Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,417 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Lebanese prelates caution Synod on problems of dialogue with Islam

Catholic World News - October 22, 2010

Two Lebanese Catholic prelates questioned the feasibility of dialogue with Islam during discussions on October 21 at the Synod of Bishops.

Commenting on propositions advocating inter-religious dialogue, Syrian Catholic Bishop Flavien Joseph Melki of Dara, Lebanon questioned whether the suggestions were realistic:

Is it even thinkable that the Arabic countries of the Middle East, where fundamentalism is becoming more entrenched, will accept in the near future abandoning their theocratic regimes founded on the Koran and the Sharia, which constitute flagrant discrimination towards non-Muslims? To me this seems to be in the domain of utopia, for the centuries to come.

Archbishop Raboula Antoine Beylouni, also a Syrian-Catholic prelate from Lebanon, raised similar questions. Because the Muslim believes that the Qu’ran offers the absolute and complete truth, the archbishop said, “he comes to dialogue with a sense of superiority.” More ominously, he continued, the Qu’ran “commands the imposition of religion through force—with the sword.” As a result, the archbishop said, Muslims are unlikely to recognize religious freedom.

Archbishop Beylouni offered a practical suggestion for efforts at dialogue with Islam. Because the Qu’ran treats the Virgin Mary with great reverence, he said, “we should turn to her for all dialogue and all encounters with the Muslims.” He concluded his remarks with a reference to one very significant inter-faith agreement in his own country: “If it pleased God that the Feast of the Annunciation was declared a national feast day in Lebanon for Christians and Muslims, may it also become a national feast day in other Arab countries.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($117,041 to go):
$150,000.00 $32,958.98
78% 22%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 23, 2010 10:00 PM ET USA

    One only has to ask those Catholics who have immigrated to the U.S. from the area to know how Catholics and other religions are treated. Their stories clearly explain why and how the Arabs treat non-Islamic faiths. Unfortunately too, there seem to be many clergy who identify more with being Palestinian than being Catholic; small wonder that Bethlehem is virtually Christian-free.

  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Oct. 22, 2010 8:07 PM ET USA

    The two prelates seem to see it rightly. Historically Islam has not been the religion of "peace" and "tolerance" that so many wish it to be and yet, if any "dialogue" is to happen it must rest on Mary since the Koran repudiates both the Divinity of Christ and the Holy Trinity. As for me I think dialogue is useless for the most part. Islam and the West have been at each others throats for centuries. The secular West seems to have forgotten that only because it no longer feels tied to its own past

  • Posted by: porcini - Oct. 22, 2010 8:03 PM ET USA

    We don't need a dialogue, we need a Rosary Crusade (oops) a Rosary Appeal.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 17 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6