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Analysis

February 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — “Mary, a model for faith and life for Christianity and Islam:” is the title of an upcoming series of online webinars presenting Our Lady as a bridge between Catholicism and Islam organized, among others, by the Pontifical Academy of Mary (Pontificia Academia Mariana Internationalis or PAMI).

Starting on February 18, ten weekly conferences will be given jointly by Catholic and Muslim speakers who will seek “dialogue, knowledge and cooperation” regarding themes such as “Mary, a woman of faith,” “God who is love and faith,” prayer, purity, hospitality and non-violence, fasting and penitence, fraternity and citizenship.

The Franciscan pontifical University of Rome, the “Antonianum,” is another co-organizer of the event through its Duns Scot Chair of Mariological Studies as well as the International Islamic-Christian Marian Commission and the Grand Mosque of Rome and its Islamic Cultural Center of Italy.

The Italian weekly Famiglia Christiana presented the event in the light of the Abu Dhabi declaration, illustrating its article on Saturday with a photo of Pope Francis signing the Human Fraternity Document together with Imam al-Tayyeb of the Al-Azhar University of Cairo.

Quoting at length from the Document, Gian Matteo Roggio commented: “The course of these webinars is therefore aimed at active, free, conscious, solidary and popular participation in the opening of this space of intersection, interconnection, hospitable reception, thus meeting the explicit requests of Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azahr, the noble Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb.”

Readers of Famiglia Christiana in Italy are being asked to believe this: “The figure of Mary, a Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman, belongs by right and by fact to the path, the processes and the experiences that contribute to the generation of such an educational path, which makes a positive and confident wager on the embrace between generations and on a new politics and economy, where countries do not need to build their identity on contempt and on systematic negation, whether overt or covert, of the other and of others: an identity, that is, at the expense of the dissimilar and ready to identify in the other the cause of all the ills, failures, limitations and problems that instead have their multiple causes elsewhere. Belonging to these three religious and multi-cultural worlds (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), the figure of Mary is in itself a pressing and constant invitation to intersect and interconnect these same worlds, even making them a model of plural coexistence where the boundaries of each are made to allow communication, passage, exchange; and not to be closed, according to the many figures of exclusion that have, as their fruit, the culture, psychology, politics and economics of war, hatred and inhumanity.”

In the same grandiloquent style, Roggio added: “The webinars will end during the month of Ramadan with ‘the dates of Mary’ in the Conference Hall of the Great Mosque of Rome (health situation permitting): in memory of what is stated in the Holy Quran (Sura 19,22-26), namely that after giving birth near the trunk of a palm tree, she was called by the newborn child who told her ‘Do not be sad […] shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you and it will drop fresh and ripe dates on you. So eat them,’ a meal of friendship and fraternity will be shared once the sun goes down, as a tangible pact of alliance for the service to the common good of all, no one excluded, in obedience to the ‘understanding of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers’ (Document on human brotherhood for world peace and common coexistence).”

Roggio, the author of these very pro-Islamic lines, is not simply a journalist, he is a member of the religious order, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. He studied Mariology at the Pontifical Academy of Mary and is now a professor at the same institution. Roggio will be giving the lecture on “God who is love and mercy” on February 25, together with Islamic theologian Shahrzad Houshmand Zadeh, who teaches at the Gregoriana Pontifical University.

Roggio’s words therefore clearly express the spirit of the coming Islamo-Christian webinars: a spirit of profound relativism and misleading equation between the Catholic faith and Muslim beliefs.

The real question is this one: is the Virgin Mary whom we Catholics honor as the Mother of Jesus, only Son of God and the Word Incarnate, the same person as the woman named “Miriam” by the Quran? Is her son, Îssa, the Quranic equivalent of Jesus? He would then be a “Jesus” who could not in any way be the Son of God, because, the Quran proclaims, such an idea is “something monstrous” and that “it is not fitting for the Most Merciful to have a son.”

LifeSiteNews asked Moh-Christophe Bilek, a Kabylian convert from Islam to the Catholic Faith, whether the Quran really honors the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus. Bilek founded an association for Muslim converts and for the evangelization of Muslims, Notre Dame de Kabylie. Born in Algeria in 1951, he has lived in France since 1961 and converted in 1970.

