Pell says Catholics should read the Koran

Cardinal George Pell has said that it is vital to "read this sacred text of the Muslims, because the challenge of Islam will be with us for the remainder of our lives - at least".

The message from a speech delivered in the US is reported in an article in today's Brisbane Courier-Mail. The speech, which was dated 7 February, appeared this week on the Sydney Archdiocesan website.

Cardinal Pell said the totalitarian nature of Islamist ideology, and the brutality and rigidity of Islamist rule in Afghanistan under the Taliban would prove unsustainable, like Nazism and Communism, because of the enormous toll they exacted on human life and creativity.

On the pessimistic side, he said he is concerned about the Koran itself. In reading the Koran Cardinal Pell began noting down the calls to violence.

"There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages," he said.

But he said: "it is easy for us to tell Muslims that they must look to themselves and find ways of reinterpreting their beliefs and remaking their societies. Exactly the same thing can and needs to be said to us."

Cardinal Pell said the West's secularism spawns "meaninglessness." The West also needs to "understand the secular sources of emptiness and despair and how to meet them, so that people will choose life over death."

This means having more children and a confidence in the future, the Cardinal says.

Pell says read Koran (The Courier Mail 4/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal George Pell: Islam and Western Democracies (Archdiocese of Sydney 7/2/06)

Islam Seen as Politicized in Nigeria (Zenit 2/5/06)
What the Islamic Riots Reveal (Part 1) (Zenit 2/5/06)

4 May 2006