The Church In Crisis
The Catholic Church once again has exhibited a startling proclivity for dhimmitude. Since the rise of Islam in France Church leaders have been split between mild criticisms of Islam and outright capitulation to its dictates. During the controversy over the Pope's remarks in Germany there was short-lived period of optimism and hope that at long last the tide was turning. No such thing has happened, as this article from Salon Beige indicates:
On Friday, the Avicenne Institute in Lille was inaugurated - the very first Islamic College in France. Offering 3 classes to its 80 enrolled students, the Avicenne Institute is directed by Mohammed Béchari, president of the Moroccan based National Federation of Muslims of France (FNMF) and vice-president of the French Council of the Muslim Cult (CFCM). Financed indirectly by the CFCM, the FNMF and by foreign countries, including Libya, the Institute is preparing to teach Islam, to train imams, to teach law, art, calligraphy and Arabic. The French State has agreed to provide public financing next year.
But the strangest thing is to realize that among the members of the science advisory council (conseil scientifique) of the Avicenne Institute is the bishop of Lille, Monsignor Defois. During the inauguration ceremony of the Muslim college, he uttered these surprising words:
"Islam is a part of our European roots. I would like us to explore them together so that a common philosophical basis can emerge."
I should point out that the readers' comments to this article expressed no surprise at his actions. He is apparently known for his extremely liberal positions and has resorted to dismissing priests he deemed too "traditional". The readers also explained that he has been decorated by the French State more than any other bishop. In short, the bishop is a politician.
Along the same lines, last month the archbishop of Paris, André Vingt-Trois, made these comments, also from Salon Beige, about the ghettoes of France:
"I don't think that it's a religious problem at all, it's a problem of social violence, which is the reflection and the fruit of a kind of despair for some young people, and it's a kind of rejection of collective institutions.
"There is a profound lack in our society. One cannot say that it is because of the police that there is violence, nor can one say that the youths of the ghettoes have become barbarians. One must determine how the functioning of society can generate violence and especially how to manage it."
The readers' comments were mixed, but tended to be critical, often severely so, of the archbishop.
Salon Beige is a Catholic website and its readers largely devout Catholics. Typically they abide by Church doctrine and remain loyal to their religious leaders, but in cases like these, they are honest enough to rebel against obvious missteps of their Church.
Galliawatch has posted many articles on the crisis within the Church. Among them: Richelieu, Come back! and Catholic Dhimmis. The Pope's controversial speech is here, a discussion of Vatican II is here and a cartoon we all hoped would be symbolic of a new trend is here.
Photo of Bishop Defois from Catholique-Lille.