope is agaisnt turky joining the EU because the EU is exclusively for christians they said, this is false.
also cnn claim that the pope said that outside catholism ther eis no salvation which is false also.

i dunno why the muslims get angry with catholics they say the cruzade was a abuse of europe , well if that hasent happen. europe n america will be spekaing arab nowadays.
in europe many moderated muslms kill their dauthers because of going out with non muslms guy .

neither the best muslim can denied the fact that women r normally beheaded for driving cars, cheating, stealing etc

im sure there r good muslims but when u have christian friends in pakistan u relaize how nut is their religion .
they dont borrow nothing to christians they treat them like animals they feel disgusted by non muslims and they do it because they want, not because there is a law. they r in their free will to give work to non musulims and to treat them like persons but they dont do it.


#17

Hello jimmy85!

There are many people who do not understand our beliefs and have a misconceptions about us Catholics. The best thing is to **live **our faith and be a good example to others.

Words are empty if people see us calling ourselves Christians but act otherwise.

Same thing with Muslims, it will be hard to believe them when they say they are a religion of peace if we Christians see otherwise.

My friend doesn’t agree with violence that radical Muslims do, though he is Arab himself. He told me of those places where women have less rights. He doesn’t agree with it–but admits that it is part of the culture in some Muslim places.

Yes, my friend and I have gone through, talking about the crusades. He has his opinion, I have mine.

Eventually, we just let it pass and think of something positive about the other person, while holding fast to our own faith.

I found out that while its hard to strike a balance in our friendship when my Muslim friend and I are not on the same page regarding our religious beliefs (though belief on the special-ness of Mama Mary is common ground).

What binds us is respect and the belief that there is inherent goodness to be found in the other person.

God bless! :slight_smile:


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