Happy Easter to all friends and visitors of this blog.
Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
At an Easter vigil mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Saturday night the Pope baptized Magdi Allam, 55, a Muslim-born convert who is one of Italy’s most outspoken journalists.
Allam, a fierce critic of Islamic extremism and a strong supporter of Israel, is protected by a police escort because of threats he has received.
His conversion to Christianity was a well-kept secret, disclosed by the Vatican in a statement less than an hour before the Easter eve service started on Saturday night.
“For the Catholic Church, each person who asks to receive baptism after a deep personal search, a fully free choice and adequate preparation, has a right to receive it,” it said.
Allam defended the pope in 2006 when the pontiff made a speech in Regensburg, Germany, that many Muslims perceived as depicting Islam as a violent faith.
The Vatican statement announcing Allam was joining Catholicism said all newcomers were “equally important before God’s love and welcome in the community of the Church”.
Allam, who has been living in Italy for 35 years, has said he was never a very devout Muslim. Still, his conversion to Christianity came as a surprise.
“What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion,” Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters.
As this article reminds us,
The role of Christian theology is not to reconcile the diversity of ‘creeds,’ to find in Islam ‘Christian seeds’ and ‘biblical seeds,’ to engage in dialogue, but to proclaim the Christian message
The Pope has reaffirmed this role.
(h/t The Baron)
ROME – An outspoken muslim author and critic of Islamic fundamentalism who converted to Christianity at the hands of Pope Benedict said on Sunday he realised he was in greater danger but he has no regrets.
“I realise what I am going up against but I will confront my fate with my head high, with my back straight and the interior strength of one who is certain about his faith”, said Magdi Allam.
Writing in Sunday’s edition of the leading Corriere della Sera, the newspaper of which he is a deputy director, Allam said: “… the root of evil is innate in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual”. Allam, who is a strong supporter of Israel and who an Israeli newspaper once called a “Muslim Zionist,” has lived under police protection following threats against him, particularly after he criticised Iran’s position on Israel.
This week’s WSJ’s Five Best Books, selected by Gabriel Schoenfeld:
This week’s shoes: the very pretty Geox Sarah sandal, perfect for showing off a pedicure . . . once the temperatures allow it:
Pat has the Easter Carnival of the Insanities