Skip to comments.Pope to Baptize Prominent Muslim
Posted on 03/22/2008 2:17:09 PM PDT by kellynla
Italy's most prominent Muslim commentator is converting to Catholicism by being baptized by the pope at an Easter vigil, the Vatican announced Saturday.
Magdi Allam is the deputy editor of the Corriere della Sera newspaper and writes often on Muslim and Arab affairs. Born in Egypt, he has described himself as a non-practicing Muslim. He has long spoken out against extremism and in favor of tolerance.
Pope Benedict XVI was baptizing seven adults during the service, which marks the period between Good Friday, which commemorates Jesus' crucifixion, and Easter Sunday, which marks his resurrection.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said of Allam before the service that anyone who chooses to become a Catholic of his or her own free will has the right to receive the sacrament.
Lombardi said the pope administers the sacrament "without making any 'difference of people,' that is, considering all equally important before the love of God and welcoming all in the community of the Church."
Benedict opened the lengthy nighttime service by blessing a white candle, which he then carried down the main aisle of the darkened St. Peter's Basilica. Slowly, the pews began to light up as his flame was shared with candles carried by the faithful, until the whole basilica twinkled and the main lights came on.
The baptism rite during the vigil service is part of the joyful renewal Christians associate with Easter.
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.
Egypt's highest Islamic cleric, the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, wrote last year against the killing of apostates, saying there is no worldly retribution for Muslims who abandon their religion and that punishment would come in the afterlife.
Osama bin Laden accused the pope in a new audio message posted Wednesday of playing a "large and lengthy role" in a "new Crusade" against Islam that included the publication of drawings of the Prophet Muhammad that many Muslims found insulting.
Lombardi said Thursday that bin Laden's accusation was baseless. He said Benedict repeatedly criticized the Muhammad cartoons, first published in some European newspapers in 2006 and republished by Danish papers in February.
Osama is going to throw another fit...LOL. This is great!
Wait until Obamabi’s Spiritual Mentor hears about this one!
Welcome Magdi Allam. Arm yourself.
This is very gutsy in light of the planned Christian-Muslim dialogues later this year. The Sacraments trump diplomacy.
The Pope's baptizing of a Muslim only days after bin Laden's threat is important news, I think.
Highly symbolic and sure to enrage the terrorists even more, if that's possible. The Pope is clearly showing that the Gospel of Jesus is his one and only point of reference.
Kind of a silly title.
I don’t think the Catholic church is interested in baptizing adults that are not Christians, are they?
How about “former Muslim?”
“Repentant former Muslim?”
Regardless, it is always good for visible Muslims to convert - it will (hopefully) give others of that faith pause. A good thing, IMHO.
“I dont think the Catholic church is interested in baptizing adults that are not Christians, are they?”
Oh, yes we are. It will be happening all over the world tonight!
I hope folks got to watch this on EWTN tonight. It was wonderful, especially the expression on the Pope’s face when he confirmed this new convert.
Interestingly, the former Muslim was not announced before the service and apparently had not told anyone; in fact, when his turn came, he was identified first as someone from Peru and then it was only mentioned that he was from Italy (he is an Italian resident and citizen) and editor of La Corriere della Sera. I’m sure every attempt was made to keep it fairly quiet.
At the same time, I am very impressed that the Pope and the new Catholic himself had the courage to go ahead and do this. Prayers for both!
God Bless and congratuations to this new Christian Roman Catholic beliver. A Blessed Happy Easter to him and welcome into the Church.
A bit of advice: Get protection for yourself!
...And praise God, in my parish church, one was baptized tonight!
A Blessed Easter to all the baptized and recieved!
This is one of the great miracles of Easter, when people come to faith in Christ in the most visable ways.
Sure they are...Babies are not Christians...
You get wetted with the 'holy' water by a 'holy' man and your are a Christian...
I work with a fella that had to become a Catholic to marry a woman he fell in love with...He got the 'holy water treatment' and now he's a Catholic Crhistian...What an insult to Jesus Christ...He's no more a Christian than Osama Bin Laden...
There are thousands of former Arab muzlims who have accepted the free gift of Salvation offered by Jesus Christ (for real)...
