The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, George Cardinal Pell, has written an article for First Things, “Islam and Us,” which is both important and primarily pessimistic. It is not available online –yet– but I hope the editors of the magazine will make it available so that a easy discussion of Pell’s arguments for both optimism and pessimism can be carried out online.
There is an echo of a debate I first heard in an interview with Father Joseph Fassio, Provost of Ave Maria University, from January 5, 2006. Pell writes that “[f]or those of a pessimistic outlook, this is probably the most intractable problem in considering Islam and democracy. What is the the capacity for theological development within Islam?”