Muslim convert quits Catholic Church, says it’s too weak against Islam

VATICAN CITY — A high-profile Italian Muslim who converted to Catholicism and was baptized by Pope Benedict XVI announced on … Continued

VATICAN CITY — A high-profile Italian Muslim who converted to Catholicism and was baptized by Pope Benedict XVI announced on Monday (March 25) that he will leave the church to protest its soft stance against Islam.

Egyptian-born Magdi Cristiano Allam, 61, a prominent journalist and outspoken critic of Islam, publicly entered the Catholic Church on March 22, 2008 during an Easter Vigil service, receiving baptism directly from Benedict.

After his conversion, Allam founded a small right-wing political party that lost badly in Italy’s general elections last April.

Writing on Monday in the right-wing daily Il Giornale, Allam explained that he considers his conversion to Catholicism finished “in combination with the end of (Benedict’s) pontificate.”

“The’papolatry’ that has inflamed the euphoria for Francis I and has quickly archived Benedict XVI was the last straw in an overall framework of uncertainty and doubts about the Church,” he wrote.

On Friday, Francis pledged to “intensify dialogue among the various religions,” particularly Islam.

Allam, who has called Islam an “intrinsically violent ideology,” said his main reason for leaving the church was its perceived “religious relativism, in particular the legitimization of Islam as a true religion.”

“Europe will end up being subjugated to Islam,” he warned in Il Giornale, unless it “finds the courage to denounce Islam as incompatible with our civilization and fundamental human rights,” and to “banish the Quran for inciting hatred, violence and death towards non-Muslims.” Europeans also need to “condemn Sharia as a crime against humanity” and to “stop the spread of mosques.”

Allam said he would remain a Christian but that he didn’t “believe in the church anymore.”

Allam’s surprise conversion was orchestrated by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, currently head of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, who “personally accompanied” the Muslim intellectual’s approach to the Catholic faith.

At the time, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, stressed that the conversion was the result of Allam’s “personal journey” and was not intended as a direct message to Muslims.

A leading Muslim intellectual involved in interfaith dialogue with the Vatican, Aref Ali Nayed, criticized the public conversion ceremony as a “triumphalist way to score points,” and said it raised “serious doubts” about the Catholic Church’s policy toward Islam.

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  • mccjacker

    For a guy to “change” his religion based on this signals the guy”s religion is very superficial. You should want to belong to the Catholic Church because of the depth of relationship you seek with and find there with Christ. The rest is just a lot of bullcrap.

  • bmarrs

    I hope that the leaders in the Catholic Church will listen to this man. He is telling them they can not pander to Islam. Islam will bury every non Islam person. Watch what Islam is doing to the Christians in the Muslim countries.

    He is right. Being soft is preceived as being weak, which in this case he is right.

    He converted to Christianity because he believes in the theology of Christ. Unfortunately the Catholic Church is trying to be all things to all people. Therefore loosing many with its PC attitude.

  • ThomasBaum

    Even tho the god of islam is satan and islam is about world domination, Jesus asked us to Proclaim the Good News and Jesus did emphasize that His Kingdom was not of this world.

    Therefore the Church that Jesus founded should not be about politics and worldly power but to tell the world that God and man (humanity) have been reconciled.

    Even tho this reconciliation has been achieved by what Jesus did by becoming One of us and by His life and death, it is still a future event and this reconciliation is quite simple between God and man, All of humanity.

    In Christianity, Jesus Is God-Incarnate, Jesus asked us to call God “Our Father”, Jesus said that He would send the “Holy Spirit to guide us…”, therefore God Is a Trinity yet One.

    In islam, Jesus is merely a prophet, the god of islam wants no one to call him father, and the Holy Spirit simply isn’t.

    The God of Christianity and the god of islam are simply not the same and anyone, believer or non-believer, should be able to see this whether they believe in one or the other or neither.

    As I have said in other places, one can be true and the other false, they can both be false but they both can’t be true.