In the Bible, you will find the two words "believe" and "baptize" or "baptized" in that order and for a reason. ;-)
Praise God for this brave man whose courage resembles that of the early Christians.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling that this is going to be a popcorn thread...once the vultures gather. It’s a darned shame that there are some who are that way, but it is what it is.
What do you mean by the term “popcorn thread” ? Consider what happened last night to be a true miracle of God this Easter with the hope of the futher spread of the Gospel of Jesus.
The ones who come to faith in Christ in adulthood take their faith serously. Even those who were baptized as babies, can as they get older be called to accept Christ as personal Savior. A Blessed Easter.
Popcorn thread=break out the popcorn, folks, this is going to be long and ugly.
There are those who consder it better to be an atheist than to be a Catholic (or, as I call it, an authentic Christian). One generally sees that attitude displayed very vociferously by some in conversion threads posted here by Catholics.
(While Catholics typically have the attitude “better a good Protestant than a bad Catholic” when similar types of threads are posted by our compatriots)
See post 17.
It is NOT cool.
Iscool: Full emmersion is not a requirement for baptism. The idea is is that the water cleanses us of our sins, and gives us new life in the Lord. It might not be YOUR tradition to be baptised this way, but it doesn’t mean it’s not baptism. I was baptised as an adult Catholic, and you insult me to say I am not a Christian.
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
Best wishes to Magdi Allam.
One cannot but worry he is not long for this world after such a public announcement.
I suspect many cars will meet their deaths by fire soon as well.
“I work with a fella that had to become a Catholic to marry a woman he fell in love with...”
No, you don’t work with such a man. No one according to the Church has to become Catholic to marry a Catholic. He CHOSE to become Catholic and God help him if he did it merely to have a Catholic wedding.
“He got the ‘holy water treatment’ and now he’s a Catholic Crhistian...What an insult to Jesus Christ...He’s no more a Christian than Osama Bin Laden...”
Maybe he isn’t, but others are. And, in fact, you do not know the heart of Magdi Allam and are in no position to judge his faith. You never even heard of him until you saw this article or one like it, right?
“There are thousands of former Arab muzlims who have accepted the free gift of Salvation offered by Jesus Christ (for real)...”
And we all have reason to believe Magdi Allam is one of them. Present your evidence to the contrary. Oh, what’s that? You have none at all? Nothing? Yeah, that’s pretty much what we all knew already.
Yes they can...But they may not...
A Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ...To say that someone became a disciple of Jesus Christ because he got baptized in water is a stretch...To become a Christian one must make a personal decision to become a disciple of Jesus Christ...
Jesus died so that we could be reckoned sinless...Without which we individually can not inherit the Spiritual Kingdom of God...
Happy Easter, Christ is Risen, Alleluia!
Only Carmel Corn today, Mark. I can’t tell you how wonderful that sweet cinnamon roll was today after Mass. After a season of penance, reflection, and abstinence, everything is sweet today!
May our Charity not fail us even in the face of those who refuse to acknowledge light and salt, and Christ and the Holy Spirit in us.
Blessings on All!
I didn't say you were not a Christian...That's a personal decision of yours...
The water cleanses you of nothing...It gets you wet; that's all...
The moment Jesus died, Jesus did all the cleansing that will ever be needed...When Jesus said, 'It is finished'...
You didn't become a Christian when you got baptized...You became a Christian when you called on Jesus Christ to become your Savior...Thay may have happened before you got wet, after you got wet, or maybe it didn't happen at all...
What do you think??? We Protestants in the month of June ask Jesus to save us and He says to wait til next April??? You can't become a Christian til next April and someone will sprinkle you with some water to cleanse you???
That may be the ritual for initiation into the Catholic religion but it has zero to do with becoming a Christian...
Water doesn't cleanse sin...Only blood can cleanse sin...Shed blood...And it was shed, Once for all...It is finished...
Sure he did...Otherwise the woman wouldn't have married him because your religion convinced her it wouldn't be a valid marriage without him becoming a Catholic...You know that...
He got the holy water treatment and now hes a Catholic Crhistian...What an insult to Jesus Christ...Hes no more a Christian than Osama Bin Laden...
