Tuesday 23 August 2011

Bishop troubled by growing 'religious gulf'

Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan said the "nonsense about Christianity that it encourages free sex and permits prostitution" which appeared in a column in a Malay newspaper today was "symptomatic of the existing gulf in understanding between nominal Muslims and other religions in Malaysia."

bishop paul tan chee ing"Now, I'm not going to call for a ban on that publication which I understand tends to express on occasion liberal views on politics," said the head of the diocese of Melaka-Johor in an immediate response to Malaysiakini which carried news of the Sinar Harian report.

"I don't believe that you should go banning a publication just because it has given a patently false report of what is taken to be Christian teachings; though I would settle for an apology.

"But just imagine what would happen if some publication had featured a comparably contorted view of Islam?" mused the Jesuit-trained prelate, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia.

"The Home Ministry would be down on that publication in a flash and the latter would have to give an explanation for its maledictions on pain of termination of its licence and maybe even prosecution of its staff," Bishop Paul Tan elaborated.

Prevent spreading lies on other religions

He said that the editor of Sinar Harian could checked with his Christian friends to verify the truth or falsity of the teachings of Christianity as proposed in the column he ran in his paper.

sinar harian on christian movement aims july 23 2011"Either he does not have such a friend or it does not occur to him to check out such an obvious distortion of Christian teaching which only tells you the extent of the gulf in religious understanding between nominal Muslims and adherents of other faiths in Malaysia," said the bishop.

"Anyone who thinks that Christianity encourages free sex and permits prostitution must have emerged from a Robinson Crusoe-like isolation on some island," sighed the prelate.

"Christianity views free sex as a grave distortion of the God-given gift of sexuality and considers prostitution sinful degradation of women and of men.

"Malaysians should learn about each other's religions to avoid making knaves of their selves," advised the bishop.

"The governing authorities should prevent the ignorant from spreading lies about the beliefs of other religions," he urged.

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