In his book, Pope Francis’s “Paradigm Shift”: Continuity or Rupture in the Mission of the Church? An Assessment of His Pontificate’s First Five Years, José Antonio Ureta discusses reasons why faithful Catholics need to be concerned about where Pope Francis is taking the Church. The fourth chapter of the book looks at the Pope’s support for Islam which contrasts sharply with his indifference about the plight of Christians in areas ruled by Muslims. In this excerpt, the Pope’s own words reveal his belief that European countries should be open to an unlimited (and disastrous} policy of immigration from the Muslim world. The excerpt reads:
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The promotion of a “culture of encounter”1 has led Pope Francis to idealize Muhammad’s religion. Thus, the pontiff has seemingly tried to exonerate him from responsibility for the violence perpetrated on his behalf.
Pope Francis’s rosy vision of Islam was displayed in his first official document, the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. He stated, “We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries. . . . Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”2
Fr. Guy Pagès is a very active evangelizer of Muslims and Internet apologist. In an open letter to Pope Francis, he noted that this pontifical statement contained
a terrifying inaccuracy. . . .
[because, according to Muslims,] Allah alone knows the interpretation of the Koran (Koran 3:7). . . .
This is so because Islam has no magisterial authority. Likewise, the Koran’s tolerant verses were abrogated by the “sword verse (Koran 9:5, 29),”3 and “over half of the Koran’s 6,235 verses scorn non-Muslims and manifest the ominous intention of killing or subjecting them.”4 Finally, history and current events flatly belie the pope’s claim of Islam’s supposedly peaceful nature.
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José Antonio Ureta’s book is a startling and disturbing assessment that should be read by every person who is concerned about the changes that Pope Francis is trying to force upon the Church. Purchase the book through the TFP Store or download it at no charge by using the link below.
- Francis, “For a Culture of Encounter: Morning Meditation in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae,” Sept. 13, 2016, https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/cotidie/2016/documents/papa-francesco-cotidie_20160913_for-a-culture-of-encounter.html.
- Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, no. 253. It is significant that the pope’s claim to Islam’s peaceful character was made five months after the diplomatic adviser of the al-Azhar mosque’s Grand Imam demanded “a statement [by Pope Francis] affirming that Islam is a peaceful religion,” as a condition for resuming diplomatic relations, which had been interrupted after Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address. Benjamin Roger, “Al-Azhar tente de renouer le dialogue avec le Vatican,” Jeune Afrique, Jun. 7, 2013, http://www.jeuneafrique.com/170368/societe/al-azhar-tente-de-renouer-le-dialogue-avec-le-vatican/.
- Guy Pagès, “Deuxième lettre ouverte au pape François,” Islam & Verité, Nov. 27, 2015, http://www.islam-et-verite.com/deuxieme-lettre-ouverte-au-pape-francois/.
- Ibid. See Center for the Study of Political Islam, “Statistical Islam,” accessed Aug. 21, 2018, http://www.cspipublishing.com/statistical/pdf/Statistical_Islam.pdf.