Allam Is Just Another Fake Convert
Magdi Cristiano Allam has now announced he considers his conversion to Catholicism “finished”
If you browse the Italian press you will see Allam – a popular, if controversial journalist; convert from his cradle Islam, and its sworn enemy – has a long litany of grievances: the impering buonismo, or “good-ism”, the stance of too many among the clergy towards illegal immigration, the shock of what he calls the “two Popes”, and the orgy of “papolatry” after Pope Francis' election. His main grievance and “last straw” is, though, the soft stance taken by Pope Francis towards Muslims. Allam even goes as far as to say that Francis has offered a legitimation to the god of the Muslims, and to the Koran and the worship in mosques as authentic expressions of worship of God.
One does not even know where to start.
The stance of some of the clergy concerning immigration can be as wrong as Allam pleases, but it doesn't change a iota in Church doctrine. The doctrine of the Church comes from God, not from the one or other priest or bishop. Certainly, buonismo has afflicted the Church since the dawn of Vatican II, but Allam can surely not say he wasn't aware of it. Like the Fatherland, the Church will have a lot of problems, and plenty of wrong people in key positions; but even more than the Fatherland, the Church is loved for what it is, not for the people who act on its behalf.
This remark applies very fittingly to the most grave reproach moved to Pope Francis: giving a passport to Islam. Granted, Pope Francis' recent words have all the sugary ambiguity of Vatican II, and can – as it is typical for VII waffle – be interpreted by pretty much everyone as he likes. Still, there is a huge difference between saying that Pope Francis doesn't have the gut to talk straight about Islam and saying that he considers allah worshiping a legitimate form of God worship.
The question is, really, not even this one; the real key to all Catholic understanding is that what a Pope says concerning any matter concerned with the foundations of Catholic doctrine can never cause any deviation from it. A Pope cannot change infallible doctrine more than he can the course of the planets, or God himself. As a result, for a Catholic what the Pope says can be useful in gauging how orthodox this Pope is (and the Pope could be a heretic, as already happened in the past), but is perfectly irrelevant to his belonging to the Catholic Church.
Do you want it put more bluntly? Even if the Pope were to officiate a mixed ritual with a Hindu priest, a Rabbi and a Muezzin, this wouldn't change a iota in what the Truth is, what the Church stands for and my proud belonging to it; though of course it would have consequences on my assessment of the Pope and, in extreme cases, of his legitimacy in the office.
But you see, Allam doesn't say even that. He does not denounce the Pope as illegitimate, but the Church as wrong! He has, like many Protestant fake converts, made his own Bespoke church, and his allegiance to the Catholic Church only lasted as long as he considered the Church compatible with his own made-to-measure set of beliefs.
This is the more disappointing because Allam is an intelligent man, and Pope Benedict had in 2008 clearly accepted to officiate his conversion mass – a favour he refused to Tony Blair – exactly because he though Allam more committed and sincere than Blair.
We must not blame Benedict for Allam's voltafaccia. Allam is clearly the only one to blame; but this should be a cautionary tale for everyone – and I think here particularly of Anglicans – who think they can tailor Catholicism to the preferences and set of beliefs they already have, and discard their conversion once the new shop does not pay enough reverence to their own personal preferences.
What the Pope says has no bearing on Truth. Truth remains exactly the same whatever the Pope says. If the Pope defends the Truth well, he is a good Pope; if he does it badly or very badly, he is a bad or very bad Pope; if he spreads heretical thinking, he is an heretical Pope; and if he tries to spread his heretical thinking ex cathedra, then he – if he hasn't been killed by the Holy Ghost before doing it – loses his legitimacy and isn't Pope anymore.
But in all of this, a Catholic is true to the Church till death; lest, like Magdi Allam, he gravely endangers his soul in the pursue of his own prideful, home-made religion.
Allam has not said to what he wants to “convert” (unless to his own religion, of course) and I am not interested into the details of whether he is in formal apostasy. He has publicly distanced himself from the Church that embraced him just a few years ago, and has insulted Her as institution. I think this is bad enough.