VATICAN CITY (RNS) Three days after Pope Francis appealed for greater inter-religious dialogue between Catholics and Muslims, a high-profile Italian Muslim who converted to Catholicism and was baptized by Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will leave the church to protest its soft stance against Islam.
Egyptian-born Magdi Cristiano Allam, 61, a prominent journalist and outspoken critic of Islam, publicly entered the Catholic Church on March 22, 2008, during an Easter Vigil service, receiving baptism directly from Benedict.
After his conversion, Allam founded a small right-wing political party that lost badly in Italy's general elections last April.
Writing on Monday in the right-wing daily Il Giornale, Allam explained that he considers his conversion to Catholicism finished "in combination with the end of [Benedict's] pontificate."
"The ‘papolatry' that has inflamed the euphoria for Francis I and has quickly archived Benedict XVI was the last straw in an overall framework of uncertainty and ...1