Moslem Catholic Viewpoints – refreshing for a change!
It’s so refreshing to hear a moderate Muslim cleric, Imam Mohammad Abdullah, Director of Griffith University (Queensland) Islamic Research Unit; and Mark Coleridge., a straight-talking Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, respond so openly to very difficult ‘contemporary’ issues facing the world we live in.
ISSUE 1 – Catholic Celibacy: Starts at 1 min 06 sec
Simon Lenton asked: A question for Mark Coleridge: How does the Church in good conscience uphold the discipline of clerical celibacy when there is and has been widespread sexual abuse by the clergy and subsequent cover-ups by the Church? Does the Church perceive that the benefits of celibacy continue to outweigh the detriment to society and the Church caused by the abuses? Finally, how does the Church justify such a discipline when The Bible says that God himself, immediately after creating man, declared that it is “not good for a man to be alone”?
ISSUE – 2 Jihad: Starts at 8 min 30 sec
India O’Neill asked: TIME Magazine World Editor Bobby Ghosh famously stated that Osama Bin Laden’s greatest legacy was changing the definition of the word ‘jihad’ from an internal struggle against vice, to an external struggle against forces that would threaten the faith, which can involve taking up arms. How can the Muslims reclaim the original definition of jihad, and the perception of Islam among Muslims and non-Muslims alike be returned to the focus on ethics, peace and love?
ISSUE 3 – Gays, Islam, and Catholicism: Starts at 18 mins 30 sec
Mohammed El-Leissy asked via video: As a youth worker in the Islamic community I’m in constant contact with young Muslims struggling with same sex attraction. Many of them also dealing with chronic depression as they struggle with a sexual orientation that they have no control over while facing the prospect of losing their family and community if outed. I’ve spoken to many Imams, Rabbis and Priests on this issue and what I’ve heard back is that these people should either remain celibate or get married to somebody of the opposite sex if appropriate. Both these solutions are unrealistic and unsustainable in the long-term. My question is this, especially to the honourable Archbishop and respected Imam – do you feel that this issue has become the Achilles heel of our faiths as we do struggle to provide answers that are sensible and realistic solutions especially in a post modern world?
The two church figures, whilst open and speaking honestly, have not necessarily answered the questions to my complete satisfaction, but they do present positions that one can understand, and ‘agree not to agree’.