Maybe he isnt, but others are.
But that's the point...He claims to be a Catholic Christian and you guys accept him into your fold as one of you...Maybe none of you are Christians...(Birds of a feather flock together, don't they?)
And, in fact, you do not know the heart of Magdi Allam and are in no position to judge his faith. You never even heard of him until you saw this article or one like it, right?
It's called a testimony...Did this muzlim ever claim to become a follower of Jesus, a disciple of Jesus Christ??? Did Jesus become his Savior, or did he just say he is joining the Catholic religion???
It's not true. Anyone who told her that is wrong. I suspect you made the whole thing up.
You're drenched in hate for Catholics and Catholicism.
You are way out of line. Do all of us a favor, yourself included, and clear off this thread.
Wow. I'm glad Jesus is more accepting than you.
I feel sorry for you. The evil that is in your heart is a cancer. You consider yourself a Christian but your heart is sick with bigotry and hate. The fire in your heart is not the fire of the Holy Spirit, which is love, it is the fire of hate which leads away from the Holy Spirit. You need to take a good hard look at yourself and pray for the grace to change the hardness of your heart... the sooner the better.
I "know" nothing of the sort. My mother was Catholic and my father was Lutheran. They had a Catholic wedding and the marriage was perfectly valid in the eyes of the Church. A non-Catholic is not required to become a Catholic in order for a marriage to be valid in the eyes of the Church.
Well leave it to you to turn, what should be a joyous occasion of a Muslim being baptized into the Most Holy Trinity, into a polemic on who is a Christian and who is not, and a debate on Baptism. In all of your posts, there is your typical attack on the Catholic Church. Well, sorry if I dont accept the infallible interpretations of Rev. Iscool. The Scriptures and all the Early Church does not support your personal infallible interpretation as once again, you make the point that in my opinion, Sola Scriptura is really nothing more than Sola Meo.
The Sacred Scriptures clearly teach the doctrine that Baptism is the normative means through which God gives humanity Grace, which saves us. Numerous passages support this doctrinal point (e.g., see Acts 2:38, 22:16; Rom. 6:14; 1 Cor. 6:11, 12:13; Gal. 3:2627; Eph. 5:25-27; Col. 2:1112; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 3:1822). These passages all point to a being baptized into Christs passion, death and resurrection, and thus a communion with God.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 628, summarizes this point nicely:
Baptism, the original and full sign of which is immersion, efficaciously signifies the descent into the tomb by the Christian who dies to sin with Christ in order to live a new life. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (c.f. Rom 6:4).”
The Church Fathers are clear in the view that Baptism is the means of new birth and the means through which Grace is communicated to each person: For example,
St. Ignatius of Antioch writes:
“Let none of you turn deserter. Let your baptism be your armor; your faith, your helmet; your love, your spear; your patient endurance, your panoply” (Letter to Polycarp 6 [A.D. 110]).
St. Justin Martyr writes
“Whoever are convinced and believe that what they are taught and told by us is the truth, and professes to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to beseech God in fasting for the remission of their former sins, while we pray and fast with them. Then they are led by us to a place where there is water, and they are reborn in the same kind of rebirth in which we ourselves were reborn: In the name of God, the Lord and Father of all, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they receive the washing of water. For Christ said, Unless you be reborn, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (First Apology 61:1417 [A.D. 151]).
St. Clement of Alexandria writes:
“When we are baptized, we are enlightened. Being enlightened, we are adopted as sons. Adopted as sons, we are made perfect. Made perfect, we become immortal . . . and sons of the Most High [Ps. 82:6]. This work is variously called grace, illumination, perfection, and washing. It is a washing by which we are cleansed of sins, a gift of grace by which the punishments due our sins are remitted, an illumination by which we behold that holy light of salvation” (The Instructor of Children 1:6:26:1 [A.D. 191]).
