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Pope baptizes famous Muslim convert
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080322/ts_nm/pope_easter_dc ^ | 18 minutes ago | Philip Pullella

Posted on 03/22/2008 4:04:50 PM PDT by BenLurkin

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict led the world's Catholics into Easter on Saturday at a Vatican service where he baptized a Muslim-born convert who is one of Italy's most famous and controversial journalists.

The German-born pontiff, marking the third Easter season of his pontificate, began the service in the atrium of a darkened St Peter's Basilica where he carved the Greek letters Alpha and Omega on a large candle.

The basilica became a sea of flickering flames as thousands of faithful inside lit candles before the lights were turned on in a ritual symbolizing the darkness in the world after Christ's death and the light of the resurrection.

Easter, the most important day in the Church's liturgical calendar, commemorates Christ rising from the dead three days after he was crucified.

In his sermon, Benedict wove a connection between the resurrection of Christ and the sacrament of baptism, the initiation rite of Christianity.

"...from the abyss of death he was able to rise to life. Now he raises us from death to true life. This is exactly what happens in baptism," the pope said.

The pope traditionally baptizes newborns on January 1 and adult converts to Catholicism on Easter eve.

One of the seven adults he baptized on Saturday night was Magdi Allam, 55, an Egyptian-born journalist who, as deputy director of the leading newspaper Corriere della Sera, is one of Italy's best-known intellectuals.

Allam, a fierce critic of Islamic extremism and a strong supporter of Israel, is protected by a police escort because of threats he has received.

WELL-KEPT SECRET

His conversion to Christianity was a well-kept secret, disclosed by the Vatican in a statement less than an hour before the Easter eve service started.

"For the Catholic Church, each person who asks to receive baptism after a deep personal search, a fully free choice and adequate preparation, has a right to receive it," it said.

Allam defended the pope in 2006 when the pontiff made a speech in Regensburg, Germany, that many Muslims perceived as depicting Islam as a violent faith.

The Vatican statement announcing Allam was joining Catholicism said all newcomers were "equally important before God's love and welcome in the community of the Church."

Allam, who has been living in Italy for 35 years, has said he was never a very devout Muslim. Still, his conversion to Christianity came as a surprise.

"What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion," Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters.

The Easter eve service was the first of three at which the pope presides. On Sunday he will celebrate a mass and then deliver his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) blessing and message.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: baptism; baptizes; convert; exmuslims; muslim; muslimbaptism; pope; vatican

1 posted on 03/22/2008 4:04:52 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

ruh roh.


2 posted on 03/22/2008 4:10:51 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Iím gonna get me a shotgun and kill all the whiteys I see...)
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To: BenLurkin

Good luck getting life insurance buddy.


3 posted on 03/22/2008 4:11:57 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: BenLurkin

Pope Benedict just farted in Sammy’s general direction.
Viva Papa!


4 posted on 03/22/2008 4:13:47 PM PDT by sono (Barack Obama's chickens are coming home to roost.)
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To: BenLurkin

wow. Hundred of years after the crusades and thousands of years after Jesus Christ, and the sprinkling of water on a muslim in the name of Jesus is still major news. And the penalties for freedom of conscience are the same - losing your head.


5 posted on 03/22/2008 4:14:35 PM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: mainepatsfan

Sad isn’t it?


6 posted on 03/22/2008 4:15:06 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

I really need to visit Rome before it blows up. That said, welcome to the Church Allam!


7 posted on 03/22/2008 4:15:18 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: BenLurkin

Ben,

Already posted here:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1990030/posts?page=3#3

Thanks!
NeverGore


8 posted on 03/22/2008 4:15:36 PM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: Vince Ferrer

“There is no overarching Muslim law on conversion. But under a widespread interpretation of Islamic legal doctrine, converting from Islam is apostasy and punishable by death — though killings are rare.”

Talk about just falling off the turnip truck.


9 posted on 03/22/2008 4:17:38 PM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (To those who believe the world was safer with Saddam, get treatment for that!)
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To: BenLurkin

On a separate note...

I really hve a bad feeling regarding the Pope’s upcoming visit to New York and Washington DC.

I really believe Al Queda is going to try to kill him here...


10 posted on 03/22/2008 4:18:53 PM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: BenLurkin

Sounds like Benedict has taken up the flag from John Paul II. Viva Papa!! God Bless You.