“When looking at historical figures, you need to ask where and when they were born. In the Quran, only one thing is said about the place where Miriam finds herself: it is when she gives birth ‘in the desert.’ You probably know that biblical figures in the Quran all come from the Old Testament, except for three of them: John the Baptist, whose father is identified as Zachariah; Miriam, whose father and brother are named as Imran (Amran) and Aaron. Miriam appears to be the eldest, the same Miriam who followed the reed basket in which Moses had been left to float on the Nile and who then acted as intermediary with Pharaoh’s daughter. Later, the Quran mentions ‘Moses, brother of Aaron’,” explained Bilek.

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PETITION UPDATE (3/15/21) - 

Reports suggest that the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Conference (USCCB) is preparing a vote on what to do about pro-abortion Joe Biden (and, presumably, other abortion-promoting politicians) who continues to present himself (themselves) for Holy Communion.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/4/20)

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing Executive Orders to destroy the protections which former President Trump offered to the unborn and to the innocence and modesty of children of the United States.

In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.

And, in another executive order, Biden seeks to force girls' athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to accept gender-confused males.

Since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was shamefully silent throughout the presidential campaign on the pre-eminent issues of abortion and gender ideology, and what Biden vowed he would do as president, it is cold comfort that their pro-life office is now speaking up about this Administration's wilful disregard for human life and for God's design of human nature (i.e., two biological sexes).

Stated plainly, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be, and the bishop, acting in unison (as the USCCB) have an obligation to the Lord (first) and to the faithful (second) to refuse Holy Communion to this grave public sinner.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who continues to use the church as a backdrop for statements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, is now doing everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

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PETITION UPDATE (12/10/20)

Prior to the election on November 3, the U.S. bishops did not address Joe Biden’s anti-Catholic position regarding faith and morals as a unified body.

The USCCB, the organization to which every U.S. bishop belongs and which is staffed and led by bishops, remained disgracefully silent in the run-up to the election.

What were the bishops afraid of, losing their charitable tax status with the IRS, or being deprived of fat checks from the HHS (immigration programs) and USAID (foreign aid programs)?

Or, were they just too cowardly to clearly declare Christ's law to be above man's law and risk the ire of a Joe Biden as president?

Either way, the bishops’ lack of clarity in this regard is a terrible scandal in itself and probably greatly contributed to the possible election of a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic Catholic to the presidency.

Given the fact that exit polling shows Catholics split their vote 50-50 for Trump and Biden, even a slight deviation in the heavily-Catholic swing-states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could have produced different results.

The bishops could have spoken out against Biden’s pro-abortion stance collectively, but, again, they were overwhelmingly and shamefully silent.

Because of this, they will be at least partly responsible for the policies advanced by a Biden administration, in the event that Biden is sworn into office.

However, the bishops can, even now, mitigate the damage done by their inaction by taking the following steps: 1) Speak with one voice, as the USCCB, and plainly condemn Biden's pro-abortion stance; 2) Publicly advise Biden not to present himself for Holy Communion because of his scandalous position on abortion and homosexual "marriage;" and, 3) Tell Biden to publicly repent of publicly promoting the wilfull murder of the preborn, sins against nature, and diminishing the natural family.

Thankfully, some individual bishops have spoken out forcefully on Biden's scandalous behavior, and his standing in the Church.

On November 9, Archbishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted: “A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.”

Additionally, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colorado and Archbishop Charles Chaput have both declared publicly that Joe Biden “should not receive Holy Communion."

But, to add insult to injury, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. has said that he will give Holy Communion to Biden because “it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”

And, Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware and Bishop McElroy of San Diego also congratulated Biden in statements, but they have not indicated whether or not they would administer Holy Communion to him.

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by dialoguing with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

A man who uses the church as a backdrop to make sickening political advertisements about how "Catholic/religious" he is, but, at the same time, says that he will do everything in his power to protect the murder of the innocent, needs to publicly repent before dialogue can begin.

The bishops should not dialogue with or congratulate someone who has publicly betrayed the Church's teaching and who is leading others astray.

It's an embarrassment and a scandal for the bishops to continue to allow him to receive Holy Communion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-bishops-concerned-about-pro-abortion-biden-previously-hailed-him-as-second-catholic-president

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion?utm_source=top_news&utm_campaign=standard

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/former-philly-archbishop-biden-not-in-full-communion-with-the-catholic-church

https://www.thesoutherncross.org/news/bishop-mcelroy-offers-prayers-and-congratulations-to-president-elect-biden/

https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/us-catholics-weigh-mixed-reaction-biden-win

____________________________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (9/29/20)

Cardinal Raymond Burke has stated that Democratic candidate Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for abortion.

