Skip to comments.An Open Letter to Bishop Bambera, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee for Interreligious Affairs
Posted on 03/08/2018 8:46:09 AM PST by ebb tide
You are to be commended for your December 29th statement asking Catholics to pray for our Coptic brethren who are enduring martyrdom for the sake of Christ. Catholics need to know the extent of the attacks on Christians in the Muslim world. As you point out, there have been 2,000 attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt in just the last three years. These have included several horrific church bombings and the slaughter of 35 Christians who refused to convert to Islam when their buses were ambushed by Islamic gunmen.
Deadly anti-Christian attacks have become commonplace in the Muslim world. Catholics need to know about them, and they also need to know the why of these attacks. There will be no end of the bloodshed unless we understand why its happening.
On this point, the USCCB has been remiss. Numerous USCCB statements over the last 17 years have, in effect, absolved Islam of the crimes committed in the name of Islam. Instead of naming the religious ideology that motivates the terrorists, Church officials have been content to echo the mantra that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.
Meanwhile, in the face of the Islam-inspired genocide of Christians, the USCCB has joined up with the problematic campaign against Islamophobia. This strikes me as a grotesque inversion of priorities. At a time when Christians need to be alerted to the dangers posed by the spread of Islam, why are bishops throwing themselves into the Muslim Brotherhood-manufactured battle against Islamophobia?
I put Islamophobia in quotes because a phobia is an irrational fear. But many peopleincluding Christians living in Egypthave good reason to be afraid. It does a disservice to them to say that their fears are baseless. Or to say that they have nothing to fear from authentic Islam.
Your own statement mentions various bloody terrorist attacks in Egypt, but the words Islam and Islamic do not appear in it. By contrast, an article in Coptic Solidarity states that Islamic oppression is the main driving force of persecution. Is the Coptic fear of Islamic oppression Islamophobic? Or is it a perfectly rational fear?
Your statement calls attention to terror attacks in Egypt. Its important that Christians know about them. At the same time, a singular focus on atrocities can be misleading. It tends to feed into the PC narrative that the threat to Christians is limited to a handful of extremists. But there is a much bigger problem to contend withnamely, a widespread, daily, and unrelenting persecution of Christians which includes discrimination, intimidation, rapes, abductions, forced conversions and the destruction of Christian homes and churches. According to the Coptic Solidarity article, this persecution comes from every level of Egyptian society, and includes Muslim clerics, local officials, normal citizens, and ones own family (in the case of Muslim converts to Christianity).
The widespread persecution of Christians that exists in Egypt can also be found in almost every Muslim majority societyin Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Sudan, Indonesia, and elsewhere. The pervasive nature of the persecution in Islamic countries suggests that it does not stem from any distortion of Islam, but rather from the core texts and teachings of mainstream Islam itself.
Which raises a question. Could it be that all these Muslims in diverse parts of the world have misinterpreted Islam? Or is it more likely that the real misunderstanders are Catholic prelates who, though well-intentioned, have no lived experience of Islam?
Various USCCB statements over the years present Islam as a religion of peace and justicea religion not unlike Catholicism. Indeed, one keynote address to a USCCB-sponsored Muslim-Catholic dialogue was titled Living our faith togetheras though Muslims and Catholics share a common faith. But, of course, they dont. The idea that they do is not based on the texts, teachings, law books, and history of Islam, but on wishful thinking.
This is not to suggest that Catholic leaders should attack Islam, but that they should provide Catholics with a more realistic picture of the Islamic faith. The current policy of glossing over the problematic aspects of Islam is highly misleading, and it has several harmful consequences. Lets focus on just one of them.
If Church leaders continue to downplay and even deny the supremacist aspect of Islam, many Catholics will be unprepared for the kind of aggression now endured by Christians in Egypt, and elsewhere.
