Allam, writing on his Web site, said the “euphoria over Pope Francis” and the rapid way Pope Benedict was set aside was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and convinced him to abandon his conversion to Christianity.
Benedict baptized Allam in 2008 during an Easter vigil service at the Vatican, saying he wanted to inspire other former Muslims to practice Christianity openly. At the time, some of the Vatican’s Muslim dialogue partners said the high profile given to the conversion was a deliberate provocation.
Allam said that what drove him away from the church most of all was “religious relativism, in particular the legitimization of Islam as a true religion, of Allah as the true God, of Mohammed as a true prophet, of the Koran as a sacred text and of mosques as places of worship.”
He said it was “true folly” that Benedict had prayed in a mosque in Istanbul, and that Pope Francis, in one of his first speeches, said that Muslims “worship the one, living and merciful God.”
Allam said he considers Islam an “intrinsically violent ideology.”
Though I can understand the disappointment the man might've had with the Catholic kid glove treatment of Islam, I must say that it would seem to be a disappointment driven by ignorance of the Catholic faith.
Brandon Vogt, in the comments, speaks for me on this:
This story confirms a suspicion I've held for a long while: theological objections are often personal objections in disguise.
When wrestling with whether to leave Catholicism, Allam decided through secondary questions like, "how does the Catholic Church engage Islam?" and "do Catholics honor the Pope Emeritus enough?"
Those are of course *important* questions but they have no relevance to whether Christianity (or Catholicism) is true. Here are three questions he should have asked instead:
- Is Jesus God?
- Did Jesus establish the Catholic Church?
- Is Catholicism true or is Islam true? (Or is neither true?)
Answers to those questions would have one move toward embracing, not rejecting, the Catholic church.
Sad stuff but in this age of the low information voter and the decisions so many in that... demograhic... make, it's not surprising.
People need to understand what they're rejecting, and what then, as a result, they're accepting, more fully before acting.
Think people, really think before taking next steps, particularly when they're this important.
I hope Mr. Allam has a change of heart. I really do.
H/T to the good Deacon.