Montini, the pope who compared Muslims to Christian martyrs!!

An image of Pope Montini

Montini, the pope who compared Muslims to Christian martyrs

His relationship with Islam –

Elisa Pinna). (ANSAmed) – ROME – Hard to imagine that a Pope can equate the blood shed by the Christian martyrs with that of the Muslim martyrs. Yet Paul VI did, on a trip to Uganda in 1970, during a speech defined by the missionary magazine ‘World and Mission’ “the text more open part of the Church towards Islam.” Reports that Montini, Pope on Sunday will go to the altar, had with the Muslim world is one of the many aspects were often in shadow, in a stagliatosi pontificate in history especially for the conciliar and post-conciliar debate. Merit of indicating new and suggestive interpretations of the kingdom Montini and his incredible theological and pastoral richness, beyond the patterns of the conciliar debate, is the book ‘Paul VI, world destination, travel Montini meet the peoples’, written Giorgio Bernardelli and Lorenzo Rosoli, for editions EMI, released on the occasion of the forthcoming beatification. When you open the “treasure chest” of the nine international travel of Paul VI, during which time – 1964 to 1970 – he visited 19 countries on five continents, the trend is clear and completely forgotten altogether surprising Islam, despite visits that have made history, such as those in the Holy Land or the UN. Paul VI, the first missionary and pilgrim pope to set foot outside Italy in 150 years, the first to raise his ponticato and the Church on a plane with the hope to go very far, had meetings with the Muslims in several of the his travels abroad: his last international mission, in 1970, began even with a stopover – the first and only of a Roman pontiff in the history of the Church – Shiite Iran (of course, that the era of the Shah Rezha Palevi ); continued with an “unscheduled” in Bangladesh in order to bring tangible Caritas personally solidarity with the victims of a natural disaster in a Muslim country. And finally, there was also a third stage in Indonesia where publicly reaffirmed “the esteem for Muslims who worship the one living God”, as expressed in Nostra Aetate. “But the most dramatic text – if you re-read with the eyes of today – it is a speech to Muslims in Uganda which goes so far as to extend to them the idea of ​​an ecumenism of the martyrs,” says one of the authors Giorgio Bernardelli. On that trip, from July 28 to August 2, 1969, Montini, Archbishop of Milan, as they already had gone to Africa several times, wanted to pay homage to the early Christian martyrs Africans, who were killed between 1885 and 1887, as part of persecution triggered by local tribal king. He went much further though. “We are sure to be in communion with you (Muslims ed.), When we implore the Almighty, to stir the hearts of all believers in Africa the desire of reconciliation, of forgiveness so often recommended in the Gospel and the Koran,” he said to the representatives of the Muslim communities met in the Nunciature in Kampala. “And how can we associate with the testimony of piety and fidelity of the Martyrs Catholic and Protestant – went on in that passage still sounds revolutionary today – the memory of those confessors of the Muslim faith, whose story reminds us that they were the first, in 1848, to pay with his life for refusing to transgress the precepts of their religion. “


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