Florida: Catholic diocese of Orlando reprimands schoolteacher for quoting saint on Islam
BY ROBERT SPENCER
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
“Flanigan, the associate superintendent of Orlando Diocese schools, said ‘the information provided in the sixth grade class is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.’”
But the author of this material is a saint in the Catholic Church, St. John Bosco. So did a saint spread ideas that were “not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church”? How, then, did he become a saint? Why didn’t his apparently heterodox, disrespectful, hateful teaching on Islam prevent his canonization?
Or is it the “teachings of the Catholic Church” that changed? Since it is Catholic teaching that only divinely revealed dogmas are immutable, if the Church’s teaching on Islam has changed, it must not be divinely revealed dogma, but mere human opinion, from which there can be respectful disagreement, no?
“She pointed to Nostra Aetate, an official Vatican document Pope Paul VI released on Oct. 28, 1965. It stated that the Catholic Church regards Muslims ‘with esteem’ and urged Catholics to work with Muslims for peace and social justice.”
Does the necessity to regard Muslims with esteem require that Catholics must not speak about the elements of Islam that jihadis use to justify violence, including the rampant global persecution of Christians?
About John Bosco’s document, we’re told: “Elsewhere in the text, Muhammad is described as a ‘charlatan,’ ‘villain,’ ‘ignoramus,’ ‘imposter’ and ‘false prophet’ who ‘couldn’t even write’ and ‘propagated his religion, not through miracles or persuasive words, but by military force.’ The Quran, the holy book of Islam, is also called ‘a series of errors, the most enormous ones being against morality and the worship of the true God.’”
This is strong and pejorative language. Where did he get these ideas, that are inconsistent with Catholic teaching in the minds of the leaders of the diocese of Orlando that the teacher who spread this material deserved a reprimand? The Huffington Post, of course, takes it for granted that it is false to claim these things, but there is actually a case to be made that Islam spread through force and that Islamic morality is decisively different from Christian morality. Can there be any discussion of this at all? Or is all dissent from the charge that John Bosco’s claims are false to be punished and silenced?
“Jordan Denari Duffner, a Catholic research fellow at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative who studies Islamophobia, said it’s not uncommon for people on some conservative websites to selectively cite centuries-old anti-Muslim texts written by Catholic scholars and saints.”
The Huffington Post doesn’t bother to tell you that the Bridge Initiative is a Saudi-funded endeavor to stigmatize and thereby shut down all critical speech about Islam, which would have the effect of enabling the global jihad to advance without a murmur of protest or resistance. The very word “Islamophobia” is a propaganda term designed to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad terror.
“In the imagined dialogue between a father and his sons, the father explains how Jesus Christ is superior to the Prophet Muhammad…”
Note how the Huffington Post favors Islam. If he were a neutral and evenhanded journalist, Christopher Mathias would write either “Jesus Christ and Muhammad” or “the Lord Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad.” Giving the honorific only to Muhammad is yet another manifestation of the establishment media’s indefatigable imperative to push Islam on the populace and shame people into thinking that they’re bigots and racists for objecting to jihad terror and Sharia oppression.
As for the diocese of Orlando: “Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
“Teacher Gave 6th-Grade Students Reading That Called Islam ‘Immoral And Corrupting,’” by Christopher Mathias, Huffington Post, April 19, 2017 (thanks to William):
The Catholic diocese of Orlando, Florida, says it has reprimanded a teacher at a Catholic school in the state for giving his sixth-grade religion class an anti-Muslim reading assignment.
Mark Smythe, a religion and social studies teacher at Blessed Trinity Catholic School in Ocala, gave students printouts of a 19th-century Catholic text that refers to Islam as a “monstrous mixture” of faiths. It also calls the doctrines of the Prophet Muhammad “ridiculous, immoral and corrupting.”
“We have spoken to the principal of Blessed Trinity Catholic School, Ocala and to the teacher in question and have reprimanded the teacher for this unfortunate exhibit of disrespect,” Jacquelyn Flanigan, an associate superintendent at the Diocese of Orlando’s Catholic school system, said in a statement.
Flanigan didn’t elaborate on what she meant by “reprimanded.” Smythe did not respond to a request for comment.A concerned mother with a child in Smythe’s class gave copies of the reading assignment to a friend, who then sent the copies to The Huffington Post through the Documenting Hate project.“[The mother] shared this with me while she could not stop crying,” the friend wrote.The reading assignment appears to be an excerpt from an 1853 text about Islam by priest Giovanni Bosco, who later became a saint.In the imagined dialogue between a father and his sons, the father explains how Jesus Christ is superior to the Prophet Muhammad, who “degrades and dishonors human nature and by placing all happiness in sensual pleasures, reduces man to the level of filthy animals.”
Elsewhere in the text, Muhammad is described as a “charlatan,” “villain,” “ignoramus,” “imposter” and “false prophet” who “couldn’t even write” and “propagated his religion, not through miracles or persuasive words, but by military force.”The Quran, the holy book of Islam, is also called “a series of errors, the most enormous ones being against morality and the worship of the true God.”An internet search for Bosco’s take on Islam shows it is primarily referenced on fringe conservative Catholic sites and in the comment sections of anti-Muslim hate sites.
Leaders within Ocala’s interfaith community said they were shocked and upset to see the reading assignment.Humeraa Qamar, who is Muslim and whose Muslim daughter once attended Blessed Trinity, emailed the school to say the assignment “caused a lot of distress to the students in [the] class and also understandingly to the Muslim Americans living in Ocala, Fl including our family.”Rabbi David Kaiman of the Congregation B’nai Israel in Gainesville also emailed the school, writing that the reading was “dangerous and destructive and feeds those who seek to hate vilify,” and that it “expresses a hate language that is disturbing.”He added that the “tone and factual content is outdated and not reflective of Catholic doctrine,” and pointed to statements from a long succession of popes expressing love and respect for Muslims and the Islamic faith.“I take pride to quote the words of John Paul II in speaking of Islam in 1985,” Kaiman wrote. “’[There] are the important differences which we can accept with the humility and respect, in mutual tolerance; this is a mystery about which, I am certain, God will one day enlighten us.’”Flanigan, the associate superintendent of Orlando Diocese schools, said “the information provided in the sixth grade class is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.”She pointed to Nostra Aetate, an official Vatican document Pope Paul VI released on Oct. 28, 1965. It stated that the Catholic Church regards Muslims “with esteem” and urged Catholics to work with Muslims for peace and social justice.Jordan Denari Duffner, a Catholic research fellow at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative who studies Islamophobia, said it’s not uncommon for people on some conservative websites to selectively cite centuries-old anti-Muslim texts written by Catholic scholars and saints.“It’s a general trend that I’ve noticed,” she said of people preferring “the particular saints from earlier in church history over the Vatican II’s take on Islam.”The Vatican II, or The Second Vatican Council, was a meeting of all Catholic bishops in the early 1960s. It ushered in a series of reforms to liberalize and modernize the Church, including a move to more warmly embrace Muslims and Islam.But a September 2016 survey from the Bridge Initiative found that 30 percent of Catholics in America have unfavorable views of Muslims, with only 14 percent saying they had favorable views. It also found that people “who consume content from Catholic media outlets have more unfavorable views” of Muslims than those who don’t.Smythe is among a handful of teachers across the country who have been reprimanded over the last year for distributing racist or anti-Muslim reading material to students….