No Such Priest says Bishop
Kota Kinabalu: The Catholic Church in Sabah expressed regret over the actions of one so-called Ustaz Tajuddin Othman Abdullah, who claims in an Internet posting to be a former Catholic priest by the name of Thomas Laiden serving at one St Mary's Church, in 1988.
Head of the Catholic Diocese of Kota Kinabalu, Rt Rev. Bishop Datuk John Lee said Monday, the man also claimed to be currently attached to a so-called Unit Kristianologi of the Majlis Agama Islam Melaka.
"There is no such priest by the name of Thomas Laiden in the Catholic Church in Sabah.
"Whoever the individual is, his attacking the Church portrays a total ignorance and misinterpretation of Catholic teachings," he said in a statement here.
Bishop Lee said the Church deplored the underhand tactics used by the "ustaz" as "his action would definitely not contribute to the harmonious setting of a multi-racial and multi-religious nation like ours."
The so-called Ustaz's attacks were contained in an article written in Bahasa Melayu. It also contained a testimony from him on why he converted to Islam.
The article was faxed by a church member from the Sarawak Congregation to Bishop Lee about a week ago.
It was believed based on an interview with the "Ustaz" and headlined "Temuramah Exclusive Bersama Bekas Paderi Besar Gereja-Gereja Seluruh Sabah (Ustaz Tajuddin Othman Abdullah)."
In the "interview", the man also claimed to have studied in Rome and debated with the late Pope John Paul II.