In an interview for Thomas McKenna's Catholic Action for Faith and Family podcast, Cardinal Burke states the following (starting around 5:00):

First of all, I would tell him [Biden] not to approach to receive Holy Communion, out of charity toward him, because that would be a sacrilege and endanger the salvation of his own soul.

But, also, he should not approach to receive Holy Communion because he gives scandal to everyone, because if someone says, 'I'm a devout Catholic," and, at the same time is promoting abortion, it gives the impression to others that it's acceptable for a Catholic to be in favor of abortion.

Of course, it's absolutely not acceptable, and never has been, and never will be.

We give thanks for Cardinal Burke's frankness and clarity. And, we call on every U.S. Catholic bishop to follow Cardinal Burke's lead and call out Joe Biden for his bloody-minded hypocrisy on the issue of abortion.

To reiterate: You cannot be a Catholic and support abortion.

Thank you for continuing to sign this urgent petition.

___________________________________________________________________________

PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

The Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, keeps claiming to be Catholic but has said he will do everything in his power to support abortion.

And, with his pick of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has just cemented abortion into the Democrats' 2020 presidential ticket.

Indeed, Harris is vehemently pro-abortion.

During her time as attorney general of California, Harris played a key role in defending Planned Parenthood over its sale of aborted baby parts (which violated multiple federal laws, according to undercover video of abortion industry personnel).

And, last year, Harris unveiled a plan to essentially force pro-life states to seek permission from the federal government before pro-life laws can take effect.

Additionally, Harris has dangerous views on religious liberty and freedom of speech.

Harris displayed anti-Catholic bigotry in the confirmation hearings of Judge Brian Buescher. Harris cited his membership in the “all-male society” the Knights of Columbus and its stances against abortion and same-sex “marriage” as grounds for rejecting Buescher for a federal district court in Nebraska.

And, David Daleiden, head of the pro-life investigative group Center for Medical Progress, wrote that from his firsthand experience, he considers Harris the “greatest threat to First Amendment civil rights our country has ever seen.”

Joe Biden has seriously erred by taking on Kamala Harris as his running mate, further distancing himself from the truths of the Catholic Faith, especially that every life is sacred from conception till natural death.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article which details one U.S. bishop's warning about the Biden-Harris ticket.

And, please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Of course, these two things are incompatible: you cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion.

And, a "Catholic" politician's responsibility in this regard is absolute: On pain of serious sin, he or she can never promote abortion because abortion is the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings, and also because doing so causes grave scandal to the Church and the faithful.

Please SIGN this urgent petition asking the bishops of the United States to refuse to give Holy Communion to Joe Biden until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

Biden recently promised to “codify Roe v. Wade” as president, adding, "my Justice Department will do everything in its power to stop the rash of state laws that so blatantly violate a woman’s protected, constitutional right to choose."

And, since starting his latest run for the presidency, Biden also flip-flopped against the Hyde Amendment, saying that he would allow federal funds to be spent on abortion - a position he claimed to be against for more than 40 years.

In short, Joe Biden will do everything in his power to enable and defend the wilful murder of innocent preborn human beings.

So, this should not be a hard decision for our U.S. bishops. In fact, in another circumstance, it was already done by an Illinois bishop.

Indeed, Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, invoked Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law to withdraw Holy Communion from two Illinois state politicians who had worked to enact radical new abortion legislation in 2019.

Canon 915 states: "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

Of course, no-one, least of all the bishops, wants anyone to be deprived of Holy Communion.

A politician who publicly and obstinately advocates for the murder of innocent preborn babies puts himself out-of-communion with the Church and her teaching. 

Pro-abortion politicians should not think that they can advocate for the murder of the unborn and receive the Body of Christ at the same time. This would be to defile the Eucharist while giving scandal to the faithful.

Depriving politicians of Holy Communion is not just meant to prevent scandal; it is also designed to bring a grave public sinner to repentance. In this way, such an action is meant to be for the good of their souls, too.

Thank you for SIGNING this urgent petition which calls on the U.S. Catholic bishops to refuse to admit Joe Biden to Holy Communion until he publicly repents from his scandalous promotion of abortion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion for pro-abortion stance - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-denies-joe-biden-holy-communion-for-pro-abortion-stance

Cardinal McCarrick and the Concealing of Rome’s Position on Denying Communion  - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-mccarrick-and-the-concealing-of-romes-position-on-denying-communio

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

  Hide Petition Text

The Old Testament also speaks of Miriam, he observed: she is always presented as the sister of Moses, a prophetess, who disagreed with her brother and was then punished by God; she went to die in the desert. Her “son” Ïssa of whom the Quran speaks does not appear in the Old Testament, Bilek recalled: “Besides, in the Quran, Moses is the one who is an important prohet.”