This aggressively anti-Western culturelets call it Egypt for shorthas already entered Europe. What now appears to be an Islamic invasion was enabled by naïve immigration policies based on the same uncritical view of Islam embraced by the USCCB. Like Egyptian Christians, Europeans must now worry about being attacked at any time or placeon buses, trains, in concert halls, and Christmas markets.
Europeans were also unprepared for the cultural aspect of the invasion. It was naively assumed that Muslims would assimilate to Western values. Instead, Europeans are being forced to accommodate themselves to Islamic valuesto polygamy, misogyny, honor violence, and FGM. And also to anti-Semitism. Jews are now fleeing Europe in numbers not seen since the Nazi era.
Europeans are losing their civilization not because they are Islamophobic, but because they were ignorant of Islam. They obediently accepted the smiley-faced depiction of Islam presented to them by social and governmental elites, and now they are paying the price.
Will Egypt come to America? Its a possibility that the USCCB should contemplate. Americas bishops have been guilty of promoting the same pleasant picture of Islam and Islamic immigration that has thrown Europe into chaos. That approach hasnt worked there. Why suppose it will work here?
It seems reckless to continue along that path. For the sake of Christians all over the world, Americas bishops need to rediscover the Catholic tradition of realism, and reconsider their Islam policy. Its not too late for a course correction.
Respectfully yours in Christ,
William Kilpatrick, Ph.D
This article has been reprinted with permission from the authors website, TurningPointProject.com.
You don’t necessarily need to attack Islam, but you sure ought to play defense against their murderous ways!
They have, embedded the very name of their religion, what they consider a divine mandate to require the submission of all people to Allah.
Yes, they are playing nice while the Muslims slaughter Catholics
At least let the bishops proclaim the Gospel and go from there. Don’t see it happening from my last three years in the ME.
The reason Catholics fail to make any large or universal difference in the world any longer is because we are rather made to sit, on our faith and on our God given capabilities and historic abilities.
This condition is highly observable, seen openly as living mostly neither hot nor cold. The ORDINARY takes primacy and the EXTRAORDINARY is forcibly reduced and made hidden.
Many Catholics reflect the malaise that has been induced by the example of our shepherds, who have sold out our identity in exchange for the false peace with the world, and the faithful have generally succumbed to the world’s manner of worship, which broadly pleases us, man and “self”.
We always visualize, by Sacred Scripture, our Christ Jesus and the Apostles as standing, walking, bathing their wounded feet from the dust of the road, from tirelessly moving through the country side, rivers and valleys, traveling, speaking and teaching of that which every man knows in his heart is true.
Images of shade trees are affectionately portrayed in scripture, as the only relief from the noon day sun burning the road before them. That gracious span makes a canopy for our Lord and His disciples, and we are led to regard the tree with thanksgiving and its shade as a gift to our beloved Lord, and to us as well, from our God.
Sitting shepherds are today’s lot.
Robed and sitting, many scandalously fat, huffing and puffing, dead silent to the face of manifest mortal sin, to treachery, sitting silent and seemingly blinded to the dangers to the faith. Inside and outside of Holy Mother Church, there is so much to repair. Still, we sit.
The good shepherds and the faithful were, for a very long time, indisputably “a peculiar people”. What has happened to the true Church is a satanic attack, stealing our “peculiarity”, slaughtering believers in the Middle East and good priests on our own continent, in South America, even in Phoenix. The prince of the air is stealing hearts, seeking to make us common, no longer on the narrow road which was our identity, in Christ.
Left without courageous shepherds, we who could be strong have been methodically and spiritually starved, made lank and weakened, in mourning seeking mercy and forgiveness, for what we have abandoned.
Pray Lord Jesus, hear us, graciously hear us. +++
I plan to attend the LA Religious Congress this month. Should be interesting to say the least.....
Actually there are usually some “orthodox” sessions but looks like there are some real heretical barnburners this year. I totally agree with your recommendations. Think a daily FR Catholic Caucus report will be called for. Praying....
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