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Fasting with the Muslims?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

The post-conciliar period has been witness to one ecclesial novelty after another, every one of which would have horrified the pre-conciliar popes. (Seriously, now, what would Saint Pius X have to say about such things as altar girls and papal prayer meetings with Hindus, Buddhists, shamans and muftis?) Now we are asked to fast on the last day of Ramadan to show our "solidarity" with the Muslims and to promote the utopian ideal of a pan-religious brotherhood of peace. That we cannot possibly have "solidarity" with those who adamantly reject Our Lord and Savior seems never to have been considered.

No, the Vatican wanted everyone to be quite certain that the day of fasting on December 14, 2001 was indeed intended to coincide with the end of Ramadan as a show of this imaginary "solidarity" with Muslims. As reported by Reuters, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, secretary of the Vatican Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, declared that: "This special day of prayer and fasting, a Friday at the end of Ramadan, gives Catholics a chance to show their solidarity with Muslims."

In typical neo-Catholic fashion, however, The Wanderer managed to report the call for a day of fasting on December 14 without once mentioning the Vatican’s explicit linkage of the event to Ramadan. (Neo-Catholics routinely edit Vatican pronouncements to remove the embarrassing parts, so they can maintain the fiction that everything coming out of the Vatican these days is totally in line with Catholic Tradition.) But Reuters was far more candid than The Wanderer: "The unprecedented gesture was timed to coincide with the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, (to) promote greater understanding between Catholics and Muslims, and stress that no Catholic should automatically link Islam with terrorism."

So, although The Wanderer tried to hide it, the Vatican apparatus wants us to engage in common fasting with Muslims so that we can come to understand how the religion Muhammad invented to suit his preferences is really a very good thing, and not the cause of centuries of war and persecution against the Church as Catholics (including many popes) had so foolishly believed for centuries before the "springtime" of Vatican II. Long since forgotten is Pope Pius XI’s prayer that Christ the King would draw the practitioners of Islamism from their darkness and bring them into the light and kingdom of God.

It should hardly be surprising all manner of liberal non-Catholics were much taken with the idea of the "Catholic" Ramadan fast, and were happy to participate in it themselves. Reuters reports that "Italian Protestants were also taking part in the fast, as were many environmental and green groups."

But not everyone submitted quietly to this exercise in utopian pan-religion. The Reuters story notes that members of Italy’s Northern League party criticized the whole idea of Catholics fasting together with those who reject Christ and the Holy Trinity: "Three League parliamentarians said in a statement that they refused to fast at the same time as ‘atheists and members of other religions that do not believe in the Holy Trinity.’"

According to Reuters "the parliamentarians, Alessandro Ce, Federico Bricolo and Massimo Polledri, slammed the Pope's fasting initiative as ‘inter-religious, political, lay and ecumenical.’" The trio pointed out that the Marxist Fausto Bertinotti, head of Italy's far-left Communist Refoundation Party, participated in the fast "even though he and many members of his party were atheist."

When the Vatican prescribes a novelty that delights atheists, communists, Protestants and environmentalist kooks, that should tell us that the novelty harms the cause of the Catholic Church and should be avoided. That being the case, the Italian parliamentarians did the right thing in following their Catholic instincts by declining to fast with the Muslims at the end of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, one wonders when the Vatican will abandon these increasingly absurd publicity stunts and return to using the most powerful instrument for world peace in man’s possession: traditional Roman Catholicism in all its otherworldly glory.