Pope Francis has appointed pro-Islam Bishop Jean-Marc Aveline, 60, known for his “islamo-christian dialogue” as new Archbishop over the French city of Marseilles, but Christians see a major conflict in allowing the Koran to be used as part of Catholic prayer.
Aveline has a reputation as an adherent to “Chrislam,” a description for the belief that Christians and Muslims worship the same God of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), therefore, the two can focus on their commonalities rather than their differences.
Aveline founded the Institut de sciences et théologie des religions (Institute of sciences and theology of religions). Some Catholic writers say it supports, “a relativistic view of religions, putting the Christian faith and Islam on the same plane.”
However, many say such practices are nothing short of heresy.
A major point of contention that Christians have with so-called “Chrislam” is the use of the Koran during the lectio divina, or divine reading. Aveline and other “Christian Islamicists” under him used the Koran as a sacred text to contemplate or meditate in prayer, trying to receive a revelation from God directly.
Many feel that replacing or conjoining the sacred texts of the Gospels by the addition of the Koran, something they feel is a false religion, is heretical.
The idea of harmony between Christians and Muslims isn’t the point of contention within these interfaith efforts. Many feel that the Pope is simply submitting to Islamic supremacy.
They point to the fact that while the Pope makes concessions, the same can’t be said for Islam. The persecution and attacks on Christians are only growing.
Pope Francis has said of his commitment to working together with Muslims that “interfaith dialogue is the most effective antidote to violence.”
“Perhaps now more than ever such a need is felt, because the most effective antidote against all forms of violence is education towards the discovery and acceptance of differences,” Pope Francis said. “If it is assumed that we all belong to human nature, prejudices and falsehoods can be overcome and an understanding of the other according to a new perspective can begin.”