“The name Jesus – called Yeshua or a similar variant in Arabic, Aramaic or Berber – means ‘God saves’ in Hebrew. ‘Îssa’ does not mean that at all,” said Bilek, showing that for Muslims, “Miriam” and “Îssa” have nothing to do with the Savior of Mankind and His blessed Mother.

However, he observed, “Muslims are very intent on equating Îssa with Jesus and Miriam with Mary, in order to create a link with Christianity. The Quran always speaks of Îssa; the confusion arises from the name Miriam which is indeed the same name as Mary. This confusion did not arise in the Orient where Muslims are obliged to read the Quran in Arabic – it was not translated into Middle-Eastern languages – but not to understand it: they must merely be able to recite it by heart. This all started in the West in the 12th century when Peter the Venerable translated the Quran, in view of evangelizing Muslims, with the help of an Islamic believer who pushed Peter into translating ‘Îssa’ as ‘Jesus.’ Since then, everyone has been doing the same,” Bilek explained.

LifeSiteNews asked Bilek why the Quran tells a story loosely related to the Annunciation. He answered: “In that story, why isn’t Nazareth or Judaea named? Or Bethlehem? No indication is the same. I believe this is deliberate, in order to make confusion possible.”

It is a confusion that Bilek strongly rejects as a convert – while at the present, every time the Gospel is translated into Arabic, the so-called Quranic name of Jesus, “Îssa”, is used. 

“When I was helping a White Father to translate the Gospel to Arabic, I refused absolutely,” Bilek said. “If Îssa is the equivalent of Jesus, then Christianity must collapse, because then he is not the Son of God, and he did not come to save humankind.”

Bilek added: “In the Quran, Adam sinned, but as soon as he left the Garden of Paradise, God pardoned him, rendering Redemption unnecessary. Saying that the Îssa of the Quran is the same as Jesus-Christ inevitably leads to relativizing Christianity, if not destroying it altogether.”

He added that most converts from Islam to Catholicism leave their old religion without knowing much about it, but that they simply arrive at the conclusion, once they learn about Mary and Jesus, that they cannot be the same as the figures mentioned in the Quran. A Muslim who encounters Jesus for the first time cannot think He is the same – otherwise, it would be useless to convert!”

This is not true of converts to Protestantism, Bilek said. The story of the “Annunciation,” as told by the Quran, indeed has very little in common with the Gospel of Saint Luke. 

Thus surah Maryam tells of the birth of John the Baptist, vaguely following the biblical account, and the “Annunciation” by the angel Gibril to “Maryam” of the (more or less) virginal birth of her son.

In the surah, the assent of the woman, Maryam, is not required. Mary’s “fiat” does not exist in the Quran, she does not freely accept to give birth to the Messiah when the angel “Gibril” appears to her “as a man in all respects.”

20. She said, “How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, and I am no harlot?”

21. He said, “Thus said your Lord, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign for humanity, and a mercy from Us. It is a matter already decided.’”

22. So she became with child, and went away with him to a far place.

Further on in the surah, Maryam is called “sister of Aaron.” And she says:

35. It is not for Allah to have a child — glory be to Him. To have anything done, He says to it, “Be,” and it becomes…

As remarked earlier on, the birth of Îssa in the desert is no more in line with the Gospel’s detailed and precise account of Jesus’ historical birth under precise historical circumstances than this story.

LifeSiteNews asked Bilek what role he thinks the Virgin Mary does have towards Islam. He answered by referencing the book of the Apocalypse and the figure of the woman in the sky in the throes of childbirth, who must flee to the desert because she is attacked by Satan. 

“If God has permitted Islam to exist, and all this confusion, it is because something else will happen. I firmly believe that the Woman of the Apocalypse will set things right. She is adorned with twelve stars, clothed by the sun, and the moon is beneath her feet: I believe these symbolize the monotheistic religions: we know that the moon is the symbol of Islam, and it is underneath her feet.”

He concluded: “God willed one religion only: if not, why would He have committed Himself to the extent that He did, even unto dying on the Cross for our salvation? Now they are behaving as if Islam can be true or bring truth as well as Christianity, but then Christianity is vain. But we have faith and we know that God only can resolve the issue of Islam.”

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