St, Cyprian of Carthage writes:
“While I was lying in darkness . . . I thought it indeed difficult and hard to believe . . . that divine mercy was promised for my salvation, so that anyone might be born again and quickened unto a new life by the laver of the saving water, he might put off what he had been before, and, although the structure of the body remained, he might change himself in soul and mind. . . . But afterwards, when the stain of my past life had been washed away by means of the water of rebirth, a light from above poured itself upon my chastened and now pure heart; afterwards, through the Spirit which is breathed from heaven, a second birth made of me a new man” (To Donatus 34 [A.D. 246]).
St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes:
“If any man does not receive baptism, he does not have salvation. The only exception is the martyrs, who, even without water, will receive baptism, for the Savior calls martyrdom a baptism [Mark 10:38]. . . . Bearing your sins, you go down into the water; but the calling down of grace seals your soul and does not permit that you afterwards be swallowed up by the fearsome dragon. You go down dead in your sins, and you come up made alive in righteousness” (Catechetical Lectures 3:10, 12 [A.D. 350]).
St. Basil the Great writes:
“For prisoners, baptism is ransom, forgiveness of debts, the death of sin, regeneration of the soul, a resplendent garment, an unbreakable seal, a chariot to heaven, a royal protector, a gift of adoption” (Sermons on Moral and Practical Subjects 13:5 [A.D. 379]).
St. Ambrose of Milan writes:
“The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed himself but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of baptism. Whoever comes, therefore, to the washing of Christ lays aside his sins” (Commentary on Luke 2:83 [A.D. 389]).
St. Augustine writes:
“It is an excellent thing that the Punic [North African] Christians call baptism salvation and the sacrament of Christs body nothing else than life. Whence does this derive, except from an ancient and, as I suppose, apostolic tradition, by which the churches of Christ hold inherently that without baptism and participation at the table of the Lord it is impossible for any man to attain either to the kingdom of God or to salvation and life eternal? This is the witness of Scripture too” (Forgiveness and the Just Deserts of Sin, and the Baptism of Infants 1:24:34 [A.D. 412]).
“The sacrament of baptism is most assuredly the sacrament of regeneration” (ibid., 2:27:43).
“Baptism washes away all, absolutely all, our sins, whether of deed, word, or thought, whether sins original or added, whether knowingly or unknowingly contracted” (Against Two Letters of the Pelagians 3:3:5 [A.D. 420]).
“This is the meaning of the great sacrament of baptism, which is celebrated among us: all who attain to this grace die thereby to sinas he himself [Jesus] is said to have died to sin because he died in the flesh (that is, in the likeness of sin)and they are thereby alive by being reborn in the baptismal font, just as he rose again from the sepulcher. This is the case no matter what the age of the body. For whether it be a newborn infant or a decrepit old mansince no one should be barred from baptismjust so, there is no one who does not die to sin in baptism. Infants die to original sin only; adults, to all those sins which they have added, through their evil living, to the burden they brought with them at birth” (Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love 13 [A.D. 421]).
The Anglican-Protestant Church History Scholar, J. N. D. Kelly summarizes the numerous statements by the Early Church Fathers with respect to Baptism as he writes:
“From the beginning baptism was the universally accepted rite of admission to the Church. . . . As regards its significance, it was always held to convey the remission of sins . . . we descend into the water dead and come out again alive; we receive a white robe which symbolizes the Spirit . . .the Spirit is God himself dwelling in the believer, and the resulting life is a re-creation. Prior to baptism . . . our heart was the abode of demons . . . [but] baptism supplies us with the weapons for our spiritual warfare” (Early Christian Doctrines, 1934).
In summary, your attempts to discredit this mans conversion is really sad, and furthermore, your attempts to turn this into a polemical attack on Catholicism says a lot.
As the Eastern Tradition says: Christ is risen, he is truly risen.
“Sure he did...Otherwise the woman wouldn’t have married him because your religion convinced her it wouldn’t be a valid marriage without him becoming a Catholic...You know that...”
Incorrect. It would have been a valid marriage even if he weren’t Catholic. Your story is unraveling by the minute here. And to think you add “You know that” as if you were getting right! What a crock!
Here’s some info for you on valid marraiges:
The Catholic Church considers a marriage to be valid when:
1) It is celebrated in a ceremony that is legally acceptable according to Catholic Church law;
2) Both parties are free to marry each other;
3) Each party intends, on the day of the wedding, to accept and fulfill the rights and obligations of marriage;
4) Each party has the physical and psychological ability to live out God’s plan for married life as taught by the Church.
