Friday, January 03, 2014

Jesuit Islamologist examines "Evangelii Gaudium" and where inter-faith dialogue stumbles

Sandro Magister, "Islam and Christianity. Where Dialogue Stumbles" (www.chiesa, December 30, 2013), says that commentaries on "Evangelii Gaudium" have paid scarce attention so far to paragraphs 252 and 253 of the Pope's recent Apostolic Exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium," says Magister.
Few, for example, have noted the unusual vigor with which Pope Francis demands in Muslim countries as well that freedom of worship which the faithful of Islam enjoy in Western countries.

Those who have highlighted this "courage" of the pope - like the Egyptian Jesuit and Islamologist Samir Khalil Samir - have also emphasized, however, that he has limited himself to asking only for freedom of worship, remaining silent about the denial of freedom of conversion from one religion to another that is the real sore spot of the Muslim world.
Fr. Samir, says Magister, teaches in Beirut, Rome, and Paris, and is author of numerous books and essays on Islam and on its relationship with Christianity and with the West. On December 19th, he published an extensive commentary on the passages of "Evangelii Gaudium" dedicated to Islam for the agency "Asia News" of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. The first half is devoted to the "many positive things" said by the pope on the issue; the second half, to various "limitations" that require further clarification.

The second part of Samir's commentary is published below Sandro Magister's article linked above, if you scroll down to "Points of 'Evangelii Gaudium' that Require Clarification." In our day, a clear grasp of the inter-faith issues and obstacles, as well as a frank discussion of them, are more imperative than ever. There is substantial food for thought here in Samir's extensive discussion.

[Hat tip to Prof. E. Echeverria]

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