Vatican News this week published a story on a new ecumenical initiative designed to help Catholics find “a new understanding of their faith by taking Muslim questions seriously.” One wonders why the old method of teaching Catholics their catechism was found to be wanting.
“Reasons for our Hope” is a joint project of the Cardinal Angelo Scola’s Oasis International Foundation and the McGrath Institute.
The current phase of this Islamic-Catholic dialogue involves the release of three videos, designed to teach Moslems and Christians to appreciate the Internal coherence of each others’ faiths. The videos are animated and very simplistic – even insultingly so – distilling two thousand years of Catholic teaching into a feel-good fairy-tale and completely ignoring Islam’s 14 centtury-old animosity and blasphemy toward the Person of Jesus Christ.
The video entitled, “Jesus in the Bible and in the Qur’an” looks at similarities=es and differences between the two holy books’ approaches to Jesus Christ. Nowhere is it mentioned that Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, not that He Himself made that claim. Instead, the presentation focuses on the way both faiths present Jesus as a prophet who performed miracles.
A second video, “Reasons for our Hope” features images that look eerily like the temples planned for the Pope’s Abrahamic House project. “Parallel universes of meaning, each governed by its own law”
“Many prophets, one message.” – to remind the people to worship God.
This video inches a little closer to the truth about Jesus, saying that His identification with “Emmanuel – God-With-us” is “inconceivable” to Moslems. No problem, the video purrs, all that is necessary is to “journey into another universe of meaning” aka the Christian Bible, where an alternative, internally coherent Truth is taught.
The narrator then males the extraordinarily false claim that “Bible is the story of God’s search for humanity.”
The final episode, “The Place of Jesus in the Bible”, also fails to mention the Trinity and the fact that Jesus is more than the Messiah, but is the only-begotten Son of God. The video closes with the hope that “ … with a generous heart, everyone can see coherence and beauty in the universe of the Qur’an and of the Bible. With this as a beginning, fraternity and friendship are the next steps.”
Cardinal Scola was part of the Nouvelle Théologie of the Conciliar years, and contributed to the publication, “Communio” along with Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar and then-Fr Ratzinger. Like many proponents of the “New Theology”, Scola was relatively orthodox in matters such as the indissolubility of marriage, non-reception of Communion for those in irregular marriages and the existence of the devil. He even defended the traditional Mass when he became Archbishop of Milan in 2017. However, one area in which the “New Theology” went dangerously wrong was in its attitude toward ecumenism.
Cardinal Scola founded the Oasis International Foundation in 20014. Typical of projects attempting to find a “third way” and “common ground”, the Foundation omits much of the truth about Catholicism and the Person of Jesus Christ while glossing over fundamental problems with Islam.
A quote from Cardinal Scola on the Oasis website states that the Christian faith recognises that non-Christian cultures are “inalienable and intrinsic dimensions of its own nature.”
The website features this logo from the Pope’s trip to Egypt several years ago. It looks less like an image of Catholicism and more like the emblem for a One World Religion.
Collaborating with the Cardinal’s Oasis Foundation is the McGrath Institute for Church Life. A look at the McGrath Institute’s History and Mission page proves quite illuminating and the “Origins” section tells you all you need to know about this outfit. The organisation began as The Centre for Pastoral and Social Ministry, under the guidance of the late Monsignor John Egan, and the website cites his “Chicago-based urban ministry projects.” If that rings an alarm bell, it should – Monsignor Egan was a protege of Saul Alinsky, the communist agitator who actively sought out members of the Catholic hierarchy to collaborate with during the 1940’s.
The videos’ New Age background music and fluid graphics cause one to wonder what kind of subliminal message may be presented to the unwary viewer.
At a time when the world needs more than ever to hear the saving message of the Gospels, in its pure and unadulterated form, it is more than irresponsible for members of the Church to suggest a “deeper look’ at Islam. However, if one is committed to promulgating a Freemasonic, indifferentist religion, then a project like this ticks all the boxes.