The Star today reported,
"The formal pact was reached upon after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak met Pope Benedict XVI, the head of the Roman Catholic Church Monday at his Papal summer palace in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome."
Hear and read the Vatican report on Datuk Seri Najib meeting with the Holy Father,
2011-07-18 Vatican Radio
Pope Benedict XVI met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Monday at the Papal summer residence at Castel Gandalfo.
To find out more about the situation of the Catholic Church in the country and the significance of this meeting, Christopher Wells spoke to Jesuit Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of The Herald, a Catholic Weekly in Malaysia:
“The significance is the recognition of Christians in Malaysia in a multi-racial nation, there’s always been that question whether we are recognised as a group and recognising the Vatican is a recognition of the Christians and therefore is an important step forward”.
“Once this happens of course the other Christians will benefit, and also I’m sure that when we are given this recognition there will be a necessity for the government to see a moderation. We hope that there will be this inter-faith development taking place”.
Malaysia, where Christians make up 9 percent of the population, is one of the few countries without diplomatic ties with the Vatican. While Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, the right to freedom of religion is enshrined in its Constitution. There are about 850,000 Catholics in Malaysia, which has a population of 28 million.
It's good to see Father Lawrence speaking in a non-confrontional manner.
It's a diplomatic thing to do, no?
As a prelude to the PM visit, we have a wannabe Michael Jackson in the form of a layperson, Martin Jalleh, with his usual attention seeking theatrical diatribe and rant, duly abetted by the The Malaysian Instigator.
This MJ wannabe is strongly advised to peruse the DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS, NOSTRA AETATE, PROCLAIMED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON OCTOBER 28, 1965 for a lesson or two in humility.
"We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man's relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: "He who does not love does not know God" (1 John 4:8)."
Throwing "Ganddolfo" here and there, as though it were some Mafiosi term, does not make the wannabe MJ credible. And getting it wrongly spelt says much about the lowly layperson.
And as the wannabe MJ wants to remind the Holy Father of a warning, I would also remind the exploited wannabe to warn our Priests Do Not Have a Political Mission
"In their generous service to the gospel ideal, some priests feel drawn to political involvement in order to help more effectively in reforming political life and in eliminating injustices, exploitation, and every type of oppression. The Church reminds them that on this road it is easy to be caught in partisan strife, with the risk of helping not to bring about the just world for which they long, but new and worse ways of exploiting poor people. In any case they must know that they have neither the mission nor the charism from above for this political involvement and activism."How telling and poignant. Amen.