Updates: A Muslim in Sarawak, where Christians are allowed to use Bahasa Indonesia bibles which refer to god as "Allah", explains why the same "privilege" should not be extended to Semenanjung Malaysia. Read Let Me Rest, Let Me Rest, Let Me Rest
Swift and sweet end. The next time Archbishop Joseph Marino gives an interview, he'd be more careful - not just with what he says but to which media he says it too. The Vatican's ambassador to Malaysia would have learned that a remark not intended to hurt anyone's feelings can, in the hands of the wrong news portal, be spun to do more than that. Credit to the Nuncio, he has apologized to Muslims in this country for his remarks. The apology was conveyed to Foreign Minister Anifah Aman during a closed-door meeting yesterday.
The Archbishop's 3-para statement:
At noon today (16 July 2013), the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Joseph Marino, had the opportunity to speak directly with the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, who had called him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the comments recently reported in the local media.He was grateful to the Minister for the meeting during which he assured him the comments were never intended as an attempt to intrude into the internal affairs of the country. In that context, he asked him to convey apologies for any misunderstandings and inconveniences that it may have caused.In fact the Apostolic Nuncio happily told the Honorable Minister, that as the former Holy See's Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh, a country whose majority population is Muslim, he firmly believes that inter-religious dialogue is the means to promote good relations among peoples of different faiths, who can discover the beauty of each others' belief. Consequently, he assured the Minister of the commitment of this Mission to promote closer relations among all religions.
In the spirit of Ramadan, the Muslims in this country will be just too happy to forgive Marino, just wait and see. But let's not forget that it will take some effort and time one everyone's part to repair the damage. Allah bless Anifah Aman, our Foreign Minister, for his swift and sweet diplomacy, may he have the strength to continue to lead us in forging a peaceful interfaith co-existence, even though he's not the Minister in charge of religious matters. Kudos to Khairy Jamaluddin also, who is not the Minister in charge of religious matters, either, but has played a role in echoing and supporting Anifah in dealing with crisis. Read After Vatican envoy's contration, (Khairy) urges end to rumpus.