Rome, Italy, Sep 7, 2004 / 22:00 pm
In a column published this Wednesday, Vatican observer Sandro Magister says many Catholic leaders are suffering from a dangerous “lack of direction” regarding the challenge of fanatical Islam.
In his weekly column published by “L’Espresso”, Magister warns that “the top officials of the Church” were silent in the immediate days following the massacre of innocent children in Belsan, Russia.
Citing Vatican and Italian Bishops Conference’s media, Magister points out that in their reaction “there has been a curious obscuring of the enemy –Islamic terrorism—and an alarming silence regarding the religious faith of those murdered.”
In fact, Magister recalls that Osetia, the Russian region where the tragedy of Belsan took place, with its 700,000 Orthodox inhabitants, is the only Christian enclave in the Caucasus region of Russia.
Magister criticized the editorials of the official Italian Catholic daily “Avvenire,” written by correspondent Maurizio Blondet who, according to Magister, blamed the Islamic attack of March 11, 2004, in Madrid on the Israelis.
Magister also criticizes some Catholic communities and organizations that promote ecumenism, mentioning specifically the recent gathering organized by the Pontifical Council for Interrreligious Dialogue in Doha, Qatar, between Muslims and Catholics, on May 27-29.
The Vatican observer, in fact, cites important biographical information that discredits the belief that “moderate Muslims” are the Vatican’s partners in discussions on Islam. Although they are more moderate than terrorists, Magister argues, these Muslims justify attacks on innocent civilians in Iraq and Israel and even justify the persecution of Christians. Magister levels the same criticism at the recent gathering organized by the Community of St. Egidio which took place this week in Milan, at which “Middle-Eastern
Muslim participants juxtaposed their condemnation of a terrorist act which took place geographically far from them, with the approval of terrorists acts against civilians in Iraq and the Holy Land.”
According to Magister, “the ecclesiastical going astray regarding Islam” has been confirmed by the fact that some trully moderate Muslims have been more energetic in condemning the Muslim murderers in Osetia, even calling them “Nazis.”