- Past. Coverage of a recent Vatican conference about the Crusades. Some folks are saying maybe we shouldn't have apologized.
- Present. An enlightening interview with a Spanish theologian about Muslim thought. For example, asked if Muslims believe man is made in the image and likeness of God, he responds:
Such language is quite incomprehensible for a Muslim. In Islam the relationship between God and man is purely extrinsic. What man can and must do is submit to God. No other relationship is believed to be possible, except in a few mystical and esoteric sects which tend towards pantheism. But this has nothing to do with Islamic orthodoxy.
And I thought this was interesting, although I'd like to ask a few follow-up questions. He doesn't think Islam can win Western converts:
The notion of converting to Islam has little to do with what Christians mean by converting. Europeans who become Muslims do so, broadly speaking, out of a
desire for experimentation and a hankering after exotic experiences. The fact that Islam can attract people in Europe is due basically to the crisis in Christian churches, especially amongst Protestants and Anglicans. There have been two or three thousand Spanish converts and most of them come from the radical left or from greens who have embraced ecologism as a kind of ideology. It is not really a religious phenomenon.
No wonder it's so anti-Western!
- Future. Cardinals in town for tomorrow's Consistory met with B-16 to advise him on various matters, including especially discussions on Islam.