A conversation on why Catholics need to dialogue with Muslims

Pope Francis accepts a program from Iman Khalid Latif, executive director of the Islamic Center and chaplain to students at New York University, during an interreligious gathering at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York. (CNS photo/Ray Stubblebine, pool)

“It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God,” Pope Francis said early in his pontificate. “But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people.”

Many U.S. Catholics have not only ignored their Muslim brothers and sisters but harbor discriminatory views about Muslims at alarming rates.

Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, “a multi-year research project that connects the academic study of Islamophobia with the public square,” released a report in 2016 that documented how U.S. Catholics view Muslims. America’s national correspondent, Michael O’Loughlin, reported then:

When asked, “What is your overall impression of Muslims?” 30 percent of those Catholics polled said they held unfavorable views, 14 percent said favorable and 45 percent said they held neither favorable nor unfavorable views... Forty-five percent of Catholics said that Islam encourages violence more than other religions while 24 percent said it encourages violence as much as other religions.

Jordan Denari Duffner, an associate at the Bridge Initiative and author of the new book, Finding Jesus Among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic, joins us on this week’s episode of Jesuitical. Jordan discusses why she felt called to work in Catholic-Islamic dialogue, and why it’s an essential part of the Christian vocation.

In Signs of the Times, we discuss President Trump’s invocation of dreamers in his State of the Union address, and a Chicago priest who is on hunger strike in support of DACA recipients. We also provide an update on Pope Francis’ handling of allegations of sexual abuse in Chile, a rise in demonic activity and a limb of St. Francis Xavier making a road trip across Canada.

Links from the show:

Undocumented Loyola Medical Student to Join Durbin at State of the Union
Chicago priest pledges hunger strike to support ‘Dreamers
Pope Francis sends special prosecutor to Chile to investigate charges against Bishop Barros
Couple, married 70 years, renew vows—this time in church
St. Francis Xavier’s severed arm to visit Calgary in relic pilgrimage
Irish priest asks for back-up as demand for exorcisms rises ‘exponentially’

What’s on tap?

Hot Toddy
1 cup of tea
Whiskey (feel free to eyeball the amount)

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