11 posted on 03/22/2008 4:20:43 PM PDT by mc5cents (Show me just what Mohammd brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman)
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To: mainepatsfan
Good luck getting life insurance buddy.

In its broadest and most enduring sense, that matter is settled.

12 posted on 03/22/2008 4:21:41 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Free New York)
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To: ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton
But under a widespread interpretation of Islamic legal doctrine, converting from Islam is apostasy and punishable by death — though killings are rare.”

Oh really?

13 posted on 03/22/2008 4:22:22 PM PDT by mc5cents (Show me just what Mohammd brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman)
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To: BenLurkin

Very.


14 posted on 03/22/2008 4:24:05 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: BenLurkin
"What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion," Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters.

I thought the whole article seemed rather low-key. It is the media, of which this man is apparently quite an influential member, that is carrying the story.

But you're supposed to blame the Pope and the Church.

15 posted on 03/22/2008 4:24:32 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Free New York)
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To: Vince Ferrer

I second your welcoming of this man to the faith. And I honor both the Pope and him for doing it “in front of God and everybody” instead of some semi-secret way.


16 posted on 03/22/2008 4:25:21 PM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: BenLurkin
Wow. Maybe the pope's wardrobe team should look into a kevlar mitre and vestments.

I applaud his courage to take a public stance on what I'm sure he understands could be a very volatile situation. It would have been just as easy to have some local priest baptize him in a private ceremony.

17 posted on 03/22/2008 4:26:08 PM PDT by Pablo64 (What is popular is not always right. What is right is not always popular.)
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To: nevergore

If he was killed, do you think the billion plus Catholics may grab a bucket and help us drain that swamp?


18 posted on 03/22/2008 4:27:42 PM PDT by Selmore (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.)
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To: BenLurkin
"What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion," Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters.

I thought the whole article seemed rather low-key. It is the media, of which this man is apparently quite an influencial member, that is carrying the story.

But you're supposed to blame the Pope and the Church.

19 posted on 03/22/2008 4:32:12 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Free New York)
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To: nevergore

Thank you sir.


20 posted on 03/22/2008 4:42:15 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Pablo64

Viva il Papa Benedict! Bravo!! Bravissimo!!

(Too bad he didn’t become Pope in his late fifties, like his predecessor, so he could cast a long and giant shadow.)

Guess the Saudi head muzzie will soon be screaming

“Give us that sword back!!””

;^)


21 posted on 03/22/2008 4:55:58 PM PDT by elcid1970 (io)
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To: Selmore

A huge can of Whoop A$$ would be opened.....

This would make the Crusades look like a walk in the park....


22 posted on 03/22/2008 5:27:59 PM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: BenLurkin
Great Easter news! Too bad the Swiss Guard doesn't have an air force to do a low-altitude victory roll over the Ka'aba.


23 posted on 03/22/2008 5:33:01 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: BenLurkin

I wondered why Bin Laden singled out the Pope in his recent message. Now it seems obvious some in the Muslim world knew this conversion was coming.


24 posted on 03/22/2008 5:41:22 PM PDT by magellan
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To: BenLurkin
Thanks be to God!

Prayers for more conversions to the True and Living Way.

25 posted on 03/22/2008 5:49:36 PM PDT by ishmac
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To: magellan
I wondered why Bin Laden singled out the Pope in his recent message.

Sounds like the Pope is throwing it right back in his face.
26 posted on 03/22/2008 5:55:31 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: nevergore

Different title, different article, different source, different author.


27 posted on 03/22/2008 6:21:21 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham
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To: magellan

Interesting thought — knowing what it is they know can help the authorities investigate how they know it.


28 posted on 03/22/2008 7:44:05 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: wagglebee; SJackson; Alouette; ExTexasRedhead; SandRat; Coleus; Salvation; NYer; sionnsar

Although I’m not Catholic, I think this is an amazing event.


29 posted on 03/22/2008 8:35:51 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Those in the national Republican leadership do the work of three men- Moe, Larry, and Curly.)
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To: mainepatsfan
Good luck getting life insurance buddy.

True. But the premiums on his "soul" insurance, have been paid in full.

30 posted on 03/22/2008 8:46:08 PM PDT by phil1750 (Love like you've never been hurt;Dance like nobody's watching;PRAY like it's your last prayer)
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To: Clintonfatigued

it certainly is, thanks for the ping.


