Det har vært en ganske heftig diskujon hele verden rundt om pavens dåp av Magdi Allam påskenatt. Her en noen smakebiter:
The baptism was a “deliberate and provocative act…made into a triumphalist tool for scoring points.” … “A new provocation for the Islamic world.” … “I cannot understand the Vatican’s motivation. Why with preparations for dialogue underway…would the pope revive antagonism this way.” … “What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion. Why couldn’t he have done this in his local parish?” … “The problem lies in the vindictive atmosphere surrounding the conversion ceremony.” [Palestinian journalist]
På nettsidene til the Catholic League gis det et svar på denne kritikken:
“This kind of incredibly defensive posture underscores the need for Muslims to embrace religious liberty. People convert from Catholicism, Protestantism and Judaism every day, and no one blinks an eye.
In any event, kudos to the Jerusalem Post for its analysis: ‘Allam was not a practicing Muslim, was educated in a Catholic school as a teenager, has been married for years to an Italian Catholic, and credits Pope Benedict for having influenced his decision…[and] he has been living under police protection for years, primarily because of his criticism of Islamic terrorism …
John Allen har også en svært grundig analyse av spørsmålet HER, og nevner bl.a. Vatikanets svar på Magdi Allams ofte sterke kritikk av Islam og John Allen gir sitt eget svar på hvorfor pave Benedikt likevel ville døpe en så kjent muslim:
Stung by such protest, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published a commentary on Tuesday by editor Gian Maria Vian insisting that there had been no «hostile intent,» and stressing the importance of religious freedom. Vian also asserted that Benedict XVI is committed to dialogue with Islam. The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, said Thursday on Vatican Radio that «to welcome into the church a new believer obviously does not signify marrying all his ideas and views, particularly on political or social subjects.»
… … Given those realities, why did Benedict do it? At least three points come to mind:
* For a pope committed to reawakening a strong missionary spirit in Catholicism, receiving a high-profile convert during the Easter Vigil is a symbolic way of making the point. In effect, Benedict is saying that the church shouldn’t shrink from receiving anyone who knocks on its door, even if there’s a political price to be paid.
* Allam’s baptism can also be read as a statement of solidarity with Muslim converts to Christianity around the world, many of whom suffer in various ways on account of that decision.
* Finally, the episode illustrates an important wrinkle to Benedict’s personality — stubborn indifference to the canons of political correctness. Benedict is a gracious figure, but he also refuses to sanitize what he regards as important matters of belief or practice in order to avoid PR headaches. Whether that amounts to moral courage or tone-deafness to public reaction is a matter of opinion, but the pattern is clear.