Catholic World News

Malaysia: papal envoy voices regrets for uproar over using 'Allah'

July 16, 2013

Archbishop Joseph Marino has issued a statement expressing regret for any misunderstandings created by his remark that Christians had made a “logical and acceptable” case for using the word “Allah” in reference to God.

"The comments were never intended as an attempt to intrude into the internal affairs of the country," Archbishop Marino said. The papal representative met with Malaysia’s foreign minister, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, in an effort to ease tensions over his remarks.

Some Muslim leaders had called upon the government to expel the archbishop from the country, claiming that his statement was an insult to Islam. Malaysian newspapers, reporting on the meeting between the prelate and the foreign minister, said that Archbishop Marino had been soundly rebuked.

Further information:
Sound Off! 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 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jul. 17, 2013 12:47 PM ET USA

    It would be equivalent to a French speaker wondering why English-speaking Catholics use the word god to refer to God. Allah is the Arabic word for god, not a proper name. If you look at Arabic Old and New Testaments, allah is the word used for god. In the Arabic Mass, allah is the word used as the translation for the Latin "deus." Because allah means god in Arabic. Apparently a difficult concept for some to understand.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Jul. 17, 2013 12:08 AM ET USA

    I'm a little unclear why any Catholic would want to use the name "Allah" to refer to the God whom Catholics worship -- the True God of the Holy Trinity, not the single-person deity-come-lately adored by Muslims. The way forward for the Church is to make distinctions, not to try to paper over genuine ones.