In a few weeks, Bishop Tiny Muskens will retire–look for the Pope to graciously accept his resignation immediately. You may not know the name, but no doubt you have heard the news that Bishop Muskens has made in the past few days when he indicated in an interview that God doesn’t care what he is called and so we might as well just go ahead and call him “Allah” to mend fences with the Muslims. Now of course, this is rather naive and even though Bishop Muskens indicates that priests in Indonesia regularly use “Allah” rather than God when celebrating Mass, I doubt any Muslim I have ever known would find this something that would please them–unless Jesus suddenly became just another prophet and Mohammed was seen as the final and greatest prophet–something that it seems people of Bishop Musken’s ilk would probably readily agree to as well.
Which brings us back to Joseph Ratzinger’s Jesus of Nazareth. Why is this book so timely? Because it points out what Christians who have died for their faith believe about Jesus Christ, not only that he was sent by God (and as Ratzinger points out was the “prophet” that Moses had prophesied would come–something Muslims claim refers to Mohammed), but that he was God incarnate and gave us a definitive revelation about who and what God is like. Jesus gives God a human face! What was Jesus’ name for God? The infant’s name for a father–”Abba” or in English it might be rendered “dada.”
Those who have been baptized in Christ, now share in his Sonship and as Saint Paul says in his Letter to the Galatians “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6). This is the way of the followers of Christ.
Bishop Muskens represents the many reasons why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has to release documents reminding Catholics that we believe that the fullness of revelation has been given through Christ and is present in the Catholic Church–for some reason quite a number of Catholics seem to have skipped class on the day that was taught and are all to ready to adopt the practices of other faiths and traditions without blinking and eye and calling themselves Catholics.