The Quran and the possibilities for dialogue with Muslims

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran caused a bit of a flurry among Muslims and among Catholic scholars of Islam when he told a French newspaper he didn’t think “theological” dialogue was possible with Muslims because, he said, they believe the Quran was dictated by God and cannot be interpreted.

It is something most Christians, and even some Muslims, believe. But it appears more complicated than that.

The cardinal’s remarks were made less than a week after 138 Muslim scholars wrote to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders proposing new ideas for dialogue, so for a reaction story to the cardinal’s comments we put questions to two of the scholars who signed the letter.

Because the topic is so complicated, Aref Ali Nayed said he wanted the complete text of his answers to be posted online and a link included with the CNS story which ran today. Islamica, a magazine closely associated with the Muslim scholars’ dialogue initiative, has posted the text. Click here to see it.

Vanishing ministry: Magazine profiles urban priest, parish in Philly

The latest edition of St. Anthony Messenger magazine profiles a Philadelphia priest in what the Catholic monthly calls a vanishing style of ministry: “one diocesan priest in a depressed neighborhood, where he is also a community activist whose willingness to beg, borrow, barter and plead keeps an elementary school thriving.” Read here about Father John Patrick McNamee, pastor of St. Malachy Church, “a rare respite in North Philadelphia’s rough environs.”