Malacca Portuguese community urges all to accept Vatican envoy’s apology

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malacca Portuguese community has urged all parties to accept the apology of Vatican envoy Archbishop Joseph Marino's over the misunderstanding with regard to the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims here.

Portuguese Settlement's advisor Joseph Sta Maria said Marino should be commended for his apology as it showed sensitivity towards the recent outcry by certain quarters.

"As traditional custodians of the Catholic faith, we call upon all parties to put this issue to rest as dragging the matter any further would not be good for the nation," he said in a statement issued to the media on Wednesday.

He added that Malaysians are peace-loving people and the issues should not become a wedge between the respective communities.

"We have been living side by side with our Muslim brethren in harmony for 500 years as we have learned to respect each others beliefs and customs," he added.

He agreed with Marino that meaningful dialogue between the respective communities was a way to move forward in fostering greater understanding and unity.

Sta Maria said the community would be writing to Marino to express their support over his move to apologise to quell the uneasiness over the recent issue.

Last Thursday, Marino, in his interview with media, said that the legal issue over the use of the word "Allah" was one between the local Church and religious authorities here.

He also described the points put forward by the Christian Federation of Malaysia on the issue as "sensible and logical", drawing flak from several quarters including from Malay rights groups Perkasa and Parti Tiga Jalur.

On Tuesday, Marino was called to Wisma Putra where he extended his apology to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman over the misunderstanding.

He expressed his commitment towards inter-religious dialogues as a means to foster greater unity amongst the respective communities.
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