“For those who have been baptized, a valid marriage is also considered to be a sacrament. Although not every marriage is a sacrament, every marriage, including a marriage between two non-Catholics, whether baptized or not, is presumed to be a valid and binding union.”
So, even when the two people are not Catholic the marriage is considered perfectly valid!
“But that’s the point...He claims to be a Catholic Christian and you guys accept him into your fold as one of you...Maybe none of you are Christians...(Birds of a feather flock together, don’t they?)”
Look, so far you have presented two stories that demonstrate that this buddy of yours and his wife, and you, are clueless on the faith. If this guy converted only to make a marriage with a Catholic woman easier than who besides you knows that? Does his parish priest know that or did he give him the benefit of the doubt? How would you know? If your buddy would lie to God and His Church how would you even know he isn’t lying to you too? If I met a guy who says he was a Catholic I would assume he is one until proven otherwise. Wouldn’t you? Well, who knows that this guy has no attachment to the faith? Seriously, who besides you knows that? Does he run up and down the church aisles on Sunday screaming, “I’m only pretending to care about Jesus and the Catholic faith! I’m only pretending!”? I doubt it.
“It’s called a testimony...Did this muzlim ever claim to become a follower of Jesus, a disciple of Jesus Christ???”
Do you have evidence he didn’t? Also, why do you assume orthodox Christians act like Protestants with public testimonies that would satisfy you? He was baptized at great risk to his life. Could that be a quiet testimony?
“Did Jesus become his Savior, or did he just say he is joining the Catholic religion???”
The latter does not negate the former but brings it to fullness. You are assuming, as only an anti-Catholic would do, that one cannot join the Church for Christ, but must always look at the two as seperate. That is a modern, and exclusively latter day Protestant view. It is not the view in the NT where belief in Christ was always tied to becoming a member of the Church and the other way around. Only a modern day Protestant would actually try to seperate Christ from the Church as if that were even possible.
Fair enough and I agree. And that is, incidently, the teaching of the Catholic Church. The baptism is done as part of you ACCEPTING Jesus as your saviour. However, the whole thing is symbolic. It all comes down to what’s in your heart.
Therefore, it is better for me to say the water REPRESENTS a cleansing of sin, and especially a taking of the belief that Jesus is Lord.
I teach Catechism, otherwise known as Sunday School. I’ll get kids asking all kinds of far-out-there type questions, like, “What if you were dying, and couldn’t find water, and there wasn’t a priest”, etc. I always tell them, “The bottom line is what’s in your heart. God will know. He will save you if that’s what’s in your heart, even if all those stipulations you mention were true.”
Same here. My mother was Catholic and my father Methodist. Catholic wedding, he never converted.
But, Iscool is clearly the authority on Catholicism, so we people with actual knowledge of such things should show his intellect the respect its obviously due.
You might want to read this:
Sounds like this man is a man of faith.
This holy baptism has made my Easter !!!
Paschal blessings be with us all !!!
Have you ever actually attended a Catholic baptism? You make it sound like all that happens is that someone gets wet.
There's a bit more to it than that. Here's a taste:
Minister*: Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
[The ordinary minister of the sacrament of baptism is a deacon, priest, or bishop.]
Catechumen: I do.
M.: Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
C.: I do.
M.: Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
C.: I do.
M.: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
C: I do.
M.: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
C.: I do.
M.: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
C.: I do.
M.: God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven our sins. May God also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
Sounds like a "personal decision" to be a disciple of Christ to me. If someone is going to stand up in front of people and publicly profess a lie, that's too bad, but it's not the church's fault. We're pretty clear on what's expected, and it's a whole lot more than just getting wet.
Pope Benedict really knows how to sock it to the Muslimes
well, I also have another attitude — if a Muslim is converting, I’d be overjoyed if he chooses any branch of the Christian faith — I’d even be happy if he/she becomes a Zoroastrian/buddhist/hindu/jain/sikh
I hope he does better than some of his predecessors.
Appeasement will not work.
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