There are those who belief that Pope Francis is laying the groundwork for a “super world church” that would unite Catholicism and Islam. How could that possibly be with such divergent beliefs and goals?
When Pope Francis met with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb on Monday, he told him that “our meeting is the message“. So precisely what kind of “message” was Pope Francis attempting to convey? Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, and some have described him as “the highest figure in Sunni Islam“. The Daily Mail said that the meeting between these two men was a “historic bid to reopen dialogue between the two churches”, and as you will see below this is yet another in a long series of attempts by Pope Francis to build bridges between Catholicism and various other faiths.
Pope Francis made sure that when he embraced Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb there would be plenty of reporters there to document the moment. The following is an excerpt from a Daily Mail article entitled “Pope embraces grand imam at historic Vatican meeting in a bid to bring the Catholic and Muslim churches together“…
Pope Francis today embraced the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, in an historic bid to reopen dialogue between the two churches.
At a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians, Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib was photographed hugging Francis during a visit to the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican.
This meeting comes in the context of some very curious statements that the Pope has been making about Islam and Christianity lately. If you don’t know what I am talking about, here is one example…
The Pope said he “dreaded” hearing about the “Christian roots of Europe” because, to him, they take on “colonialist overtones” and he called on European nations to “integrate” Muslim migrants into the continent.
“This integration is all the more necessary today since, as a result of a selfish search for well-being, Europe is experiencing the grave problem of a declining birth rate,” he stated. “A demographic emptiness is developing.”
On another occasion, the Pope declared that “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters“. Pope Francis seems to have a strong desire to paint Christianity and Islam as two sides of the same coin, and he has taken steps to reach out to Muslims that no other Pope in history has done.
“I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.”
“In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.”
In Islam, one of Allah’s primary titles is “the all-merciful one”. And this certainly was not the first time that Pope Francis has used such language. For example, check out the following excerpt from remarks that he made during his very first ecumenical meeting as Pope…
“I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.”
The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – I wish to repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs.
Are you starting to see what I am talking about?
There is a very clear pattern developing here. Pope Francis believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, and he wants us to know that he considers Islam to be a perfectly acceptable way to seek God.
In this video, Pope Francis explains that people all over the world are “seeking God or meeting God in different ways” and that “there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God”. At about the 20 second mark, leaders from various major religions are shown declaring what they believe. First, a female Buddhist announces “I have confidence in the Buddha“. Secondly, a Jewish rabbi declares “I believe in God“. Thirdly, a Catholic priest tells us that “I believe in Jesus Christ“, and lastly an Islamic leader is shown saying “I believe in God, Allah“.
If you have not see this video, it is one of the creepiest things that I have ever seen on YouTube. It has become exceedingly clear that Pope Francis believes that all major religions are completely valid paths to the same God, and there is virtually no uproar over this.
The pontiff has also strongly criticized the Christian Western world for not fully embracing and welcoming millions of Muslim immigrants into Europe and the United States, in spite of the lawlessness, the rapes, the violence, and the insurrections that have accompanied the Islamic hordes. He has stated that it would be wrong to equate Islam with violence, though more than 90% of the world’s violence and bloodshed result directly from Muslim war and efforts to conquer territory or to spread fear.
It is reasonable that anyone representing the ideals of Christianity, which include loving others and turning the other cheek, would seek to spread peace and to find understanding among all sects and peoples. But Pope Francis seems to confuse that edict with the reality that Islam is calling for total world conquest and the religious conversion of all people to Islam, with the alternative being abject subservience or death. Perhaps the Pope needs to go back to his catechism studies and review what the church teaches about those not of the faith. Perhaps he needs to study up on what Islam teaches and proposes to do to any and all who do not embrace the religion of the moon god.