Pope on Catholic-Muslim dialogue: listen and study, but avoid syncretism [CWN]

Listening and thorough study are important components of dialogue with Muslims, Pope Francis said to participants in a January 24 meeting organized by the Pontifical Institute for Arab and …

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I think this is actually really important coming from the Pope. He is encouraging listening and dialogue between Islam and Christianity, but equally stressing the importance of not glossing over differences or being too conciliatory - “denying them the good we have been given to share.” This should be a no-brainer but in today’s tolerant climate, who knows…

Listening, he said, is not only a “necessary condition” for mutual understanding, but also a “pedagogical duty” that allows one to grow in understanding another’s concerns.

The Pope cautioned participants in dialogue with Muslims against the “snares of a conciliatory syncretism” that constitutes a “totalitarianism without values.”

A dialogue that “says ‘yes’ to everything in order to avoid problems,” he added, is a “way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others.”

I totally agree.

It is downright creepy how some Catholics and Christians gush on about how great Islam is.

Call me cynical, but syncretism with Islam is something close to impossible. Even dialogue is a stretch. I’m thinking more along these lines.

I agree Jim. There appears more evidence of odd mixtures of Christianity with Gnosticism or Westernized Buddhism.

Syncretism. Is that the right word choice? How prevalent could christian muslim syncretism be? Its probably the one of the least mixed combinations. If you want to tackle syncretism a better choice would be voodoo, folk religion, animism, Afro religions, maybe astrology or eastern religions like Buddhism.

Karen Armstrong is a bit of a synchretist, I think.

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