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a cardinal's blunt talk on Islam

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | May 05, 2006

The link is already listed in our "News Bytes" section, but just in case you missed it:

Speaking earlier this week to an audience in Florida, the Australian Cardinal George Pell was characteristically provocative in a talk on the challenge of Islam. Highly recommended reading.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - May. 13, 2006 11:31 AM ET USA

    I respectfully disagree with Jaccard's analysis of the future of Islam. I've seen some of the better educated and more powerful Arabs who can't wait to have a drink as soon as the plane is airborne leaving an Arab country. The problem isn't with the educated and wealthy. It is with the illiterate and the militant religious leaders. Those are the ones teaching violence to the uneducated. We will never exhaust the supply of the illiterate. The problem will escalate as population increases.

  • Posted by: - May. 09, 2006 2:00 PM ET USA

    Amazing. His Eminence has done his homework! I think this is the best way to understand Islam. We need to study its dogma, its goals, and its means to achieve those goals. I do not even pretend to know much about Islam but Cardinal Pell has given me encouragement to learn.

  • Posted by: - May. 08, 2006 10:54 AM ET USA

    A very good article that I plan to share with my contemporaries. Islam is most certainly a faith of revenge and anger against all who do not profess Islam as their faith. The largest danger to Islam is prosperity. The rich younger people are already turning to western thrills like alcohol, drugs, sex, big and fast cars as well as western dress. In one or two generations Islam will be very small. Look at the history of Japan---Isolation to Prosperity--religion is basically gone from their day.

  • Posted by: - May. 08, 2006 10:09 AM ET USA

    Cardinal Pell is our man for all reasons.

  • Posted by: - May. 07, 2006 2:07 PM ET USA

    Among my daily prayers, I have 2 very BIG things that I pray for: An end to abortion and for the conversion of the world's 1.7 billion muslims to OUR faith. Look what Our Lady of Guadalupe did in Mexico - in the 16th Century with only word-of-mouth and maybe some writing being the ony way to spread a message, 9 million Aztecs (known for human sacrifice, too) were converted to Catholicism in 9 years. Maybe we should all pray for Our Lady to appear in Tehran or Baghdad, or maybe on Al Jazeera.

  • Posted by: - May. 07, 2006 12:22 PM ET USA

    Goose Bumps, you miss the point. It has nothing to do with removing the splinter or being labeled hypocrites due to our own failings. It has everything to do with a faith which, by definition of its very name, means submission. It has to do with a faith that has for the better part of a millenia, proven to be incapable of equality on any level, (racial, gender, religious) and hell bent on conversion via the sword of the 7th century or the automatic rifle of the 21st. Look up the word dhimmitude.

  • Posted by: - May. 07, 2006 11:42 AM ET USA

    Vatican statements stress need for “reciprocity” re MUTUAL RESPECT for full freedom of religious practice. But here's Iran’s Ahmadinejad: how many divisions has the pope? It is the Bully Scenario; the weak are reduced to mild ‘demands’ out of realistic fear - for others’ safety (i.e., trapped Christians) if not for one’s self. Islam itself is “Theory F ”(Fear) in its most detestable form. We must 1) PRAY 2) stop abortion 3) remind Islam it INSULTS Deity Jesus Christ as mere prophet! RESPECT???

  • Posted by: - May. 06, 2006 7:55 PM ET USA

    People speak of "Radical Islam" as if it's a minority cult denomination of Islam. That is a mistake. It is not. Ask any of the people whom have/are serving in the middle east and have seen it first hand. It isn't "Radical Muslims" cheering the downed British helicoptor. The bottom line is that the Koran and the Mufti that interprets it to the masses teach non-Muslims do not deserve to live, period.

  • Posted by: - May. 06, 2006 6:19 PM ET USA

    This a Cardinal for the ages. Every time I read something by Cardinal Pell; I wish he was here in America. Do you think he might shake up the USCCB?

  • Posted by: - May. 06, 2006 5:48 PM ET USA

    Is there anyone in the Church who can explain to me the reasons why are some catholic parishes in London, Ontario holding ecumenical dinners with members of Islam? Am I missing something - Tony

  • Posted by: - May. 06, 2006 5:47 PM ET USA

    If we want to help our brothers remove the splinter from their eyes, we should first remove the plank from our own eyes. We can then help our brother with the splinter from his eye and not be called hypocrites at the same time.

  • Posted by: Moneo - May. 06, 2006 4:49 AM ET USA

    The first words of the Cardinal's address could be mine. Although I had studied something of Islam 15 years earlier when doing my Religious Studies degree, I had essentially relegated it to the background in the years following university. I have since been reviewing and going deeper, and what I see does not leave me at peace at all. We need to pray the rosary, as Pope St. Pius V recommended in 1517 before the Battle of Lepanto, this time for the return of Europe to her Christian roots.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2006 11:35 PM ET USA

    Clearly a must read, though Cdl. Pell under-stresses two key points highlighting justified pessimism: a) Islam has no central authority; hence meaningful dialogue with whom? b) Islam (unlike Judeo-Christianity) is FOREVER stuck in its unique, violence-prone THEOCRATIC state – Muhammad being Islam’s LAST prophet. But most frightening is the western demographic problem: Catholics must DEMAND Bishops PREACH against contraception / abortion. It IS Life or Death for our grands! No time to be meek!

  • Posted by: miasarx - May. 05, 2006 9:13 PM ET USA

    God bless Cardinal Pell! "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free"! As Aidan Nichols once said, CHRISTENDOM AWAKE. We are facing a diabolical two-headed hydra: one head is secular atheism and the other, Islam. Battle lines being drawn.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2006 4:51 PM ET USA

    The Greens are Gnostics. Steve Kellemeyer won't be happy.

  • Posted by: - May. 05, 2006 2:03 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Pell is right to speak out. Agressive Islam is on the march again. Its restless and jobless young people will be once again unleashed in armies of aggression on aging Europe without children and grand children. Europe may never recover its vitality unless it returns to its Christian roots.