31 posted on 03/22/2008 9:10:44 PM PDT by Coleus (Abortion and Physician-assisted Murder (aka-Euthanasia), Don't Democrats just kill ya?)
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To: the invisib1e hand
"It is the media, of which this man is apparently quite an influential member, that is carrying the story."

Come on, when the Pope himself does a public televised baptism....on the eve of Easter......to a converting muslim, it's going to be news. It was calculated and the Pope is definitely making a statement. And I love him for it (and I'm not even Catholic.)

32 posted on 03/22/2008 9:17:49 PM PDT by joebuck (Finitum non capax infinitum!)
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To: joebuck
Doesn't the Pope baptize someone every year? Doesn't the Pope usually baptize big shots? This guy's baptism would have been news if he was an Anglican. Just like John Major's was.
33 posted on 03/22/2008 10:10:16 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (Free New York)
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To: BenLurkin; Jedi Master Pikachu; knighthawk; Dog; alleluia; NYer; Coleus; narses; Salvation; ...

Christ is risen.


34 posted on 03/23/2008 4:37:03 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (He is risen indeed.)
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To: elcid1970
Shouldn't you be cheering in German? (At least for this pope)

;-)

35 posted on 03/23/2008 5:45:45 AM PDT by Pablo64 (What is popular is not always right. What is right is not always popular.)
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To: Pablo64; elcid1970
German - Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!

Yiddish - Der Meschiache undzer iz geshtanen! Avade er iz ufgeshtanen!

36 posted on 03/23/2008 6:56:08 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (He is risen indeed!~)
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To: Pablo64; elcid1970
And Arabic!

Al-Masih-Qam! Hakkan Qam!

37 posted on 03/23/2008 7:00:49 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (He is risen indeed!~)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; The Invisible Hand; BenLurkin; joebuck; Clintonfatigued

Magdi Allam, Italy's most prominent Muslim commentator, is baptized ..."

Pope Benedict and Magdi Allam Uphold Freedom of Conscience in Italy!

38 posted on 03/23/2008 7:14:42 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

He is risen indeed.


39 posted on 03/23/2008 8:36:06 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

LOVE IT!!!


40 posted on 03/23/2008 8:40:19 AM PDT by iiidocs
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To: BenLurkin

Hey Osama! Take that you effin b*tch!!


41 posted on 03/23/2008 8:42:05 AM PDT by iiidocs
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To: BenLurkin

He has signed his death warrant, and Christ has assured his place in Heaven.


42 posted on 03/23/2008 8:49:09 AM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?" TERM LIMITS, NOW!)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
Different title, different article, different source, different author.

But, other than that, it's already been posted. :-)

43 posted on 03/23/2008 1:07:34 PM PDT by ELS (Vivat Benedictus XVI!)
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To: Pablo64

No more than I would cheer in Polish for John Paul II.

Ciao!

;^)


44 posted on 03/23/2008 4:16:17 PM PDT by elcid1970 (io)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Russian - Khristos voskres! Voistinu voskrese!


45 posted on 03/23/2008 4:17:12 PM PDT by elcid1970 (io)
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To: elcid1970
Kristo leviĝis! Vere Li leviĝis! In Esperanto!

To all the world: He is risen! He is truly risen!

46 posted on 03/23/2008 4:26:42 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.)
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To: I still care

The Crusades were self-defense. How did they start? In the 7th and 8th centuries, Muslim hordes conquered the Christian lands of Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Transjordan, North Africa — places that housed some of the earliest Churchs, the earliest Church fathers (including Augustine who is from what is now Libya/Algeria/Tunisia). Christians were taxed specific taxes for not being Muslims and were treated as third-class citizens, their Children and wives forfeit. After 300 years, the caliphs started destroying the Holy Churches in Israel and killing pilgrims, only THEN did we Christians retaliate. We did not go into the crusades to forcibly converts


47 posted on 03/23/2008 8:42:15 PM PDT by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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To: Selmore

“us”? Remember that 25% of Americans are Catholic


48 posted on 03/23/2008 8:43:07 PM PDT by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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To: Clintonfatigued

As I said on another post — I rejoice whenever a Muslim joins ANY branch of Christianity. As a Catholic, thank you for your statements — Magdi Allam has joined the CHRISTIAN brotherhood in Christ: with ALL of us believers in Christ, Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Lutheran, Anglican, etc. etc.


49 posted on 03/23/2008 8:45:05 PM PDT by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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