Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When bishops try "short cuts": Bishop Muskens, for example

Who wants the AIDS epidemic to continue? Not me. Not you. Not in Uganda, not here in America, not anywhere. But, contrary to what Netherlands Bishop Muskens—and many other Catholics—believe, promoting condoms is not the answer.

Because while life here is a gift, and it's great, eternity is a long time.

Who doesn't want Islam and Christianity to work together toward unification...specifically, to convert Islam (and Judaism and Buddhism and paganism and every other "ism" for that matter) to the Church founded my Jesus Christ? I do. I hope you do, too.

But the answer—contrary to what Bishop Muskens may think—isn't for everybody (or, to be fair, everybody in the Netherlands) to start referring to the Triune God as "Allah."

It doesn't make sense.

Yeah, okay, the word "Allah" certainly refers to "God" in the Arab world. But which Person of the Blessed Trinity would Catholics refer to when using the term? None. It all falls apart when you pick at it.

Look, there are no short cuts.

The truth is, there are Three Persons in One God. Islam does not recognize this truth. When we—Christians, I mean—say "God," we refer to the Triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We often pray to one of these three distinct Persons. "Our Father." "Come, Holy Ghost." "Jesus, forgive us our sins."

"Allah" doesn't cut it.

Until the nation of Islam accepts the fact of the Triune God, there makes little sense in offering the sop—and that's all it is—of referring to God as "Allah."

Thank you for your prayers for Bishop Muskens.