John L. Esposito is the director of the ACMCU, a professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown, and one of the most prominent scholars of Islam and the Middle East in the nation; the Wall Street Journal once hailed him as “America’s foremost authority and interpreter of Islam.” He is the author of numerous popular books on Islam, and, according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, has been “called upon often to brief government agencies about Islam, including the State Department, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security and various branches of the military.”
Esposito reportedly spent ten years in a monastery, is still identified as a Catholic, and is frequently invited to address Catholic audiences. However, emblematic of the doubtful orthodoxy, or even of the doubtful Christianity, of the perspective he brings to the Alwaleed Center was an extraordinarily curious remark he made shortly after September 11, 2001: Esposito said that he was “pleasantly surprised” that after the attacks the rate of conversions to Islam in America had not fallen off, but had actually increased.
The Second Vatican Council states “the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day” (Lumen Gentium, 16). It also says that “the Church has also a high regard for the Muslims” and calls upon Muslims and Christians to make “a sincere effort” to “achieve mutual understanding” (Nostra Aetate, 3). It does not exempt Muslims from the Church’s duty to preach the Gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:19-20) and to “proclaim without fail, Christ who is the way, the truth and the life” (Nostra Aetate, 2). The call to hold individual Muslims in “high regard” does not conceivably justify encouraging or taking pleasure in conversions to Islam, even for liberal Catholic academics.Link (here) to read the full article at Crisis Magazine