Finding Mecca and theology on the hoof

Bad news: Idonesian Muslims, who are approximately 86%, or about 200 million, of its population, have been praying the wrong way; not towards Mecca – the intended destination, but Somalia, in Africa.

But the most fantastic thing to come out of this all was the words of Ma’ruf Amin from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). After admitting the council made a mistake last March when calculating where Muslims should turn to when praying, Amin said “God understands that humans make mistakes. Allah always hears their prayers.”

This sounds like theology on the hoof.

Is this not the “no limbo” moment that the Catholic Church had in 2006. In October of that year the Pope had decided that limbo should be abolished for children.

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he was on record as saying that “Limbo has no place in modern Catholicism.”

The Mail reported that:

In 1984, he told Vittorio Messori, the Catholic author, that Limbo had “never been a definitive truth of the faith”.

He said: “Personally, I would let it drop, since it has always been only a theological hypothesis.”

When A.C. Grayling talks about the dropping of limbo he uses it to exemplify the stupidity of religion, but actually Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has it correct, or at least half so, when he mentions the theological hypothesis.

I’m not sure how one would reach such a hypothesis, but a hypothesis it is: one based on thin air. But this asks more questions of the limits in human knowledge, more so than the truth of religion – which is the stuff beyond testing, thus, unverifiable.

However, if Islam has had it’s “no limbo” moment, what does this do for the rift between a clerics’ knowledge, and the truth of the Koran, a problematic which divides factions within Islam itself?

Ma’ruf Amin’s theology on the hoof will provide much laughter for those who have suspicion of the “authorities” of the subject.

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger he presided over the commission?s first sessions. He is on record as saying that Limbo has no place in modern Catholicism.


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