Skip to comments.St. Francis of Assisi: Not a Birkenstock-Clad Hippie But a Converter of Muslims
Posted on 04/03/2008 10:51:51 AM PDT by wagglebee
LifeSiteNews: Do you think that Christian-Muslim dialogues have helped relations between the two groups or have they simply obscured the Christian mandate to go into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature?
Frank Rega: There is no doubt that ecumenism since Vatican II has diluted and weakened the efforts at evangelization. On the other hand, diplomatic dialog is quite necessary; for example, in negotiating to have the Saudi's allow Catholic worship and churches in their nation. But the pendulum is swinging towards the more traditional view of converting unbelievers rather than only dialoging for the sake of mutual understanding. One indication of the paradigm shift is the very public reception of Magdi Christiano Allam into the Church by the Holy Father himself.
Also, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document last December reminding Catholics that ecumenical efforts should not cause us to neglect the gospel mandate to seek the conversion of others to Christ. This must be accomplished without coercion, but rather by a dialog of conversion. This is what Francis did in his conversations with the Sultan.
The problem arises with a certain philosophy of ecumenism that seeks some type of indefinite mutual coexistence of differing religions, or worse yet, that would strive for a for "pan-religion" by the merging of religious traditions. This approach is a denial that the Catholic Religion is the one true faith founded by Jesus Christ.
LifeSiteNews: What can St. Francis teach Christians of today about relating to Muslims?
Frank Rega: First, I think it is important to realize that St. Francis did not openly attack the Muslim religion or Mohammed. He was not armed with a copy of the Koran in one hand and the Catholic Catechism in the other. In fact there is no indication that he ever instructed his friars who undertook such a mission to study the Koran or the tenets of Islam. His goal was to carry to the unbelievers the very presence of Christ, and the essence of God's love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation.
This brings up a second point, the necessity to be strong in the basics of our Faith. One cannot relate as a Catholic to another religion while being hesitant, for example, about the truth of Christ's Resurrection from the dead on Easter.
Finally, Francis shows us that we must keep it simple. Simplicity was one of the hallmarks of his personality and of his approach to Christianity. Spiritual strength flows from the simple understanding and belief that Jesus is God, that he founded a Church to transmit the grace of salvation in His Name, and that Church is the Roman Catholic Church.
See previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Message of the Pope's Baptism of Prominent Muslim: Be Not Afraid to Acknowledge Christianity as The Truth:
The Implications of Fundamental Islamic Expansion in North America
Jesus and Muhammad's Words, Actions, Teachings Contrasted
Abandonment of Judeo/Christian Heritage Has Left West Vulnerable to Fundamental Islam
Multiculturism a Factor Turning Moderate Muslims Radical?
Visit the site for Rega's latest book:
Visit Rega's site:
This is sure to upset a lot of liberals.
You’re right. Though I think shod technically refers to shoes or boots, not sandals.
Take it up with St. Hubbins.
Hadn't thought much about it, but it was a refreshingly courageous act in contrast to the increasingly timid & political-minded behavior of the large denomitions these days.
The patron Saint of casual footwear?
In the mockumentary Spinal Tap, Spinal Tap's lead singer/guitarist David St. Hubbins is asked by an interviewer: "Was there really a Saint Hubbins?" To which he replies: "Yes . . . I believe he was the patron saint of quality footwear."
Love St. Francis!! He is my daughter’s patron saint.
Sounds like a great book! St. Francis was responsible for bringing me to the Church.
I don’t think any Christian in the post-Apostolic age has better exemplified our Lord’s Gospel than St. Francis. Even among non-Catholics he is greatly revered.
St. Francis of Assisi was a stigmatic. I doubt he wore Birkenstocks. LOL!
“St. Francis of Assisi was a stigmatic. I doubt he wore Birkenstocks. LOL!”
My youngest son hung around with some of the Orders when he lived near the Basilica in DC while he attended school.
Are the Franciscans discalced? He mentioned discalced and I thought he said in conjunction with the Franciscans but am not sure.
Actually, the expression “sandal-clad” is a legitimate if somewhat antiquated English expression. So I think “Birkenstock clad” would qualify, too.
Be that as it may, I think we really do need another Crusade (Franciscan style). Sitting around waiting for the Muslims to take us over is not an option. We have to go to them and preach the Gospel.
But we’ve got to do it the way BXVI does it, and the way St. Francis did it: No syncretism. Islam is simply wrong, and we’re showing them the Truth, which is that God is Love, and man is made in the image of God.