Hadje C. Sadje
“We humbly ask for forgiveness for the part that each of
us with his or her behaviors
has played in such evils thus contributing to
disrupting the face of the church.
At the same time, as we confess our sins let us forgive
the faults committed by others towards us.”
Pope John Paul II
On March 12, the first Sunday of Lent, John Paul II will publicly ask the Lord's forgiveness for past and present faults of the children of the Church. Interestingly, when I heard this I am really surprise how the Catholic top religious leader admittedly and reflective in behalf of his leadership to sin committed by the Catholic Church in the service of the so called universal Truth. I am Muslim by birth. The knowledge I have is that the Christianity is the religion of colonizer and land grabber. I remember my teacher in Madrasha (it is a secular or religious school for the Muslim children) thought us that the Crusaders are the militant Christian who kills our ancestors and took our land. Bitterness and vengeance are the emotion that developed in my mind and heart. I describe before the Catholic Christian as evil, highly political, close-minded people, and western instrumental to the oppression of the Filipino Muslim. This view last until my family had a problem, my mother and I separated from my father. We fled together with my brothers from Mindanao to Manila. New environment and community I encountered, it is a new world for me. First time here in Manila I am little bit struggle to be with the Christian community because they have a different lifestyle and world-view. The new environment helps me to cope and overcome my biases with the Catholic Church. Suppressing, how the priest talks with their parishioners, treat the non-Christian community, at least, in this Parish used to invite me to join with their Bible study group. I wonder from the first time...